Series 0 display burn in/ fading

RumoRi

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 2, 2011
12
3
I have had my series 0 Apple Watch since mid 2016. I am getting ready for an upgrade to a series 4 and I initially planned to buy the stainless steel version, despite the higher price. I thought i could justify the high price for the stainless version with that it would last for a long time (safire crystal, scratches).

But; after 2,5 years of use, the display on my series 0 watch is as shown on the attached images. It is noticeably dimmer on the most used parts of the display (skype logo at the top is much brighter), and the left part has a "dead" strip close to the edge (as you can see on the "45" of the watch face).

Is this a problem Apple has solved for newer versions of the apple watch, or will the series 4 have the same problems i 2 years? What is your experience with the series 1, 2 or 3?
 

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tromboneaholic

Suspended
Jun 9, 2004
3,706
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Clearwater, FL
After 2 years with Series 1, I can't say I noticed any degradation of my display. However, I wasn't actively looking for an issue.

The Series 4 is a completely different display design, so I think it's hard to gauge by past models.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
33,875
34,897
After 2 years with Series 1, I can't say I noticed any degradation of my display. However, I wasn't actively looking for an issue..
The difference being this is a first Gen display with over 2.5 years of usage (And that’s not even factoring the hours used in comparison). Ultimately, based off these pictures, undoubtedly the OLED panel is slowly failing, which is exactly the type of behavior OLED persists with aging. LCD tends to grow dark in certain spots, where as OLED will ‘wash colors’, which makes the display look un-uniform. Your Series 1 may not have the amount of hours that this first Gen watch does either.

That said, even with the Series 4 displays, depending hours/usage from the user, OLED panels over the course of time will _all_ fail just like the OP’s display is.
 
Last edited:

tromboneaholic

Suspended
Jun 9, 2004
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Clearwater, FL
The difference being this is a first Gen display with over 2.5 years of usage (And that’s not even factoring the hours used in comparison). Ultimately, based off these pictures, undoubtedly the OLED panel is slowly failing, which is exactly the type of behavior OLED persists with aging. LCD tends to grow dark in certain spots, where as OLED will ‘wash colors’, which makes the display look un-uniform. Your Series 1 may not have the amount of hours that this first Gen watch does either.

That said, even with the Series 4 displays, depending hours/usage from the user, OLED panels over the course of time will _all_ fail just like the OP’s display is.
It's entirely possible my Series 1 did have fading, and I might have noticed it if I looked for it. I'll probably pay more attention to my Series 4 screen after seeing the photos above.
 

tehStickMan

macrumors 6502
Jul 19, 2018
322
153
Australia
It's OLED, they don't have unlimited life.

I'd expect the latest 5th generation panel to be a big upgrade in terms of tech and quality.
 

RumoRi

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 2, 2011
12
3
Thank you for your answers:)

So based on the feedback, this is a OLED-problem, and there is nothing Apple can do about it. So if I buy an apple watch for 800$, or even more than 1000$ for the Hermes version, I can still expect the display to fail in 2 to 3 years...
In my opinion a watch should last longer, even though this is a piece of technology, and will be outdated sooner than a normal watch.

It would be interesting to see some pictures of your apple watches, to see if this really is a normal phenomenon.

The easiest way to show the fading is to take a picture of the watch when it is showing the flash light. Please post your images, and the age of your watch.

Thank you!
 

tromboneaholic

Suspended
Jun 9, 2004
3,706
3,024
Clearwater, FL
Thank you for your answers:)
So based on the feedback, this is a OLED-problem, and there is nothing Apple can do about it. So if I buy an apple watch for 800$, or even more than 1000$ for the Hermes version, I can still expect the display to fail in 2 to 3 years...
No.
My display was fine after 2 years.
 

RumoRi

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 2, 2011
12
3
Hmm, OK. Could the cause for the fading on my display be something else? Water damage? I have not been careful with regards to water.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
33,875
34,897
Hmm, OK. Could the cause for the fading on my display be something else? Water damage? I have not been careful with regards to water.
Has your watch been exposed to water? Or any type of moisture? Because if it has, OLED is very sensitive to any type of moisture if it has been exposed. The way you will know, is if it almost looks like an ‘inky Blotch’ part on the display.
 

sean000

macrumors 68000
Jul 16, 2015
1,603
2,068
Bellingham, WA
Hmm, OK. Could the cause for the fading on my display be something else? Water damage? I have not been careful with regards to water.
I haven’t been careful about rain, dishes, etc. but I have avoided submersion. Displays can go bad for many reasons, but I’d say your case is unusual. :(
 

RumoRi

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 2, 2011
12
3
I have been swimming with my series 0 several times, but the display has no "inky blotch" as you can see in the pictures in the first post. It is good to hear that the issues with my display seem unusual. Maybe I will get a series 4 stainless steel after all:)
 
