2018 MacBook Pro: grey/washed out screen in bright light

nostodnayr

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 8, 2011
100
62
Mie Prefecture, Japan
I noticed a few weeks ago that my 2018 13" MacBook Pro screen, when exposed to direct sunlight, would go to maximum brightness but then try to 'keep going' in a way by starting to wash out the colour of the screen.

I've been in touch with Apple and the issue has been escalated to engineering who seem to want to dismiss the issue (first asking to see the effect in a normally-lit environment then following up by criticising my use of the light from my iPhone to simulate the issue).

I'm not convinced it's behaving as expected – has anyone else noticed this happening? My screen is set to automatic brightness with TrueTone on. If you want to try to replicate it, try exposing the brightness sensor to very bright light, like the sun or the torch from a phone, very close to the sensor (to the right of the camera).
 

iMacDragon

macrumors 68000
Oct 18, 2008
1,692
277
UK
I think this is probably quite deliberate, to try and keep the screen as visible as possible in direct daylight by artificially reducing contrast by lifting black level, from the sound of it.

edit: yes, I think this is exactly what it is doing, having just checked myself.
 
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fredix11

macrumors newbie
Oct 23, 2018
17
6
Italy
According to me the issue is real but not so serious, in everyday use you won’t notice that issue. And if you use the Macbook in a very well lit room or outdoor just turn off the True Tone in the system preferences.
 

nostodnayr

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 8, 2011
100
62
Mie Prefecture, Japan
I agree that it's not serious and not even something I face often – just on the occasion when the sun shines in on the train. This machine is a replacement and I didn't experience it before, but I may not have been in the situation where the sun hit it, so I'm willing to accept it's expected behaviour. But I've not got access to another machine to try it out and confirm it's not just mine.

For what it's worth, it happens with True Tone on or off, but doesn't occur in a safe boot.

Thanks for your responses so far.
 
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nostodnayr

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 8, 2011
100
62
Mie Prefecture, Japan
Mine started to do the same thing, I also had it happen on my 2017 MacBook. It is annoying but I found resetting the smc fixed it and it doesn’t do it anymore.
I guess I should try again, but we did that from the beginning and it didn't change anything. Thanks for the idea.
 

misterbig

macrumors member
Aug 19, 2010
96
14
I noticed a few weeks ago that my 2018 13" MacBook Pro screen, when exposed to direct sunlight, would go to maximum brightness but then try to 'keep going' in a way by starting to wash out the colour of the screen.
I noticed this too, I believe it's caused by TrueTone detecting the sunlight and adjusting the color tone automatically to make it easier to see in direct sunlight.
 
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