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Difference Between AMOLED and SLCD (Super LCD) Display

AMOLED vs SLCD (Super LCD) Display

The smartphone tech race has spurred a number of new and often confusing choices on the specs. This includes the type of display used; typically AMOLED and SLCD. The main difference between AMOLED and SLCD is how they generate the light. SLCD uses a backlight to produce the light behind the display. With AMOLED, there is no backlight. AMOLED uses discrete LEDs that produce their own light. SLCD displays are often brighter than AMOLED displays because the backlight is capable of producing more light than the AMOLED display.

The biggest advantage to an AMOLED display is the increased contrast. Since the pixels produce their own light, they can produce absolute black just by turning off. SLCDs produce a grayish color when representing black because some of the backlighting is able to seep through the display. AMOLED displays are also thinner than SLCD displays because of the lack of backlighting. This lets manufacturers produce thinner devices.

More importantly, AMOLED displays consume less power than SLCD displays especially when the display is showing more blacks. A good example is when you are reading an ebook with the font set to white and the background set to black. This can extend the battery life a lot more compared to SLCD where the backlights are always on.

A major difference between AMOLED and SLCD is lifespan. AMOLED dies out more quickly than SLCD because the LEDs are only rated for a certain number of hours of operation; typically in the tens to thousands of hours. This is not really a major concern on smartphones since the phone would probably be replaced long before the display dies out. This is more of a concern on TVs and other devices where they can be used for a lot longer.

AMOLED is clearly the better display between the two. But because of production limitations, it only appears on a few devices; predominantly on Samsung products, since they are the major producer of AMOLED. Others are forced to used SLCD, at least until the production catches up to the demand of the display.


  1. SLCD uses a backlight while AMOLED creates its own light
  2. SLCD is brighter than AMOLED
  3. AMOLED has better contrast than SLCD
  4. AMOLED is thinner than SLCD
  5. AMOLED consumes less power than SLCD
  6. AMOLED has a shorter lifespan than SLCD

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