OLED vs AMOLED – What’s the Difference

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Hassan Baig

When it comes to OLED and AMOLED displays, there is a lot of confusion out there. So what separates the two? Well, firstly OLED displays are made up of individual light-emitting diodes (LEDs) whereas AMOLED displays use a backlight that spreads light across an entire display panel.

What is the Difference?

Apart from the high contrast ratio and wide viewing angles associated with OLEDs, most of the time AMOLED displays have better color reproduction as well as more consistent image quality. However, despite these differences, the two technologies have a lot in common.

Introduction to OLED

A couple of years back high-end smartphones started sporting OLED displays where they had several benefits over traditional LCD displays including brighter colors and deeper blacks. More recently though, active-matrix OLED (AMOLED) displays have become popular in flagship Android smartphones. But how does this differ from AMOLED? The main difference between them is that while OLED display uses passive matrix structure in contrast AMOLED display utilizes active matrix structure.

In comparison to OLED screens, AMOLED screens are more responsive and can offer higher resolutions. Another difference is that while metal-based cathode layers characteristically make up AMOLED panels; carbon-based cathode layers usually form part of OLED panels. This can affect the lifetime of the display and how it performs in cold weather.


  • Compared with traditional LCD screens, OLEDs are made using organic matter which makes them cheaper to produce.
  • They also have wider viewing angles and better contrast ratios.
  • LCD screens come thicker than their counterparts manufactured by means of the organic light-emitting diode technology.

Introduction to AMOLED

The terms “AMOLED” and “OLED” are often used interchangeably when referring to smartphone screen technology; however, these terms do not mean exactly the same thing. Organic Light Emitting Diode is what stands for “amor” while Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode is what stands for AMOLED and it’s a type of OLED display.

This is because they provide sharper images and better contrast ratios than normal OLED displays. Amoled, or active-matrix organic light-emitting diode, is a display technology used in smartphones and other electronic devices. Instead of backlighting like traditional LCD displays, it emits light from organic materials, creating thinner displays with improved contrast and brightness.


Many consider AMOLED displays to be the best mobile screens available today because they offer several benefits over other types of mobile screens such as LCDs. Fewer reflections: Because the pixels are self-illuminating, AMOLEDs can include a polarizing filter on top of the stack without the risk of blocking all light output. This means that colors appear crisper and more vibrant since there isn’t any white backlighting shining through them. To save battery life, most handheld devices have power-saving features that dim their screens when not in use; this can make reading difficult under bright sunlight conditions since the screen may become too dark if it uses an LED-backlit panel instead of one based on OLED technology.

  • Brighter colors and better contrast – AMOLED displays offer brighter colors and better contrast than LCDs because each pixel can glow independently rather than relying on backlight sources that tend to wash out colors or lower contrast levels.
  • More vibrant colours – Another characteristic trait is more vividly painted pictures, which result from the way in which OLED pixels work. In typical LCD panels, each pixel is divided into three sub-pixels (red, green and blue) with each sub-pixel emitting a different color light; this results in some degree of overlap that will dull colors somewhat.

Key Differences Between Oled And Amoled

The display technology of phones has improved dramatically in the recent past. The two most commonly used displays are OLED and AMOLED. Both have their pros and cons, but what’s the difference between OLED and AMOLED?

  • OLED is not a backlit screen, whereas, AMOLED screens operate with backlighting. This makes most OLED screens require less power than most AMOLED screens. However, while AMOLED screens tend to be brighter and more energy efficient than their counterparts in OLEDs; those with poor contrast ratios are part of the latter.
  • Moreover, this means that an AMOLED display can show many more colours than an OLED display since each pixel on an AMOLED screen can be lit up individually while all the pixels on an OLED screen light up at once.
  • Moreover, it should be noted that compared to other types of televisions OLED displays are brighter and have a different type of backlighting which is uniformly divided above the entire surface.
  • Additionally, images look crisper because they have higher contrast ratio so that blacks look blacker.
  • However, when comparing thickness, energy saving capacity as well as flexibility; the AMOLEDS are better off than OLEDS.
  • Also, there are lots of colors available for use by this kind of display that’s why this particular device is perfect for photos or pictures with many colour changes within it.
Comparison OLED AMOLED
Basic Structure OLED contains only a thin layer of organic compound that facilitates the display function AMOLED contains the organic layer as well as a thin layer of transistors that shall combine in its display function.
Power Consumption Higher when compared to AMOLED Lower when compared to OLED
Flexibility Less Flexible in usage Highly flexible
Cost of Production Very Less Relatively higher than the OLED
Refresh Rates Slightly higher than the AMOLED Significantly less than a millisecond


In summary, OLED and AMOLED displays are both excellent technologies with their own advantages and disadvantages. For instance, OLED screens are brighter and have a bigger contrast ratio in comparison to AMOLED ones but the latter types can save more energy per unit area, besides being thinner too. Hence, your choice between technology will depend on your particular requirements or preferences.