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Frado

macrumors member
Sep 13, 2009
90
4
I have the same issue with my 2nd gen Watch. With a white background I can actually still see the text of my watch face burned in.
Already contacted Apple but they told me to F off unless I pay for the out-of-warranty repair, which is over 200 euros.
But disappointed that the watch is obviously made for 2-3 years use. Guess it's an easy way to have people buy a new apple watch..
 

jagolden

macrumors 65816
Feb 11, 2002
1,097
763
I have the same issue with my 2nd gen Watch. With a white background I can actually still see the text of my watch face burned in.
Already contacted Apple but they told me to F off unless I pay for the out-of-warranty repair, which is over 200 euros.
But disappointed that the watch is obviously made for 2-3 years use. Guess it's an easy way to have people buy a new apple watch..
Series 0 here and no such issues. Geez, I guess that just proves the " get people get a new watch every 2-3 years" conspiracy false.
 

Packfan99

macrumors member
May 5, 2015
81
28
Centennial, CO
I have had my series 0 Apple Watch since mid 2016. I am getting ready for an upgrade to a series 4 and I initially planned to buy the stainless steel version, despite the higher price. I thought i could justify the high price for the stainless version with that it would last for a long time (safire crystal, scratches).

But; after 2,5 years of use, the display on my series 0 watch is as shown on the attached images. It is noticeably dimmer on the most used parts of the display (skype logo at the top is much brighter), and the left part has a "dead" strip close to the edge (as you can see on the "45" of the watch face).

Is this a problem Apple has solved for newer versions of the apple watch, or will the series 4 have the same problems i 2 years? What is your experience with the series 1, 2 or 3?
[doublepost=1556808890][/doublepost]I have an original that was replaced after 1 year. It is so faded I can’t read it outside at all. I love my watch, but it would be nice to read it.
 

Frado

macrumors member
Sep 13, 2009
90
4
Series 0 here and no such issues. Geez, I guess that just proves the " get people get a new watch every 2-3 years" conspiracy false.
the fact that multiple people experience the same issues does prove that these things weren't build to last very long.
 

russell_314

macrumors 68000
Feb 10, 2019
1,581
2,209
USA
Apple watches aren't like a Rolex or other mechanical watches. If you have the money and want something fancy the high end Apple watches are a thing of beauty. Just don't consider it an "investment" or expect it to be handed down to your kids and grandkids. It's an electronic device that will fail sooner or later. The battery will slowly die, the display can fail, and the whole thing will become obsolete. My advice is that with your financial state, if spending the extra $300-$1000+ is even more than a momentary thought then you shouldn't.


I chose the aluminum one because not only is it cheaper but it's lighter thus easier to wear. It will scratch but IMO this is a device that will be upgraded at least every two to three years. I could have spent almost double for the stainless or even more for the Hermes edition but if I did that, when the new Apple Watch 5 or 6 comes out I couldn't justify taking the huge loss upgrading. I would be stuck wearing an inferior watch just so it could look good.
 
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
33,875
34,897
the fact that multiple people experience the same issues does prove that these things weren't build to last very long.
I guess the same argument can be made for any tech product, that they all have a short-lived life expectancy, because they are composed of silicon and batteries, but it doesn’t mean every first GEN Apple Watch experience these issues either. If you think about the millions of Apple Watches that Apple produced, you only hear about an extremely small percentage on a forum like this, that doesn’t mean every Apple Watch was affected either.
 

RumoRi

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 2, 2011
12
3
@Frado @Packfan99: Good to hear i am not the only one! Would you mind posting a picture of your apple watch display showing the flash light?

Here is mine + a picture of a normal watch face, lower right part is extra dim.
I have used the mickey watch face a lot lately, and the part where mickeys shoes are, has faded a lot.

Edit; I just noticed how much the display has faded since my first post (November 2018)!
 

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mguzzi

macrumors regular
Sep 12, 2014
207
113
Columbia SC
I have been swimming with my series 0 several times, but the display has no "inky blotch" as you can see in the pictures in the first post. It is good to hear that the issues with my display seem unusual. Maybe I will get a series 4 stainless steel after all:)
I still have a Series 0 38mm Space Black Stainless and I use it if I forget to charge my Series 3 and I had a 42mm Series 0 Stainless for three years with no issues. Not even any scratches on any of the Sapphire Screen. I also swim with my Series 3 almost everyday.
 

neilg-uk

macrumors newbie
Oct 2, 2008
18
9
Here's my Series 0 38mm watch now, virtually unreadable outside or in a well lit room. Never been submersed although in the early days I used to use it as my running watch, where sweat and rain could have possibly affected it. This has only happened in the last few months though, and not used whilst running for a couple of years at least. o08cuiaaQVW3JyrXKkO8Xw.jpg
 
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