What Goes Up Has Got to Fall
Disclaimer: I am doing my unboxing and First Impressions of the Mate 20 Pro in parallel to this post. Unfortunately I probably won’t make a full review of the phone as of now.
The Mate 20 Pro has got to be one of, if not the, most exiting phone(s) of 2018. It’s widely loved by reviewers, and pack everything you could wish for, except stock Android. It features a curved OLED display, like on Samsung phones, Huaweis latest processor at 7 nm, wireless charging (and reverse wireless charging), the fastest quick charging, and a huge battery.
It also features 3D face unlock and an in-display fingerprint sensor for unlocking the phone and authentication purposes. Both of which works really well.
Light Bleeding is a known issue, that usually afflict cheaper smartphones. It’s also something most people can live with. Gluegate is something else.
I want to be clear on this because a lot of people can mistake the green screen of the Mate 20 Pro for Light Bleeding. I know this because my local retailer did, and they didn’t find anything wrong with it.
For the Mate 20 Pro, Huawei licenced OLED displays from LG and BOE. LG have a track record of creating screens that anger tech enthusiasts by now, but with a $1000 flagship that promises everything you expect more. While the Pixel 2 XL from last year had a blue tint when looked at from the side, the Mate 20 Pro have shown signs of a green light from every angle. I mention LG’s displays because the problem is wider on their panels.
The regular belief is that the glue haven’t dried fully, or is wrongly applied during the assembly.
I say belief, because Huawei has yet to make any real official statements.
The issue is, as mentioned, harder to notice at first. For most users. But some of us see it all over the phone. In my case, Using the dark theme for Googles messaging app will display the issue but I have yet to see it on the home screen.
Retailers and Returning the Phone
For some people the easiest fix will be to return the phone and get something else. That’s the sad truth. I’ve been in contact with users that contact Huawei directly, with some getting a good response and replacement while others are met with ignorance or dismissing behavior.
The official retailers in Sweden also vary their responses, with some acknowledging the issue and offering replacements and others just looking at the user like he/she is being crazy.
I went back to my local tech store were the clerk new nothing of this. They wrote that I notice a green light bleed on the receipt and checked it for regular backlight bleeding using http://www.lightbleedtest.com/. Now firstly this is funny because the OLED panel doesn’t use backlight on black backgrounds. Secondly the issue with Gluegate is shown mostly on gray colors in low light brightness. At first, most users have to look for it. Later on the issue expands for most and start showing up in apps like Netflix or Spotify that doesn’t use a fully black background.
When Huawei responds to users with acknowledgment they recommend that the phone is replaced in their official local repair-shops. This is ok for most, but it also creates a new problem with replacing the phone in the original retailer’s stores as the IMEI numbers have changed. So the return-policy is void. Also, users who get replacements often find themselves with another faulty screen, needing to redo the replacement.
According to comments: In some countries, the local Huawei section also made claims that this is normal on curved screens refusing to replace the unit before the issue can be proven to limit usage. I guess that’s another case point against this fashion trend.
It’s sad, because the Mate 20 Pro is the phone I’d really like to review. But for now, a quick impression will have to do before I return it.
How To Check For The Issue:
As said, Gluegate mostly appears on gray images. A popular way to test the phone is therefor by using an app called Oled Tools, found on the Play Store. At first, it is recommended to do this in a dark room, or at night. In the app, select the last test option, the Uniformity Test, and select next color until you get the gray image. Lower the brightness and check for the green hue. On my device it have mostly stayed at the lower end of the screen, so far.
If there ever was a time to vote with your wallets when concerning Smart Phones, I’d say it’s now.
Have you experienced Gluegate yourself or have the issue made you reluctant to pick up the Mate 20 Pro?
Let me know in the comments below!