Transmissive LCD vs Reflective LCD vs Transflective LCD

Viewing Modes of LCD Panel

LCD  panel can be divided into Transmissive LCD, Reflective LCD and Transflective LCD by the illumination methods.

Transmissive LCD is the most common LCD screen, which requires a backlight as the light source and there is no reflective film in the back of LCD screen.

Advantage: we can see the graphic and character in the screen very well if there is only little light or no light. It is such a mature and cheap technology that 90% LCD screens in the market are transmisive LCD display.

 Disadvantage: we can’t see it clear if we are outdoor or there is a strong outside light.  It completely replies on the backlight panel as the solo light source and the display effect can’t satisfy us. Furthermore, if we are staring at the screen for too long for watching movie or playing video games, our eyes will get hurt even be weeping.


Reflective LCD is the cheapest LCD screen because there is no backlight, which uses outside light source as the light source, such as sunshine or lamplight and there is a reflective film in the back of LCD screen.

Advantage: we can see it very clear if we are under the sun or there is a strong outside light. We can see it for a very long time and our eyes never get hurt, just like reading a book or magazine because we use the nature light.

Disadvantage: we can’t anything if there is no outside light.  It completely replies on outside light source. More than often, it is only displaying black and white and can’t meet our requirements in most of the cases.

Transflective LCD is the best and most expensive LCD screen, which has semi-reflective film in the back of LCD screen. The front light can’t go through the semi-reflective film, but the back light can go through it. Like the sunglass.

Advantage: it has the advantage of both transmissive LCD and reflective LCD.  We not only can see it very clear in the outdoor like the reflective LCD, but also can see it vivid when you are in the dark place like transmissive LCD.  We see the transflective LCD in the front as the reflective LCD because it can reflect the sunshine, but the LED backlight panel can also supply the light which can penetrate the semi-reflective film in the back of LCD screen.

Disadvantage: It is expensive. Although the technology of transflective LCD is very mature, but the cost of semi-reflective film is expensive, it is only the high-class electronic products would employ it. It wouldn’t hurt our eyes as much as transmissive LCD, but it can’t protect our eyes as much as reflective LCD.

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