Differences Between FSTN vs TN LCD

FSTN vs TN LCD Technology

When deciding between FSTN vs TN LCDs, the decision comes down to lower cost vs sharper contrast and wider viewing angle. This is the choice to make when ordering a Liquid Crystal Display from stg-focuslcds-staging.kinsta.cloud.

Note: LCDs are not the same as TFTs or OLEDs. LCDs have one color background and a different color character/segment. There are many advantages of LCDs over other display technologies, but I will not cover that in this article since I want to keep it short and I am almost about out of coffee.

Fluid used in Liquid Crystal Displays

LCDs are built with a fluid placed between two pieces of glass. There are three types of displays available: TN, STN and FSTN. Your choice of fluid determines how the display will look cosmetically.

LCDs with TN Fluid

TN types of displays are used in gas pumps, digital clocks and pagers (If you were born before say 1985 you will need to go to the Smithsonian to see what these were.)

Quick facts about TN (twisted nematic) fluid.

  • Lowest cost of the three: TN, STN and FSTN
  • Better at colder temperatures
  • Has a smaller viewing angle than FSTN
  • Contrast is not as sharp as FSTN

Twisted Nematic [See photo below] was one of the first fluid technologies incorporated in LCD technology. The viewing angle is not as wide as STN or FSTN. Examples of TN LCD displays can be seen in pagers and gas pumps.

TN Benefits

  • The best in colder temperatures since it has the fastest response time.
  • Provides short response times.
  • The lowest cost fluid available.
  • Draws less power than the other fluid types.

LCDs with FSTN Fluid

FSTN types of displays are used in GPS’s, security systems, dash boards and high-end coffee makers.

Quick facts about FSTN (Film Super-twisted nematic) fluid.

  • About 12% more expensive than TN
  • Offers a sharper contrast and wider viewing angle

Film Compensated Super Twist Nematic [See image below] is considered a better fluid technology than TN or STN. It allows for better viewing angles and better contrast.

FSTN Benefits

  • Enhances the professional look of your product so that is easy to read and provides a very sharp contrast.
  • This fluid allows for super wide viewing angle with a sharp contrast between the characters and the background.
  • FSTN sharpness to make even the smallest images sharp & easy to read.

Monochrome LCDs:

There are three types of LCD technologies that use nematic fluid: Character, Graphic and Segment. This is something to keep in mind when comparing FSTN vs TN fluids. Below is a photo and quick description. Note: all three of these can be customized to fit your needs.


Can display all numbers, some letters and custom icons. Great for products that need very low cost and low power. Tooling fees are cheap and we can have samples to you in a few weeks.


Character LCDs display all letters, numbers and punctuation marks. They can be built to display most languages. FocusLCDs carries inventory and in many cases can ship the same day you order.

They are easy to program since they contain an on board controller/driver.


Graphic displays will display any letter, number and graphic. Some can display video. This is a standard stock item.

Not sure what fluid or display to use? Just contact Focus LCDs at 480-503-4295.