A Soft OLED vs Hard OLED screen is thin and lightweight in design.

Exploring Soft OLED vs Hard OLED and LCD Mobile Phone Screens: Which Is Right For You?

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Soft OLED vs Hard OLED and LCD Introduction

Are you confused about which type of mobile phone screen to choose? In this blog post, we will dive into the world of OLED and LCD screens, specifically focusing on the comparison between soft OLED and hard OLED. We will provide a detailed analysis of their differences, highlighting their respective advantages and disadvantages. By the end of this post, you’ll have a better understanding of which screen technology is the right fit for your needs. So, let’s explore the fascinating world of soft OLED vs hard OLED and LCD mobile phone screens.

Understanding OLED Technology

Explaining OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode)

OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) is a display technology that offers vibrant and high-contrast visuals. It is widely used in various devices like smartphones, such as the iPhone, TVs, and wearable devices.

Unlike traditional LCD displays, OLED utilizes organic compounds that emit light when an electric current is applied, eliminating the need for a backlight. This results in deeper blacks, wider viewing angles, and faster response times.

Additionally, OLED displays are typically thinner and lighter, making them ideal for portable devices like mobile phones. With these benefits, OLED technology continues to revolutionize the way we experience visual content.

Benefits of OLED Screens

Some of the benefits of OLED screens on mobile phones include:

Superior image quality

OLED screens offer vibrant and punchy colours, deep blacks, and high contrast ratios, resulting in a visually pleasing viewing experience.

Higher pixel density

OLED screens can achieve a higher pixel density compared to LCD screens, leading to sharper and more detailed images.

Wide viewing angles

OLED screens provide excellent viewing angles, allowing users to view the screen clearly even from extreme angles without any loss in colour accuracy or contrast.

Faster refresh rates

OLED screens have faster refresh rates than LCD screens, resulting in smoother scrolling and better responsiveness, especially in fast-paced content like gaming or video playback.

Thin and lightweight design

OLED technology enables the creation of thinner and lighter displays, allowing for slimmer and more compact mobile phone designs.

Energy efficiency

OLED screens are capable of individually turning off pixels to display true blacks, which saves power and improves battery life by not lighting up unnecessary pixels.

Always-on display

OLED screens enable an always-on display feature, where certain portions of the screen remain active to show information like time, date, and notifications without consuming excessive battery power.

Flexibility and curved screens

OLED technology allows manufacturers to create flexible and curved screens, enabling unique form factors and edge-to-edge displays on mobile phones.

It’s worth mentioning that the benefits mentioned above generally apply to OLED screens as a whole, but specific variations and implementations of OLED technology can vary across different phone models and manufacturers.

A Soft OLED vs Hard OLED screen replacement can be done on an iPhone.

Soft OLED vs Hard OLED

Definition and Characteristics of Soft OLED

Soft OLED mobile phone screens refer to organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays that have a flexible and bendable structure. These displays are made using a layer of organic compounds that emit light when an electric current is applied.

Characteristics of soft OLED mobile phone screens include:

Overall, soft OLED mobile phone screens offer numerous advantages in terms of flexibility, lightweight design, slimness, and enhanced display quality, contributing to a more immersive and innovative smartphone experience.

Definition and Characteristics of Hard OLED

Hard OLED screens are built using a hard glass substrate instead of the flexible substrate found in soft OLED screens. As a result the screen is more rigid and thus a lot more fragile and easier to break. However, hard OLED screens are much cheaper to fit than their soft counterparts. In this way they can be a much more cost effective phone screen.

Comparing Soft OLED vs Hard OLED

There are some key differences between flexible (soft) OLED and non-flexible (hard) OLED mobile phone screens:

Flexibility

Soft OLED screens are flexible and can be bent or curved, allowing for innovative designs and form factors. Hard OLED screens, on the other hand, are rigid and do not have the ability to bend or curve.

Form factor

Soft OLED screens enable smartphones with unique form factors, such as foldable phones or devices with curved displays. Hard OLED screens are limited to flat, traditional smartphone designs.

Durability of Soft OLED vs Hard OLED

Soft OLED screens, due to their flexible nature, have the potential to be more durable and resistant to damage caused by accidental drops or impacts. Hard OLED screens, being rigid, may be more prone to breakage in such situations.

Soft OLED vs Hard OLED manufacturing process

The manufacturing process for soft OLED screens is typically more complex, involving the deposition of organic layers onto flexible substrates. Hard OLED screens have a simpler manufacturing process, similar to that of traditional OLED displays.

Display properties

Soft OLED screens offer benefits like wide viewing angles, high contrast ratios, and vibrant colours. The rigidity of hard OLED screens may limit their viewing angles and overall display flexibility.

Soft OLED vs Hard OLED Design possibilities

Soft OLED screens allow for more design possibilities, such as curved or foldable displays, which can enhance the user experience. Hard OLED screens are limited to flat designs and do not provide the same level of design versatility.

An LCD screen on an iPhone 7.

Overview of LCD Technology

Explaining LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) Technology

LCD, or Liquid Crystal Display, is a widely used technology in various electronic devices, including televisions, computer monitors, and mobile phones. LCD displays involve the use of liquid crystals placed between two layers of glass or plastic. These crystals act as shutters that allow or block the passage of light, creating the images or text that we see on the screen.

