HomeTechnologyNewsDon't worry, your Pixel watch has "image retention", not "burn-in"

Don’t worry, your Pixel watch has “image retention”, not “burn-in”

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Google (modified)

The Pixel Watch finally arrives at the doors of customers. But some of these first time buyers are running into a strange problem, and it looks a lot like burn-in. When your always-on display is enabled, small snippets of images and text refuse to disappear from the Pixel Watch screen.

As you may know, OLED screens do not rely on backlight. They contain a bunch of independently controlled organic LEDs. This provides a greater sense of contrast, as an OLED screen will only illuminate the pixels necessary to create an image.

But these organic LEDs slowly degrade with use. And unfortunately, they can degrade unevenly when a static image (such as a clock face) is displayed for too long. This effect, called burn-in, leaves a ghost image on an OLED screen.

Early reports indicate that the Pixel Watch, which uses an OLED screen, burns out very quickly. But Google says that the Pixel Watch does not burn. In a conversation with 9to5Googlecalls the problem “image retention”.

What you’re seeing is image retention. It is a non-permanent problem that affects OLED screens. It is not a precursor to burning and should not be confused with burning. Image retention will wear off, but the longer it is on the screen, the longer it will take to wear off.

According to Google, you can clear the Pixel Watch’s “image retention” by turning off its always-on display. This is a “non-permanent problem” and “is not a precursor to burnout.”

Google’s description of this problem is correct. You can clear “ghost images” from the Pixel Watch by turning off the always-on display and waiting a few minutes or hours.

But the idea that this issue won’t lead to OLED burn-in, more accurately described as “permanent image retention,” is questionable. And the fact that some customers have not encountered this problem (Google admits it) is also worrying.

Most modern OLED screens, especially those that are meant to display static images, use a ton of fancy tricks to avoid burn-in or image retention. They automatically update your display panel, for example, or smoothly move pixels around the screen. So we’re not sure why the Pixel Watch has this “image retention” issue.

I suggest disabling the Pixel Watch always-on display for now. We will likely learn more about this issue as customers continue to complain.

Source: Google via 9to5Google

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