Apple Watch has become very dim

cowboy77

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 10, 2012
9
1
My wife and I are the owners of two apple watches, both Apple Watch Sport (first generation), 42mm, with aluminum case, model number MLC77LL/A. Watches were purchased six months apart. Both watches have gradually become very dim, my wifes' watch (first to be purchased) is so dim, its unreadable except in a dark room. Mine is barely readable in sunlight. I've dialed up the brightness to as high as possible on both watches, and i've tried the suggestions below with no success. I've taken the watches into the genius bar, and was told this type of failure is not common, and the only recourse was to purchase a new watch (both are out of warranty). My thoughts are that if two watches purchased six months apart exhibit the same failure mechanism, then the problem is more widespread than the feedback I am getting from Apple. Is anyone else having issues with a dim screens on their Apple watches??
 
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
32,847
33,694
The bolded points you have listed above would likely not repair the issue with the screen dimming. Based on what you're saying, it sounds like the OLED display is fading for whatever reason.

Have the either of your Watches been subjected to water? OLED is also very sensitive to water.
 

cowboy77

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 10, 2012
9
1
mine has seen a little bit of water, my wifes' has not been exposed to any water
 

baconandgames

macrumors newbie
Jun 5, 2018
2
0
Southern CA
863AA0AE-0F85-4677-B0F5-BB64D70E21B8.jpeg
I have this issue. First generation watch. Here are two watches, same model, age, brightness displaying identical plain white images. Mine is completely unreadable in sunlight.
 

cowboy77

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 10, 2012
9
1
View attachment 764945 I have this issue. First generation watch. Here are two watches, same model, age, brightness displaying identical plain white images. Mine is completely unreadable in sunlight.
[doublepost=1528261759][/doublepost]I’ve gone back to using my two older analog watch, both of which are running fine, one is 10 years old, the other is a Seiko LaSalle which is 40 years old. The only things I was using the Apple Watch for towards the end was to track my exercise, and to unlock my MacBook Pro. The screen and UI weren’t very conducive to doing anything else. I cant justify the cost of a new Apple watch, especially given my history with its longevity, and minimal usefulness. I wish Apple would allow unlocking of MacBook Pro with iPhone, instead of limiting this feature to the watch.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
32,847
33,694
View attachment 764945 I have this issue. First generation watch. Here are two watches, same model, age, brightness displaying identical plain white images. Mine is completely unreadable in sunlight.
Either two things, the OLED display is failing or you have water damage. It looks partially like you might have water exposure, which OLED is a highly sensitive too.
 

baconandgames

macrumors newbie
Jun 5, 2018
2
0
Southern CA
Either two things, the OLED display is failing or you have water damage. It looks partially like you might have water exposure, which OLED is a highly sensitive too.
It's not water damage, never gotten it wet. I wish it was water damage, at least that would explain it and perhaps justify my getting a new one. This watch already cost me more than all my lifetime watches combined and I didn't even get 3 years out of it. Even with the newer ones being water resistant, tough to justify spending that amount of money on another watch I'll only get a few years out of
 

Prince Akeem

macrumors member
Feb 22, 2012
35
10
I have the same issue with my series 0 Apple Watch (Stainless Steel, 38mm). I've had it since spring 2015, so around 4.5 years now.

It actually started to happen in a matter of weeks late this summer. First, a burned-in pattern (of the first watch-face that I used until some years ago) became visible on any screen. Now the burned pattern is seems still visible, but less obvious. It's still usable and the battery is still fine (easily one 1,5 day when set to theatre mode). It's just that the screen itself is very dim. Inside, it's still usable but you cannot really read the watch anymore in bright sunlight. The dimming degradation process that started in just a few weeks seems to have stabilized now.

It's clearly an OLED problem; it's just that you don't expect this for a $750+ watch, not even at 4,5 yrs old. I probably can't do anything as it's well out of warranty, apart from going through the painful DIY process of replacing the screen for a lesser non-saphire s0 replacement screen that are still available for around €70. It's a shame because my saphire screen is completely scratch free apart from the oleophobic layer being mostly worn off.

Does anyone know if any of the later generation apple watches still have this wide spread problem?
 
Last edited:

xraydoc

macrumors demi-god
Oct 9, 2005
7,671
1,845
192.168.1.1
I have the same issue with my series 0 Apple Watch (Stainless Steel, 38mm). I've had it since spring 2015, so around 4.5 years now.

It actually started to happen in a matter of weeks late this summer. First, a burned-in pattern (of the first watch-face that I used until some years ago) became visible on any screen. Now the burned pattern is seems still visible, but less obvious. It's still usable and the battery is still fine (easily one 1,5 day when set to theatre mode). It's just that the screen itself is very dim. Inside, it's still usable but you cannot really read the watch anymore in bright sunlight. The dimming degradation process that started in just a few weeks seems to have stabilized now.

It's clearly an OLED problem; it's just that you don't expect this for a $750+ watch, not even at 4,5 yrs old. I probably can't do anything as it's well out of warranty, apart from going through the painful DIY process of replacing the screen for a lesser non-saphire s0 replacement screen that are still available for around €70. It's a shame because my saphire screen is completely scratch free apart from the oleophobic layer being mostly worn off.

Does anyone know if any of the later generation apple watches still have this wide spread problem?
Probably no watches but the first generation are old enough to start seeing this issue.
 

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