Mobile Phone Screen Types – Beginner’s Guide

Mobile Phone Screen Types – For Beginners

There are a lot of choices to make when it comes to Mobile Phone Screen Types. AMOLED, LCD, Retina, High Definition : Even if you’re only looking at the Screen Type of a mobile – it can be hard to decide what’s going to be the right one for you !

And it’s so important ! The quality of a screen on a new phone is arguably the most important element of the experience you have with a new mobile.

In an effort to explain to our visitors the screen types available and the effect they will have on how much you enjoy your new phone, below, Whatphone reviews the different types of screen available.

Mobile Phone Screen Types : How we got here

A large, colorful, icon filled screen was perhaps the defining feature of the first phone in the modern Smart mobile phone era, the iPhone 3G. Following the launch of the first Apple version, a variety of manufacturers including Samsung, HTC and others have put to market a variety of screen sizes, covering everything from 4 inches to the enormous 5.5 inch diagonal of the Galaxy Note 2.

Previously, mobiles were used only for sending brief text message so we were happy with a small, black and white, lower quality display. As cameras became embedded in mobiles, expectations increased and people wanted to send messages with pictures, browse the web and even watch video. What people needed from a screen increased enormously. Manufacturers started to realize that the quality of display they offered could set their device apart. As well as the dimensions of the screens they offered, to differentiate their products, they started to trial new technologies to improve the user experience. That’s when it got complicated. Here’s a review of the key screen technologies and what to look for.

Overview of the different screen types

At Whatphone, we recognize that not everyone is madly in to technology and needs to know the detail of every feature. We’ve boiled the key facts down to this page. If you’d like to know more, there’s a link to more information at the bottom of this page.

There are 4 main terms you will hear when you’re considering screens for mobile phones :

AMOLED Screens. These are bright, colorful, bold screens with great contrast. They’re more expensive and they’ll use your battery up more quickly with them. You’ll find these in most Samsung mobile phones and many HTC and Nokia devices.

LCD Screens. LCD or Liquid Crystal Display screens are used in Apple iPhones and some HTC products. They offer the best viewing angle and less power consumption which should help you eeek your battery out a little more.

Retina or High Definition : If you want a high density display, look for Retina ( on Apple products ) or High Definition displays, 720 x 1290 resolution screens ( 720 x 1280 is High Definition )– which most mid tier / higher end smart mobile phones come equipped with these days.

If you’d like to know more about each of these screen types, click here for the Whatphone advanced guide to Mobile Phone Screens.

Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.