Here’s what you need to know about your smartphone screen

Published: March 26, 2018 2:57:24 AM

For starters, resolution of a screen is one of the basic building blocks of a great smartphone experience.

smartphone screen, smartphone displays, mobile phone display types, screen resolution, HD display, QHD, full HDNowadays, discussing the specs and features of a new gadget with friends and colleagues is quite fashionable. (Reuters)

Nowadays, discussing the specs and features of a new gadget with friends and colleagues is quite fashionable. But for the uninitiated—and that is a large number—mobile phone technologies can be pretty overwhelming. Many people are addicted to smartphone photography, gaming, watching movies or simply surfing the internet; however, very few are aware about the various screens, displays and technologies that are behind them. Want to know about the various smartphone screens, display types, resolutions and everything in between? Read on. For starters, resolution of a screen is one of the basic building blocks of a great smartphone experience. Included within this resolution category is the size of a screen which is measured in inches; the number of pixels define how much information it can show per inch and how densely those pixels are packed is referred to as pixels per inch (ppi). Larger the numbers, better the screen resolution.

HD Display

Put simply, HD stands for high definition; it represents pixel measurement of 1280 x 720 pixels. And yes, it does not matter—how large or small the screen is, as long as the pixel measurement is 1280 x 720 pixels; it is going to be an HD display. Hence, smaller HD screens deliver higher pixel density, translating to better picture viewing experiences.

Full HD Display

Full HD is the further evolution of HD. It is the present standard for smartphone display definition. In terms of pixel size —full HD can be measured as 1920 x 1080 pixels. And here also the pixel density depends on the screen size.

QHD Display

QHD stands for Quad HD. This standard is equivalent to four times the definition of standard HD. This means four times—more clarity and four times better picture experience for you—when compared to HD displays. The pixel measurement for QHD is 2560 x 1440 pixels. Some of the best-in-class smartphones offering QHD display include Samsung Galaxy S9+ (6.2-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED), Honor 8 Pro that brings a new QHD 2K display with a large 5.7-inch screen, among others. Today’s smartphones also come with a number of panel technologies: LCD, OLED, AMOLED, Super AMOLED, TFT, IPS, etc. Let us take a look at each of these and understand what these mean for a good user experience.

In terms of terminology, LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display. This technology is enabled with the help of an array of liquid crystals illuminated by a backlight. Many handset vendors tap this technology because of the fact that LCDs perform well in direct sunlight, as the entire display is illuminated from behind and hence this delivers a great user experience even on direct sunlight illumination. Moving further, IPS stands for In-Plane Switching. It is the next level of technological evolution on TFT LCDs. This delivers better colour reproduction and most importantly, delivers improved viewing angles than the previous generation technologies such as TFT-LCDs. Therefore, with IPS you can have a better view of pictures and text. Mind you, this does not hurt the eye one bit even if your device is tilted. However, there is a downside to this technology; it consumes more power than other types of non-LCD display.

You may have also heard about AMOLED; this stands for Active Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode. OLED is an organic material that emits light whenever a current is passed all the way through it. OLED display is ‘always off’ unless the individual pixel is electrified and carries current. OLED-driven displays carry enormous amount of picture clarity, while consuming less energy. OLED screens are more expensive than LCD screens and hence, this technology is available only on high-end smartphones. Google Pixel 2, iPhone X and Samsung’s Galaxy S range currently uses OLED displays.

Zia Askari

Askari writes on communications, technology and gadgets at

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