TFT vs OLED Displays
As technology has advanced, it has become harder to choose a display as we have become inundated with options. Whereas at one time, a single newcomer would appear and claim to be the next best thing, today you will likely hear sales pitches for many different display types such as LCD, OLED, AMOLED and TFT, all claiming superiority.
Today we’ll be looking at two popular display types, their advantages and disadvantages and what they are best used for. Here’s what you need to know about TFT vs OLED displays.
What is the difference between TFT and OLED Displays?
Thin-film transistor (TFT) displays are a type of liquid-crystal display (LCD). As the name suggests, these displays are made from thin-film transistors (one for each pixel) fabricated on glass. The full name of a TFT display is an active matrix TFT LCD module.
Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays are emissive, meaning that they don’t require backlighting. Instead, the dots that make up the electroluminescent layer emit light in response to an electric current.
What advantages do TFT and OLED displays have?
TFT displays are often advertised as having a superior picture quality due to their quick refresh time, meaning on-screen motion is smoother and the images are sharp due to the pixels running perpendicular to one another. TFTs are also often backlit by white LEDs, making them bright enough to see clearly, even in sunlight. All this could also result in less eye strain for some users.
OLED screens have a very good image quality that features a high contrast and a wide colour range. They are also much brighter than traditional LEDs, as well as having wide viewing angles. Another major advantage of OLED displays is that they have a simple, layered design that allows flexibility and even foldable, rollable or transparent displays, making them useful for many niche applications.
What are the disadvantages of TFT and OLED displays?
As TFT displays need backlighting, they will usually need to be thicker than emissive displays. TFT displays also have some limitations when it comes to viewing angles and they cost more than a regular monochrome display.
OLED displays are often more costly than LCDs and there can also be some issues with lifetime limitations, although all display technologies will eventually begin to deteriorate. When considering the debate of TFT vs OLED displays, it is also worth noting that OLEDs can be difficult to use in direct sunlight.
What are the applications of TFT and OLED displays?
TFT displays are thin and light compared to other LCDs, making them a good choice for handheld devices and communication equipment. Nearly all LCD monitors found today use TFT technology.
OLED displays are often used in small-screen devices such as mobile phones, tablets, VR headsets, as well as laptops and TVs. Research is also being conducted into how white OLED technology could be used for solid-state lighting applications.
When it comes to the battle of TFT vs OLED, the winner comes down to the intended application of the technology, as well as other variable factors such as your budget. If you’re looking for displays for your project, you can take a look at our range of displays, including TFT and OLEDs.