Android Headunit Screen Choices (TN vs IPS)

Your android headunit has a screen behind the touch panel. A display for those millions of colours and icons. The display will either be based on the TN technology or the IPS system.

But which is better? (TN vs IPS)


TN is short for Twisted Nematic. These LCD panels have been produced in mass for many years. The technology to produce cheap TN panels in quantity is with us.

Advantages of TN panels in an android headunit are firstly the low cost. They are cheap to produce and work well in an android headunit.

Disadvantages of TN are the poor colour rendering. They just don’t look anywhere near as good as your phone when you put them side by side. Secondly the viewing angle isn’t great. This may be more noticeable to some than others depending where the headunit is mounted.


IPS is shot for In-Plane Switching. IPS is a different way of producing displays and an improvement over the earlier TN displays.

Advantages of IPS are a much better colour rendering than TN with a deeper black. Also the viewing angle of IPS is much improved over TN. With a wider angle it is still possible to view the screen detail when glancing a sideways look rather than having to view directly at the screen.

Disadvantages of IPS screens in the android headunit is the increased cost of production. The increased cost to produce the superior screens are passed on to the customer in the form of a higher price tag.

You don’t find IPS screens on many of the android headunits because the cost seems to be a big factor in the purchase decision.


LCD is a liquid crystal display. The TN and IPS screens are both types of LCD.
If the sales listing states the screen is of the LCD type, you can be sure it is TN.


None of these modern display technologies have yet made their way in to any Android Headunit due to the higher manufacturing costs involved in producing these panels.

An staff blogger. I am a multi-skilled dogs-body and I also make the coffee ☕

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