Apple: OLED tech is to blame for the iPhone X display looking blueish when tilted

If you got the iPhone X delivered over the last few days, or held it in your hands in an Apple Store, you might have noticed that its display is not immune to a cold color shift when tilted, both at the top-down, or the side axis, as all OLED displays do to different extents. Granted, the shift is not as pronounced as some AMOLEDs of yesteryear we've seen, but still the white becomes increasingly blueish with an increased angle.

Well, that's apparently the inevitable side effect of having an OLED display, as Apple warns in its support section titled "About the Super Retina display on your iPhone X". 

There, while gushing about the iPhone X's Dolby Vision HDR display coverage, almost infinite contrast, and high brightness, Apple slips a few warnings about the inevitable downsides of having an OLED panel. "If you look at an OLED display off-angle, you might notice slight shifts in color and hue. This is a characteristic of OLED and is normal behavior," says Apple. Indeed, as you can see in the GIF image on the right, the screen turns slightly blue at an angle, and it is visible even with the light reflections from the Apple Store chandeliers. 

There you have it, straight from Apple's mouth - OLEDs are still not up to par with the orthodox LCD screens in certain areas, yet they excel in many other, arguably more important characteristics like contrast ratio, malleability and cinematic color gamut presentation.

source: Apple

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70 Comments

2. IAMBLCKJ3ZUS

Posts: 403; Member since: Sep 29, 2015

But watch no one go and demand a recall for this! Something I just notice as a old windows mobile fan. Apple took all webos and windows mobile features and layouts. No creativity! Windows 10 mobile needs a comeback.

3. osterrich21

Posts: 186; Member since: Apr 14, 2017

My s7 edge don't have this problem, no matter the angle the display don't change of colors.

8. T12RYK

Posts: 849; Member since: Jun 10, 2011

It does, every OLED screen has this problem. You just can't see it or haven't noticed it yet.

12. Peacetoall unregistered

Have been using my c7 pro for last 8 months never acknowledge this problem. Its just a calibration problem which iphone x is facing.

16. nodes

Posts: 1158; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

it's because the Deep Red OLED Samsung made this year. S8 and Note8 suffered from this, but other lineups aren't as bad, Galaxy A, J, C, etc. because they don't share the same Deep Red OLED.

18. Peacetoall unregistered

Samsung s8 and note 8 doesn't suffer from I have played the s8 and note 8 demo unit in stores and they don't suffer from it.

19. nodes

Posts: 1158; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

when unboxing it at the store i also didn't notice it, because it's in bright environment. but when i use it at home with dimmer light i immediately notice it.

23. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

I am looking right now at my 1 year old S7E and there is a tiny and I mean tiny tint when you move it to an extreme angle, nothing as bad as on the X. No this is not an OLED problem, its a problem on inferior OLED panels. Samsung will never sell its top panels to Apple.

48. mikehunta727 unregistered

And I am looking at my Note 8 right now, it has a noticeable shift on a slight angle movement, with a greenish hue torwards the top of the screen on whites(when web browsing/etc) My father's S7 Edge actually exhibits a little less color shifting on whites than my Note 8 does(i.e whites stay white for longer on angle on my father's s7 edge vs my note 8) My note 8 screen still is fantastic and that part is only somewhat noticeable on certain white backgrounds but it isn't often, it's a beautiful panel and videos are great on it and it get's bright. it's called OLED manufacturing lottery. Samsung literally did sell Apple their highest quality OLED panel, it matches the Note 8 or surpasses the Note 8 in almost every single display metric Thats why Apple is paying $110 dollars for each screen.. did you not see DisplayMate's results on the X? It surpasses the Note 8 in almost every single category, that is giving Apple their top quality OLED panel. It's just Apple's calibration process is more advanced than Samsung's and that is what took the X display over the Note 8 screen. If Samsung didn't sell Apple their top quality stuff, the X wouldn't of surpassed the Note 8 in many display metrics plain and simple, we would see measurements similiar to S7/S6 era oled panels if it was older gen stuff, but we don't see that in the display measurements

28. Behyjoon

Posts: 39; Member since: Oct 19, 2016

It does but much less than any other phones, samsung is for a long time that has been on it (Amoled panels) than any other companies.

60. tedkord

Posts: 17320; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Every OLED has color shift off axis. It's a fact of the technology. I can see it on my Note 8. It's not extreme, but it's there.

4. adecvat

Posts: 639; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Still, iPhone X has the best OLED display on market according to display mate.

24. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

The fact that they gave it a top score while having an apparent tint issue that top samsung phones don't have says a lot how reliable Display mate it is.

41. mikehunta727 unregistered

Lol now we debunking DisplayMate... My Note 8 has a blue shift when tilted and has a greenish tint on the upper quadrant of the display on whites and the bottom half of my display is more warm They do suffer from the same exact viewing angle issues. I have seen many S8'/other Samsung OLED flagship devices exhibit similiar behavior Just look at the 20+ pages forum posts on XDA forums, 20+ page forum posts on Android central, these other sites, etc. All Oled devices can suffer from this, it's inherit with manufacturring the technology... At the moment the X is the best at fighting blue shift/loss of brightness at angles vs any other OLED device

47. Macready

Posts: 1818; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

So you defend Displaymate but at the same time (apparently without realizing it) contradict their measurements. Because their measurements show that the iPhone X suffers more from color shifts under an angle than both the Note 8 and S8. Cool story though.

