Nexus 7 ghosting issues affect some displays, is it a widespread problem?

by: Chris SmithJuly 4, 2012

The Google Nexus 7 is available for pre-order in various markets already, but the device is not available to consumers yet in those countries. The only Nexus 7 units that can be used in the wild right now are the white versions that were handed free of charge to all Google I/O attendees last week. And it looks like some of those units have some display issues you should be aware of.

According to Android Police, the displays of some Nexus 7 units have an image retention issue, also known as ghosting, that has been replicated at least on two devices. The publication discovered the issue by leaving an image on the display at full brightness for 2 minutes and then pressing the home button. When looking at the home screen, one could easily observe the “ghost” of that former image – see images above (image) and below (retention).

Apparently the issue affects the Nexus 7 only when the display is set to full brightness. When the display is set on automatic brightness, “the problem is much less noticeable,” while under any other conditions, the problem is a lot clearer to users:

But on maximum brightness or under incandescent/fluorescent light even on automatic, hovering over some icons for 5-10 seconds on your homescreen then swiping to an empty one will leave a very visible retained image for 10-15 seconds. Let me reiterate that: it’s noticeable even with things like homescreen icons on automatic brightness. You’ll have to look for it more, but it’s definitely there. I chose this example image because it’s the only one that’s really visible in a photo, it’s much harder to capture when it’s more subtle. The problem also becomes less severe the more time the display is on – it seems to “warm up.”

Image retention is obvious only when the tablet hasn’t been used for a few hours. After “warming up” – which needs about 30 minutes of usage – the ghosting issue is of “lessened severity.” The publication says some people suggest that the image retention issue is a characteristic of IPS displays, but after comparing the Nexus 7 with the Transformer Prime and a Transformer Pad 300 – also made by Asus, with both devices having IPS panels – it was discovered that only the Nexus 7 has a more severe issue. Apparently the two Transformer tablets only retain bright-white images on darker backgrounds, while the Nexus 7 does it with any image.

Asus has already issued a response, and it appears that the company can’t replicate the problem on production units, or the Nexus 7 devices that will be shipped to buyers soon. Android Police speculates that the ghosting issue may affect only the white Google Nexus 7 units, the pre-production tablets, that were given to Google I/O attendees. We’ll tell you more once the Nexus 7 units are shipped to consumers.

Does any other Nexus 7 owner experience such ghosting issues? Let us know in the comments section below.

  • Ghosting on Nexus Galaxy is a fact, but just with white screen backgrounds (try Draw Something! to replicate). It’s a charasteristic of IPS, but not a big deal since the effect dissapears after some seconds of use. Right?

  • Derek

    This is not a product of IPS panels. Just cheap IPS panels. The iPad has an IPS panel and has none of these issues at all. Most good TV’s have IPS panels and do not have this issue either. I have an LG 3D tv with IPS panel and it doesnt do this at all. It’s a product of the cheap ass Hydris panel Google chose.

  • Rio

    iPad doesn’t have this issue?? No~ you can easily find same issue on iPad.

  • never noticed it on my nexus phone

  • CMack .

    Both me and my coworker got Nexus 7s today from Gamestop. On her unit, the ghosting is incredibly bad, but my unit has no issues. I’m still unclear as to what is causing the problems.

  • I noticed some ghosting on my Nexus 7 last night that’s left from white areas when browsing using Opera. Some people suggest this should only happen when having brightness set to maximum, mine’s only set to about 40% though. I’ll be returning the unit for a refund.
    I think it’s becoming clear now that the low price of the unit is attributed to quality issues due to low price components.

  • Joe

    Brand new Nexus here bought from staples. I see ghosting just as I turned it on. Supposedly it goes away when it warms up. I’ll keep you all posted.

  • I preordered 2 nexus 7 devices from google play and one of them just began the ghosting problem. And it is absoloutley unacceptable. Can someone please tell me some options or how to resolve the problem?!

  • craig D

    I’ve had my nexus 7 for a week and it is ghosting badly. The whole screen is grey and ghosts the previous image. What can I do?

  • Andrea Malchiodi

    Is it possible that the problem is related to Jelly Bean and its butterness? I face very little ghost effect every time I shift pages with back/home button and with transitions!

  • horst

    I just got the tablet today and it is presenting issues with the display and when enters in sleep mode. The device will not start by pressing the side keys, then when on the display looks faded. Google is sending me a new device soon to replace the defective one.

    • Fabio

      Horst, after was not starting with the side keys, how it did turn on?

  • nl

    Definite ghosting issues With my nexus 7 received just 2 days ago.

  • jimmy redarse

    Ghosting very Bad on new Nexus 7
    Aout settings readout :~
    Model – Nexus 7
    Android V – 4.1.1
    Build – JRO03D

    I will be sending it back and asking for replacement.

  • Dean Bergin

    I have this exact problem with very low/automatic brightness. Mine was a pre-order from the Play store and NOT a pre-production unit.