What is OLED Burn-in (aka "Shadows")?

What is OLED Burn-in (aka "Shadows")?

What is an OLED screen in phones?

OLED stands for "organic light-emitting diode" is used in high-end flagship phones.  They are brighter and thinner, lighter and more flexible than the crystalline layers in an LED or LCD used in cheaper devices.  

Also as OLEDs do not require back lighting, they consume much less power than LCDs, thus battery life is typically superior.

What is OLED Burn-in?

The red and green in OLED films have longer lifetimes (46,000 to 230,000 hours), blue organics currently have much shorter lifetimes (up to around 14,000 hours).  Over time, the compounds in an OLED display degrade – just like the components of batteries do – and as they do, they leave images behind in the areas that have been subjected to the most electronic wear and tear. That’s OLED burn-in.

Can it be Fixed?

There is a no way to physically fix the organics however there is a workaround that is quite popular which requires 'tricking' the screen and inverting the colors on the screen so it doesn't appear.  Here is a video explaining this trick which more or less hides it.

How do we Grade OLED Burn in? (see above Reference Image)

Also known as a "shadow" we grade each OLED device we sell for burn-in level.  If the screen is not an OLED screen but an LCD screen (e.g. iPhone XR is an LCD, while an iPhone XS is an OLED) we do not grade it.  If it is an OLED screen and it has no burn in it will also not be mentioned.  Those devices with burn-in are separated into 3 categories (refer to the post image):

  1. Light Burn (L) - This is where the screen has very little up to 30% of the pixels covered with image shadows.  Typically it will show a tint of red and is only noticeable when the brightness is set to maximum on a white background.

  2. Medium Burn (M)  - This is where the screen has from 30% to 60 of the pixels covered with image shadows.  It is most noticeable when you have a white background setup on medium brightness or higher.

  3. Heavy Burn (H) - This is where the screen has from 60% to 100% of the pixels covered with image shadows.  This is noticeable almost anytime you have white or light colored background.