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Beware: Your Samsung phone’s screen could suffer if you download Android 14 ahead of schedule

Samsung’s smartphones are known for their glorious AMOLED screens but like other OLED panels, they are susceptible to burn-ins, which is why the South Korean giant employed a mechanism in One UI 5 to keep the displays looking pristine. It appears that the burn-in protection is missing from Android 14-based One UI 6.

A bunch of Samsung devices, including the Galaxy S23, Z Fold 5, S23 FE, Tab S9, and A34, have already received the Android 14 update. Samsung aims to update nearly 50 of its devices to Android 14 before the end of the year. But looking at concerns voiced by some users, you might want to hold off on updating to Android 14 for a while.

Screen burn-in or ghost image is a permanent discoloration of areas on a screen. When an image stays on a screen for too long, some pixels get overused and degrade quickly, causing discoloration in certain areas. This is why screen savers were so popular back in the day. The idea is to move an image around to make sure that no one area of the display remains illuminated for a long time.

Thanks to our short attention spells and our nature to get bored with what we are doing every few minutes, we are constantly switching between apps. But the navigation buttons and the notification bar stay in the same place. This is the reason why One UI 5 shifted the position of status bar icons such as battery, clock, wifi, and signal by a few pixels periodically.

This is not noticeable in daily use, but Reddit user dragosslash has mentioned a simple way to check for it.

take a screenshot where the status bar is visible
rotate the screen to landscape then back to portrait (do it 5 times so the elements drift for a significant amount of pixels)
open the screenshot in Samsung Gallery
The status (and navigation) bar overlapping your screenshot should be visible, and you should be able to notice whether the status bar elements have moved their position. In One UI 6 they are static no matter what you do.
On One UI 6, the icons stay in the same place and this makes the screens of Samsung devices running Android 14 susceptible to burn-in.

Samsung may fix this in the coming days but with no official assurance from the company, it’s hard to be certain of it. If you have already downloaded Android 14, you may find solace in the fact that screen burn-ins are rare and unless you leave a static image on your phone for an unrealistically long period of time at peak brightness, you have nothing to worry about. And even if it somehow does end up happening, rest assured that burn-ins don’t make a screen non-functional, they just look annoying.

If you don’t want to take any chances, there are apps available in the Galaxy Store that can help you avoid the problem, such as QuickStar, which lets you hide icons.

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