Multimedia test: Super AMOLED vs. AMOLED vs. LCD

We've had a ton of touchscreen technology thrown at us in the past year -- hell, in the past several months. We've gone from LCD (liquid crystal display) to OLED (organic light-emitting diode) to AMOLED (active matrix OLED) to the brand-new Super AMOLED, which we saw debuted at Mobile World Congress in February.

Each has its merits. OLED and AMOLED have been notoriously not great outdoors, as well as hard to come by of late, leading to handset shortages. LCD is tried and true and more readily available, but can it stand up to the new Super AMOLED, which promises even better battery life and less reflectivity outdoors?

After the break, we perform an unscientific test: Find the best light show this side of Pink Floyd, plop it on the Evo 4G, Nexus One, Droid X and Samsung Captivate, and see what we can see.

OK, so like we said. This is pretty unscientific. But here's the methodology:

  • Like we said, we wanted the best light show since Pink Floyd. And for that we turned to Nine Inch Nails' Lights in the Sky tour, which also happened to be professionally recorded in high definition. Find out more about that here.
  • For file size sake, we used the version of "The Gift" rendered to iPod specs. (The full 3.5GB, 720p resolution file played just fine on the Samsung Captivate, but the Nexus One balked at it, and we didn't want to process the video any more than we had to.) What you see is the raw file.
  • Plopped the video onto the Droid X, Nexus One, Captivate and Evo 4G, and played with the default video software.
  • Synced the videos as best we could. Not our fault if you go into convulsions.

And now, the test. Find my "conclusions" below.

YouTube Link

Can't speak for everybody, but I'm on board with Super AMOLED. I know, I know. I've said before that I'm growing a little tired of all the screen technologies, and that I can live with LCD just as easily as I could AMOLED. And that's still true. But, dammit, the contrast with Super AMOLED is beautiful. Look at the reds, especially.

So is there really a winner? I dunno. Maybe. And certainly trying to judge a screen based on a video (especially since it got a tad fuzzy around the edges) isn't the best way to go about things. You'll want to see these for yourself.

Super AMOLED's pretty damn good. Not that I wouldn't buy the Evo 4G or Droid X because they don't have Super AMOLED. On the contrary, they're great phones. But if you're looking for another reason to check out the Galaxy S line of phones, I believe you've got one in Super AMOLED.

Phil Nickinson