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Dealing with ‘burn-in’ problems on iPhone X and Google Pixel 2 XL

Some users 0f both Apple’s new iPhone X and Google’s new Pixel 2 XL are experiencing images on their screen that shouldn’t be there. It’s only a small number of reports so far, but both companies are taking the issue seriously and making recommendations on how to mitigate the problem while they update their software to reduce it even further.

It’s a known issue with the type of OLED screens that both companies are using.  As Google put it in a blog post, “Thorough testing of the Pixel 2 XL display shows that its decay characteristics are similar to OLED panels used in comparable products. Our current investigation of burn-in, which started as soon as we received the first user report on October 22, confirms that the differential aging is in line with that of other premium smartphones and should not affect the normal, day-to-day user experience of the Pixel 2 XL.  And Apple reported a similar problem “With extended long-term use, OLED displays can also show slight visual changes. This is also expected behavior 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. 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.”

Both companies say they are working on software updates to reduce the likelihood of this happening. And Apple has issued some advice that could apply to anyone with on OLED display that might have this problem:

  • Update your iPhone X to the latest version of iOS. When a new update is available, you’ll see a prompt to update. You can also check for updates in Settings > General > Software Update.
  • Use Auto-Brightness to automatically adjust the brightness of your display based on the ambient light in your location. This setting is on by default. To check this setting, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Display Accommodations.
  • Set your iPhone X to turn off the display when you aren’t using it. Choosing a shorter time is recommended. To adjust this setting, go to Settings > Display & Brightness > Auto Lock.
  • Avoid displaying static images at maximum brightness for long periods of time. If you have an app that keeps your display on when you aren’t actively using your iPhone X, you can temporarily reduce the brightness level using Control Center.