Monday, October 30, 2017

Why Apple has switched to OLED screens for the iPhone X, manufactured by Samsung

The screen of the iPhone X is specialnot only because it occupies almost all its front, but also because it is the first OLED screen that Apple uses on an iPhone. An OLED screen lights up each of its pixels independently, and for that reason it does not have a backlight panel underneath, making the component thinner and lighter. It is for this same reason that an OLED screen can be flexible, although in the case of the iPhone Apple uses it in a completely flat area, without bending at the edges as Samsung has done with the Galaxy S8 for example. OLED screens have been around for decades, for example in calculators of the 80s, with those numbers in green or orange that attracted so much attention. Although they had their uses, many years later in the industry it was never thought that this technology could be useful for a smartphone because the colors were too bright, They seemed unreal. In addition, the pixels suffered a wear when they often repeated the same color or lighting pattern. This results in shadows on the screen, like these from a Galaxy S7.
Screen of a Samsung Galaxy S7 edge with shadows
This problem is solved via software, interestingly, making the color or brightness change imperceptibly for a person in those areas of the interface in which patterns are repeated over a longer period of time, such as return buttons or place where the time is displayed. Despite these little tricks, sometimes those shadows appear soon on OLED screens that are not very well prepared to not suffer this defect ... this is what is happening to Google Pixel 2, which with LG OLED screens, is staying on evidence when presenting shadows on your screen after only a few weeks of use. When comparing OLED screens from LG and Samsung, it is clear who to choose from.
Quality comparison of OLED screens with a gray background
In any case, and returning to the history of OLED screens, only Samsung and LG bet on this technology in the past, perfecting the color and achieving year after year better results, until today when an OLED screen exceeds in quality to an LCD, although it is rather more expensive because, again, only those two South Korean brands have factories that allow them to manufacture them, having been the only ones that bet on them. That has given them a few years of advantage and is the reason why Apple is using Samsung screens on the iPhone X. It is also one of the reasons why the iPhone X is more expensive.
Will the OLED screen of the iPhone X leave any shadow? - You do not know, really. You have to try it for a long time. But knowing Apple, and its obsession with the quality of the screens used in all its devices for decades, it is very likely that we never see one of those shadows. On the iPhone, something like that would be simply unacceptable.
Samsung OLED screen
The OLED screens, in addition, present other advantages as a lower consumption depending on what they show. Since each pixel emits its own light, consumption is mainly defined by the number of pixels lit and the intensity with which they do so. That means that with a black background interface, lower consumption will be achieved, although throughout the day the difference may be negligible. An LCD screen has that lighting panel under it always on, regardless of whether the background is black or not. That is why it is appreciated how they are turned on if we are in a dark place, even if nothing is shown in them, such as a black background.
So, summarizing ... these new OLED screens for the iPhone X bring us a very highlighted color, a much higher contrast, and an even higher resolution (ie, a smaller pixel). They are all advantages, except their price, higher. And make no mistake, these OLED screens are manufactured by Samsung because they are the best right now to manufacture this component, but they are screens that have been specified by Apple. They pass their quality controls.
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