When shopping for a new smartphone, tablet computer or other electronic device with a display, you may come across the term “Super AMOLED.” Based on the name alone, though, it’s difficult to determine what exactly it means. Nonetheless, Super AMOLED has become increasingly popular in recent years, with some manufacturers using them as their device’s default display technology. So, what is Super AMOLED exactly, and is it worth the investment?

Super AMOLED Defined

Super AMOLED is a type of display technology that’s characterized by the use of an active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) display with an integrated digitizer. The latter is important because it differentiates AMOLED from Super AMOLED. When the display features an integrated digitizer, it’s considered to be Super AMOLED. If it only features an active-matrix organic light-emitting diode without a digitizer, it’s an AMOLED.

Benefits of Super AMOLED

Super AMOLED offers several key benefits, one of which of which is minimal light reflection. It’s difficult to use a smartphone or electronic device is there’s light reflecting off the surface. The blinding glare can make it hard to read text and identify icons. According to Samsung, however, Super AMOLED reflects only 20 percent of the light of first-generation AMOLEDs. Super AMOLED also offers high-quality images. When viewing a Super AMOLED device alongside a standard AMOLED device, you’ll discover that the former offers higher resolution and better overall image quality.

Different Types of Super AMOLED

There are different types of Super AMOLED available on the market. Motorola, for example, invented a variant with a brighter display and higher resolution than standard Super AMOLED. Known as Super AMOLED Advanced, it’s said to offer a superior resolution  while also consuming 25% less energy than its standard counterpart. Motorola creates Super AMOLED Advanced using PenTile to sharpen and perfect pixels, thereby creating a higher resolution. However, some reports found that Super AMOLED Advanced suffers from low picture quality.

Another alternative type of Super AMOLED is Super AMOLED Plus. Developed by Samsung and first used in the company’s Galaxy S II and Samsung Droid Charge handsets, it uses a standard RGB RGB framework instead of Samsung’s signature PenTile technology. The end result is a sharper image with a higher number of subpixels. Of course, these are just two of many types of Super AMOLED technologies. Others include HD Super AMOLED, HD Super AMOLED Plus, Full HD Super AMOLED and Quad HD Super AMOLED.