Getting a headache every time you use your iPhone for over an hour? Well, you are definitely not the only iPhone user facing this problem. There are thousands of others who have reported the eye strain issue caused when glued to the screen.
Initially, people thought that the problem was with them rather than the screen. However, over time, we realized that the source of the problem is the OLED(Organic Light-Emitting Diode) display.
What is the eye strain issue on iPhone?
Traditionally, all phones used to have LCDs. Even with certain disadvantages, one advantage of using an LCD is its motionless nature. The major cause why people are experiencing eye strains while using iPhones is because of their flickering display.
The OLED display: How it is different from the LCDs?
It was since the iPhone X that Apple introduced OLED displays. A technology called pulse-width modulation or simply PWM is used in the OLED displays on iPhones. OLED displays have several benefits over LCDs like wide color gamut and true blacks. But like every other technology, this too comes with its own set of flaws. Unlike LCDs, OLED displays flicker, more noticeable when used at a low brightness level.
The harmful effects of OLED flickering
OLED flickering is very harmful to sensitive users. Users have complained of experiencing migraines, nauseousness, and eye strains. The majority of people thought it was the blue light that was the culprit. Now we know the truth.
A lower frequency of PWM means a lower refresh rate(typically, the flicker rate is four times the refresh rate). A display with low PWM likely increases the chance of eye strain and other health issues.
Did iPhone 13 series solve eye strain issues?
Until iPhone 13, all the previous versions have a refresh rate of 60 Hz, which is pretty low. This, in turn, means that they went easy with the PPW as well. This explains the reason why so many people were facing issues upon prolonged use of their iPhone devices.
The new iPhone 13 has, however, has resolved the problem by significantly increasing the refresh rate to 120 Hz. There is news that Apple might allow users to lock their refresh rate(meaning no flickering of the screen at all!).
How to temporarily solve the eye strain issues?
As for people who are using previous models of iPhones, you can try increasing the brightness level of your phones to decrease the visibility of PWM flickering. It might prove to be helpful for users who are motion-sensitive and are having trouble using their devices for long hours.