Google responds to Pixel Watch ‘burn-in’

IT House reported on October 24 that Google’s Pixel Watch is the latest wearable device it has released. Some users think that they have encountered a “burned” screen, but Google said that this is just an afterimage.

According to 9to5 Google, in a related case, “screen burn-in” affected the Pixel Watch (Bluetooth/Wi-Fi), which had been used for five days with AOD enabled for at least 12 hours a day. The superimposed numbers on the “Daily” dial and the right-hand circle component (for the date) on the app list can be vaguely seen, or any other gray background that isn’t all black.

If AOD is turned off, the problem disappears in about 30 minutes. That is, as soon as the watch face shows up again, it will reproduce. IT House has learned that the Pixel Watch is equipped with a 320PPI AMOLED display that provides “boost to 1000 nits of brightness”, and the affected watches have adaptive brightness enabled.

According to Google, there was no permanent burn-in on the Pixel Watch, but rather a temporary problem with afterimages. The company insists that this is “not a precursor to burn-in” and that it disappears over time, although “the longer it’s on the screen, the longer it disappears.”

In terms of protection, the Pixel Watch uses a “software algorithm that changes the brightness of lit pixels every minute to reduce the likelihood of image sticking.” Google said that “this should not be the case for most users”.

“This increases the time before seeing image sticking and reduces the time it takes for the afterimage to disappear. If the user does experience this, it will disappear over time, but the user can also turn off AOD and/or use Sleep Front mode for sleep so the screen stays off at night.”

Historically, Android Wear and Wear OS have provided burn-in protection that gradually shifts the pixels on the screen over a period of time so that the end user doesn’t notice the anomaly.

Android Dev states, “On screens prone to burn-in, solid color blocks in ambient mode should be avoided. If icons or images include solid color blocks, a burn-in safe version should also be provided.”

Pixel phones haven’t suffered widespread AOD-related burn-in since the feature was introduced on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL in 2017.