OnePlus 8 Pro displays are turning green - here's why

OnePlus 8 Pro display
(Image credit: Future)

The OnePlus 8 Pro is currently suffering from an unusual display problem. OnePlus is working on an update to solve it, but for now, dark images will look oddly green on at least some handsets.

As reported on the OnePlus forums (via TechRadar), owners of the company's latest flagship have noticed a green tint when in low-light settings. Given how new the handset is, and OnePlus's heavy marketing on how good the OnePlus 8 Pro's display was, this could be a major issue. 

OnePlus 8 Pro display

Left: OnePlus 8 Pro. Right: Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus. (Image credit: WhateverSuitsU/OnePlus Community)

Despite manufacturers' best efforts, smartphones are not always the same. It's possible that this issue is simply a result of a batch of lower-quality display components, rather than something all OnePlus owners will eventually face. Equally, all OLED displays perform their worst at low brightness, struggling with producing large uniform blocks of color. However, this seems to be a more acute problem than normal.

In Tom's Guide's OnePlus 8 Pro review, there was no evidence of these problems. TG global editor-in-chief Mark Spoonauer was full of praise for the panel's colors, brightness and smooth 120Hz refresh rate. 

OnePlus 8 Pro display

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

I tried to replicate this issue on my own OnePlus 8 Pro review unit, and found similar results to the ones users were reporting (see above image). 

Although by itself the display of the 8 Pro looked fine, comparing it to my Huawei P40 Pro (with Chrome installed via an APK file), you can see that the display shows a very different kind of "black" on Chrome's No Internet error page. I took screenshots on both phones and compared them on a third display, and confirmed that the two browser pages were producing the same color, meaning that it is the phones' displays causing the difference in these images.

OnePlus 8 Pro display

Left: OnePlus 8 Pro. Right: Huawei P40 Pro. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

You may remember from earlier this month that Samsung's Galaxy S20 Ultra was suffering a similar problem (via AndroidCentral), specifically on international models using the Exynos 990 CPU, rather than the US-only Snapdragon 865 version. While all OnePlus 8 Pro models use the same Snapdragon chip as the S20 Ultra, this doesn't help us fully diagnose the problem. 

Samsung Display makes the screens for both Samsung's own smartphones and other companies, including OnePlus, and both run on Android 10, albeit via different launchers -  One UI and OxygenOS. Because of these similarities, it means that it's hard to figure out if it's a software or hardware issue without further investigation.

What may help (or possibly make worse) is the "DC Dimming" option that can be found in the OnePlus Laboratory section of the Settings menu. This is an experimental feature that alters the electrical current in the display to change the brightness. While some users report it helps minimize the tint, the setting contains a warning that using this feature could cause color aberrations, which can be tied to the loss of detail in black colors (known as "black crush") reported by forum users.

OnePlus is on the case though. It said in a statement that "OnePlus values user feedback and is committed to delivering the best smartphone experience". 

"Our team is currently investigating these reports to identify the best solutions for our users, and we will issue updates as soon as they are ready. Regarding the green tint, we are working to resolve this in our next OTA," OnePlus added. 

Let's hope that this update is all that's needed. If there's a hardware issue in the phone that hasn't even been on sale for a month yet, this could be hugely damaging to OnePlus' mostly stellar reputation.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.

  • Lil_kujo
    Hello Tom Guide, the issue with the green tint is not really a new issue with oneplus, the 7t had the same issue and software updates never fixed it. It is a hardware issue, low quality screens that even tho not all devices have it a big number of them do. Get a oneplus 7t put a grey or dark background set brightness to around 30% and set night mode on and you will see the green tint. It is more noticeable with 90hz which I assume on the 8 devices it's probably more noticeable at 120hz DC dimming never did anything for the 7t but just made the colors look worse. There is no update that will fix this. The last poll they did on a oneplus forum 8 devices about the issues found that 50% of. Users are having the green tint and almost 70% having some sort of screen issue. Which makes me think since this is an issue coming from the 7t that oneplus is just selling low cheap screens on expensive devices holding on to the fame they have created or they just don't have quality control at all. But that the problem has been there it has and it's sad for those who pay 1000$ for a cheap screen device.