OLED vs AMOLED: Difference and Comparison

Electroluminescence has evolved over the years, making the display system of our electronic gadgets incredible day by day.


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Key Takeaways

  1. OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode, and AMOLED stands for Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode.
  2. AMOLED has a higher refresh rate and consumes less power compared to OLED.
  3. OLED displays have better color accuracy and are thinner and lighter than AMOLED displays.


OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) is an electronic device with a display function. The basic structure of OLED includes a thin organic compound layer. Its power consumption is high. Its production cost is less. The basic structure of AMOLED includes an organic layer and a thin transistor layer. It consumes less power. It is very flexible.


Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) is an incredible display technology that uses organic materials for its display purposes.

Active Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode (AMOLED) is a new display technology that combines the use of organic material as well as the thin film of transistors.

Power Consumption AMOLED displays have an advantage in power efficiency over OLEDs. Since the pixels are lit individually in AMOLED displays, black or darker pixels aren’t lit at all, reducing power consumption. On the other hand, OLEDs still consume less power than LCDs, significantly improving their predecessor technology.

Color Accuracy AMOLED displays tend to have more saturated and vivid colors than OLED displays. This can make images and videos more appealing and eye-catching. However, the heightened saturation can sometimes distort original colors, making them less realistic. OLED displays typically exhibit more natural and accurate colors than AMOLED displays.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonOLEDAMOLED
Basic StructureAMOLED contains the organic layer and a thin layer of transistors that shall combine in its display function.AMOLED contains the organic layer as well as a thin layer of transistors that shall combine in its display function.
Power ConsumptionHigher when compared to AMOLEDLower when compared to OLED
FlexibilityLess Flexible in usageHighly flexible
Cost of ProductionVery LessRelatively higher than the OLED
Refresh RatesSlightly higher than the AMOLEDSignificantly less than a millisecond

Technical Specifications

The technical specifications table compares the two display technologies based on their structural design, response time, and power usage.

Parameter of ComparisonOLEDAMOLED
StructureUses a passive matrixUses an active matrix
Response TimeFaster than LCDs but slower than AMOLEDsFaster than both LCDs and OLEDs
Power UsageGenerally uses more powerMore power-efficient as it lights up individual pixels
Color ReproductionExcellentMore excellent with deeper blacks
LifespanShorter due to degradation of organic materialsLonger due to the use of an active matrix

Performance Metrics

This table compares OLED and AMOLED performance metrics, including viewing angles, refresh rates, and brightness levels.

Parameter of ComparisonOLEDAMOLED
Viewing AnglesExcellentExcellent
Refresh RateGoodBetter due to active matrix
BrightnessLower than AMOLEDsHigher brightness levels
Contrast RatioInfiniteInfinite
Sunlight VisibilityPoorer compared to AMOLEDBetter sunlight visibility

Cost and Availability

This table compares OLED and AMOLED regarding cost, availability, and the manufacturers producing these displays.

Parameter of ComparisonOLEDAMOLED
CostGenerally cheaperMore expensive due to active matrix technology
AvailabilityLess prevalentMore prevalent, especially in smartphones
Major ManufacturersLG, SonySamsung, LG


The applications table illustrates where each of these technologies is used.

Parameter of ComparisonOLEDAMOLED
SmartphonesSome modelsMost models
TelevisionMore prevalentLess common
Wearable TechLess commonMore common due to power efficiency
Computer MonitorsLess commonIncreasingly being used
Large Format DisplaysUsed in some digital signageLess common

Advantages and Disadvantages

This table summarizes the major pros and cons of both OLED and AMOLED displays.

Parameter of ComparisonOLEDAMOLED
AdvantagesExcellent color reproduction, Wide viewing angles, Faster response time than LCDsBetter power efficiency, Faster response time, Better sunlight visibility
DisadvantagesLower lifespan, Higher power usage, Less commonMore expensive, Burn-in issue if not managed properly, More complicated to produce

What is OLED?

Organic Light Emitting Diode is a display technology used in our daily electronic gadgets using organic compounds to emit light.

An OLED display works without a backlight. This is only because it emits visible light. This makes it thinner when compared to the LCDs.

OLEDs are flexible when compared to other display methods. This feature makes it most sought after by the mobile phone manufacturing industry.

The passive matrix OLED is overlooked as AMOLED has taken the best stride regarding flexibility and energy consumption.

Evolvement of OLED Technology

OLED technology emerged more than 25 years ago, with the first viable device being developed in 1987. OLEDs rely on organic materials that emit light when supplied with an electric current. Over the years, OLED devices have progressively evolved based on three generations of emitter materials:

  • First Generation: Fluorescence
  • Second Generation: Phosphorescence
  • Third Generation: Thermally Activated Delayed Fluorescence (TADF)

Research in academia and industry is currently focused on developing the fourth generation of OLEDs. As OLED technology advanced, TVs and smartphone displays started adopting these new innovations for better image quality and power efficiency.

