What is PWM display flicker and how to deal with it

Have you ever looked at your phone and gotten a headache? Sometimes, it just means you’ve been on it too long and need to take a break. For some folks, however, it could mean you’ve developed PWM flicker sensitivity due to the way your phone’s display works.

PWM, or pulse width modulation, is a method of flickering a display to fool the human eye into seeing a brighter or dimmer display. It’s a tactic used by many of the best phones — including the Apple iPhone, Google Pixel, Samsung Galaxy, and many others — for a number of reasons and has only become more and more common as phones continue to switch to OLED displays.