Touchscreen Technologies of Mobile Phones – Which One To Go For?

Planning to purchase a touch screen mobile phone? Do you know that there are different types of touchscreen technologies? Many of us are not aware of this. In fact, there are two types of touch screen technologies – Capacitive and Resistive. Each technology has its own pros and cons. To choose one that suits you better, go through this article which discusses the basic differences between the two technologies.

Types of touch screens used in latest mobile phones

Capacitive touch screen
It works with the touch of a finger as it uses electrical properties of human body to operate. It uses the electric signal of human body to identify the point of touch on touch screen. Due to this property, capacitive touch screens can be operated with very light touch of finger.

Resistive touch screen
It works when physical pressure is applied as it uses two resistive layers of electrically conductive material separated by air gap. When pressure is applied the two layers touch and form a close circuit to operate. So, resistive touch screens cannot be operated with light touch of finger as certain amount of pressure should be applied to operate them.

Pros and cons of capacitive touch screen


  • These are highly touch sensitive and work with very light touch.
  • They have a high touch resolution that is they have a greater number of touch active points in less physical spacing between the touch active points, so it will be more responsive.
  • It is good for multi-touch gestures like zooming an image with double tap, pinch to zoom and swiping. These gestures are possible due to high touch resolution available.
  • It lets 90% of screen light to come out, so the clarity and sharpness of the screen is high.


  • We can operate the touch screen only with bare finger, we cannot use any physical device like a stylus or gloved hands to operate it.
  • The capacitive touch screens are made of glass and are more prone to breakage.
  • It costs more as the cost of production is more, also when you need to replace the screen with a new one, the replacement cost is also high.
  • Capacitive touch screens are sensitive and will not work properly when the screen accumulates dirt or is exposed to fluids and water.
  • It consumes more energy, so mobiles with capacitive touch screens should have high capacity batteries to maintain a decent battery life.

Pros and cons of resistive touch screen


  • It can be operated even with the help of physical objects like stylus and it can be operated with a gloved hand also. This is beneficial in cold conditions when we use hand gloves.
  • It costs less and can be easily replaced when damaged as replacement cost is less compared to capacitive touch screen.
  • Accidental or unwanted inputs are less as it requires a certain amount of pressure to operate.
  • Resistive touch screen have a plastic surface, so it is less prone to breakage when it accidentally fall over hard surfaces.


  • It is less touch sensitive and cannot operate with light touch of a finger, certain amount of pressure is required to operate it.
  • It has low touch resolution as it has less number of touch active points with more physical spacing between the touch active points. So, resistive screens are not as responsive as capacitive touch screens.
  • Due to low touch resolution and requirement of pressure to operate, multi-touch gestures are not very effective and many games which work smoothly on capacitive screens are hard to play on a resistive touch screen.
  • It lets only 75% of screen light to come out, so the clarity and sharpness of the screen will be less compared to capacitive touch screen.

Capacitive Vs. Resistive touch screen – What to choose?

Capacitive touch screens are more touch sensitive and very responsive and also they offer good display quality. If you can shell an amount of seven to eight thousand rupees, then you can get a decent basic level phone with capacitive touch screen. You have to handle it with care to get real worth for your money.

Resistive touch screen is an old technology and is not very responsive when compared to capacitive touch screens. It can be used easily in external conditions as it is resistant to dirt, water and other fluids. You can go for it when you want to go for a low price mobile and when your handling is rough.

How to identify a capacitive touch screen?

It is very easy to identify a mobile with capacitive touch screen. A capacitive touch screen can be operated only by a bare finger, it cannot be operated by physical objects. Check out using a pen to operate the touch screen, if the screen does not operate according to the input from pen, you can easily identify it as a capacitive touch screen.

These are the basic differences between capacitive and resistive touch screens. You can make a purchase decision of mobile with capacitive or resistive touch screen based on your requirement by considering the different factors discussed.

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