In a normal year, Apple will launch a new line of iPhones in September, but 2020 isn't. This year, Apple has set 13.10 as the launch date of the iPhone 12 - something the whole world has been waiting for. What's new with the iPhone 12? This article will look at the iPhone 12's OLED display.
What is an OLED display?
Many people must have heard the term LED for a while, which stands for "light-emitting diode".
OLEDs are "organic light-emitting diodes" that serve almost the same purpose as conventional LEDs, but they work differently. Traditional LEDs could use something like silicon to emit light, but OLEDs use organic materials to function. According to OLED-Info, that manifests as a thin layer placed between two conductors.
A lot of technical knowledge is required to fully understand how this works, and it becomes even more confusing when users use AMOLED (active matrix organic light-emitting diodes). A lot of devices, from smartphones like the Galaxy Note20 to TVs, are using AMOLED technology and are receiving a lot of advertising.
The experts at PCMag explain that AMOLED is a method of displaying images on an OLED screen. Each pixel has its own transistor and capacitors, as opposed to PMOLED (passive matrix OLED) used less on smartphone screens. In other words, the diversity of the active allows it to control the pixel more precisely than the passive version, which controls the pixels by rows and columns that are not widely deployed on consumer electronics.
How is OLED different from LCD?
OLED can be seen as a replacement for the liquid crystal display (LCD), which has been very popular since its inception in the early 1960s. For reference, every iPhone before the iPhone X uses use the LCD screen. Even last year's regular iPhone 11 used it, while the more expensive 11 Pro switched to OLED, and the iPhone X and XS also used OLED screens.
The most important functional difference between OLED and LCD that we need to know is the presence of backlight. The OLED screen uses the organic film we mentioned earlier to emit light when an electrical current is passed through it. In other words, OLED can work on its own without a backlight. LCD has served mankind well for decades, but it needs a backlight to display anything.
Why is OLED good for phones?
The benefits of an OLED display from removing the backlight really can't be underestimated. Image quality, energy efficiency and even physical size could be better on a smartphone if it uses OLED to power the display.
It is the design of OLED that is the reason its blacks are displayed deeper. Imagine, if there is always a backlight turned on behind the screen, the black points cannot really achieve their true form. Removing the backlight, everything can look more lifelike.
In essence, OLED displays are also thinner than LCDs. Honestly, that's a great bonus. If the liquid crystal layer and the backlight are removed from the panel, it will free up space. That is not to mention removing the backlight also saves power consumption, leading to phones using OLED screens with better battery life than LCD phones.
Why don't many phones use OLED?
LCD has dominated for a long time because of its lower production costs compared to OLED. That may still be true, but profits will decrease over time as new technology is produced. OLED screens seem to be becoming more plausible for mass production, so some big names have started integrating this display technology in the past year or two. Some typical names such as iPhone 11 Pro, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2, Google Pixel 4, Samsung Galaxy Note20, ...
If Apple launches four new iPhones this year and all four have OLED screens, it's clear consumers can expect some benefits. They can be thinner, charge longer for longer use, and display images and videos with more accurate colors. Of course Apple can't make low-end high-end smartphones, but adopting OLED for all iPhone 12 models is truly great.
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