OLED displays use organic materials that emit light when electricity is applied. OLEDs enable emissive, bright, thin, flexible and efficient displays. OLEDs are set to replace LCDs in all display applications - from small displays to large TV sets.
Samsung's Super-AMOLED displays, announced in January 2010, are AMOLED displays for mobile devices (such as smartphones, wearables and tablets) with an integrated touch function. The thickness of the touch sensor is just 0.001 mm and this allows the screen to provide better images and to have great visibility even in direct sunlight compared with regular AMOLED displays with an external touch layer.
Super AMOLED and the PenTile matrix
Samsung's Super-AMOLED displays use a Pentile matrix sub-pixel design. That means that the green sub-pixel is shared by two pixels and the display has only 2 sub-pixels per real 'pixel' compared to the classic RGB matrix design (or Real-Stripe). You can see a PenTile matrix vs a Real-Stripe one on the images below (the PenTile is on the right). Newer Super AMOLED displays use a different PenTile matrix (Diamond Pixel pattern).
Super-AMOLED: the best mobile touch display
Super AMOLED displays are being used in all of Samsung's newer high-end phones, including the atest Galaxy S7 and S7 edge and the ill-fated Note 7. Super AMOLED display s are also adopted by other mobile phone makers - for example in the Meizu Pro 6, Huawei's Honor Note 8 and Lenovo's Zuk Z2. Samsung also uses Super AMOLED displays in its wearables, for example in the Gear S3 smartwatch (a round 1.3-inch, 360x360 panel).
Super AMOLED displays provide an excellent image quality - in fact the display measurement experts at DisplayMate say that these are the best mobile displays ever tested.
- Introduction to OLEDs
- Samsung's OLED displays
- Pentile Technology explained
- Flexible OLEDs
- OLED mobile phones
- The OLED Handbook, our very own comprehensive guide to OLEDs
Latest Super AMOLED news
Yesterday reports from Korea suggested that pre-orders for the Galaxy S9 in Korea are 30% lower compared to the pre-orders of the Galaxy S8 in 2017. The Korea Herald, however, today says that Samsung believes it will sell more Galaxy S9 phones than it did with the GS8.
The Korea Herald says that Samsung told its suppliers that its target is to sell 43 million GS9 (and GS9 plus) phones in 2018. In 2017, Samsung shipped 41 million GS8 and GS8 plus phones. In 2016, Samsung shipped 48 million GS7 phones, so even if it reaches its target of 43 million GS9 phones, it will still lag behind The GS7.
According to reports from Korea, pre-orders for the Galaxy S9 in Korea are 30% lower compared to the pre-orders of Samsung's Galaxy S8 in 2017. Yonhap news says that Korea's three largest carriers distributed only 180,000 GS9 phones, while at the same time last year these three companies distributed 260,00 GS8 phones.
Samsung did not yet disclose any pre-sales data. The GS9 has a flexible 5.8" 1440x2960 (570 PPI) Super AMOLED display (6.2", 529 PPI, on the S9 Plus). DisplayMate says that this display is the best mobile display ever tested, surprassing in quality the 5.8" flexible AMOLED used in the iPhone X.
DisplayMate: the Galaxy S9 has the world's best ever mobile display, setting several new display performance records
Display measurement experts from DisplayMate already tested the new display (with a pre-production GS9), and published a comprehensive report. As expected, Samsung continues to improve its OLED displays, and the GS9 again is announced by DisplayMate to be the world's best ever mobile display, better than the iPhone X OLED.
Yesterday Apple announced its new iPhone lineup which includes the flagship iPhone X that, as expected, features a 5.8" 1125x2436 (458 PPI) flexible Super AMOLED display that covers almost the entire front of the phone. Apple's first OLED iPhone will ship in November starting at $999.
Some reports suggest that SDC is only able to supply a limited number of displays to Apple which will severely limit iPhone X shipments.
Android Authority performed some preliminary tests of LG V30's display, which uses LGD's flexible P-OLED panels. AA says that the first impressions are very positive, and LGD's mobile OLEDs are highly competitive with Samsung's latest Super AMOLED displays (AA compared the V30 to the Galaxy S8, although to be fair SDC has since improved its OLEDs).
LG's color temperature is quite higher compared to the OLED of the GS8 - 8500K vs the GS8 7500K. On manual brightness both phones are able to reach almost the same brightness (421 nits on the V30, 398 nits on the GS8), while on automotive mode the LG reaches 606 nits and the GS8 only 535 nits (DisplayMate says the GS8 should reach 1,020 nits - but AA could not reach this high brightness in these tests). AA reviewers say that the LG V30 is quite comparable to Samsung's display in terms of black levels and vibrant colors.
DisplayMate: Samsung keeps enhancing OLED display quality, the Note 8 has the best mobile display ever
DisplayMate posted a review of the new flexible Super AMOLED display used in Samsung's latest phone, the Galaxy Note 8. This is a 6.3" Quad HD+ (2960x1440) flexible edge-type display and DisplayMate says it improves on Samsung's previous OLED display (the one used in the Galaxy S8) and it declares that this is the best mobile display ever tested.
DisplayMate says that the new OLED display has several improvements compared to the previous generation display, and Samsung also included several new display features and functions in the phone. The major improvement is that the Note 8 is 22% brighter compared to the GS8 - it reaches a peak brightness of 1,200 nits - the brightest mobile phone ever.
According to the Korea Herald, Samsung decided to "play it safe" with its next year's flagship phone and it will adopt the same basic design as in its current Galaxy S8. The 2018 Galaxy S9 will use a 5.8" Infinity curved Super AMOLED display (and the S9+ will use a 6.2" display as used in the S8+).
It is likely that even if this report is true, Samsung Display will use an enhanced display. Even though the display used in the GS8 was "the best mobile display ever" according to DisplayMate - there is still room for improvement, for example higher resolution (good for VR), better efficiency or a larger color gamut.
Samsung's latest flagship phones, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ are not shipping yet, but according to reports that early reaction from retailers suggest that the larger S8+ variant is more popular than expected.
Samsung first aimed to produce 50% more Galaxy S8 variants than Galaxy S8+, but have decided now to increase the ratio of S8+ devices to 45%. The new phones will start shipping globally on April 21th.