Apple announced a slew of new products last week Tuesday, including three new iPhones: the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X.
There are several major differences among the three phones, but one of the biggest changes is the screen — the iPhone X is the first iPhone to feature an OLED screen, while the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus have an LCD screen like Apple’s previous phones.
So what is OLED?
‘OLED, short for organic light-emitting diode, is a type of display technology. It differs from the more widely used LCD (liquid crystal display) tech by creating light within every pixel that makes up its picture, instead of requiring a separate backlighting system.
This means it can produce perfectly dark blacks. Rather than trying to cover up a backlight behind the scenes and inevitably letting some light through, it shuts off the appropriate pixels. The result is an infinite contrast ratio — i.e., the difference between a display’s darkest blacks and brightest whites.
And that, in turn, means an OLED panel can produce a more vivid, realistic picture. If you’ve ever put a Galaxy S8 and an iPhone 7 side by side, you’ve seen the difference: Apple’s LCD display is excellent, but Samsung’s OLED display just pops more. It’s more engrossing and it’s thinner too.
I’m simplifying — improved backlighting tech, wider color gamuts, and HDR have helped the best LCD displays catch up a bit. But stuff like that isn’t exclusive to LCD. Judged straight up, the contrast difference is enough to make OLED superior.’