My phone is making me sick and I'm not alone

LinuxDan2015

New member
Nov 7, 2018
1
1
1
Visit site
Yes! Yes! Yes! Finally some attention on this matter. I really liked my Samsung S20 but in 2021 or 2022 (?) I had to sell it and buy a Motorola G100 with LCD display. No more nausea, dizzy spells and full on vertigo!! PWM must DIE now!!!! I cannot use any OLED phone because of this. I have not tried the newer Motorola's with higher refresh rates, but I'm glad to hear they exist. Prior to my Samsung, I owned an LG phone - it was the one with two displays. I love it, but that only lasted 24 hours. I got really sick with that one and returned it the next day. That's when I started learning about PWM. The Samsung phone took longer to make me sick, but it still eventually did after less than 12 months of use. That's when I went back to LCD. I don't mind LCD at all, but like you noted, you can't get a "high-end" phone with LCD. :-( Moto G100 was the closest I could get and I like it, but still. I want to be able to use any phone I want.

We need to get these companies to hear that people out there are suffering and I wonder how many don't even know why they are suffering. Took me a while to figure it out, that nothing was wrong with me or my eyes but my screens! :-(
 
  • Like
Reactions: kxc1279

fuzzylumpkin

Well-known member
Dec 7, 2012
5,554
2,562
113
Visit site
Interesting. Thankfully not something that I seem to be affected by... But the accessibility setting to adjust the modulation rate should already be there, no reason to cause people to suffer when there's an easy fix.
 

joeldf

Well-known member
Dec 19, 2011
1,241
673
113
Visit site
Interesting. Thankfully not something that I seem to be affected by... But the accessibility setting to adjust the modulation rate should already be there, no reason to cause people to suffer when there's an easy fix.
Where do you see that in the accessibility settings. I can't find that on my S20 FE, which I assume is also affected.

Although, I don't seem to be sensitive to it.

One point made in the article that confuses me. It describes how these OLED screens dim by alternating scan lines. And saying that when a sub-pixel is lit, it's fully lit.

So how does it handle really dark grays while, say, displaying a photo, or while browsing this forum in dark mode, while at overall full brightness?

There seems to be a disconnect in how different shades and brightness is handled at the same time.
 

fuzzylumpkin

Well-known member
Dec 7, 2012
5,554
2,562
113
Visit site
Where do you see that in the accessibility settings. I can't find that on my S20 FE, which I assume is also affected.

Although, I don't seem to be sensitive to it.

One point made in the article that confuses me. It describes how these OLED screens dim by alternating scan lines. And saying that when a sub-pixel is lit, it's fully lit.

So how does it handle really dark grays while, say, displaying a photo, or while browsing this forum in dark mode, while at overall full brightness?

There seems to be a disconnect in how different shades and brightness is handled at the same time.
When I said it should be there, I meant it should be there and not it is there. As in, if it's something that can be done then they should do it
 

jimmy_uk

New member
Feb 28, 2014
2
1
1
Visit site
Thank you for a mainstream report on PWM. Temporal dithering is also a huge issue to be aware of. For too many years I and many others have been met with comments like "get your eyes tested" or "you need glasses".

I've realised I'm sensitive to PWM and temporal dithering since the release of the iPhone X. I've been an avid iPhone and iPad user since they were released and the X was a big change to the iPhone I had been looking forward to for years. Within an hour of use, my eyeballs felt like someone was stepping on them and I got a nasty migraine. Since then I've been unable to upgrade to any flagship iPhone that uses OLED as I always end up with the same result. This is soul-crushing as I love technology and mobile phones play a big part in our daily lives. I've had to settle on an iPhone 11 as this is LCD with no PWM. It's fine but it's not a flagship and maybe the last iPhone I will ever own with the way things are.

This is also an issue for me on the iPad Pro's. Since Apple started using "liquid Retina" displays they have introduced PWM to some iPads and the ones without it still have temporal dithering which means the pixels are moving to get the 10bit colour through fakery. This also causes eye strain for me despite them using LCD. MiniLED also has PWM. Sigh.

Samsung, LG and BOE as manufacturers of these displays are most definitely aware there is an issue for certain users, how could they not as people like myself have been taking about it in forums for at least 13 years. They must just figure the number of people affected is too low (but imagine the number of people who don't even realise their devices are making them feel ill). Apple will never publicly acknowledge these issues as it could open up lawsuits.
 

asus389

New member
May 2, 2023
2
0
1
Visit site
I'm glad to see this article. I have been using screens since the 1980s and never had any issues until a few years ago. It seems all OLED phones cause me to have headaches, eye strain, and nausea. This effect is worse at lower brightness levels (and higher levels of flicker) consistent with irritation from PWM. I am holding onto my older LCD smart phone because I can use it with no issue, but I am worried I will be locked out of newer devices unless this issue is somehow addressed.

I have also noticed that some LED/LCD panels can cause a weird eye strain/spaced out feeling for me as well. I think that's down to temporal dithering, which is more common now as electronics companies seem to be using more screens that are 8bit+FRC to show HDR or wide color content. I suspect it could be resolved by using actual 10bit displays. I'm not sure why they don't.
 

Morty2264

Ambassador
Mar 6, 2012
22,922
1,053
113
Visit site

Benjy-S5

New member
Jun 14, 2014
3
0
1
Visit site
I wish the manufacturers would take this seriously. There are many of us on the Reddit Sub PWM_Sensitive

I had never had trouble before, my first smartphone was Samsung Galaxy S2, then S5, the Note 7 until it was recalled and then the Note 8 (which I still have to use due to this eye strain, headache and feeling sick business.

Like I say I have never had this problem before, until I bough the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, I has it for a matter of days and had to return it.

I'm too scared to get another flagship phone, the huge expense just to strain my eyes, give me a headache and make me feel sick. I'm told all phones have this and I will have the same trouble with another model, even brand, so is the Galaxy Note 8 my last smartphone?
 

zombalooney

New member
Jun 20, 2024
1
0
1
Visit site
Thank you for this. Your first couple of paragraphs exactly describe my experience with my phone(s) - Pixel 8 - over the last few months. I'm 47, avid tech user and watcher of lots of types of screens for decades - and in the last 6 months to a year, I've found that more than a couple of minutes on a smart phone leaves me blurry-eyed, light-headed and nauseous until I've given the peepers a chance to rest without screen time.
I've begun my quest into looking for a good e-ink phone solution - starting with the Minimal Phone. We'll see where it leads.
I'm relieved to know I'm not alone.