Always-on displays explained

News

We explore the latest phone screen trend...
by
Always-on displays explained

Always-on displays are set to become the next big thing, with the LG G5 set to launch with one this weekend. But what is an always-on display and why would you want one?

What is an always-on display?

An always-on display is exactly what it sounds like, a screen that’s always showing information. In your smartphone, that means the screen would always be showing you notification symbols so you don’t miss anything.

How does an always-on display work?

The biggest challenge with always-on displays is how to keep them on without using too much battery power. At the moment, there are three ways to do this:

Yotaphone e-ink always-on display1. Use an e-ink screen

Way back in 2012, Russian phone maker Yotaphone came up with an ingenious battery-saving idea for smartphones – put a secondary e-ink screen on the back for emergencies.

E-ink screens, like the ones found on Kindle eReaders, use no power at all to show a still image. That means they can show your latest notifications and only use power to update the image when new ones come through.

LG V10 always-on display2. Use a tiny second screen

Last year, LG launched the LG V10 smartphone in certain parts of the world. This high-end handset had an extra strip of screen next to the front-facing camera – a tiny always-on display.

Because it was so small, it could keep you updated with notifications, news and more with hardly any battery drain.

AMOLED always-on display3. Use OLED or AMOLED screens

OLED and AMOLED screens feel like the perfect solution to always-on displays’ power problems. They work in a unique way that means you wouldn’t need a second screen.

With both of these screens, each pixel lights up individually (regular screens are either completely lit or completely off). That means a small part of the screen could be left on to show notifications without using much battery.

Why would I want an always-on display?

With an always-on display, checking notifications would become a simple case of glancing at your phone’s screen. The average adult unlocks their phone 110 times a day, so checking notifications with a glance would save a lot of battery and time.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

comments powered by Disqus
With the Samsung Galaxy S7 and LG G5 both having always-on displays, we decided to see which one giv
The LG G5 will have an always-on display, letting you easily see your latest notifications without e
The LG G5 has some pretty interesting technology, and one of the most futuristic bits is the IPS Qu

26 May, 2017
If you think you might have missed any of the latest tech news, help is at hand....
25 May, 2017
Do you often find your smartphone or gadgets running low on power as the day wears...
24 May, 2017
Discover all the ways to shop with Carphone Warehouse, as we explore the benefits...
22 May, 2017
HTC has lifted the curtain on its 2017 flagship smartphone, the U11. One of its standout...
21 May, 2017
Whether you’re switching from Android to iOS, or switching from iPhone to Google,...

26 May, 2017
If you think you might have missed any of the latest tech news, help is at hand....
21 May, 2017
Whether you’re switching from Android to iOS, or switching from iPhone to Google,...
18 May, 2017
Google's annual I/O conference always has some great surprise announcements, and...
17 May, 2017
Samsung have just launched Samsung Pay in the UK. Here's everything you need to know...
14 May, 2017
The European Commission has announced that as of 15 June 2017, data roaming charges...
20 April, 2017
HTC may have only just released the U Ultra and U Play, but it looks like the company...
28 March, 2017
Samsung has finally lifted the curtain on the brand new Galaxy S8. Both new smartphones...
21 March, 2017
Apple has lifted the curtain on a new colour variant for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus,...
13 March, 2017
J.D. Wetherspoon has launched an app that lets punters order food and drink using...
6 March, 2017
After starting life on Google Pixel, Google Assistant will be coming to more Android...
27 February, 2017
Today at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Sony added two exciting new additions...
26 February, 2017
Samsung gave us a quick look at some of its new devices at Mobile World Congress...