Apple has quietly warned its customers that the new iPhone X display is at risk of issues like screen “burn-in” and colour shifts.
One of the key selling points of the new iPhone X is the Super Retina display – a huge, high-resolution screen that makes use of an OLED panel. Samsung has been using OLED screens for years, because they offer more colours and a wider dynamic range, as well as reducing power-consumption. But Apple has waited until the iPhone X to utilise the technology on a smartphone.
Unfortunately, despite the iPhone X having been out for just three days, Apple is already warning users that their new handset might encounter screen problems.
“With extended long-term use, OLED displays can also show slight visual changes,” writes Apple. “This is also expected behaviour and can include ‘image persistence’ or ‘burn-in’, where the display shows a faint remnant of an image even after a new image appears on the screen.”
Apple continues: “This can occur in more extreme cases such as when the same high contrast image is continuously displayed for prolonged periods of time. We’ve engineered the Super Retina display to be the best in the industry in reducing the effects of OLED ‘burn-in’.”
The company also adds that you may also encounter another issue with the OLED display: “If you look at an OLED display off-angle, you might notice slight shifts in colour and hue. This is a characteristic of OLED and is normal behaviour.”
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Customers will be rightly concerned about all of this, as Apple is selling the iPhone X for a base price of £999, with the top model retailing for a frankly ludicrous £1,149.
However, it’s worth noting that off-angle colour distortion and the more severe ‘burn-in’ issue are characteristic of OLED displays – not unique to Apple’s new flagship. For what it’s worth, we’ve yet to experience any ‘burn-in’ during our time with the iPhone X.
Apple’s claims that it has re-engineered the display to limit such problems are somewhat reassuring, but it still seems a bit odd given the iPhone X makes use of a Samsung-built OLED screen, and Samsung has been offering these panels on its own Galaxy S series phones for years.
We didn’t see any issues with the new Samsung Galaxy S8 screen for instance, with Samsung’s phones shipping with famously high-quality displays. Samsung avoids such issues using a number of software methods, including fading out and shifting persistent icons like the Android navigation buttons.
The Google Pixel 2 XL also uses an OLED screen, and has been crucified in the tech press over blue-tint issue. Google subsequently issued a software-based fix for issue, but not before the damage was done.
With that in mind, it’s likely that Apple is trying to get ahead of the game by explaining some of the nuances of OLED technology, rather than leaving itself open to trial by reddit should users start experiencing problems with the X’s screen.
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