What is AMOLED Display? (Explained)

What is AMOLED Display

What is AMOLED Display?

AMOLED refers to a specific version of OLED display technology. In these displays though the primary component is the organic light emitting diodes but it is powered by the Active Matrix circuitry such as the Thin Film Transistors or TFTs.

Technically, in the AMOLED displays it is the active matrix that addresses the pixels and helps them to maintain their states to generate light when the electrical activation of the TFT controls the flow of current to each of these pixels.


  • The AMOLED displays are better versions of OLED displays that consume less power and generate less heat due to absence of backlights in them.
  • There is an additional layer of TFT in the AMOLED displays that supplies the necessary power as well as maintains the states of the pixels.
  • These displays come with reed, green, and blue pixels mainly that help them to display the wider and varied color gamut.
  • Every pixel in these displays is the light source of it which makes the AMOLED displays literally self-illuminating.
  • The pixels in these displays generate light when voltage is supplied to the circuit. The additional TFT array acts as a series of switches that controls the flow of current through the pixels.

Understanding AMOLED Displays

What is AMOLED Display

AMOLED, short for Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode, is a technology in which each pixel produces light and therefore these displays do not need any backlights.

The AMOLED displays typically come with an extra TFT layer that is fixed with each LED at the side of a capacitor.

There are at least two TFTs that control the flow of current through each of these pixels to ensure that it is continuous and to trigger the luminescence.

One of the TFTs is responsible for starting or stopping the charging of the storage capacitor. The second TFT on the other hand provides a voltage supply at this level which is necessary to provide steady current to the pixel.

Read Also:  10 Differences Between DMA & Interrupt

Typically, the TFT backplane technology is the most important part of the production of the AMOLED displays. There are actually two specific types of TFT backplane technologies followed as of now such as:

These technologies allow fabricating the Active Matrix backplanes directly on the flexible plastic substrates at temperatures below 150 degrees. This eventually results in designing more flexible AMOLED displays.

Red, blue, and green are the three basic types of pixels in the AMOLED displays and each pixel in these displays are responsible for the high color production.

Typically, in these displays cathode, organic, and anode layers are stacked. The substrate contains the circuitry.

In these displays the pixels are typically defined by the accumulation of the organic material in the layers in a discrete and continuous dot pattern.

Every pixel in the AMOLED panel is directly activated when voltage is delivered to the anode and cathode material by the corresponding circuit. This stimulates the organic layer in the middle.

The fact that the pixels in the AMOLED displays turn on and off at about three times faster in comparison to a traditional motion picture, makes these displays best suitable to experience full motion and more fluid video.

A few specific models of AMOLED displays may also come with a specific type of sub-pixel arrangement called PenTile Matrix technology.

In this particular technology, the arrangement of the pixels in the displays is in a Red-Green-Blue-Green or RGBG layout instead of the conventional RGB-RGB layout found in the regular displays.

This arrangement uses less number of pixels but offers much higher resolution.

However, the final images displayed on these screens may not be as sharp as they should be in an AMOLED screen due to the fewer number of pixels involved.

AMOLED Display Benefits

The AMOLED displays offer much better viewing pleasure with images displayed in true colors due to their ability to control pixel to pixel illumination directly. These displays also offer much higher contrast ratios.

Read Also:  What is Virtual Address Extension (VAX)? (Explained)

A few other major benefits offered by the AMOLED displays include:

  • Less consumption of energy due to the absence of backlights and during displaying dark screens
  • Less heat generation due to less consumption of energy
  • Wider viewing angles of about 170 degrees
  • Super flexibility
  • Greater brightness
  • Better response time
  • Higher refresh rates and
  • More fluid moving images.

AMOLED Display vs LCD

  • In LCD screens the light is generated from the backlights but the AMOLED displays are self-illuminating where every pixel is the light source
  • The colors in the AMOLED displays are sharper and more vibrant in comparison to the colors in the LCD screens
  • The brightness of the LCD screens is however better in comparison to the AMOLED displays which makes LCDs better to use outdoors
  • Using AMOLED displays will boost battery performance more than an LCD screen
  • The AMOLED displays use less energy due to the absence of backlights in comparison to the LCD screens and
  • Less heat is generated by the AMOLED displays than the LCDs due to less energy consumption.


  • The AMOLED displays are an advanced versions of OLED displays that come with an additional Active Matrix drive and a layer of Thin Film Transistor or TFT
  • The OLED displays are less flexible in comparison to the AMOLED displays
  • The AMOLED displays consumes more energy in comparison to the OLED displays
  • The refresh rate in the OLED displays is slightly higher than the AMOLED displays
  • The contrast ratio of the AMOLED displays is a bit less as compared to the contrast ratio of OLED displays
  • The AMOLED displays cannot offer deeper blacks as an OLED display can and
  • The TFT in the AMOLED displays supply power and charge the pixels but in OLED the TFT only supplies power.

Question & Answers:

Is AMOLED a Good Display?

Yes, AMOLED displays are quite good because they can display images with more accuracy, details and vivid colors. These displays also come with perhaps the best contrast ratios which enhance the viewing pleasure when you consume a video content.

Read Also:  What is Input Buffering? (Explained)

Is AMOLED Better than LED?

Yes, AMOLED displays are much better than LED displays in the sense that these displays can handle lighting and darkness more accurately. The motion processing ability and refresh rates are also higher in these displays.

How Long Do AMOLED Screens Last?

Typically, it all depends on how you use and how long you use the display. In theory, the average lifespan of an AMOLED display is 6 to 7 years while using it for 10 to 12 hours a day.

However, the lifespan may vary depending on the devices as well as how long you use the display. For example, an AMOLED display on prolonged use may start getting a burn-in within 2 to 3 years.

It is for this reason an AMOLED display is usually not used in laptop computers. In fact, OLED displays last longer as compared to the AMOLED displays.

Do AMOLED Screens Save Battery?

Yes, it does.  In simple words, when it comes to displays, there is no one near the AMOLED displays in terms of battery saving ability.

The AMOLED screens as such consume much less power due to absence of backlights which, in turn, saves the battery for battery-operated devices, and using specific apps can even make things better.

Also, using AMOLED displays in dark mode boosts the battery performance even further.


The AMOLED displays are one step ahead of the OLED displays but how better it is as compared with other types of displays will now be easy for you to tell since this article has provided all the necessary facts about this unique display technology.

This knowledge will surely help you to decide whether or not you should use one.

About Taylor

AvatarTaylor S. Irwin is a freelance technology writer with in-depth knowledge about computers. She has an understanding of hardware and technology gained through over 10 years of experience.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments