OLED might be the future of monitors, but first, they need to finish addressing burn-in fears. In my recent review of LG’s 27-inch OLED desktop gaming monitor, I wrote how the company’s warranty explicitly excludes “burned-in images resulting from improper usage.” And when I reached out to clarify, I couldn’t get a straight answer about burn-in coverage from the company.
But after four months of conversations with The Verge, LG Electronics has changed that warranty. LG now has a two-year burn-in warranty for its OLED gaming monitor in the US, Christopher De Maria, LG’s head of consumer PR for North America, tells The Verge.
The new warranty, which De Maria says also applies retroactively to any LG 27GR95QE-B monitors that have already been sold, doesn’t exactly spell it out that way. Technically, it says LG will only cover “normal and proper use” and specifically excludes “Damage or failure of the Product resulting from misuse [or] abuse.”
But LG Electronics product marketing director David Park makes it pretty clear: “Now, as long as you use the monitor as intended (personal PC monitor) in a residential setting (does not support commercial usage like retail signage display) burn-in is covered.”
“Normal use means the product is used for what it was created to do. In this case that is gaming (professional and casual) as well as desktop computing such as Windows, etc,” De Maria tells The Verge.
That’s important because companies will often take evidence of damage as evidence of abuse, like how some companies will deny warranty service on water-resistant phones if any water penetrates inside. For years, OLED enthusiasts and monitor manufacturers have warned that you shouldn’t leave the same content on the screen for too long, some even going so far as to hide the Windows taskbar and browser chrome to avoid burn-in.
But LG Display and Samsung Display, the companies that make the OLED panels inside these monitors, now have so many built-in protections and manage their brightness so much that they’re confident they can stave off burn-in for quite some time.
So confident that they offer a burn-in warranty to monitor manufacturers — some of which don’t pass along that warranty to you.
After we pointed that out to LG Electronics and published our skeptical but largely favorable review, the company finally confirmed it will cover burn-in.
Acer and Asus, which also sell monitors with the same LG Display panel, still don’t cover burn-in. Neither answered our question about why they don’t pass along LG Display’s burn-in warranty to their own customers, with the Acer Predator X27U and the Asus ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM.
“While burn-in is not considered part of our formal 3-year monitor warranty coverage, in practice, our customer care team has discretion to assist customers with this rare issue and authorize repair services, free-of-charge,” says Acer media relations manager Erin Davern.
Asus gaming PR lead Cat Tompkins said the company would need to talk to LG about its burn-in warranty before providing an official statement for this story.
Dell’s Alienware and Corsair both sell OLED monitors with three-year burn-in warranties, and Alienware even offers next-business-day replacement. Corsair uses the same LG Display screen, while Alienware uses a Samsung QD-OLED panel.
“Our warranty is built around the fact that we trust in that pixel refresh function to help mitigate burn-in,” says Alienware PR specialist Frank Cestone.
“When QD-OLED technology was introduced, we knew there was an opportunity to address the broader concerns around OLED reliability,” Dell VP of display technologies Yoon Lee tells The Verge. She writes that Dell saw it as an opportunity to “further differentiate Alienware from its competitors.”
Dough claims it will offer a two-year burn-in warranty, too.
I would still argue that two or even three years of burn-in protection isn’t necessarily enough for a device you could easily use for a decade — but going from a zero-year guarantee to a two-year one is a big move for LG.