MicroLED vs OLED: Which Screen Technology Is Better?

Check out the differences between the two technologies that will compete for space in the market in the coming years

The new MicroLED screen technology has caught the public’s attention and raised questions as to whether the high investment in this new product is worth it or whether OLED screens, already established on the market – and much more affordable -, are the best option when changing your TV or monitor.

To help you choose your new screen and clarify some doubts about these two technologies, we created this text comparing MicroLED and OLED.

Which is the best screen technology, MicroLED or OLED?

OLED TVs and monitors have been on the market for some time. Constantly evolving, these screens have become a quality reference and present the best for the consumer. At least until now, because MicroLED technology is slowly reaching consumers’ imagination.

Although TVs with MicroLED screens have not yet actually reached the market – keeping them away from end consumers’ living rooms –, due to their exorbitant prices, there is already a nod from brands like Samsung to make this technology more accessible.

But, for now, only if you are a millionaire can you purchase a model like the ‘Samsung Smart Hub Panel 110 inches MICRO LED 4K MS1A Panel 120hz Processor with AI‘ which costs around R$1 million or the LG MAGNIT with values ​​of R$1.5 million. Check out our video about the Samsung model:

So, due to the moment we are in, for economic reasons, the best recommendation for you, reader, if you are looking for reasons to buy one model or another, the recommendation would be to purchase models with OLED screens. These TVs range in price from R$5,000 to R$20,000 on average, having several modern features, in addition to high image quality.

Although the recent MicroLED technology surpasses OLED TVs, mass access to them will still take a little longer, but when they arrive, the differences mentioned below will have a huge weight when making your decision, if you want to purchase the best product. from the market.

In this text, we will talk about the differences between OLED and MicroLED technologies, comparing aspects such as color, brightness, viewing angles and values. If you have questions about other technologies, such as LCD, IPS, QLED, Neo QLED, MiniLED, QNED and VA, check out our video on the subject:

How does OLED work?

Organic Light Emitting Diode, or simply OLED, is a technology that uses carbon-based organic compounds. These organic compounds emit light when connected to a power source, causing each pixel on an OLED screen to become its own light source, individually controlling its brightness and color. 

This type of lighting generates images with more brightness, contrast and sharpness, a type of fine adjustment that is not possible with traditional LCD screens, as their backlighting uses sets of fluorescent lamps. With the arrival of OLED panels, for those looking for more definition for their monitors and TVs, the quality displayed was much higher.

However, there are also disadvantages when using an OLED screen. Containing one of the best image qualities to date, OLED also lacks durability, as this is a technology that can wear out over time – even more so when it comes to displaying static content.

Burn-in is a static effect that can cause the screen to darken, smudge or stutter. As they are organic compounds, this wear and tear can occur, causing the colored pixels on your TV to impair the display of images, causing these “burns”. Effects like this cannot be reversed.

This problem has been fought very carefully by manufacturers such as Samsung and LG, with new models of their products suffering less from this problem, but it is still possible for it to occur.

How does MicroLED work?

MicroLED is a very recent display technology that – like OLED – uses millions of microscopic light sources. Each pixel emits its own light independently, with a result very similar to OLED, however the technology does not depend on organic materials, which makes it more durable and can reach even higher brightness levels than its predecessor.

But the big problem with MicroLED technology is that it is not accessible to the general public at the moment. To enable access to even better images than OLED, the number of light sources is immensely higher, which makes these screens substantially more expensive.

Another factor is that models with smaller inches, such as 65, 75 and 85, only appeared recently, and still as prototypes – at least until the date of posting this text -, for now only a 110-inch model is on sale.

Advantages and Disadvantages of MicroLED and OLED

Below we list some highlights to compare the imaging capabilities offered by MicroLED and OLED screens.

Black and shine

  • OLED: Offer an excellent black level, as they turn off parts of the screen to darken; it has great brightness levels, but is limited by the organic materials that make up the screen. Some brands automatically adjust the brightness so that their panels are not forced, as this uses a lot of energy, which is converted into heat, causing the screen to degrade over time, generating effects such as the burn-in mentioned above;
  • MicroLED: Offer an excellent black level, as they turn off parts of the screen to darken; much better brightness levels than in OLED models, as they do not use organic components and therefore do not have to worry about wear and tear. Some manufacturers quote brightness levels of up to 5000 nits, which is more than double that of the best OLED models on the market today.

Viewing angles

  • OLED: the viewing angles of current models on the market do not present a large loss of brightness or color change, but it does exist, even if to a reduced degree, especially in more conventional models. Samsung’s QD-OLED (Quantum Dot Organic Light Emitting Diode) TVs do better in this regard, as they can spread light equally in all directions;
  • MicroLED: It is not yet possible to say that MicroLED models will be absolute in this regard, as there is not much specific information about this. However, its starting point is similar to the current situation with OLED models, so we can hope that for its launch there will be even better solutions than the current ones.

Range of colors

  • OLED: the ‘Rec. 2020’ has been used since 2012 by the film industry as a reference for color quality and the TV segment is required to achieve high numbers in benchmark tests in relation to this standard. Currently, the average commonly found in the most popular models on the market is around 75% fidelity. Samsung’s QD-OLED panels have come close to covering up to 90%;
  • MicroLED: again, it is not yet possible to precisely analyze the values ​​that the new MicroLED panels can achieve. However, in some recent tests, using a perovskite composition (calcium and titanium oxide mineral) for the panels, it was possible to achieve around 95% in the ‘Rec. 2020’.

What to expect from the future clash between MicroLED and OLED?

Yes, it is still too early to predict which of the technologies will emerge victorious in the future. But, following the trend towards adopting OLED, we can expect a very long life for these screen models.

Thinking about the general public, even OLED has not yet reached a very large number of homes – when talking about the Brazilian market. With the extremely high cost of MicroLED, it will still take time for the technology to compete with others in the market.

OLED has not yet been abandoned by the industry and will still have more improvements to make in the coming years until it becomes the norm in every home. So, if I had to recommend you buy a model today or wait to renovate your living room when more MicroLED TVs are launched, I would definitely tell you to get an OLED panel without hesitation.

MicroLED technology will be a big change in terms of durability and image quality, but we will still have to wait a few years before it is as affordable as current OLED panels. Samsung has already presented new features at CES 2024, including transparent MicroLED panels. All of these innovations suggest a bright future full of well-defined pixels for consumers.

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