After posting my last article about choosing a new monitor, I received some questions regarding a good choice for a mobile device or screen. Not unsurprisingly, as I also use my phone more frequently than a computer.
The thing is, that I already bought a new phone about six months ago. And at that time I wasn’t aware of the different screen limitations and techniques Most of the monitor insights however, also apply to mobile screens as they largely use the same technology. So inherently they are subject to the same drawbacks, like “flicker”. Huh what is flicker?! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, please check out my previous article here which goes more in depth
Nevertheless I did slightly change the way I use my phone after the new insights. So here is a quick rundown of stuff I do to help brain out a little bit. Focused exclusively on mobile screens. I don’t have any experience with Android devices so most of the info is primarily aimed at Apple/iOS, although the parity between the two platforms will ensure that these tips probably will be applicable for both.
First thing is checking the flicker (test) data, preferably before buying The most comprehensive overview I could find regarding this subject is at Notebookcheck . Luckily in hindsight my new-ish iPhone SE 2020 is a great choice, as it tested flicker free
The data is not exclusive to Apple devices or mobile phones for that matter, you can even check out laptops and monitors which is also very handy of course. Highly recommended
As you may already understand that flicker is a complicated subject and which can be influenced by a lot of factors like for instance the brightness . So it may be worth your while to search for your phone’s optimal setting. See the video below for a great example of how a brightness can influence flicker.
As you can see, the iPhones that use an OLED display don’t fare so well. As their flicker frequency is quite high this may not be an issue for everyone. However after some googling I definitely found anecdotal reports of increased eye strain and headaches when upgrading to this iPhone version from a previous flicker free one. So for me, given the choice I would opt for a flicker free one from the list
I always use night shift mode, even during the day. Night Shift automatically adjusts the colors of your display to the warmer end of the spectrum, making the display easier on your eyes. You do lose some of the contrast and vibrancy, but who cares. My selfies are still majestic
I use accessibility features to quickly switch to different color settings. When I have to read from my phone I like to keep the colors to a minimum as it doesn’t add anything and limits my ability to focus. That’s why I created a shortcut (three presses of the home button) to switch to greyscale mode. It’s super easy and quick to do so I actually use it all the time .
An unexpected side effect of using grayscale mode is the reduction of time I mindlessly spend scrolling on social media. Probably this has something to do with the fact that when everything is not super vibrant, and poppin’. My brain thinks “Why am I looking at this shit…? Go outside!”
You can also use accessibility features to change the color filter to reduce blue light . Blue light is something that can disturb your sleep-wake cycle, especially at night. Unfortunately you can only have one color filter shortcut as far as I know of, so I opted for the greyscale mode as I use that more often.
I always use Dark Mode when possible. Dark Mode is aimed at a better and easier viewing experience during low light conditions. However I noticed that for me it feels better all the time 😉 Keep in mind that sometimes you have to set this separately for an application.
So that’s the quick rundown regarding mobile screens. If you have any other suggestions please let me know.