A phone with a front and back display with two display types (OLED and E-ink)
A phone with a front and back display with two display types (OLED and E-ink)

OLED displays are great for watching videos and playing games, but they are not the best for reading. E-ink displays like those in Amazon’s Kindle e-readers are a much better option.

This is more or less impossible with OLED displays. Sure, features like night mode filter out blue light and can even turn the screen to monochrome, but even when enabled OLED displays still do not come close to matching e-ink technology in terms of reading comfort.

The smartphones of the future might combine OLED and E-ink technology into one, likely killing dedicated e-readers. With a simple tap in the settings, you could transform an OLED display into an e-ink screen for reading books, articles, and various documents without all that light shining into your face. An e-ink display is does not consume much power, which could mean longer battery life.

Unfortunately, something like this is impossible at this point. Apple had a similar idea back in 2011 when it applied for a patent regarding a hybrid E-ink/OLED display, but we have not seen this technology hit the market yet. There are phones available today featuring both display technologies, but they don’t combine them into one.

The YotaPhone 3 features an AMOLED display on the front and an e-ink display on the back. Mobvoi’s TicWatch Pro wearable also lets users switch between an LCD and OLED display for improved battery life, but even this doesn’t quite match the kind of futuristic hybrid display technology we could see in the coming decades.


Mobvoi’s TicWatch Pro