If you have a smartphone or tablet that has an OLED display, then you can save some of your battery life by using Pixel Off to turn off some pixels.
Note – The screenshots on this page do not really reflect how the screen of your phone will actually look like when a Mesh is applied.
The smartphone or tablet component that uses the most of your battery is the display. On an LCD panel, the entire display has to be lit and powered in order to display anything on the screen (even black pixels). This issue has been somewhat reduced over time with the adoption of OLED panels (OLED, AMOLED, SAMOLED).
This is because an OLED panel doesn’t need to light up every pixel in order to show you something.
For example, if you are looking at a completely black wallpaper/image, the smartphone or tablet with the OLED panel isn’t using any of your battery to display it. In comparison, the smartphone or tablet with an LCD panel will still have to use the same amount of power to display a black wallpaper/image as it does to display a white one. So as you can see, the more black pixels are shown on the screen (with an OLED device), the more of your battery life you can save.
This is a big reason why dark/black themes are so popular with these OLED devices. The less white/color that is shown on an OLED panel, the more battery life you are saving. The degree of battery life usage also depends on what color you are showing. For example, a dark red color will use up less of your battery than a bright yellow or green one will. This is where Pixel Off comes into play.
Pixel Off Saves Battery
- Download and Install the Pixel Off Application
- Launch the Pixel Off Application
- Tap on Mesh 2, 3 or 4 (Mesh 1 and 5 require an in-app purchase)
- Then tap the pink FAB at the bottom right to toggle the Mesh on or off
So again, the whole idea behind this application is to replace certain pixels with black ones (eg turning them off). This is done in what the application calls a Mesh, and there are 5 different levels to choose from (with the option for custom Meshes as well). Mesh 1 is the least obtrusive one to choose, while Mesh 5 is the most obtrusive setting to pick. So, picking Mesh 1 will result in fewer pixels being turned off while Mesh 5 results in more pixels being turned off.
These varying levels of Meshes also result in different levels of impact when it comes to battery life savings. Choosing Mesh 1 will save you some battery life, but it will not save you as much battery life compared to choosing Mesh 5. However, the more battery life you want saved, the less ‘bright’ your display will seem (at least when viewing a white screen). With less pixels showing the color that is intended, the less light can be shown and the darker the screen will get.
Here is what a slice of a screenshot of Mesh 2 looks like. If you zoom into the image, you can see there are pixels being turned off. When zoomed out though, it can sometimes become unnoticeable that there’s even a Mesh that has been enabled. It really just depends on what you’re looking at whenever you go to examine it. If you’re watching a movie, or even just have a dark/black theme applied, then it will be less visible.
You are allowed to use Meshes 2, 3 and 4 for free with the Pixel Off application. There is a $1.50 in-app purchase that will unlock some features like Mesh 1, Mesh 5 and the custom Meshes as well. There are some other minor restrictions with the free version of the Pixel Off application, but the developer is more than fair when it comes to offering you a piece of what it does for free. It’s easy to figure out if the application will be worth it for you thanks to what is offered for free.
So, if you’re not a fan of Mesh 1 – 5 presets, you have the option of creating your own custom Mesh. This seems like one of those features that is really unneeded, but I can understand why it’s there. I wouldn’t have any use for creating a custom Mesh myself, but since the application framework is capable of it, why not offer it. There could be some unique and helpful custom Meshes that could be beneficial for certain use cases.
There are also some personalized settings that you can setup with Pixel Off as well. At the top of the application, you can choose to apply your chosen Mesh right when the phone boots up. You can choose whether or not you want the app to display a notification, and you can set it so that the Mesh of your choice is only toggled on when your battery hits a certain percentage. There are also some other Settings to check out by tapping on the 3-dot menu at the top right of the application.
If you have a smartphone or tablet with an OLED, AMOLED or SAMOLED screen, I really think it’s worth checking this application out. To be honest, I think Mesh 2 through 5 make the screen way to DIM for regular, everyday use though. After making the video, I went and paid for the full application and Mesh 1 seems really nice (these screenshots don’t do it justice). I can understand why the developer would put Mesh 1 behind the paywall though, because it seems like the ideal setting.
On a somewhat unrelated note, I have seen people complain that certain phones and tablets do not let the display get dark enough. So this application could be used as a Night Mode of sorts, for when you want the phone or tablet to get really DIM while you’re in bed or something. There are likely other applications that do this for you, but it was one of the first things I thought about when I was testing out Mesh 4 and Mesh 5.