As anyone who has tried to use DigiHUD’s HUD mode in the day will confirm, it’s not really usable because it get’s washed out to the point where it becomes invisible. Add to this the slight double image caused by the laminated glass and it’s a non-starter.

In order to work well in the day, commercially available HUD units have particularly bright displays (generally brighter than smartphone or tablet screens) and also a piece of slightly reflective film which is stuck to the inside of the windscreen. The film removes the double image and also allows the display to be seen in bright light.

Recently I picked up a piece of film from that popular Internet auction site to see if it improves DigiHUD’s HUD experience.

Here it is in the day.
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I’ve attached it up high on the screen because the rake of the glass would mean the film was a bit too much in my line of sight for comfort. I will at some point 3D-Print a holder for my phone to sit on the dashboard.

So for a few pounds it makes a world of difference to using HUD mode in the day.

From having seen it happen on my own device I think it’s a big enough issue to warn people whenever possible, hence having a post here about it.

Until I had my Galaxy S3 I really thought that it was problem reserved for CRT screens. I’ve seen many cash machine screens over the years with burned-in screens showing ‘Please insert your card’ or something similar. I think the older green screen monitors were the worst from what I saw.

Anyway, why would modern cutting edge display panels suffer from this? It’s the 21st Century after all. Unfortunately some types of screen do, and badly. Badly enough that I won’t be buying another AMOLED display, as gorgeous as they look with their ultra-black blacks and saturated colours.

After many many hours of testing the app over the last two years one of my devices (a Samsung Galaxy S3) does now show some burn-in, which on a white screen can be seen as a slight yellowing of the display where the speed and other information is displayed. Another older device (an HTC Wildfire) has no burn-in at all. The Samsung has an AMOLED screen whereas the HTC has an IPS screen.

Here’s a rather bad photo (thanks to my LG G3’s camera) of my S3 with a blue screen (the best colour I’ve found to show the damage). The blue is actually very even to look at it’s just the camera failing to work it out. According to Erica Griffin (see link below) it’s the blue pixels that degrade fastest as they consume more energy to power them.

Burn-in

Burn-in damage

See how the digits from DigiHUD are still visible, as well as the status bar which is black for the majority of the time in normal use. This is from using the app for about an hour and a half, five days a week for two years (or thereabouts).

PC Pro magazine did a great article on AMOLED displays.

Erica Griffin also shows burn in on a Nexus 6 after just a few days:

Check your device documentation for more information on whether your device may be susceptible.

<opinion type=”mine”>If you’re suffering from burn-in on an AMOLED screen then PLEASE don’t use any of the apps purporting to remove burn-in. They don’t work, it’s a lie. Degraded pixels can’t be revived. All you’ll do is accelerate degradation over the rest of the screen.</opinion>