What are 10-bit show panels and do you have to care?


If you’ve been paying close attention to flagship smartphones lately, 10-bit colour panels has become a much highlighted specification by many brands. Smartphones that have an 8-bit display panel can decode 28 hues of RGB, and those with a 10-bit panel can decode 210 hues of RGB. By decode, we mean process electrical signals that direct individual pixels to display a particular shade. Getting some basic math in here, we observe that 28 = 256, while 210 = 1024.

So an 8-bit panel displays 256 Red hues x 256 Green hues x 256 Blue hues, which totals to 16.7 million colours. Meanwhile, a 10-bit display shows you 1024 Red hues x 1024 Green hues x 1024 Blue hues, which totals to 1.07 Billion colours. 10-bit panels hence, offer support to showcase many more colours accurately than 8-bit panels; 64 times as many colours, to be precise. In real life, this translates to better, smoother…

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