Google is Actively Investigating Reports of Pixel 2 XL Display Burn-in
The first reviews of the Google Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL were posted on October 17, and we have seen questions being raised over the display quality of the Pixel 2 XL. The Pixel 2 XL display is a 6-inch WQHD+ (2880×1440) 18:9 aspect ratio P-OLED display made by LG. Google has stated that the display’s natural colours are intended as it targets sRGB by default, but that hasn’t stopped reviewers and users from complaining about multiple issues with the display, including mura grain, colour banding, severe blue-tinted colour shift, and more.
Opinion is divided on the reported issues, with some users saying that they are a deal-breaker while others feel that the display quality does not match Samsung’s latest AMOLED displays but is still usable. However, reports of a different issue have started coming in over the last few days. Multiple users (consumers and reviewers) alike are reporting burn-in on the P-OLED displays of their Pixel 2 XL.
Burn-in is a common problem on OLED displays. Essentially it consists of permanent discoloration of areas on the display, and it is most commonly found on the areas which are static for a long time, such as the navigation and status bars on Android phones. While Samsung’s latest AMOLED displays haven’t been free from this issue, the time taken to develop burn-in is normally a few months of regular use.
Burn-in after several months or years of use is an unfortunate characteristic of all OLED displays. However, burn-in developed after less than a week’s use is definitely not normal, and nor is it acceptable. Reports concerning burn-in on the P-OLED display of the Pixel 2 XL have started coming in, showing photos of burn-in on the navigation bar after short-term use. It is fair to say the problem is of a serious nature as the display quality is permanently degrading in a week.
It was expected that Google would issue a statement concerning the issue. Google has responded to a request for comment (The Verge) by stating the following:
“The Pixel 2 XL screen has been designed with an advanced POLED technology, including QHD+ resolution, wide color gamut, and high contrast ratio for natural and beautiful colors and renderings. We put all of our products through extensive quality testing before launch and in the manufacturing of every unit. We are actively investigating this report.”
If this issue is confirmed as being wide-spread on retail Pixel 2 XL units, then it is bad news for both Google and LG. Google definitely didn’t want the Pixel 2 XL launch to be marred by display quality complaints, and LG Display didn’t want to see its P-OLED technology being painted in such a poor light with comparisons to AMOLED displays which are multiple generations old. It remains to be seen how the issue is handled by Google, and we will update this story when a development occurs.