4K, UHD, LCD, OLED, AMOLED… TV terms can be confusing. But understanding them is key if you want to buy the TV that’s right for your needs.

Here we break down what AMOLED means, where it’s found, and what’s both good and bad about it. So sit back, put your feet up, and enjoy, as we explain all.

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What is AMOLED?

It’s a form of screen technology, specifically one used for extremely thin displays. If you want to get technical, it involves electroluminescent material formed from organic compounds.

What does AMOLED stand for?

Active-matrix organic light-emitting diode. The active-matrix part refers to the technology behind the addressing of pixels.

Where is AMOLED technology used?

AMOLED is used in all kinds of consumer electronic devices, including smartwatches, smartphones, tablets, laptops and TVs.

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How does AMOLED work?

An active matrix of OLED pixels generates light once activated by an electrical current. These pixels have been integrated into a thin-film transistor (TFT) array, which works as a switch, controlling the current to each individual pixel. This allows the device to turn individual pixels on and off as required, which helps the image quality.

What are the advantages of AMOLED?

Because individual pixels can be turned off entirely, it means you get much truer black levels on the screen i.e. it’s completely black, rather than the pixel dimming to create an approximation of black, as with some rival technologies. This means the contrast ratio (the difference between the light and dark parts of the picture) is much greater than with other technologies, making for better image quality.

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AMOLED also has a very high refresh rate, so there’s less lag than with some technologies. It consumes less power too, which is good news for your electricity bill.

What’s the disadvantage of AMOLED?

It’s prone to screen burn – this is when frequently-used colours/images leave a permanent imprint on the screen. Images can also be hard to see in direct sunlight, because the screens often aren’t all that bright.

What’s the difference between AMOLED and Super AMOLED?

Super AMOLED is a marketing term that refers to an AMOLED display with a built-in digitiser. This helps it reflect less light than a standard AMOLED screen, making the image easier to see in direct sunlight.

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