Worried about Nintendo Switch OLED burn-in? Read this first Commentary: OLED screens can exhibit image retention or ghosting, but I doubt it will be a problem on the new Switch.


The new Switch, coming in October, has a 7-inch OLED display.

Available for Nintendo Switch OLED $350. Preorder now for And ships in October, and it’s already become a hot commodity. I’d say burning is hot, but it may give you the wrong idea. you see, i Review TV for Nerdshala And a lot of people ask me about burn-in OLED TV I have been recommending for years. Even though it’s much smaller than a TV, the shiny new 7-inch OLED screen on the Nintendo Switch may beg the same questions. My answer for the Switch is the same as it is for the TV: I’m not worried about burn-in. And based on what I know now, most other potential buyers shouldn’t be either.

read more: The New Nintendo Switch OLED: Everything It Can (and Can’t) Do

Let’s start with the basics. Today screens — on TVs, phones, laptops, tablets, smartwatches and, yes, portable game consoles — use two key technologies: OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) and LCD (Liquid Crystal Display). OLED screens have better picture quality than LCD screens, mostly because they can produce a perfect shade of black, which creates more saturated, rich colors along with better contrast and “pop”.

Nintendo has delivered “vivid colors and crisp contrast” to the 7-inch OLED display found on the new Switch, and I have no reason to doubt that claim. In my years of owning the original Switch and countless hours of gaming on my LCD screen, I’ve found it to be the best in terms of contrast and color. I sincerely hope to see the new switch very Better.

Nintendo Switch OLED Models

Perfect black levels and more saturated colors make OLED screens better than LCDs.

Ghost in the Machine

One potential aspect of OLED technology is known as burn-in. As we put it in our detailed guide OLED Screen Burn-in: “Burn-in occurs when a part of an image — the navigation button on a phone, for example, or a channel logo, news ticker or a scoreboard on a TV — persists as a ghostly background, no matter what It doesn’t matter what else appears on the screen.”

TV- and phone makers that sell OLED screens, from LG to Apple to Google, acknowledge the potential for burn-in — aka “image resistance” or “image retention.” They all portray it as something that happens under “extreme” or “rare” circumstances, and I agree.

Here’s Nintendo’s response to my request for comment about the burn-in:

We designed OLED screens with the aim of longevity as possible, but OLED displays can experience image retention when subjected to static scenes for long periods of time. However, users can take preventive measures to keep the screen safe. [by] Using features included in the Nintendo Switch system by default, such as the auto-brightness function to prevent the screen from getting too bright, and the auto-sleep function to switch to ‘auto sleep’ mode after a short period of time.

In my experience reviewing (and watching) OLED TVs over the years I’ve never made a case for the burn myself, though I’ve never tested it directly for it. One review site, rtings.com, ran a real-world TV burn-in test and came to the conclusion, “We don’t expect most people who watch a variety of content without static fields, as with OLED. experience burn-in issues. TV.”

As a display that will primarily show games, the OLED screen on the Nintendo Switch will certainly have some static elements, such as a consistent score, life bar, ammo count, and status icon in the corners. These, if left onscreen for long periods of time, can potentially cause burns.

nintendo-switch-oled-white-2021-4

Static screen elements like lap counters can cause burn-in, but they probably won’t be on the screen long enough to do so.

what me Worry?

Despite static screen elements persisting in games, there are plenty of reasons not to be concerned about burn-in on the OLED Switch. Here are some.

  • Static elements like scores, life bars or reticules will have to be onscreen for several hours at a time.
  • If you play different games, they will have different (or not) static elements, which reduces or eliminates the problem.
  • Aside from games, the Switch doesn’t have an always-on, static menu element like the navigation bar on some phones.
  • As noted by Nintendo, the Switch has an automatic brightness feature and an automatic sleep mode that completely turns off the screen after a set period, helping to alleviate the problem.

Now if I were the kind of gamer who played the same games pretty much exclusively, constantly having the same bright, still static elements on a portable screen, I’d avoid the OLED switch. But I (like every other Switch user I know) get enough variations on the screen that burn-in shouldn’t be a problem by playing enough different games.

Here I mention that it’s all just conjecture, based on my own experience as a TV reviewer, a Switch gamer, and owner of an OLED screen since the Samsung Vibrant (circa 2010). The new Switch was just announced, and maybe something like Google Pixel 2 XL burn-in problem, where the constant bottom navigation bar causes burn-in, some OLED Switch users will surface once they hit the market. But for the reasons mentioned above, I doubt it.

NintendoSwitchFamily-01

The new OLED Switch will be sold alongside other Switch models, which are cheaper and offer standard LCD screens.

However, if that prospect worries you, by all means don’t buy a new Switch. Or just get a Switch with a traditional LCD screen.

read more: New OLED Switch Suppressed: ‘More of a Switch for Young Professionals’

For my part, I consider the risk of burn-in to be completely worth the benefit of OLED. In fact, compared to a TV that can be left on for hours or days running a channel with a persistent logo like CNN, I would expect reports of burn-in to be less common with the Switch than with the TV.

I have lots of other questions about the new Switch, for example how does the OLED screen affect battery life, how does it perform outside or in other bright light and does it crush shadow detail or make colors less realistic. manufactures. Whether burn-in will be a problem is not one of them.

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