OLED screens are still in a way a novelty as far as smartphones go. Among the popular models, iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S7 Edge are the ones most talked about and also clocked substantial sales in terms of numbers across all markets. It was, therefore, understandable that these 3 phones were picked for a comparative test on the extreme OLED burn-in of their screens.
Burn-ins on OLED screens are described as a phenomenon, where the images on the display screen remain even after the display is turned off. This is common to all OLED screens, but on smartphones, many users feel it is a bug or an issue. One testing lab in South Korea, more a tech site, decided to put these three devices, the iPhone X, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S 7 Edge through an extreme burn-in test. The test itself lasted 510 hours and a static image was left on the screen with full brightness.
At the end of this test, the following broad observations were recorded:
- The iPhone X appeared to show signs of burn-in within just 17 hours of the test; it was not serious enough or to the extent a regular user of the phone would have easily observed. In the end, however, Apple’s device turned out to be the best among the lot in handling the OLED burn-in issue
- The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge performed well till around 62 hours when the burn-in showed up and it was of a nature that could be observed by any layperson
- The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 was the worst performer out of the 3 phones
- The test was allowed to run for 510 hours and at the end, Cetizen, the tech site that initiated the test announced that though overall the iPhone X turned out to be handling the issue the best, the difference between the phones was not too high to cause concern
There seemed to be an explanation for this better behavior by the iPhone X as compared to the Samsung devices. It is being clarified that Apple knew beforehand that the OLED display could cause the burn-in phenomenon and had provided for it while designing the hardware and software around the display feature to bring down the impact of the burn-in on the screen. One has to also factor in that the possibility of an iPhone X owner leaving the phone with full brightness for 510 hours is remote.
As a footnote, the report on this test makes it clear that the issue itself is not such a serious one for prospective buyers to change their decision to buy the two Samsung phones.