The liquid crystal cell has no reflective properties. The image is created by utilizing a backlight behind the display. The liquid crystal cell acts as a light valve to either let the light though the display or block the light. This technology is used when there is little ambient light sources available.
This liquid crystal device has a reflector located on the rear of the cell. Ambient light is passed though the cell and reflected back to the user. The application is best used in direct sunlight or a well-lit office environment. This technology has the lowest power consumption because there is no backlight.
Utilizing a transflector, which is a reflector that will still allow some light to pass through, transflective displays can achieve both reflective and transmissive properties. This enables acceptable transmissive performance with a backlight in lowlight conditions, and allows the application to utilize a reflective lower power mode in adequate ambient light conditions, while maintaining good performance in direct sunlight. This is the most common monochrome LCD viewing mode.
Darker pixel on a lighter background, most common configuration for monochrome displays. In a non-powered state the display will retain the lighter background appearance.
Lighter pixel on a darker background, most common configuration for color displays. In a non-powered state the display will retain the darker background appearance.