Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between TFT and QVGA


TFT (Thin Film Transistor) and QVGA (Quarter VGA) are two terms that we commonly encounter when we look at the LCD screens of mobile phones and other small devices. They give us a quick idea of the specifications of the LCD without digging too much into the manual. These are not competing technologies though and can both be true to a single device. TFT is a construction method where the screen is made by laying a thin film of silicon on a glass substrate. On the other hand, QVGA is simply a shorthand term that indicates the resolution of 320×240. The VGA resolution is 640×480 and the QVGA resolution is exactly a fourth of that.

TFT is an improved technology. Knowing that your screen is made with the TFT process should tell you that it is better compared to LCDs that were built using older technologies. It responds faster, therefore providing a more fluid motion. Since QVGA is one of the lower resolutions, you should know that the device that you are purchasing may be limited in the software that it is able to run. Some applications require VGA resolution or higher while others do provide compatibility with devices that have the QVGA resolution. However, it is still better to check the applications that you need to run on whether they are able to be supported by the device that you want to acquire.

Due to the advantages provided by TFT LCDs, they are now widely available on a huge variety of screen sizes that are used in different devices. You’d find TFTs on desktop computers, laptops, music players, netbooks, and a lot of others. On the other hand, QVGA is a rather low resolution and most of the bigger displays no longer support it. The devices where you would commonly see QVGA is on mobile phones and portable music players where the screen sizes are kept small. Even with these small devices, QVGA is slowly being replaced by the higher VGA resolution. This is a trend that is likely to continue as portable devices have increasingly become powerful electronics.


1. TFT describes how the LCD is built while QVGA is a very popular resolution.

2. TFT indicates the efficiency and performance of your LCD while QVGA would dictate which applications can or can’t be run.

3. TFT LCDs are found in a wide variety of devices while QVGA is used mostly in mobile phones.

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