The functioning of LCD technology relies on the manipulation of light through the liquid crystals. When an electric current is applied to specific areas of the display, the liquid crystals align, altering their optical properties. This alignment either allows light to pass through or blocks it, depending on the electrical signals received. By selectively controlling these crystals, the display can form the desired images or colours.

Advantages and Disadvantages of LCD Screens

LCD technology offers several advantages. One significant advantage is its energy efficiency. LCD screens consume relatively less power compared to alternative display technologies, but not OLED screens. Additionally, LCD displays typically produce bright and crisp images with high resolution. The colour reproduction is accurate, and the brightness can be adjusted for different lighting conditions.

While LCD phone screens offer several advantages, they also come with a few disadvantages, including:

Limited contrast

LCD screens rely on a backlight to illuminate the display, which reduces the ability to achieve deep blacks and high contrast ratios. The backlight is always on, even in areas where black or dark colours are displayed, leading to some light leakage and reduced contrast.

Narrower colour gamut

LCD screens generally have a narrower colour gamut compared to other display technologies like OLED. This means they may not be able to reproduce certain colours as accurately or as vibrantly.

Limited viewing angles

LCD screens have more limited viewing angles, which means that the colours and brightness may appear distorted or washed out when viewed from off-centre angles. This can affect the viewing experience, especially when sharing content or watching videos with multiple people.

Thicker design

LCD screens typically require a separate backlight module, which makes the overall design of the phone slightly thicker compared to devices with newer display technologies like OLED, where the backlight is integrated.

Lower energy efficiency than OLED

While LCD screens have improved in terms of energy efficiency over the years, they still tend to consume more power compared to other display technologies like OLED. This can impact battery life, particularly when displaying bright or white content for extended periods.

Limited flexibility

LCD screens are not flexible or bendable like OLED displays. This restricts design possibilities for smartphones that aim for curved or foldable form factors.

Despite these disadvantages, LCD screens remain popular due to their relatively lower cost, reliable performance, and wide availability across various devices.

A Soft OLED screen replacement on an iPhone in our Norwich shop.

Soft OLED vs Hard OLED and LCD Screens Conclusion

Summary of Key Differences Between Soft OLED vs Hard OLED, and LCD Screens

Soft OLED, Hard OLED, and LCD screens are different display technologies that have distinct features and characteristics.

Soft OLED screens offer excellent contrast ratio and vibrant colours, as each pixel emits its own light. Their flexibility also makes them more durable against impacts and drops. However, these screens can be more expensive to produce.

Hard OLED screens offer similar benefits in terms of contrast ratio, colour vibrancy, and individual pixel lighting as soft OLED screens. However, due to their rigid nature, they lack the flexibility and durability of their soft counterparts.

LCD screens offer good brightness, however, they do not provide the same deep blacks and contrast as OLED screens. LCD screens are more affordable to produce and are commonly used in budget-friendly smartphones, monitors, and televisions.

Considerations for Choosing the Right Display Technology – Soft OLED v Hard OLED and LCD screens

When deciding between a soft OLED vs hard OLED or LCD mobile phone screen, several considerations should be made:

Form Factor

Soft OLED screens offer the advantage of flexibility and can be curved or bent to create unique form factors. If you prefer a phone with a curved display or want a more innovative design, soft OLED could be the right choice. On the other hand, if you prefer a traditional flat screen, hard OLED or LCD would be more suitable.

Durability

Soft OLED screens tend to be more durable and resistant to impacts and drops due to their flexible nature. If you have concerns about accidentally dropping or damaging your phone, a soft OLED screen might provide better resilience. Hard OLED and LCD screens, while less flexible, can still offer decent durability.

Image Quality

OLED screens, whether soft or hard, generally provide superior image quality compared to LCD. They offer excellent contrast ratios and vibrant colours. OLED screens can provide sharper images and deeper blacks, enhancing the overall viewing experience. If image quality is a top priority for you, OLED is the preferred choice.

Brightness

LCD screens typically offer higher brightness levels compared to OLED screens, which can be advantageous in bright outdoor environments or well-lit areas. If you often use your phone outside or in brightly lit spaces, an LCD screen may be more suitable as it can provide better visibility.

Cost

Soft OLED screens tend to be more expensive to produce, which can translate to higher device costs. Hard OLED screens are usually cheaper than their Soft OLED counterparts. LCD screens are generally more affordable and commonly used in budget-friendly options. Consider your budget and priorities when making a decision.

It’s important to note that these considerations may vary depending on personal preferences and specific use cases. Assessing your needs in terms of form factor, image quality, durability, brightness, and budget will help you make an informed decision when choosing between soft OLED vs hard OLED or an LCD mobile phone screen.

LET’S FIX MY PHONE SCREEN
Steven Whitear
Steven Whitear
2024-01-26
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Exactly what was needed! Very professional, very quick!
Jonathan Knights
Jonathan Knights
2023-12-18
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Good service, they diagnosed there was no fault with my wife's mobile with no repair required. It would have been easy for them to claim the battery needed replacing at a cost but they didn't.
Tracey Gardiner
Tracey Gardiner
2023-11-05
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Really quick and reasonable
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