Different Types of Smartphone Displays in the Market

Left image
Carl Paige

Mobile phone displays, evolving in style, have gone a long way to provide smartphone users with different forms of display depending on the development in the tech world. Knowing the different types of smartphone displays in the market before buying a phone can help you buy the one that suits your purpose. We have taken our time to explain each smartphone display in this article.

Different Types of Smartphone Displays

There are three other smartphone display families available in the market. They are:

  1. The LCD (Liquid crystal display) Family
  2. The LED (Light-Emitting Diode) Family
  3. The Retina Family

The advantages and disadvantages that each of them has is one of the things you have to consider while purchasing your next smartphone.


The acronym LCD, “Liquid Crystal Display,” is widely used by different smartphone manufacturers across the globe. Fitting into low and medium-range phones, it has been one of the most typical smartphone displays. LCD technology works with a backlight (a light in the background), which projects the content in the form of light into the screen to generate its image and other displays. What explains this better is the CCFL backlighting technology.

The CCFL (Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamp) backlighting comes with the technology explained in their various series:

  • The Twisted Nematic (TN), widely used in computer monitors, TN LCD technology aids better gaming experience but has low contrast, display quality, viewing angles, and color reproduction.
  • The vertical Alignment, falling in between the IPS and TN panels, has an improved viewing angle and color reproduction.
  • The advanced fringe field switching (AFFS) is the peak of the LCD, providing exceptional viewing angles and color reproduction compared to IPS and TN panels.

The different types of LCD screens available in the market are:


TFT stands for Thin Film Transistor display, which costs less than nothing and features in low-budget phones and some old phones. By connecting every pixel with the capacitor and transistor, the TFT projects its visual content to the display.


  • High contrast proportion.
  • Cheap and easy to get.


  • Color distortion.
  • Limited viewing angle.
  • Low color reproduction.
  • Low sunlight visibility.


Invented by Hitachi and publicized by LG, IPS, which stands for “In-Plane Switching’ rose to offer smartphone users a better display experience. The advent of IPS technology proffered answers to the longing of smartphone users for display duality, which TFT technology could not solve. TFT LCD posited, solved by correcting color distortion and increasing the viewing angles and color resolution.

In making better screens, Samsung had their LCD called PLS (Plane to Line Switching).


  • Better viewing angle than TFT technology.
  • Standard color reproduction.


  • High power consumption.

Super LCD (SLCD)

Super LCD (SLCD), as the name implies, differs slightly from IPS technology with the bit of space within the external glass and the touch sensor.

The retina

Close to the LCD is the APPLE’s retina. The retina is a modified version of IPS technology with more PPI (Pixel per Inch) and provides more viewing angles than the IPS technology. While it is also the same technology as the IPS LCD technology, it carries the name "Retina," like a trademark for iPhone screens.


The LED stands for the Light Emitting Diode and features in some medium and high-budget phones in the market. Unlike the CCFL technology/LCD technology, LED technology where all pixels function as bulbs, lightening the screen and giving the images. The different types of LED available in the market are:


OLED, organic light emitting diode, is a game changer in smartphone display technology. OLED has carbon-based organic substances in the middle of the anode and cathode, which makes it send commands faster to the OS whenever it is touched. If you want a faster screen response, opt for an OLED screen.

With LED technology, the screen has a distinct brightness that you brighten under the sun and reduce to the lowest level at night or in a densely illuminated area. It also has better viewing angles and produces better image quality.


Another level of the light emitting diode (LED) display is the AMOLED, standing for “Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode”. Though it has similar technology and peculiarity with the OLED display, AMOLED displays have advanced display quality and faster response. AMOLED has an upgraded brilliance in color, sharpness, and brightness, giving you an exceptional display.


As they did for the IPS LCD panels, Samsung developed their version of the AMOLED screen called the Super AMOLED mobile display. The Super AMOLED display consumes less power due to its size – its super thin size. It features only in high-budget Samsung Galaxy smartphones.


  • True black color.
  • Exceptional viewing angles.
  • Low power consumption.
  • Second-to-none color reproduction.
  • Quality sunlight visibility.
  • Overall quality display.
  • Quick touch response.
  • Flexible brightness ratios.
  • Quality contrast levels.


  • Expensive to build.
  • Easily burned.

Led vs LCD: Which One Is the Best Display?

Considering the overall usage and experience: power consumption, viewing angles, refresh rate, display response time, display quality, color range, brightness controls, and other smartphone display features, LED (OLED/AMOLED) displays are the best. They consume less power and give you quality display functions.