OnePlus Oxygen OS 11 Android 11 brightness control close up

Credit: Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Smartphones have for long had the ability to auto-adjust the screen brightness. Most phones offer the ability to automatically tweak display brightness based on ambient lighting conditions, while some also offer adaptive brightness that changes per your usage patterns. However, manually adjusting brightness is still an option on all devices, giving users the flexibility to adjust levels as per their usage.

In a recent poll, we asked our readers which method they prefer the most. Do they set their phones on auto-brightness, or do they change brightness manually? Here’s how they voted and what they had to say.

Do you prefer automatic or manual brightness?


We received a total of 5,775 votes in our poll. It seems all three options — automatic brightness, manual brightness, and automatic brightness with manual tweaks — have an almost equal number of takers. However, a majority of voters (39.64%) prefer adjusting the screen brightness of their phones manually. This is understandable because different activities like streaming, gaming, reading, etc usually require different brightness levels, and it’s easy to adjust that from the quick settings menu on most devices. Some people might also be manually tweaking brightness when their phones have low battery.

Meanwhile, 30% of the voters rely on automatic brightness to do the job for them. An almost similar number of people also use automatic brightness paired with some manual adjustments. So even while manual brightness won this contest by a small margin, auto-brightness options are still very attractive to our readers.

Your comments

Brett: I go auto-brightness then tweak it if I need to. Most of the time I just let it do its job.

Kossay Zemzem: I tried automatic brightness once or twice and felt like it either makes my screen too bright or too dim. It can also be related to me subconsciously wanting to be in control of my phone.

Chris_Peter: I can’t stand when brightness is constantly changing while I’m reading something on my phone.

SS03: Auto-brightness helps a lot, especially for people with high power spectacles like myself who do not like sudden bursts of light or putting strain on the eyes. Also, manual adjustment is just cumbersome.

roaduardo: My eyes dictate how bright my display needs to be. My eyes know best. Manual all the way.

Daniel D: I cannot understand people that do not use auto-brightness. I’ve seen one of my sisters-in-law doing it a couple of times on her Moto G4 and I’ve got cold shivers. If I’d have to do it all the time, it would probably be the main thing I’m doing with my phone. Oh, and yes, sometimes I’m tweaking the auto setting: at night when it doesn’t go all the way to a minimum and then I also add a dimming app, or when I play a game with a dark scene and I want to make sure I see everything.

rslh: Old phone, but the Pixel 3a XL has an excellent auto-brightness capability!

Staicu: I never used the automatic one, don’t see the purpose of it tbh, I can finetune it myself fine.

Shizuma: Auto with manual adjustment since it seems no manufacturer has released that in a completely dark room, the screen should be at min brightness, not like 50% brightness to blind you the second you turn on your phone.

Edrine Nollan Winchester: Auto is good, I only hate it when I am playing CODM when it turns it all down and I have to pull down the notif panel to switch it up again, but all in all, it’s good for me.