iPhone X is the first iPhone to have an OLED screen, which Apple calls Super Retina Display. While this brings amazing brightness levels, the ability to ditch the bezels and amazing color reproduction, it does expose the iPhone X to image retention issues. Image retention (or burn-in) is an issue inherent in OLED display technology.
While Apple has innovated in both hardware and software to make sure this process can be delayed as long as possible, there’s still a possibility that a couple of months down the line, the screen retention issue might start showing up. If you’re worried about this issue (and the potential cost of replacing the screen out of warranty), follow the steps below.
What is Burn-in?
Burn-in (or image retention) is a side effect of how OLED displays work. It happens when one particular image stays on the screen for a long period of time (without moving). This imprints the image onto the screen. And even when the image is no longer displayed, you can still see parts of it on the screen. It’s also known as ghosting.
Apple is using some smart software tweaks to make sure this doesn’t happen with the status bar icons. Apple is using pixel shifting technology to move the icons ever so slightly so they’re never in the same place. This should help avoid image retention for iOS’s own elements.
Other than that, there are steps you can take yourself to make sure you don’t face this issue.
#1. Use Latest iOS Software
Apple will keep updating iOS software with more ways to combat image retention over time. The only way you’ll be able to get these features is if you’re running the latest software.
#2. Make Sure Auto Brightness Is Enabled
By default, Apple enables Auto Brightness. And they’ve even moved the toggle for it inside Accessibility -> Display Accommodations. Yes, auto brightness can be annoying sometimes. Especially when it doesn’t correctly identify the lighting of the space you’re in. But on the iPhone X, these small issues are worth the sacrifice.
Brightness is the main culprit in image retention. If you leave an image on full brightness for a long time, it might be retained. So turn on Auto Brightness and let iOS make sure that image retention issues due to the bright screen don’t happen.
#3. Shorten Auto-Lock Time
iPhone X has a shorter auto lock duration – 30 seconds. It can seem too low but again, it’s to combat image retention issues. iPhone X uses Face Detection feature to keep the screen on when you’re looking at it (even if you’re not interacting with the touchscreen). Which means the shorter auto-lock time shouldn’t be a big issue.
If you’ve increased the auto-lock time, we recommend you bring it back to 30 seconds from Settings -> Display & Brightness -> Auto-Lock.
#4. Don’t Use Full Brightness All The Time
One of the worst things you can do on iPhone X (for image retention) is to use it at full brightness at all times. Even if you don’t enable auto brightness, make sure you’re not using it at full brightness at all times.
#5. How to Fix Image Retention Issues
If you start seeing image retention issues, you might be able to reverse the damage.
If you’ve just spotted an image retention issue, just turn off your iPhone for a couple of hours and boot it up again. You might still see a bit of the image retained on the screen. But start using it and it might go away (this is usually how image retention on TV screens work). If the images just don’t disappear, it’s time to take it to the service station and get the screen replaced.
Related article: 5 Methods to Transfer Video to iPhone X