LG IPS Quantum Display explained

What makes LG's IPS Quantum Display so special and how does it do it?
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LG IPS Quantum Display explained

The LG G5 has some interesting technology in it. One of the most futurstic-sounding, though, is the Quad HD IPS Quantum Display. So what makes a Quantum Display so special and how does it do it?

We first saw this Quantum Display on last year's LG G4, so let’s start with the big claims LG made about it then. It reproduces colours 20% better than the LCD screen on the LG G3, meaning you can actually see more colours. It’s also 25% brighter, which makes things easier to see in bright light and can save you battery. Finally, LG says the new screen has 50% higher contrast ratios than regular LCD screens, creating sharp images and immersive movies.

How does an IPS Quantum Display work?

Those are some pretty big claims from LG. So how does the Quantum Display pull off this impressive performance?

In the video below, skip ahead to about 41:21 to hear LG talk about the new screen.

The extra colour comes from two things. Firstly, LG tuned the screen to meet the colour standards of Hollywood, known as DCI or Digital Cinema Initiatives. DCI was designed to give the most vivid movie experience possible, so generally looks better than the common sRGB standard.

Alongside the fine-tuning of the screen’s colours, LG used in-cell touch technology to remove a layer that’s found in most touchscreens. With this advanced tech, the bit of the screen that senses your finger is embedded into the LCD. That makes the screen thinner, lets through more light and makes the screen more responsive.

LG G4 IPS Quantum Display brightness

In-cell touch technology doesn’t just help give accurate colours, the extra light it lets through means the screen is brighter too.

But that’s not the only reason LG can claim a 25% brighter screen. The IPS Quantum Display has finer control over its liquid crystals than regular LCDs, which means they block less light.

That extra control comes from what LG calls N-Type Liquid Crystal. Regular LCDs use horizontal electrodes to generate an electric field that twists the liquid crystals, making them block light. In the Quantum Display, those electrodes are positioned vertically to give a more even electric field that blocks less light. That means you’ll use less battery to get the screen to the same brightness.

LG G4 IPS Quantum Display N-Type LCD

The biggest improvement in the new IPS Quantum Display is in contrast, which is up 50% on the LCD screen in the LG G3. High contrast is really important for sharp pictures and immersive movies, and the improvements in the screen come from creating much deeper blacks.

For LG to produce darker blacks on the IPS Quantum Display, it had to use a special photochemical treatment that’s activated with UV light. This high-tech treatment means you get 1500:1 contrast ratios, compared to the 1000:1 that you see in most LCDs.

What we think

Having played around with the LG G5 and its IPS Quantum Display, comparing it to the Samsung Galaxy S7’s incredible Super AMOLED screen, we can say that the new tech is a big step forward from LCD. Colours are rich, blacks are dark and you see amazing detail.

Is IPS Quantum Display the same as Quantum Dot TV?

One last thing to mention is that IPS Quantum Display is a slightly different technology to the revolutionary Quantum Dot technology that’s used in some of LG’s top TVs.

Quantum Dot uses a tube layer above the backlight to achieve fantastic colours, but the technology results in a screen that’s too fat with too big bezels to be used in a phone. So LG has removed the tube layer and found a way to embed the technology into the backlight.

If you’ve got any questions about LG’s new screen, or any other screen tech, let us know in the comments below.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

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