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Difference Between TFT, IPS, AMOLED, SAMOLED QHD, 2HD, and 4K Displays In Smartphones (What’s Different!)

Difference Between TFT, IPS, AMOLED, SAMOLED QHD, 2HD, and 4K Displays In Smartphones (What’s Different!)

Smartphones use two different display technologies: AMOLED and TFT. While AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) displays are made of tiny organic light-emitting diodes, TFT (Thin-Film Transistor) displays use inorganic thin-film transistors.

AMOLEDs, in contrast to TFTs, which regulate the flow of electricity to the display using a matrix of tiny transistors, are made of organic components that emit light when an electric current is passed through them.

The display’s quality is one of the high-end smartphones’ most crucial technological components. There is some disagreement regarding which is superior, but before you decide, you must comprehend the differences between the two display types and the tradeoffs associated with each.

Each technology has benefits and drawbacks of its own. How, then, can you determine which is best for your requirements?

Below, we contrast these two technologies.

What Are the Primary Distinctions Between TFT And AMOLED Displays?

Man using computer
Primary Distinctions Between TFT and AMOLED Displays

Backlight: The way AMOLED and TFT displays are lit are one of the key distinctions between them. TFT screens require a backlight, whereas AMOLED screens are self-illuminating. As a result, TFT displays consume more energy than AMOLED displays.

Refresh Rate: The refresh rate is another crucial distinction between TFT and AMOLED displays. The refresh rate determines how frequently the screen image is updated. AMOLED screens can display images more quickly and smoothly because they have a higher refresh rate than TFT screens.

Response Time: How long it takes for pixels to switch from one color to another is known as the response time. TFT screens take longer to respond than AMOLED screens.

Accuracy of Color And Display Quality

AMOLED screens are better at displaying colors with accuracy. This is because each pixel on an AMOLED display emits light, making the colors appear more vivid and accurate to life.

On the other hand, the pixels on TFT screens are illuminated by a backlight, which can make the colors appear muted or less vibrant.

Viewing Direction

The angle at which you can see the screen is known as the viewing angle. Compared to TFT screens, AMOLED screens have a wider viewing angle, allowing for more viewing angles without distorted colors.


One of their main advantages is that AMOLED displays use less power than TFT displays. This is because while the backlight continuously illuminates the pixels on a TFT screen, those on an AMOLED screen only light up when necessary.

Production Cost

AMOLED screens cost more than TFT screens in terms of production costs. This is because AMOLED screens require more expensive and complex manufacturing processes and materials.


Because the organic materials used in AMOLED screens can deteriorate over time, they have a shorter lifespan than TFT screens.


TFT screens have been around for an extended time and are available more widely than AMOLED screens. They are frequently found in various gadgets, including TVs and phones.


AMOLED screens are typically used in electronics like phones and wearables where power consumption is a concern. TFT screens are more frequently found in electronics like TVs and monitors, where image quality is more important.

What Is An AMOLED display?

PC system with keyboard
An AMOLED display is what?

Rewind for a more thorough explanation of what an AMOLED display is. The two elements of the acronym, an active matrix, and an organic light-emitting diode, should be divided to achieve this.

The display’s base technology, denoted by the diode portion of the acronym, is based on a specialized thin-film display. The substrate, the thin-film transistor (TFT) array, the active organic layers, and finally, the cathode layers—the top layer in this arrangement—are the four main layers that make up the display.

The technology’s secret lies in this arrangement’s organic component. The active organic layer, made up of pixels, transfers energy to the TFT layer or integrates it to produce light.

AMOLED displays are widely used in devices other than smartphones. They are essentially ubiquitous and can be found in high-end televisions, gadgets with Android smartphone screens, and other handheld devices.

AMOLED Advantages

AMOLED displays can produce such vivid graphics while using relatively little power. Specifically, the power consumption is determined by the brightness and color settings for the display, which is controlled by the switching arrangement.

Additionally, AMOLED displays typically have a quicker display time, and the technology gives designers more freedom to choose the display’s size.

Users will benefit from more explicit graphics, better photos, and shows that are easier to read even in direct sunlight.

High refresh rateLow refresh rate
Consume less powerConsume more power
Shorter response timelonger response time

4K Displays In Smartphones

It cannot be easy to track the differences between the various smartphone display types and how they affect user experience. New screens are among the nearly daily releases of new technologies. 

4K And UHD Display Differences

True 4K displays, which have a resolution of 4096 x 2160 pixels, are used in digital theatres and professional production.

Having a 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution or four times that of Full 1080p HD, UHD is different from other consumer display and broadcast standards (8,294,400 pixels versus 2,073,600).

It comes down to slightly different aspect ratios when comparing 4K and UHD. While home displays use 3,840 horizontal pixels and digital cinema uses 4,096 horizontal pixels, both have the same vertical pixels (2,160). 

To match the HD standards that came before them, both the 4K and UHD definitions could be shortened to 2,160p, but this would complicate matters because there would be two standards under the 2160p specification rather than one. 

They are different because of the small pixel difference. Although the two terms are still used interchangeably in marketing, some companies prefer to stick with the UHD moniker when promoting their most recent TV.

UHD vs 4k: What is the difference?

What Is The Best Display Technology?

There are two different display technologies: AMOLED and TFT. Although AMOLED displays are typically brighter and more colorful, their production costs are higher. TFT displays are less expensive to manufacture but are less optimistic and use more power than AMOLED displays.

Your needs and preferences will determine the best display technology for you. An AMOLED display is a good option if you need a bright, colorful screen. A TFT display is an excellent option if you need a screen that is less expensive to produce.

TFT, however, might be a better choice if you’re concerned about image retention. Ultimately, it’s up to you to choose the display type that best suits your requirements.

TFT IPS displays, which were created to overcome drawbacks and enhance contrast, viewing angles, sunlight readability, and response times, improved on earlier TFT LCD technology. In-plane switching panels were developed to increase viewing angles, which were initially very constrained.

Modern TFT screens have no maximum brightness restriction because custom backlights can be adjusted to any brightness that their power limit permits. OCA bonding, which attaches a touchscreen or glass coverlets to the TFT using a unique adhesive, is also available for TFT IPS panels.

Preventing light from bouncing between the display layers enhances sunlight readability and increases durability without adding unnecessary bulk; some TFT IPS displays are currently only 2 mm thick.

TFT-LCD technology: What is it?

PC system
TFT-LCD technology: What is it?

Mobile phones most frequently use the Thin Film Transistor Liquid Crystal Display (TFT LCD) display technology. The technology, a liquid crystal display (LCD) variant, improves image quality using TFT technology.

Compared to LCDs from earlier generations, it offers better image quality and higher resolutions. It includes expensive tablets like the Google Nexus 7 and low-cost smartphones like the HTC Desire C. However, TFT screens use a lot of energy, reducing battery life.

Budget phones, feature phones, and low-end smartphones are the most common devices with this display technology because it is less expensive to manufacture.

In-Plane Switching Liquid Crystal Display is referred to as IPS LCD. Compared to a TFT-LCD display, this technology provides a higher-quality display.

The advantages of IPS LCD include better viewing angles and low power consumption. It is only found on high-end smartphones due to higher costs. Apple’s iPhone 4 features a Retina Display, also known as an IPS LCD, with a high resolution (640×960 pixels).

Final Thoughts

  • They are frequently found in various gadgets, including TVs and phones.
  • AMOLED displays are widely used in devices other than smartphones.
  • And screens cost more than TFT screens in terms of production costs.
  • They are better at displaying colors with accuracy.
  • TFT displays are less expensive to manufacture but are less optimistic and use more power than AMOLED displays.

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