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Why Is My Mobile Phone Screen Turning Purple?

A few months ago I noticed tiny light purple patches on my smartphone screen’s corner. I thought it was just nothing but as the days pass by, the patches become larger and darker. Now it covers 1/3 of my smartphone screen and I can barely read the content covered by it.

I do not know what had caused the discoloration aside from the fact that I accidentally dropped it for several times. The upper corner of the screen where it hit the ground started to peel off but there was no signs of cracks or abnormality on the screen not until a few months ago. But why is my mobile phone screen turning purple?

damaged smartphone screen

 

Types of Display Used in Smartphone Nowadays

Before we proceed to our question let us first identify the types of displays used in current smartphones. Actually there are 2 types of displays being used in smartphones in general. Of these 2 types there are variants.

1. LCD or Liquid Crystal Display. LCD is a flat-panel display that uses liquid crystal. Unlike LED, they do not emit their own light and the help of a back light to produce images. LCD is widely used in most devices not just smartphones.

2. LED or Light Emitting Diode. LED are semiconductor light sources that can emit their own light. An LED display uses an array of light -emitting diodes that serves as pixels. This type of display does not need back light to produce images as compared with LCD. These diodes are energy-efficient, has longer life, and small in size.

LCD and LED displays are widely used in almost all devices. Just like any technology, they have been improved to better versions as we can see in below variants.


 

Variants of LCD Displays in Smartphones

1. TFT LCD or Thin-Film-Transistor Liquid Crystal Display. TFT LCD is a color active matrix LCD that uses thin film transistor technology where its name is derived. Active matrix is a method where each subpixel is attached to a transistor and capacitor that maintains the pixel state active while addressing other pixels. They are very bright indoors but poor visibility in direct sunlight and suffers narrow viewing angle. TFT LCD are used in entry-level smartphones.

2. IPS LCD or In-PLane-Switching Liquid Crystal Display. It was really Hitachi who developed this technology which has been adapted by other mobile manufacturers and is now primarily being manufactured by LG Display.

In-Plane-Switching technology arranges and switches the orientation of molecules of the liquid crystal layer parallel to the glass substrates. IPS LCD screens offer wide-viewing angle and display consistent and accurate colors even in direct sunlight. They feature clear images and stable response time without lightening or tailing when touched.

The latest version of IPS is the Advanced High Performance IPS (AHP-IPS) which consumes low power than the standard IPS with better resolution and PPI. The so-called Retina display of Apple is an IPS LCD with LED back lighting. IPS LCD is widely used in mid-range smartphones and tablets.

3. PLS or Plane-to-Line-Switching is a type of IPS developed by Samsung. It is an alternative to LG’s IPS technology. According to Samsung the PLS has better viewing angle, more brightness, and increase in image quality as compared to the IPS.

 

Variants of LED Displays in Smartphone

1. OLED or Organic Light Emitting Diode screen is a display in which an organic compound that produce electro-luminiscent light when stimulated by an electrical current is placed between 2 electrodes (anode and cathode) that are also set between 2 layers of glass. Apple still applies OLED in its smartphone as can be seen it its super-retina HD display in the IPhone X.

2. AMOLED or Active-Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode is a variant of OLED that is popularized by Samsung in its flagship smartphones. It provides higher resolution, larger display sizes, and deep blacks. The ability of AMOLED to turn off pixels allows your smartphone to display true black unlike in LCD where it is dimmed black. This also improves the power efficiency of your device preserving your battery life. However, the vibrant color displayed by AMOLED is somewhat over saturated.

3. Super AMOLED is an improved variant of AMOLED. When we speak about Super AMOLED, we know that it is from Samsung. It is the thinnest display in the smartphone market because of its structure. Instead of overlaying the touch screen on top, the touchscreen sensors are integrated in the display itself. Elimination of that layer makes the screen thinner. Moreover, Super AMOLED addresses the weakness of AMOLED display where the display is not that visible in direct sunlight as compared to IPS LCD with backlight.

Super AMOLED has emerged into better versions such as the Super AMOLED Advanced, Super AMOLED Plus, HD Super AMOLED, HD Super AMOLED PLUS, Full HD Super AMOLED, and the latest version Quad HD Super AMOLED. Most of these variants are present in SAMSUNG smartphones.

Smartphone Screen is The Most Susceptible To Damage

After knowing all the types and variants of smartphone displays, let us go back to our question about “why is my smartphone screen turning purple?” Basically, it is not only purple color, but it can be blue or green and later turn into black. A hard drop or repeated dropping of your smartphone can cause serious problems in the hardware specifically in the most sensitive part which is the screen.

Even for Gorilla glass or Dragontrail glass-covered screens, a repeated impact on the device, although the screen may shows no signs of crack on the outside, but the internal structure of the display may already be damaged.

LCD and LED screens are made up of multiple layers where in the liquid crystal in LCD or the organic substance in LED is sandwiched between layers of filters, films, and glass. When an extra force or an impact is exerted on the screen caused by fall or hit by hard objects, the inner structure of the screen tends to get damage causing the screen to not display the correct color. Hence, discoloration happens. This is the reason why is my mobile phone screen turning purple.

