An iPhone with an OLED screen display.

The difference between LCD and OLED displays

For a long time LCD were the most common displays found on smart phone devices. More recently, OLED displays are being found on the flagship models, such as the iPhone XS, Samsung S21 and the Pro Huawei devices.

But what is the big deal?

Two Layer Screen

If you were to look at our website for any repair, you will find two listings for most, if not all devices. This is because on many phones the touch layer and display layer are two different components.

LCD stands for liquid crystal display. The way that these screens function is by shining a light up through a series of crystal layers. These layers filter the light and make it appear more white. As white contains every colour of the spectrum mixed together this can then be re-filtered and display any colour.

This is why when your LCD becomes damaged you may see blue or green lines, as this is the easiest colour to filter and turn into white. When the LCD is damaged, it’s not able to filter colours correctly. Instead of an array of colours you only see the backlight, unfiltered.

Typically, on an iPhone, Samsung or Huawei phone, the LCD and touch layer are fused together and need to be replaced at the same time. This is why the cost for either of these is the same.

For an iPad or Nintendo switch, the LCD and touch layer can be removed separately due to their size. So, we list separate prices for each of these repairs depending on the damage your device has taken.

OLED screens and foldable phones

OLED screens are made up of multiple layers of very high-tech Light emitting diodes (LED). These are very small and arranged in sets of three in red, blue and green clusters allowing for any colour to be made in each section.

Due to how small these are in comparison to LCD crystals, it allows for much clearer and sharper images. Additionally, as these are not filtered white light each diode can be switched off, creating much deeper richer black lines.

Because of this technology, there has been a huge leap forward in the development of folding phones and curved displays. The use of tiny LED light instead of crystals means the screen can be very thing and made out of a more flexible substance mixed of glass and plastic instead of just glass. Additionally, as it requires no back-light to display it no longer has to sit flat and can tilted and bent.

OLED displays are better than LCD’s in many ways they do have a few downsides. However, they require a higher energy output to power and control so any device with a OLED display would need a much bigger battery or have a weaker battery life.

What’s more, many phones using this technology have a much thinner screen on them. While they are generally made out of much stronger materials than LCD’s when they do break, they tend to crack and shatter rather than just crack.

An iPhone with an LCD screen display.

Hard and Soft OLED

While there is typically only one option for LCD repairs, OLED displays can be made out of materials other than glass. This is because they require no crystal substrate to polarize the back light colour.

A few options are available when getting your screen replaced on an iPhone X, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. Hard OLED replacements and Soft OLED replacements.

Hard OLED displays are made entirely out of hardened glass. Consequently, they are a little bit more scratch resistant than the soft OLED, but are brittle and more likely to break. Additionally, because of the thicker glass, the 3D touch features found on the iPhone can be a little unreliable, as they were all originally calibrated for a thinner screen. Hard OLED displays are the cheapest screen repairs we offer for the iPhone X, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max.

Soft OLED displays are made from a mixture of flexible plastic substrate like the original OLED display found on your phone. This makes them more flexible and less likely to break on impact. However, like the original display, this plastic mixture is easily scratched. Therefore, we would recommend tempered glass. 3D touch features are as you would expect as they are designed for a screen of this thickness.

Best Value screen repair for iPhone X, XS and XS Max

The best value screen repair for the iPhone X, XS and XS Max is of course the Hard OLED screen replacement. There are pro’s and cons to this repair, the main advantage would be price.

If you are the type of person who regularly drops their phone and receives frequent replacements for the screen, the Hard OLED would likely be your best option.. This is due to it being the most cost-effective repair for this device.

The Soft screens are the closest match to the original. So, while they are more expensive, they are the best and can utilise all of the 3D touch features available on the iPhone. However, they are something to take care of, as like the original, they are easily scratched and more expensive to replace in the event of breakage.

We highly recommend as always keeping your device in a reliable case and changing out the screen protector every six months or when damage occurs.

An iPhone virtual home button helps navigation on a handset with a broken home button.

Original iPhone Screen repairs

If you’ve looked at some of the older iPhones, such as the iPhone 8, you will see there are also two options for repair for these as well. An “iPhone 8 Screen replacement” and “iPhone 8 Genuine refurbished screen replacement”

The screens we use for most of our repairs are of a very high quality, which is why we happily apply a 12 month warranty (not including physical damage) to our screens. However, occasionally we find a customer who would like a genuine Apple screen replacement.

So, what’s the difference between them?

We have found from extensive testing of many different replacement screens a very close match to the original. The colours are bright, the blacks are sharp and the display is clear and accurate. They are so close to the original that seeing the difference between them is only possible if you’ve spent a lot of time looking at colour grades on a screen.

The high quality replacement screens we use can be seen to have very bright colours for when green is being displayed on the screen. This is likely to be something many people won’t notice or mind, but if you are very perceptive or spend a lot of time in industries where colour quality matters, it may make a difference.

If you are looking to get an iPhone screen repair, you can do so by finding the make and model of your device to, book your screen repair in less than three minutes!

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