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Phones

How to change the color temperature of your iPhone display

By Aryan Suren May 7, 2022, 9:00 am
showcasing the iphone 12 and its display Source: Aryan Suren for Pocketnow
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The quality of a smartphone display and the colors it shows are factors that one cannot judge until they have the particular device in their hands. Now, this claim isn't only valid because of the difference in quality that exists in the market, but because humans also perceive color differently. This means what you may see as off-white is likely to be visible as white to me even if a device measures it to be the specific value corresponding to off-white; this occurs due to metameric failure, a phenomenon surrounding the perception of color.

Now, I won't delve deep into colors plus how we perceive them, but when I switched to the iPhone 12 from my iPhone XR, the warmer tone on its OLED panel was not to my liking; I made this observation with both True Tone and Night Shift turned off.

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Hence while the switch to OLED and a higher resolution panel was a welcome change, the warm tone, I wasn't a fan!

Consequently, I decided to look up how to configure the display to my liking. Therefore, if you're not a fan of the warmer shades, here are the steps you need to follow to change the color temperature on your iPhone's display.

How to change Color Temperature on an iPhone display?

To customize the color temperature on iPhone, we will jump into the Accessibility subsection of the Settings application and modify the color filter setting. Hence, once you have the Settings app open, follow the steps listed below.

image showcasing steps on how to activate color filters on iPhone Source: Pocketnow
  • Locate the Accessibility subsection.
  • On the next screen, choose Display & Text Size.
  • Now, scroll down within the Display & Text Size section and tap on Color Filters.
  • On this screen, choose Color Tint.
  • Next, reduce Intensity to zero and move around the Hue Slider to match your needs.

Note: Move the Hue Slider to the point shown in the image to configure the coolness of the colors displayed.

End Results

Relaying the exact effect the change in color has on my experience isn't as hard as it is to capture and show you what I'm working with here. In the images above, I have color filters activated for the one on the left, and you can see it's significantly cooler when compared to the one on the right.

But let me tell you, if you see the phone in person, you'll notice the screen doesn't look as blue, while the iPhone's default settings leave the display looking quite warm. Nevertheless, once I had Color Filters set up, the OLED iPhone 12 closely resembled the LCD iPhone XR I used previously.


From this point, any changes you make will depend on personal preferences. We recommend changing your iPhone to Light Mode before attempting to customize the Hue and keeping a reference display or device next to your OLED iPhone before you begin messing around with the colors.

If you're unhappy with the configuration you have active, you can turn Color Filters off, returning your iPhone to its default state.

If you ask me, Android smartphones make configuring the display a lot simpler affair, and I wish Apple to give users more robust controls in the future. The image you see below is the number of options OnePlus provides for display configuration on the OnePlus 9RT, and there is also a separate slide to easily modify color temperature.


Does the use of Color Filters affect True Tone and Night Shift?

First off, you should perform the steps listed in this guide with Night Shift and True Tone disabled, as that will allow you to perceive the default color representation of your iPhone. And once you have the color set to your liking, you can reactivate True Tone and schedule Night Shift.

These features aren't significantly affected by this change. Yes, the fact that you have now made the display "cooler" does play a slight role in the reduced warmth these features produce, but I don't see it having a huge impact.

True Tone was still able to make my screen display a comfortable tinge of yellow colors, and Night Shift, with its easy to configure slider, can also help make your display show warmer colors in low light conditions.


With this, we end our guide on how to change the color temperature on your iPhone display. Let us know if you do use this feature with a comment below!

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