Screen burn. The permanent “ghost image” effect caused by prolonged display of the same image, like a static menu or background. Back in the days of CRT monitors, this was a big problem that led to the invention of the screensaver, and it later affected plasma displays too.

Meanwhile, iPhones and iPads have always used LCD screens, which are impervious to this kind of burn-in – but with the iPhone X embracing OLED technology, some users are worried that overuse will cause similar screen burn symptoms to affect their displays over time. Is there any truth to this concern?

An example of severe burn-in on a plasma TV

Well, sort of. OLED displays are susceptible to burn-in just like those old CRT monitors, but some recent tests have proved that in this case, users need not worry about the effects.

As explained by iDownloadBlog, a series of independent tests run by Korean website Cetizen.com compared the effects of screen burn on three different OLED devices: Apple’s iPhone X, as well as Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge and Note 8. The testing involved whacking the brightness up to maximum and leaving the phone on with a static image displayed on screen. Cetizen could then check back to see how long it took for any kind of burn-in effect to materialize.

The good news for iPhone X owners is that the device took a gargantuan 510 hours (yup, five hundred and ten) before showing any signs of screen burn, and even then it was relatively minor. The Edge and Note devices, meanwhile, showed minor and major burn-in respectively after a relatively speedy 155 hours.

Our conclusion? Unless you have very, very, strange viewing habits – the effects of burn-in are negligible and not worth worrying about. With Apple likely to start using OLED in more and more devices for its power-saving benefits and high contrast ratio, it’s pleasing to see the burn-in issue cracked before it every became a problem. The more you know, eh?