iPhone X display beats rival OLEDs in screen burn-in test

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iPhone X
Don't worry about burn-in on your iPhone X.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Don’t let the possibility of screen burn-in put you off the iPhone X.

A new test proves Apple’s handset is much more resistant to burn-in than its OLED rivals. It would be near impossible for the device to suffer screen burn during normal use.

Screen burn-in is what happens when images or text become permanently “burned” into a display panel. This usually happens when content appears in the same position on screen for a prolonged period of time — such as the battery indicator on iPhone X.

Burn-in was a problem that plagued early plasma displays. It rarely affects LCD screens — like those used in previous iPhones — but it can become a problem on OLED screens. Fortunately for us, iPhone X’s OLED display is more resilient than most.

iPhone X impresses in screen burn test

Cetizen ran a test to determine which of the latest flagship phones is most susceptible to burn-in. It used an iPhone X, a Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, and a Samsung Galaxy Note 8. The same image was displayed on all three phones at maximum brightness.

The devices were then checked at regular intervals to see which suffered burn-in first. After 155 hours, the Galaxy S7 edge suffered some minor scarring, while burn-in was much more prominent on the Galaxy Note 8 after the same period.

It took a staggering 510 hours for burn-in to affect the iPhone X.

iPhone X’s display is manufactured by Samsung

What’s ironic about these results is that the iPhone X’s display is manufactured by Samsung. That suggests the company sells its best panels to third-parties, or that Apple is using tuning tricks of its own that are better at fighting off this problem.

But under normal use, no one is going to have the same image displayed on their smartphone for 510 hours straight — or even 155 hours. So, no matter which handset you own, it’s highly unlikely you will ever encounter this problem at all.