Nine Major Differences Between Mobile Phone Resistive Touch Screens and Capacitive Touch Screens

According to the different sensing methods, touch screens can be roughly divided into four types: resistive, capacitive, infrared, and ultrasonic. Among them, the current market prospects of resistive and capacitive are the most promising, and other technologies may be difficult to catch up in the short term.

The difference between resistive touch screens and capacitive touch screens is as follows:

Resistive touch screen is commonly known as "soft screen" and is mostly used in mobile phones of Windows Mobile system; capacitive touch screen is commonly known as "hard screen", such as M8, M9, NOKIA X6, HTC HD2, iPhone, G1 and MOTO and other new smart machines using this screen quality.


The resistive type is two layers of mutually insulating films, one layer has resistance, and the other layer can be considered as a pure conductor. The resistive touch screen presses the two layers of films into contact to change the resistance value and potential.

Capacitive is the use of fingers to sense the movement of charges on the screen. These charges come from the wires around the touch screen, and the IC analyzes the current localization created by the movement of the charges on its pins.

1. Indoor visual effects

Both are usually great.

2. Touch sensitivity

Resistive touch screen: requires pressure to bring the layers of the screen into contact, and can be operated with fingers (even with gloves), fingernails, stylus, etc. Stylus support is important in Asian markets, where gesture and text recognition are valued.

Capacitive touch screen: The slightest touch from the surface of a finger activates the capacitive sensing system beneath the screen. Inanimate objects, fingernails, gloves are invalid. Handwriting recognition is more difficult.

3. Accuracy

Resistive touch screen: Accurate to at least a single display pixel, visible when using a stylus. The resistive touch screen facilitates handwriting recognition and facilitates operation in interfaces that use small control elements.

Capacitive touch screen: The theoretical accuracy can reach a few pixels, but it is actually limited by the contact area of the finger. So that it is difficult for users to accurately click on targets smaller than 1㎠.

4. Cost

Resistive touch screen: Very cheap.

Capacitive touch screens: Capacitive touch screens from different manufacturers are 10% to 50% more expensive than resistive screens. That extra cost doesn't matter for flagships, but it might put off mid-priced phones.


5. Multi-touch feasibility

Resistive Touch Screen: Impossible unless the resistive screen is reorganized to the electrical connection of the machine.

Capacitive touch screen: Depends on implementation and software.

6. Damage resistance

Resistive touch screen: The fundamental characteristics of a resistive screen determine that its top is soft and needs to be able to be pressed down. This makes the screen very prone to scratches.

Resistive screens require protective film and relatively more frequent calibration. On the plus side, resistive touchscreen devices that use plastic layers are generally less prone to damage.

Capacitive touch screen: Glass can be used for the outer layer. This way, while not indestructible and likely to shatter under severe impact, we can more easily handle the daily rubbing of the glass and its smudges

7. Cleaning

Resistive touch screen: Since the resistive touch screen can be operated with a stylus or a fingernail, it is less likely to leave fingerprints, oil stains and bacteria on the screen.

Capacitive touchscreen: Touch with the whole finger, but the glass outer layer is easier to clean.

8. Environmental adaptability

Resistive touch screen: The exact value is unknown. But there is evidence that the Nokia 5800 with a resistive screen can work well in temperatures from -15°C to +45°C, with no requirement for humidity.

Capacitive touch screen: Typical operating temperatures are between 0°C and 35°C, and capacitive touch screens require at least 5% humidity (limited by the operating principle).

9. Visual effect in sunlight

Resistive touch screen: Usually bad, extra screen layers will reflect a lot of sunlight.

Capacitive touch screen: Great.