imyeyes-banner-sqIn My EyesBy Edward B. Antonio

AMOLED vs IPS displays

A couple of weeks ago, I bought a midrange phone called Huawei Y9 with an IPS LCD display of 1080 x 2340. I got it after an intensive online research for one week. I chose it over an AMOLED or Super AMOLED phone.

You see, when you are aiming to buy a new phone, the tendency is you consider first your taste and then your budget. If they don’t meet, find a unit that let them meet, so I came out with the Y9 fellas, although my first aim was the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 with a Corning Gorilla Glass 6.  The latter was so expensive at P14,990 which I though was overpriced and so with the other brands.

Some of the things I like in a cellphone are: a big screen with high resolution, a battery of not less than 4000 MAh, at least 4 GB RAM, at least Corning Gorilla Glass 3 a reliable camera and not less than 2 ghz CPU clock speed which I found in the Y9 although later models like the P20 and P30 came in at much higher prices.

Ah, these cellphone companies won’t give in to one another, fellas.

One such very intriguing comparison among these cellphones is between the IPS LCD screen and the AMOLED one.

Yugatech, Gadgets.com or any site that always keep an eye on gadgets have these things to say:  

There are two major technologies in the market, AMOLED (or Super AMOLED) and IPS LCD and both have their advantages and disadvantages.

AMOLED (Active Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode) technology is now often seen in its next-generation Super AMOLED guise where individual pixels are lit separately (that’s the active matrix bit) on top of a thin film transistor (TFT) array that passes electricity through organic compounds (that’s the OLED bit). It’s a newer technology than IPS LCD and improves on it in some areas while still lagging behind in others. Colors are typically brighter with AMOLED and Super AMOLED and blacks are darker because portions of the screen can be effectively turned off. This also leads to a theoretical improvement in battery life, but that depends on exactly how you’re using the screen (if all the pixels are lit all the time, the inverse can be true with AMOLED being more power-hungry than IPS LCD)

AMOLED traditionally suffers from “burn in,” where pixel quality degrades over time, though this is becoming less of a problem as the technology improves. Also in the negative column, they cost more to produce and can appear less sharp when viewed at very close range. Super AMOLED is dedicated to vibrancy and vividness of the colors – that’s Super AMOLED at work. The technology scores highly for gorgeous-looking colors and very deep blacks.

Generally speaking Super AMOLED also offers better brightness and battery life, though again manufacturers are working hard to minimize the difference with their own improvements.

On the other hand, IPS LCD or In-Plane Switching Liquid Crystal Display – as Super AMOLED is an upgrade on plain old AMOLED — so IPS LCD improves on the venerable (TFT) LCD technology. The mighty iPhone uses IPS LCD and from the manufacturers’ point of view it’s cheaper to produce, which is a bonus. In essence, LCD uses polarized light which is then run through a color filter. Horizontal and vertical filters on either side of the liquid crystals control the brightness and whether or not each pixel is on or off. With the backlight included, the handsets are usually thicker – though as with many of these points progress is being made to fix that.

All the pixels are backlit to some extent while the device is on, however, even the black ones. This means contrast and blackness can suffer (if you’re watching a movie set in deep space, for example). On the upside, pixels can give the impression of being packed more closely together, aiding sharpness and clarity. IPS LCD is often spoken of as offering more natural colors; AMOLED screens can sometimes look a little over-saturated.

In conclusion, viewing angles often aren’t quite as good on IPS LCD as they are on AMOLED, broadly speaking, and again it’s the backlight to blame. On the other hand whites tend to come out better – the whites on an AMOLED screen can sometimes come across as slightly yellowy. Photographers tend to opt for IPS LCD displays as they show colors more accurately.

Observers also say that AMOLED screen tend to hurt the eyes more and that is something manufacturers should look into as well as the idea that it consumes more battery than IPS LCD. Because of this, one should select a phone with higher MAh so as to enjoy every bit of its features.