49. mikehunta727 unregistered

Yeah DisplayMate says Note 8 is a little better at color shifting but DisplayMate also says that the Note 8 suffers from more brightness loss at a 30 degree angle than the X does Note 8 suffers 29% brightness loss at a 30 degree viewing angle, the X only suffers 22% brightness loss at a 30 degree viewing angle. X has a bit higher brightness level too with the nits so in reality it balances out because higher brightness on OLED mitigates color shifting to a extent Also in medium ambient to high ambient lighting, the iPhone X has a noticeably better ambient contrast ratio than the Note 8, which helps a lot with showing colors accurately and vice versa So it isn't as cut and dry as it seems In my other post on this article I mentioned that my father's S7 Edge actually keeps white's white for longer on an angle than my Note 8 does, but it doesn't bother me tbh because my Note 8 display is no doubt still superior Anyway my whole point was that this is literally inherit with OLED manufacturing technology though. Like a "badly" made Note 8 display can exhibit more color shifting than the next Note 8 and vice versa, each OLED panel has their own characteristics in what it exhibits. Some show hues on the top half of the screen on whites/ some on the bottom, some show a more stronger loss of color shift at a angle than others, etc

50. mikehunta727 unregistered

DisplayMate has certainly proved their credibility over the years and is a very reliable objective source for this type of information, and they say it's the best display in a smartphone ever, I'll stick with what they are saying

52. Subie

Posts: 2356; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

Agreed. It's funny how some would've like to quote DisplayMate in the past when they've rated Samsung at or near the top. But the moment they give the nod to Apple, DisplayMate's credibility is now questioned...

53. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Even if I hate Apple as a whole, if DisplayMate gave reviews I never question their credibility, even if it's Apple. If it's good it must be THAT good. I'll likely question PA's credibility than DM.

61. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

Ot does because Apple uses warmer co,or tones. Remember thesweet spot is 6500K. Any temperture less and the colors are cooler and higher numbers mean warmer colors. Because blue is the dominate color, most shifts tend to be bluish. When the S8 showed the red/pinkish hue, it was because the red was the strong color in the calibration. But at least on the Galaxy you can set the colors to match the iPhone X if you want. I did, and the colors were to warm vs what I am use too.

55. jacky899

Posts: 430; Member since: May 16, 2017

My Note 8 has a greenish/blue tint when viewed at an angle. If you can't see it, just open the Calendar app and tilt the phone. It is a feature inherent to OLED. What's the big deal?

6. Camilla81

Posts: 90; Member since: Mar 18, 2017

Meanwhile displsymate said the iPhone x has the best all around screen they've ever tested.

7. nodes

Posts: 1158; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

it's a nature of OLED. my S8 looks exactly like that.

42. mikehunta727 unregistered

Yeah it is... Each OLED panel made has their own characteristics. For example one can have more uniform whites, no hue on the top half or bottom half of the screen(my Note 8 has a greenish hue on top half of the screen on whites) but slightly worse color shift when viewing it on angles/more loss of brightness at certain anglees etc

69. nodes

Posts: 1158; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

i see this coming though. Apple is the most popular brand in the world. it's never reported because Apple never used an OLED in the past. kinda annoying though, even my Galaxy Note 2 is better at showing white(really tiny tint) than my S8 and Note8.

9. worldpeace

Posts: 3130; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

If it's bad = blame the OLED maker If it's good = it's because Apple set the high standard and Samsung must follow it And actually iPhoneX's OLED is the old one, it only support 8-bit of color, it doesn't support HDR10 like the newer Samsung's flagships

51. mikehunta727 unregistered

Worldpeace I found this from DisplayMate · HDR High Dynamic Range Mobile HDR Premium Display The iPhone X provides Mobile HDR, which allows it to play 4K High Dynamic Range content made for 4K UHD TVs. High Dynamic Range (HDR) is the newest performance enhancement feature developed for the latest 4K Ultra HD TVs. HDR provides expanded the Color, Contrast, and Brightness of video content. In order to provide HDR, the iPhone X has the required Digital Cinema DCI-P3 Wide Color Gamut, plus perfect Blacks and an Infinite Contrast Ratio from its OLED display iPhone X easily is HDR ready, I don't even think they have made 8 bit OLED panels for a few years now

63. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

Apple has there own tech for HDR. But its not what the UHD Alliance has certified for HDR compliant displays. Its the same thing Samsung did on the S8. The S8 is not certified by UHD Alliance because it uses Samsung own HDR Technology. At least that is how I understand it.

62. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

Yeah I noticed DisplayMate said Apple supplied its own Mobile HDR technology vs the Note 8 being certified by the UHD Alliance. iPhone X - HDR High Dynamic Range Mobile HDR Premium Display The iPhone X provides Mobile HDR, which allows it to play 4K High Dynamic Range content made for 4K UHD TVs. High Dynamic Range (HDR) is the newest performance enhancement feature developed for the latest 4K Ultra HD TVs. HDR provides expanded the Color, Contrast, and Brightness of video content. In order to provide HDR, the iPhone X has the required Digital Cinema DCI-P3 Wide Color Gamut, plus perfect Blacks and an Infinite Contrast Ratio from its OLED display Note 8 - · A new full 100% DCI-P3 Color Gamut and Digital Cinema mode that is also used for 4K Ultra HD TVs, so the Galaxy Note8 can display the latest high-end 4K video content. The DCI-P3 Gamut is 26 percent larger than the Rec.709 Gamut that is used in 2K Full HD TVs. · The Galaxy Note8 is certified by the UHD Alliance for Mobile HDR Premium, which allows it to play all of the same 4K High Dynamic Range content produced for 4K UHD Premium TVs. · A new Video Enhancer that provides HDR-like Expanded Dynamic Range for photos and videos that don’t have HDR coding. · A new record high Peak Brightness of over 1,200 nits, which improves screen visibility in very high Ambient Light, and provides the high screen Brightness needed for HDR.

68. gehrig

Posts: 423; Member since: Apr 17, 2014

The iPhone X supports HDR 10 AND Dolby Vision. Get your facts straight.

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