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Green line issue on phone screen: What is it, and how to fix it?
AMOLED displays have become the de-facto choice across flagship phones and mid-range phones alike and for good reason too. AMOLED displays allow individual pixels to turn off, letting you enjoy true blacks on the display. It’s great for HDR content and has some battery savings on the side too. But lately, we’ve been seeing the dreaded “green line” issue pop up on smartphones, primarily those with an AMOLED display. But what is the green line issue on Android phones, and how do you fix the green line on your phone’s display? We explore these topics and more in this article.
The green line issue on phones is a hardware problem and cannot be fixed by software. The display of the affected phone needs to be replaced, and such repair can possibly include the display assembly and the motherboard, depending on the phone model. Please get in touch with customer support to initiate a repair. Free repair under warranty may or may not be applicable, depending on the circumstances.
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What is the green line issue on phones?
Many users have been complaining about how their smartphone suddenly has a green line running through the display. It’s a thin band of green color that goes from the absolute top to the bottom of the display. The smartphone functions normally outside this green line, but the defect is obviously very noticeable and annoying.
Lots of people have complained about this issue, mentioning how the green line mysteriously appears without any apparent damage to the phone. Most users claim that the phone has not been dropped or suffered any water damage. Many claim that the phone received a software update that caused the green line issue.
We’ve seen reports of this green line issue across smartphone manufacturers, including but not limited to Samsung, OnePlus, OPPO, realme, vivo, iQOO, Xiaomi, Motorola, Nothing, HUAWEI, and even Apple for that matter, indicating that the issue is less likely to be of software origin and more likely to be originating from a hardware defect.
The problem appears across price ranges, from mid-range smartphones to the very best and premium flagships.
The only common thread between all reports on the green line issue on smartphones is that the phone has an AMOLED display. Further, most reports are biased towards phones that are about one to two years old (and unfortunately out of warranty), though that does not necessarily exclude newer and older devices.
Most reports usually have one green line across the screen. However, in rare cases, the number of green lines increases, and you may even see discoloration of other colors (pink or white) alongside, making the issue even harder to ignore.
In rarer cases, the green line can be flickering and only temporarily appear. However, for a vast majority of reports that we examined while writing this guide, the green line is rather permanent.
It appears everywhere when the phone is switched on and the display is on. This includes the homescreen, the lockscreen, and also the Always-On display.
Why is there a green line on my phone screen?
Now that we know the issue, it’s time to focus on why it is happening. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t as clear, despite the problem being around for years and the reports on Twitter, Reddit, and other forums running in the hundreds.
The common thread for most of these reports on the green line issue is that the phone has an AMOLED display. We have yet to receive reports from LCD phone owners about a green line issue, although the problem does exist in other pieces of tech that use LCDs.
Our best guess on the cause of the green line issue is a loose, damaged, or defective display connector or flex cable that, in turn, permanently and irreversibly damages the display. The display connector and flex cable are part of the phone assembly that connects the display to the motherboard.
Many reports mention that the green line appears after a co-incidental software update. However, the claims have too many variables. If it was an issue caused by software updates, it should affect a large batch of consumers on the same update. But the problem can happen across OEMs and even OS, so it cannot be caused through a software update.
However, one possible explanation can tie this up. Software updates usually cause a phone to heat up beyond what they typically do during daily operations. There’s a chance that this excessive heat build-up causes damage to some parts of the display assembly (display, cable, and connector), causing or accelerating hardware failure.
This theory does not explain why gaming does not cause the green line issue; thus, we aren’t entirely convinced either.
This is not to say that the green line on the display happens only because of a manufacturing defect. Users can accidentally (or even intentionally) damage their display, which will cause green streaks to appear on it. This can happen if you accidentally pierce the display, put shallow but sustained pressure on it, or drop your phone. There’s a chance of it appearing after water damage too. You will not benefit from a warranty in all of these cases, so we strongly advise against intentionally damaging your phone.
Because of how seemingly random this issue is, there’s no real precaution that you can take as a consumer either, apart from not buying an AMOLED phone (which isn’t practical on the higher end of the smartphone price bracket). It’s, unfortunately, a game of luck at this point.
How to fix the green line issue on your phone screen
Unfortunately, replacing the display is the only way to fix the green line issue on your phone screen. Nothing can be done on the software end by an end user that will fix the problem.
Restart your phone to rule out a software issue
As a troubleshooting step, we recommend restarting your phone once when you see the green line issue on your Android phone. This step merely rules out the possibility of a software issue. It is not a fix, but it can save you from an unnecessary trip to the service center.
Visit a service center or RMA your phone
Once you have made sure that the issue is not caused by software, you will need to visit the service center or RMA your phone and get it repaired. Contact your phone’s support team for the next steps that you should take.
The service center will very likely adjudge the green line issue as a hardware failure for the display assembly, which will require replacing the display and possibly the display assembly too. For certain phones, it could also involve replacing the motherboard, depending on how the phone is manufactured.
Is the green line issue covered under warranty?
Most brands do not have a clear and direct policy on how to deal with the green line issue. This means that your experience with customer service will vary depending on the brand and the age of the device. Most phones come with a one-year warranty (in the EU, it is usually a two-year warranty, though some regions can go even beyond), wherein the brand will repair your phone for free in case of hardware defects.
Phone is less than one year old
If your phone is under warranty and shows no signs of visible external damage or water damage, there is a high chance that the green line issue will be recognized as a hardware defect and repaired for free under warranty.
However, if your phone is under warranty, but shows signs of visible external damage or water damage (even if such damage did not directly cause the green line issue), then you are unlikely to get the benefit of warranty replacement or repair.
Phone is more than one year old/out of warranty
If your phone is over one year old and out of warranty, then your chances of being eligible for a free repair drop drastically. Customer service will likely quote you somewhere between 10-30% of your phone’s selling price for a display swap. The amount varies depending on the brand, model, and complexity of repair.
Some OEMs like Samsung, Apple, and OnePlus have advised their service centers and support channels to assist users affected by green line issues and repair devices for free, even outside the warranty period.
However, such advisories have not been issued by way of announcements in the public domain. Instead, they are offered as solutions at the customer support and service center level on a case-by-case basis.
Such solutions also hinge on whether your phone has any visible external or water damage. If yes, you will be denied a free repair, even if the green line issue was not caused by such damage.
We hope brands acknowledge the green line issue plaguing customers and formulate repair policies that can be announced publicly.
Pink line issue on the phone screen is the same as the green line issue. It indicates hardware damage to the display. You will need to get your display replaced. There are no software fixes for the same.