After pioneering OLED screens in laptops, smartphones, tablets, TVs, and wearables, Samsung is now working on the next big groundbreaking display technology: Micro LED. The South Korean firm has already released Micro LED TVs to bring the best of both OLEDs and LCDs. However, the company is looking to bring Micro LED to smartwatches.
In a press release published earlier today by Samsung Korea, the company said that Samsung Electronics is considering using Micro LED panels for smartwatches and signage displays in the future. A rumor claims that Samsung is planning to launch a ‘Galaxy Watch Ultra' model, similar to the Apple Watch Ultra, and it would be the company's first smartwatch to use a Micro LED screen. Even Apple is rumored to be working on an upcoming version of Apple Watch Ultra with a Micro LED screen.
Micro LED screens use LED elements that are smaller than 50µm, which is only 10% of the size of the LED element used in general 100-inch high-resolution TVs or digital signage displays. In addition, the RGB (Red, Green, Blue) elements used in Micro LED screens are made of inorganic materials, so there is no burn-in issue (like in OLEDs), and they can stably maintain excellent brightness and image quality for over 100,000 hours.
Such Micro LED screens offer OLED-like pure blacks and an almost infinite contrast ratio while offering LCD-like (or even higher) brightness without suffering from pixel burn-in. Read our explainer article about Micro LED screens and watch our hands-on with a 140-inch Samsung Micro LED TV below. This offers perfect display technology and excellent picture quality on smartwatches.
Author's Note: Samsung's Galaxy Watches have always used OLED screens. While earlier Galaxy Watches suffered from brightness and burn-in issues, technology has evolved over the past few years. Current-generation Galaxy Watches have excellent picture quality and brightness, reaching as high as 2,000 nits in the Galaxy Watch 6.
If Samsung successfully implements Micro LED screens, we could see smartwatch displays reaching even higher peak brightness, completely eradicating sunlight legibility issues. However, such Micro LED screens are also quite pricey. Samsung's Micro LED TVs are so costly that only a few people in the world can afford them right now. So, it remains to be seen how costly Samsung's first Galaxy Watches with Micro LED screens turn out to be.