 

How to Protect Your Screen From Serious Damage?

There is no way that you can repair damaged smartphone screen. You can just either replace it to new screen which can cost you a lot or replace the whole unit instead that will cost you more. Yes current smartphone screens are covered with Corning Gorilla Glass or Asahi Dragontrail Glass but despite these almost unbreakable glasses, the extra impact incur on your device can cause serious damage to the internal components of your smartphone screen.

Definitely the screen can survive the crack even for multiple drops due to the Gorilla or Dragontrail glass cover, but not the internal components beneath these glass cover. The damage will not appear immediately but eventually it will grow just like what is happening to my phone now.



Hence, it is better to invest small amount on accessories that can protect your screens from being broken. One way to prevent this costly damage on your device, is to attach screen protectors to double the strength of the screen. The advantage of these screen protectors is when an extra force is incurred on the screen, the impact is being absorbed first by the screen protectors lessening the impact on the phone’s screen. Check HERE for the best cell phone cases in 2020.

Another way to protect your smartphone screen from being damaged is to use mobile phone case. The case will add extra protection for your device in times of accidental drop or bump. Similar with the screen protector, mobile phone case can absorb the impact when an extra force is applied on the phone. Just make sure to buy the phone case that is made specifically for your smartphone.

Smartphone Protective Accessories Can Save You Money.

Personally I am not fond of these accessories because they hide the premium design of my smartphone. Of course if I own an iPhone X or Galaxy S9, I want to show it to everyone. Adding extra accessories makes them look cheaper for me. However, after what happened to my device I recommend investing a few bucks on these protective accessories.

Yes they may add to the bulkiness of the phone or hide the beauty of your handset but they can really save you money. In addition, even you are the most careful user on planet earth, I think accidental drop cannot be avoided so it is better to pay attention to these protective accessories.

If you find this article interesting and helpful, or want to share your experience about smartphone screen discoloration, you can leave your comment or hit your favorite social media buttons.

You may also want to read below articles about smartphone accessories in 2020.

Best Phone Accessories in 2020 – Top 10 Must-Have

Best Wireless Home Theater System in 2020 Compatible With Smartphone

Best True Wireless Earbuds in 2020

Best Wireless Charger in 2020

Best Bluetooth Headphones in 2020

Best Smartphone Gimbal in 2020



Dan Sicat

10 Comments

  1. I’m nlt really a fan of using screen protectors when im using a pretty cheap phone but, when the stakes are raised i will definitely cop my self both a screen protector and a case to protect it.
    Of course the longer i have a phone the less I’ll worry about scratching it but, I’d still rather not have to deal with the purple screen issue so for the most part i opt to use a case to embrace for any tumbles that may happen.
    To this day I don’t think I’ve cracked any of my smartphone screens and i have a feeling that the cases are and screen protectors are the reasons why.

    • Hi Amhil! Thank you for dropping by.

      Thanks for sharing your personal experience about your smartphone. Most of us are only careful when our device is brand new but as the days pass by, we tend to take our device for granted. Bu when things happen such as broken screen, that is the time we realize that we should have had availed of protective accessories such as mobile phone case or screen protectors. 

  2. It makes sense that even with a screen protector, repeatedly dropping a cell phone is going to impact the parts inside. We are basically talking about a hand-held computer and dropping them over and over is going to take a toll. Occasionally I get a solid blue screen, do you have any idea what might be causing that?

    • Hi Steve!
      Thank you for dropping by this article.
      Yes repeated dropping will damage the device eventually.
      Even if you are a very careful user, addidental drops are unavoidable so it is better to use protective accessories such as a smartphone case or a screen protector.
      If the blue screen is occassional and it disappears, there might be problem with the internal connections. They’re maybe became loose.
      With this condition it is recommended to let your device’s service personnel check it out.

  3. Hi Dan, great post. I had a similar problem but there were a couple of yellowish spots on two corners. I searched online and it was also reated to drops and hits.
    Is good to count on your site for great information.
    Thank you!

  4. Incredible information. I’ll be passing this along to my daughter, her roommate is having a similar problem. Thanks, Laura

    • Hi Laura!
      Thanks for taking time to read this post and sharing the same problem encountered by your daughter’s roommate.
      I hope this article will be of great help to her.

  5. Hey Dan,

    I am like you in that I do not like having a screen protector or a case. I like the sleek style of my iPhone and it’s great just the way it is.

    I get nagged at consistently for not carrying ‘protection’.

    After reading your article I will be more inclined to get a case but no promises as of yet!

    Thanks for all of the great info!

    Cheers,
    Kahlua

    • Thanks Kahlua for sharing your thoughts!
      I like the feel of a bare smartphone since they are designed to be held like that but they are not designed to sustain repeated drops or hits. Yes it is true they make the screen to sustain crack or shatter but the internal components are not.
      Eenif you check manufacturers’ warranty policies, damage due to drops or improper usage is not covered by their warranty.

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