The recent release of the iPhone XS and XS Max hasn’t been perfect, as reports have recently hinted at a widespread bug that makes it difficult for users to charge their devices, while other users have also complained about overly polished selfies due to a “skin smoothing” or “beauty” effect. However, not all recent reports on Apple’s two new flagships have been about actual or perceived bugs, as scientists recently found that the larger of the two devices, in specific, is safer for users due to its lower levels of blue lights.
According to OLED-Info, researchers from National Tsing-Hua University in Taiwan recently conducted a study performed a comparison test between the 6.5-inch iPhone XS Max, which, like the smaller iPhone XS, sports an AMOLED display, and the two-year-old iPhone 7, which came with an LCD display. The researchers looked at two metrics — Maximum Permissible Exposure (MPE), which determines how long it takes for a human retina to get inflamed after exposure to a smartphone display, and Melatonin Suppression Sensitivity (MSS), which was described as a “relative measurement” showing the suppression on a display when compared to pure blue light.
Based on the researchers’ tests, the iPhone XS Max outperformed the iPhone 7 in terms of MPE, as the former phone was rated at 346 seconds, while the latter had an MPE of 288 seconds, with higher values being better. Likewise, the XS Max’s AMOLED screen had an MSS percentage at 20.1 percent, as it outperformed the iPhone 7’s LCD display, which was rated at 24.6 percent. Unlike in the first metric, lower values are better when determining a display’s MSS. As explained by OLED-Info, this also means blue light levels on the XS Max are lower than those on the iPhone 7.
Despite its reputation as an environmentally safe form of light, blue light could pose risks to humans in a number of ways. The Harvard Medical School wrote in 2012 that blue light exposure has the potential of disrupting sleep patterns and might also contribute to a higher risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
According to T3, Apple appears to be “catching up” with its iPhone XS and XS Max, as Samsung has been using OLED displays on its smartphones for several years. However, the publication speculated that Apple seems to be aware of the risks of blue light exposure and the perils of “smartphone addiction,” as the Cupertino-based company also introduced the new Screen Time app when iOS 12 rolled out to users last month.