iPhone XS Max About OLED eyestrain

Techmaestro

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 30, 2010
38
20
I've seen a lot of discussion about this topic so when I came across this article I thought it would be helpful to share. Hopefully, the below information moves the discussion along supported by documentation.

"The more subtle of the two discoveries comes from Tsing-Hua University. In testing an iPhone XS Max, it learnt Apple’s latest OLED displays are scientifically healthier for your eyes compared to Apple’s previous LCD-based models."

https://www.forbes.com/sites/gordon...ice-cost-iphone-xr-release-date/#7476ebb62be4
 

now i see it

macrumors 603
Jan 2, 2002
5,369
10,879
No mention in that article of PWM. Conveniently overlooked. Just blue light (everyone knows the XS has a yellower screen. And MPE? Who the hell has ever heard of MPE? By that metric even the XS "inflames the retina" in less than 6 minutes. WTH?
 

Chele

macrumors regular
Feb 20, 2003
181
116
Illinois
Well, I guess that I'm in the minority because my eyes definitely 100% disagree with this article. I noticed eye strain from using the Max and the only way it went away was to not use my phone. I returned it and have been using the 8+ again for over a week and no eye strain or headaches at all.
 

Macalway

macrumors 68030
Aug 7, 2013
2,728
1,131
Obviously something is wrong, but often self diagnosis is a bad idea.

It's possible it's the contrast. The contrast on these is extreme. With a black background the phone looks like it's off. I mean, really you can't tell the difference. Add to this, very bright icons (and everything else), and it could cause strain. I noticed it right away. The contrast is so great you look away.

In other words,'brightness' is relative to the background. So effectively, the brightness on these is different altogether, particularly the edges of active things.
 
Last edited:

stafil

macrumors 6502
Sep 15, 2017
425
296
Obviously something is wrong, but often self diagnosis is a bad idea.

It's possible it's the contrast. The contrast on these is extreme. With a black background the phone looks like it's off. I mean, really you can't tell the difference. Add to this, very bright icons (and everything else), and it could cause strain. I noticed it right away. The contrast is so great you look away.

In other words,'brightness' is relative to the background. So effectively, the brightness on these is different altogether, particularly the edges of active things.

Now this is just lame speculation, but you can see something there. The reason I'm saying this is because of my intitial statement about self diagnosis being dangerous. I've really gotten all bent out of shape numerous times with this process. Bad idea. Just because some armchair know-it-all says it's PWM, doesn't mean anything.

You have these people saying, your conscious mind doesn't see flashing, but your eyes are effected, and they try to adjust (a losing battle, no doubt :D). Is this accurate? I highly doubt it. "Scientist say". "It's been shown"."There's documentation" (I love that one). BS to the extreme. Is it possible this is true? Well, anything's possible. note: Those videos of the flashing, remind me of closeups of insects. All of a sudden it's a nightmare.

Am I just justifying keeping mine? Yes, absolutely (too late now :D ). Am I afraid of it? I'm afraid of everything. I just prefer being rational.

Frankly this whole thing bugs me. Since when does random Internet stuff become believable? You have all sorts of people talking about LED science and anatomy. Who are they? Just people, and not something you should take literally.

The Internet is a mine field with stuff like this. Enough people say it, it gets it's own Wiki page.

I don't think the majority of the people say that you should return the phone if it doesn't give you headache or causes you eye strain. Similarly I don't think there are many who suggest that you should keep the phone if it does.
 

Macalway

macrumors 68030
Aug 7, 2013
2,728
1,131
I don't think the majority of the people say that you should return the phone if it doesn't give you headache or causes you eye strain. Similarly I don't think there are many who suggest that you should keep the phone if it does.
The whole thing is confusing. I don't find comfort in the 'all or nothing' argument: either it's bad, or it isn't :D Maybe its just me, but that's not comforting (I want to be comfortable, apparently).

A problem is that it's well known that flashing lights can cause reactions in certain people, which supports the 'all or nothing' argument. But by extension, that doesn't really explain what we have here. There's a whole group that say's it's bad, but can be much worse. So what's correct?

I haven't experienced eye strain, yet, but I don't stare at the phone for long periods, and even if I did, would any discomfort be cause by PWM? Or is it just staring at a little phone?

I'm getting long winded about this, because it's my health, and it is a concern.
 
Last edited:

AppleB

macrumors 6502a
Oct 18, 2011
795
921
I’ve been on the Max for a week and I’m not experiencing any eye strain yet.
When I get a new phone/device I’m usually on it a lot so I’ll see if I feel a difference in a few months or so.
 

GrumpyMom

macrumors G3
Sep 11, 2014
8,762
12,504
I don’t think it’s our eyes that pwm flicker is messing with. It’s our nervous system. Vision is not just about the eyes. It’s about the brain interpreting the signals it gets from the eyes. I haven’t read the article yet but I can see how it could be correct and still the OLED could be a bad proposition for some of us.
 

Joe h

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2017
151
172
The x was really bad on eye strain, the max has been fine so far. I think the fact you don’t have to hold it as close, and the text is slightly larger, helps. Still prefer the 8+ though.
 
  • Like
Reactions: stafil

cornerexit

macrumors 6502
Sep 11, 2014
457
241
Obviously something is wrong, but often self diagnosis is a bad idea.

It's possible it's the contrast. The contrast on these is extreme. With a black background the phone looks like it's off. I mean, really you can't tell the difference. Add to this, very bright icons (and everything else), and it could cause strain. I noticed it right away. The contrast is so great you look away.

In other words,'brightness' is relative to the background. So effectively, the brightness on these is different altogether, particularly the edges of active things.
That reads like consumer product defense, because you own said consumer product.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.