While the individual pixels in a recorded digital image may represent any different color, digital displays typically use LCD or OLED technology where red, green and blue colors must be presented separately using discretely addressable elements. These are termed subpixels, or more colloquially dots. By adjusting the brightness of each separate R,G,B, dot, a pixel of any color may be displayed.
Typically three dots are used to create each pixel, although alternate schemes are possible. When manufacturers specify the resolution of display panels, they naturally tend to quote the larger and more impressive-sounding "dots" number, rather than the smaller "pixels" spec.
- Samsung owns patents to one such scheme, called PenTile: Wikipedia article.