OLED iPhone vs LCD iPhone: What’s The Difference?

If you’re considering buying a new iPhone this year, maybe hold off a bit since Apple’s next flagship iPhone, the iPhone X, might feature an OLED display, rather than the LCD screens present in previous iPhones.

One of the stark differences between the two designs is the display. The XR is renovated with an LCD Liquid Retina Display, while the XS gets an OLED screen. Thus one of the major reasons why the XS costs astronomically higher than the XR.

But what does that actually mean?

What’s the real difference between the two screens you ask? And will the average consumer even notice the difference during their daily iPhone usage? Let’s examine the two types of screens and see what they offer. Will the specs of the new screen make it worth the wait?


OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode, and it’s a much newer technology than LCD. In short, it’s a type of display technology that’s vastly different from LCD (liquid crystal display), as it actually creates light within every pixel to create a picture, instead of using a separate backlighting system. The electrical current pulsed through the screen enables the pixels to both change and produce their own light simultaneously.

The result yielded give better, intense blacks; it doesn’t have to cover up the backlight hence creating an infinite contrast ratio. You should be able to see a more vivid, luminous and crystal-clear picture with a wider gamut array. Which people find superior to LCDs.

Since the OLED screens only utilize one panel, they also tend to be thinner than LCDs, although it’s harder to notice on phones.

Also OLED phone is not as high-quality as an OLED TV because of the compression of pixels, however, the difference may be difficult to see with the human eye.

OLED technology isn’t totally perfect. It does have its fair share of shortcomings. The biggest issue encountered in early OLED displays was concern regarding the material used to produce blue light. It degraded at a much higher rate than other hues, throwing the color balance off and diminishing the overall brightness.

Presently, OLED displays are known more now for being susceptible to burn-in rather than color shifting.

The addition of OLED panels will also contribute to the expected record-setting price of the new device.


LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display, An LCD panel is basically filled with manufactured crystals suspended in liquid. When a source of light – a secondary panel of LED lights in this case – shines through the crystals, the light refracts and comes out in colors. Electrical fields can cause a shift in the crystals and cause them to create different color, pixel by pixel.

The downside to LCDs is that they constantly need an external light source – the backlight –to see the colors.

Bottom Line

Will you notice a difference between the two contenders? Yes. Is it a huge difference? Not as big as the one between LCD and OLED TVs, but it’s still there.

However, what it really comes down to is how you use your phone. If you use your iPhone for photos and video, then the OLED screen would be an extremely important upgrade. If you use your phone more professionally, the difference probably won’t even register.