Growth of Thin-Film Transistor OLED

Thin-Film Transistor (TFT) technology played a pivotal role in the growth of OLED displays. TFT technology allows OLEDs to be driven at higher currents, enabling faster refresh rates, and more accurate color reproduction.

To implement TFT in OLED displays, manufacturers use two primary backplane technologies:

  1. Low-temperature polycrystalline Silicon (LTPS): This is particularly suitable for high-resolution OLED displays like smartphones and tablets. LTPS enables higher pixel densities and lower power consumption than other TFT technologies.
  2. Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide (IGZO): This technology offers higher electron mobility, increased resolution, and energy efficiency. IGZO is often used in larger OLED displays like TVs and monitors.

What is AMOLED?

AMOLED is the advanced display technology that couples the Active matrix system with the organic compounds that emit light.

AMOLED has been in use since the year 2007. It has loomed large in several industries since then, primarily because of its low-cost manufacturing methods and energy consumption features.

AMOLED consists of thin layers of pixels that are made from organic materials. It generates light upon activation of electrical current. This is fed by the thin film of transistors that is present.

Thin Film Transistor backplane technology is highly critical in the manufacturing of AMOLED. The mode in which these AMOLEDs are manufactured makes them more flexible than the traditional OLED.

The refresh rate of the screen is a lot faster than the OLED. The display sizes can be large, too. AMOLED enables a wide-angle view. This makes the televisions more conducive and electric.

Birth of Active-Matrix OLED

To understand the development and history of AMOLED, you should first look at the history of OLED. Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) is a display technology that uses organic materials to emit light. The first OLED display was invented in 1987 by Ching W. Tang and Steven Van Slyke at Eastman Kodak Company. This invention quickly gained attention for its high potential in the display industry.

AMOLED, or Active-Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode, is an OLED display that adds an active matrix to the basic OLED design, providing faster response times and higher resolution. The birth of active-matrix OLED can be linked to the need for better performance in display technology, including applications like smartphones and TV screens.

Advancements in AMOLED Technology

Over the years, various advancements have been made to improve AMOLED technology and its integration into diverse applications. Some notable milestones in the evolution of AMOLED include:

  1. The development of the PenTile matrix family allowed for increased pixel density and improved display quality. This innovative design used an RGBG (red, green, blue, green) sub-pixel layout, enhancing the overall efficiency of the display.
  2. The creation of flexible AMOLED displays enabled the development of curved and foldable screens. This breakthrough allowed for innovative designs in smartphones, wearable devices, and other applications where traditional rigid screens were limiting.
  3. Introducing transparent AMOLED displays extended the potential use cases for AMOLED technology. These displays could be used in augmented reality applications, automotive HUDs (Heads Up Displays), and other applications where transparency and high-quality visuals are essential.
  4. Improvements in power efficiency and manufacturing techniques allowed for the production of larger AMOLED displays, paving the way for their integration into a wide range of consumer electronics, from smartphones and tablets to televisions.

Main Differences Between OLED and AMOLED

  1. The contrast ratio of OLED is high compared to the AMOLED.
  2. OLED has a few limitations, and one such is the display size. It is conducive only to TVs, while AMOLED can be very flexible and can be used in foldable smartphones.

Technological Differences between OLED and AMOLED

As you explore the display technologies used in devices like smartphones and televisions, two terms you will frequently come across are OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) and AMOLED (Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diodes). While they both utilize organic materials to emit light, some key differences between them can impact your viewing experience.

Power Consumption: One of the primary differences between OLED and AMOLED is power consumption. OLEDs are generally known to consume less power than traditional LCDs. However, AMOLED displays take it further and consume even less power than their OLED counterparts. This improved power efficiency of AMOLEDs is largely due to the active matrix layer that controls the current flowing through each pixel.

Color Accuracy: Another factor to consider is the color accuracy of both display types. AMOLED displays are known for their saturated and vivid colors, which can make images and videos appear more appealing and eye-catching. However, this might sometimes distort the original colors, making them less realistic. In contrast, OLED displays offer more natural and accurate colors, staying true to the content’s original color palette.

Brightness and Vibrancy: The active matrix layer in AMOLED displays also contributes to their higher brightness levels and more vibrant colors when compared to OLED displays. This makes AMOLEDs better suited for scenarios where high contrast and superior visibility under diverse lighting conditions are essential.

