Why does bright light make it harder to see a backlit cellphone screen, but easier to see an old Gameboy or GBA screen? What’s different about the screens?

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Why does bright light make it harder to see a backlit cellphone screen, but easier to see an old Gameboy or GBA screen? What’s different about the screens?

In: Technology

The old gameboy screens don’t give off any light, so you can only see them with the surrounding light. They also used single colour LCD’s. Modern colour LCD’s would technically let you do the same thing but of course they’re designed not to, as to avoid a lot of the problems like glare. So essentially it they are the same basic thing but one reflects light and the other tries not to reflect much light but has one shining through it.

From light comes darkness, from darkness comes light.

The game boy screen lives in eternal darkness. It must be lit by surrounding light. Like a book. The phone screen has a built in light. It’s like oxygen; when you don’t have enough, you need more. When you have too much, it doesn’t do anything.

You got me curious about the answer and google led me right back to an old ELI5 post so here you go

[https://www.reddit.com/r/explainlikeimfive/comments/2wb0ac/eli5_displays_why_can_i_see_my_gameboy_advance/](https://www.reddit.com/r/explainlikeimfive/comments/2wb0ac/eli5_displays_why_can_i_see_my_gameboy_advance/)

>The original gameboy advance (as opposed to the SP and pretty much any mobile screen since) did not have any kind of back-lighting. Therefore you needed light to shine onto the screen and reflect off the displayed colours. With a back lit screen there’s a light inside the device, behind the screen, so all the pixels are illuminated and shine bright into your eyes. In dark conditions this is great, because you don’t need any extra illumination, and the image qualityis better overall, however it does create competition with other light sources. the screen has to be illuminated brighter than the ambient light for anything to be visible.

here’s the top answer in case i get deleted for not posting an answer directly