If you thought that screen burn-in is a thing of the past, Samsung may have just proven you wrong. Considered to be a long forgotten artifact of ancient CRT screens, screen burn-in might be coming back into fashion, especially with the Galaxy S8. Samsung Netherlands’ Twitter account has semi-officially confirmed that the smartphone is indeed susceptible to the phenomenon, which is why the always visible home button jumps ever so little to prevent that from happening.
Screen burn-in is the ghosting effect usually associated with older display technologies, particularly CRTs. It is caused by having a static image displayed for prolonged periods of time, causing that image to be “burned in” to the display. This is why screensavers were made, and why they got the name, to ensure that pixels are refreshed every so often.
More modern display technologies, particularly LCDs, aren’t as susceptible to screen burn-in. It does still happen under some circumstances but the effect isn’t as permanent as CRTs and is more often called “transient image persistence”.
Somewhat ironically, Samsung’s much boasted Super AMOLED is actually more prone to screen burn-in. Especially considering its smartphones, like the new Galaxy S8, has an always-on display (AOD) feature. Samsung’s solution? No, not screensavers, but something technically similar. It makes the AOD contents jump around to make sure that pixels don’t get too much screen time. That happens to the clock and, to a smaller extent, the always-on home button. The home button doesn’t jump as much though and is almost more like a wiggle or a shiver.
So if you’ve been worried about screen burn-in on the Galaxy S8 because of AOD, you can stop worrying now. And if you were worrying your eyes were playing tricks on you when you saw that home button move, you can stop worrying too. Your Galaxy S8 isn’t haunted.