Users Report of Screen Discoloration on the Nexus S after Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread Update


With all of the work Google has put into the Android 2.3.3 update for the Nexus S, it seems one major flaw was overlooked. Many users are reporting screen discoloration after updating their Nexus S handsets to the latest version Android. The typically beautiful Super AMOLED display of the S takes on a yellowed and washed out look when running 2.3.3 as can be seen in the image above.

The issue is widespread enough that several threads have been started over at the Google Nexus S support forums with users expressing concern. Google’s official response thus far is that the new colors are actually a correction of the original color temperature set for the Nexus S:

“With your new OTA complete, you may notice a slight difference in the way colors are displayed on your Nexus S. For Nexus S, we have adjusted the color temperature settings to more accurately reflect darker colors at all brightness levels. The Gingerbread UI being darker, we found that the colors were not as accurate when the device was being used at lower brightness levels. For example, some users reported that the initial color temperature was too high leading to some darker grays having a reddish tone; with the new color temperature this is no longer the case.”

For better or worse, it looks like Google might not have plans to issue a further correction to the Nexus S color palette. Anyone out there experience this discoloration?

[Thanks, Kunal | Image via AC]

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  1. Good thing Epic owners don’t have that issue.. .can’t even get 2.2

  2. Many more visually educated people have discussed with consensus that this may be an intentional change, stating that the new warmer scheme of colors is actually more true to realness, in the stead of the purplish hue the screen possessed before this update.

    Myself? I don’t know, I’m not one of those more educated in photography and whatever else. I’d like to see what Google has to say about it.

  3. I’m still wondering if the firmware received via OTA has the issue or is it only the manually updated folks?
    I know there should be no difference, but I also remember when Froyo started going out, there were several “not quite official” manual updates that we’re being published.

  4. Mine did I looks kind of crappy I thought it was the way it was designed since it works fine

  5. That said, the white point and color temp of the screen look more accurate. But the contrast does seem a bit washed out. (Notice in the screen shot how the background is a neutral gray instead of purple? That would indicate a better callibrated screen. But the loss of contrast is worrying.)

  6. Glad to hear it!! I’m so sick of Nexus getting all the update love! Take that you Nexus owners! haha!

  7. Yes I am definitely seeing this. Everything has a sepia hue to it now. Even black. I’d rather have the rebooting problem than this ugly ass color scheme.

  8. I want to know why the screens don’t seem like the same size if those are really two nexus s beside each other.

  9. I actually have a Nexus One which is running Gingerbread on it, and I’ve felt that somehow clarity has gone up on the screen. The change is not very noticeable indoors, but outdoors, I can see a huge difference – earlier i could literally not see anything on the screen in bright sunlight. With GB on it, the readability has gone up significantly. Don’t know what exactly Google has done, but for sure some tweaks have been made.

  10. Both screens look weird so I’m guessing the camera is just bad too. Judging by the screen size difference in the two gingerbread phones I’m assuming the non-yellowed one is a Nexus one. The Nexus one has the same software version but no discoloration issue’s.

  11. The screen on the right looks more like an Evo screen than a Nexus S screen.

  12. @mirrrad The discoloration is happening on the Nexus S, not the Nexus One…

  13. Yes I see the exact effect as shown in the photo above. The update went OK but the screen is yellow-ish. I sure would like it back the way it was before :-(

    Alan Rovner
    Vancouver, Wash.

  14. Nexus S and Nexus One = Shit ass device.

  15. Oh what I’d give for a nexus one. Not a fan of Samsung but the s just isn’t pretty to me. But a nexus one… yeah /sigh this coming from an Eris user xD

  16. Richard, you are so dumb, you are really dumb, for real.

  17. Looks shitty. What does Google know about hardware, especially screens compared to Samsung, the king of screen technology??? I’d be pretty pissed off if I paid for a Nexus S and got this.

  18. i have the same issue after i updated to 2.3.3 strange for google to say it was planned is bs. They dont what they did and are trying to play it off.

  19. @Ksixxle9

    Don’t mind Richard. He’s confused as he thinks his Evo has the newest version of HTC Sense 2.0–actually 2.1 is the latest–and is therefore “KING.”

  20. does the update change the size of the phone too? is it me or does anybody else notice the difference in sizes from the left phone to the right?

  21. I did the manual update and noticed no color difference upon reboot. love my nexus s:)

  22. @nemesys06

    That pic is of 2 different phones. The smaller one is my ZTE Blade with a standard oled screen, the larger (yellower one) is my Nexus S.

    The update has made my less expensive phone look better than my S IMO.

  23. I noticed the yellow hue, but not washed out colors.

  24. what clock widget is that?

  25. @Gekko

    Beautiful Widgets

  26. Antoine Dodson is a fan of android? ^^

  27. thanks.

  28. The change was surprising at first, but I’m liking it now. I think Google’s explanation was spot on.

  29. Intentional or not, I liked it better when my screen looked futuristic and vivid. The old settings made my display the Avatar of displays, now it’s more a VHS Pocahontas.