Visual Comparison of OLED and AMOLED

Color Accuracy

When comparing OLED and AMOLED displays, you’ll notice differences in color accuracy. AMOLED displays have more saturated and vivid colors, making images and videos appear more appealing and eye-catching. However, this can sometimes distort original colors and make them less realistic. On the other hand, OLED displays offer more natural and accurate colors.

Brightness Levels

The brightness levels of OLED and AMOLED displays differ as well. Typically, AMOLED displays can reach higher brightness levels, which is advantageous when using your device outdoors or under direct sunlight. OLED displays may not achieve the same brightness level but still provide good visibility in most lighting conditions.

Contrast Ratios

Contrast ratios play an essential role in the overall visual experience of a display. OLED and AMOLED technologies excel in this area, boasting infinite contrast ratios. This means they can display deep and true blacks by completely turning off individual pixels, resulting in enhanced detail, vibrant colors, and a more immersive viewing experience.

Durability and Lifespan

Lifespan of OLED Displays

OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) displays are known for their excellent picture quality and vibrant colors. However, it’s essential for you as a user to also consider the display’s durability and lifespan. Generally, OLED TVs last approximately 8-10 years when you watch them 8-10 hours a day. This range varies based on usage patterns, ambient conditions, and screen settings. For instance, higher brightness levels and displaying static images for prolonged periods can potentially reduce the lifespan of an OLED display.

Lifespan of AMOLED Displays

AMOLED (Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diodes) are a versatile variant of OLED displays used predominantly in smartphones and wearable devices. Regarding durability and lifespan, most AMOLED screens last around 4-5 years, roughly equivalent to a typical smartphone’s average lifespan.

Like OLED displays, the lifespan of AMOLED screens depends on factors such as usage, brightness levels, and screen resolution. It is worth noting that recent advancements in AMOLED technology have significantly improved their lifespan and reduced issues like screen burn-in.

To summarize, OLED and AMOLED displays have lifespans that largely depend on usage patterns and screen settings. Maintaining proper care and settings is crucial to ensure your display’s longevity. As a user, knowing these factors and actively managing them can help you get the most out of your OLED or AMOLED devices.

Energy Consumption

When comparing OLED and AMOLED displays, one of the main factors is their energy consumption. Understanding how these technologies consume power can help you decide which display type best suits your needs.

OLED stands for Organic Light-Emitting Diode. In an OLED display, each pixel generates its own light, enabling the display to turn off individual pixels for true black levels and more accurate color reproduction. As a result, OLED displays typically consume less power than traditional LED-backlit LCD displays.

AMOLED is an OLED technology, short for Active Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode. The main difference between AMOLED and OLED is how they control individual pixels. AMOLED screens use an active matrix to control pixels, allowing faster refresh rates and higher resolutions than passive matrix OLEDs (PMOLED). This makes them especially suitable for smartphones and other devices with high-resolution displays.

Regarding energy consumption, AMOLED displays generally have an advantage over OLEDs due to their ability to light up only the necessary individual pixels. This means that darker pixels or areas with less color can consume less power, leading to improved power efficiency. For example:

  1. LED TV Power Consumption: 57W
  2. OLED TV Power Consumption: 98W
  3. Estimated AMOLED TV Power Consumption: Lower than OLED

It is important to note that energy consumption may vary depending on screen size, brightness settings, and content displayed. To minimize the energy usage of your display, consider adjusting the brightness, choosing an energy-saving mode, or switching to dark mode when available.

Display Devices using OLED and AMOLED

This section will discuss the use of OLED and AMOLED display technologies in various devices and how their unique features affect their performance.

OLED in Televisions and Monitors

OLED displays have been widely adopted in television and monitor segments due to their ability to produce true black levels and infinite contrast ratios. This results in a more immersive and visually appealing viewing experience. Some popular brands offering OLED TVs include LG, Sony, and Panasonic.

In addition to televisions, OLED technology has been implemented in certain monitors, particularly those aimed at design professionals and content creators. OLED monitors offer excellent color accuracy, wide color gamuts, and fast response times, essential features for these users.

AMOLED in Smartphones and Tablets

AMOLED displays are commonly found in smartphones and tablets. Their lower power consumption than traditional OLED displays makes them ideal for battery-powered devices. Popular smartphone brands like Samsung and OnePlus have used AMOLED displays in their flagship models for many years.

Besides power efficiency, AMOLED displays also offer higher brightness levels, enhancing readability in outdoor environments or under direct sunlight. Furthermore, AMOLED screens provide improved color accuracy, saturation, and thinner form factors compared to TFT-LCD displays used in many smartphones and tablets.

Difference Between OLED and AMOLED
  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/pi.1974
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/918227

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