What’s the difference between OLED, AMOLED & P-OLED displays

Display technology has evolved a lot since the introduction of LCDs. While LCD and OLED displays have many differences, there is not much difference between AMOLED and OLED. The little difference is only significant because of the term used by Samsung here to market its OLED technology, i.e., AMOLED.

OLED panels have been around since the 2000s when it was introduced in a car stereo system. Later, when it got a little mainstream, we saw it in some phones, but because it wasn’t cost-effective and did not look anything like the OLEDs of today, we soon got rid of them. After tons of improvements and development, it came to rule the best TVs that money could buy. Now, the display technology is finding its way back into our phones and personal devices, albeit in three distinct forms - OLED, AMOLED & P-OLED. 

What Are OLED?

It stands for Natural Light-Emitting Diode, a type of LED technique that utilises LEDs wherein the light is of organic molecules that cause the LEDs to shine brighter. These organic LEDs are in use to make what are thought to be the best display panels in the world.

OLED displays have deep, inky blacks, and exceptionally good contrast. When no colour is displayed, there is no light emitted from that portion of the display. This also allows them to create “infinite contrast” or a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1. That means, the darkest portion of the display, will be a million times darker than the portion that is the brightest. This gives us vivid colours and a better watching experience.

OLED panels, also have a much better response time, which, basically means, that each pixel responds to signal change much quicker than a traditional LCD. This is the refresh rate that manufacturers refer to. It basically means that an OLED panel will be able to change colours 120 times in a second. This gives the pictures that you watch a much more lucid, and smooth appeal.

OLED panels also take up a lot less space than your LCD panels, because they don’t use a panel for the backlight. This also makes them cheaper to make. And because they don’t need a backlight to work, OLED displays can be transparent at times. This has allowed manufacturers to develop in-display fingerprint readers and under-display cameras.

OLED Displays, however, are not perfect. They are prone to much faster degradation from age and UV exposure. Because the images and colours are very bright, on certain portions of the screen, one can often see the remnants or “ghosts” of an image, even when it is not being displayed. This is called burn-in, and it is the single biggest phenomenon that renders OLED panels useless, after a short period of constant use.

OLED panels are cheaper to manufacture, but because they are very thin, and fragile, in order to make a proper display out of it, as in a TV or a mobile phone, you need to use reinforced glass or metal frames. Also, at peak brightness, OLEDs draw more power than a regular LCD.

The active matrix or the thin-film transistor arrays used in AMOLED displays are more power efficient than most old OLED displays. Samsung dominates the market of AMOLED displays and has named the best of the best they produce as the Super AMOLED display. AMOLED displays usually combine the benefit of P-OLED displays and your regular OLED displays. They are very durable and versatile, and hence, tend to cost more.

What Are P-OLED Displays?

P-OLED stands for polymer organic light-emitting diode. In its most rudimentary form, it is a twist on a modern OLED panel, that cuts out most of the drawbacks that one gets with an OLED panel. 

P OLED displays replace glass substrates with ones that are made of polymers or plastic. This makes the panel more shock-resistant, and less prone to breaking. Depending on the kind of polymer being used, P OLED displays can also be flexible, so they can be used in foldable and rollable devices. Because polymer sheets can be manufactured within much higher tolerances than glass, Polymer OLEDs or P OLED displays can be much thinner. 

P OLED displays have a few drawbacks. Usually, they aren’t as tack sharp as the modern OLED displays; with that being said, the difference can rarely be spotted. P OLED displays have a higher tendency to burn in

What are AMOLED?

AMOLED stands for Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode. This type of display is generally for large platforms. It contains TFT, which further consists of a storage capacitor. It also works on the same principle as OLED displays.

The AMOLED display is widely used in mobiles, laptops, and televisions as it offers excellent performance. Therefore, SAMSUNG has introduced AMOLED displays in almost every product. For example, Full HD Super AMOLED in Samsung Galaxy S4 and Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Super AMOLED in Samsung Galaxy S3, HD Super AMOLED in Samsung Galaxy Note, and HD Super AMOLED Plus in Samsung Galaxy S3. 


OLED comprises thin layers of the organic component, which emits light when the current passes through it. In this technology, each pixel transmits its own light. On the other side, AMOLED consists of an additional layer of thin-film transistors (TFTs). In AMOLED, the storage capacitors are used to maintain the pixel states.

Major smartphone manufacturers attempt to provide their consumers with the most delicate devices possible that incorporate the most up-to-date technologies. In AMOLED vs OLED, AMOLED is a type of OLED and a more prominent example of both OLED and POLED, so there’s no debate about which is superior.