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About OLED Displays


No longer a newbie, moving up!
Oct 21, 2016
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About OLED Displays and Brightness

For a while now I have been thinking about what reviewers have been saying in reports about cellphone displays. What I am writing here is probably known by some (many?), but is rarely mentioned. Current reviews (say for the last three years), have noted that some displays go brighter than others. Most tend to imply or outright say that "brighter is better". My point is that this is not necessarily true.

OLED technology is generally not described. That is natural since it is buried in both patents and trade secrets. Patents can be looked up, and if you have sufficient education to understand what is filed, then in theory, you can learn what is in them. But trade secrets are generally not disclosed, and not many people have sufficient education to understand them anyway.

The problem that needs to be kept clear is that OLEDs "fade". As they are used, the colours fade and even the brightness decreases. This is a very slow process, but so far, I have seen no-one putting numbers on it. Two of my earliest Android phones were Samsung Galaxy S phones. These were among the first OLED screens used in cellphones. On the one that I have left, there is very slightly noticeable screen burn on it. That is not bad. But then again, I did not use that phone as hard as some young people use their phones today. I did take a lot of notes on it, but I never got into gaming. I did start to barely see screen burn after about the 3rd year. I think that this was reasonable, but keep in mind that I actually use phones for a few years, and then they sort of sit around.

Let's explore this situation a bit. Pretty much every year, OLED phone displays get a bit brighter. No-one states clearly that "new materials" or "new building methods" are employed. What would be the worst case? That would be just pumping through more power to the display. If that is the case, then each year, if you use the maximum brightness, then it just burns down faster. Are they actually using "new technology" displays? If they were doing so, I think we would hear about it, at least occasionally. I have not heard any such thing.

On the other hand, I keep my phone turned down to what I feel is a "reasonably bright" level. I do that to save power, to save my eyes, and yes, to save the screen. Even if you just do this to save the battery (and reduce heat, which gamers would find important), it helps. But has anyone been mentioning lately that "oh, and buy the way, your OLED screen will last longer"? Do they mention that a screen that is "capped" at a lower power level might therefore be "better" in that way?

Just something to think about.
Thank you for you share but I think this would pose a problem if you plan to use your smartphone beyond a decade.

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