Mobile phone screens explained

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Mobile phone screens explained

Phone makers put a lot of money into creating better screens every year. But what is it that makes one screen better than another? We’ve explained screens so you can decide which is best for you.

Screen resolution

The first thing you’ll probably look at is screen resolution. This is how many pixels make up the screen, so it’s incredibly important to the sharpness of everything you look at. In 2012 we saw the first phones with 720p HD resolution, in 2013 we saw phones with 1080p Full HD resolution and in 2014 we’re seeing the first Quad HD phones, like the LG G3. You can find out more about these screen resolutions here. But there’s a lot more that you want on top of a high resolution screen.

Screen size

Screen size plays an important part in how you enjoy what’s on your screen. A tiny screen with a high resolution will give a super sharp image, but it’ll be too small to see the details of a movie. But if a screen’s too big, it stops being portable and the resolution might not be high enough to keep the image looking clear. Apple’s Retina displays, like the one on iPhone 5s, are meant to be the perfect balance of size and resolution, being sharp enough so that the human eye doesn’t notice the pixels at a normal viewing distance.

LCD, AMOLED or Live Colour LED

These are the technologies used in mobile phone screens to create a picture. They all do it slightly differently and that gives each one its own benefits. LCD screens, which are the most common, are typically very bright and have good colours. AMOLED screens are only used by Samsung and have really high contrast and very bright colours. And Live Colour LED is only on the Sony Xperia Z2 at the moment and it gives very realistic colours and is super-efficient.We’ve gone into more detail here so you can decide whether AMOLED or LCD screens are best for you.

Colour reproduction

Getting good colours on your screen is at least as important as getting a high resolution. The perfect colour balance can make movies look a lot more realistic. But the only way to find out how well a screen shows colours is to get your hands on the phone. A lot of the time it’ll come down to personal preference; whether you like bright colours or more natural ones.

Screen brightness and contrast

Another really important thing to consider is screen brightness and contrast. These can make everything look really vibrant. And a bright screen with high contrast is a lot easier to see in bright sunlight so you can enjoy your phone wherever you are.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

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