  30. honestly i cant call it becuz i dont have the update to notice some on the screen color adjustment. i do in fact like the original color resolution on the nexus s. if the screen is dimmer i think it would take away from the picture quality the nexus s has before the update. i will have to see for myself when the update gets to my phone. i just hope i will still be able to text outside in the sunlight like i do now before the update. well i have to wait and see how much it affects me.

  31. Don’t fear, Supercurio is here (Voodoo Color Mod).

  32. Dear Leader peed on them.

  33. Not an improvement. Although there seem to be other positive aspects to this release the screen setting is not one of them.

  34. it kinda looks like a contrast change. i did the update on my nexus one and didnt see a change like the one pictured, just mainly the phone is brighter in auto mode.

  35. definitely sounds like Google came up with that as an excuse and doesn’t want to own up to its screw-up. Honestly, what ‘update’ DOWNGRADES performance ?!?!

    So according to Google, my Nexus S screen looks better now because it looks like the screen on my G1?

    I hate the sight of anything white displaying on the screen because its not white! And no, turning up the brightness is not a fix nor should it be referred to as a ‘fix’ either.

    It like saying, “just turn your radio volume up when your car starts making that weird noise” just so you wont hear it.

  36. @jmax… Your so brilliantly clever….

  37. Stupid fanboys trying to defend android. If you had half a brain you’d realize it’s just a google complete f#$@ up. If I had to guess I’d say it’s a silly attempt to improve the pathetic battery life.

  38. The color temp is more accurate after the update and that should translate to better photos. Anyone ever hear about ISF? High temps are blue and low temps are red. Grey should be nuetral from black to white, no color at all. Thank you google for the update to accurate color!

  39. wtf how the hell are the screen sizes not the same?!??!

  40. @jo
    You tossed out random statements saying google is complete F-up and yet you are calling others fanboys? Really? LOL.

    Coz they are not even the same phone. No idea why the article used this photo.

  41. Here is the link to the Google Code report.

    If you want to see this fixed, click on the star… This is the best way to get Google’s attention:



  42. @JO
    Nobody is defending anything. Using that pictures is a complete fail when making comparisons of the color quality of an OS. You can only do this reliably by comparing two of the SAME devices next to one another, plain and simple.

  43. Phandroid can eat my asshole. Someone posts a non-offensive, legitimate remark about Google and they immediately delete the comment.

    poor phandroid, I didnt know you were such a money desperate whore

    I guess i’ll just go read all the same articles on androidcentral, androidguys and every other site phandroid gets their shit from.

  44. Pretty sure this is not an issue but just by design as Google clearly stated, once you get use to it you will not even notice.

  45. Also, how come Apple fans troll this site? I don’t understand why anyone who hates Android would come here lol =_=;

  46. How do you know it’s not the same phone? Did you stop to think that the person who took the pic doesn’t own two Nexus’s, so they had to photoshop a before and after shot of the same phone? It happens when the camera is held at a longer distance from the object being photographed.

  47. @jo – read comment #22

  48. if you notice… its not the colors lol is the gamma or the contrast!!!! just lower the damn thing lol

  49. I noticed it on mine, it just made my background look faded. I’ll deal with it. The phone runs crazy smooth so it’s a small price to pay.

  50. @matte, I thought that was just me.

    Food for thought about which blogs I’ll bookmark, thanks.

  51. Typical Samsung fuckup, why am I not surprised.

  52. @matte- Phandroid is just another dime a dozen blog run by incompetent morons. All they do is copy/paste other peoples work.

  53. @Jo,
    I think you are reaching here bud… But you are right, I don’t KNOW anything any more than you do. So why are YOU make accusations then?

  54. @JO,
    Oh, and the time on the phones is exactly the same. Chances are this isn’t the same phone that had an OS installed after the first (left) pic was taken, unless they know a way to get everything installed in record time. Let’s also not forget the app icon layout which is slightly different, thus taking up more of that 60 seconds that they had to install an os, install apps, arrange icons etc. in. Now of course, you might come back and say they changed the clock. Which may have happened too. But why change the clock at all and leave other icon layouts different.

    Again, chances are these are two different phones.

  55. Did my update myself and NO changes with color or brightness. This is a crazy problem, I would be pissed if my screen changed from something IO was used to and something I was told was an amazing AMOLED screen to that. It looked horrible

  56. whats the name of that clock widget?? looks awesome

  57. I had that problem, the colors on my Nexus S screen didn’t look that good after the update,and I was looking for a way to downgrade it,but I did notfind anything. Than I reinstalled the update and wownow not only the colors look right but also my Nexus s works better than ever. I don’t know ifall the linksto get the update are the same but the secondtime I took it from the link on

  58. I’m so relieved you brought this up coz I compared my nexus s here in India with a friends phone. Mine with the 2.3.3 update looked washed out. I was worried but if its been set by google for better results, I have no complain.

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