Google Pixel 2 XL Screen Burn Issue
Over the weekend, people with review units of the Pixel 2 XL began noticing a problem. No, not the already-known issues of muddy color and grainy textures when viewed in low-light, but one that’s potentially more worrisome: screen burn-in.
This phenomenon leaves “ghost icons” burned into the screen and occurs when displays are used for prolonged amounts of time.
Screen burn-in has been a problem for literally as long as we’ve had computers. It’s the problem screensavers were originally designed to help solve — if you displayed a rotating or spinning image (or a set of still images rotated through over time), you could mitigate the non-uniform pixel degradation that creates burn-in in the first place. LCDs have become much better at handling burn-in than they once were, but it still happens. OLEDs are also generally more prone to burn-in than an equivalent LCD, but we’re still talking about a problem that manifests over a period of years, not weeks or days. Unfortunately, weeks or days is what’s hitting early adopters of Google’s Pixel 2.
Alex Dobie posted a picture on Twitter and reported it.
Dobie wrote: “That’s some pretty wild OLED burn-in on the Pixel 2 XL after maybe seven days of full-time use.”
After that, multiple people have noticed that when you look at the screen with a gray background, you can see faint outlines of the phone’s navigation buttons on the bottom.
This does not appear to be transient image persistence, a known issue with LCDs and plasma displays in which a retained image takes several minutes or even several hours to completely vanish. Burn-in, in contrast, never vanishes.
When reached out to Google for comment, and here’s the response from a spokesperson in full:
“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.”
It’s not clear what action Google will take, but customers who are already seeing signs of burn-in should contact the company immediately. This kind of rapid degradation should be covered under the warranty and the phones haven’t been on the market very long at all. If you’re seeing burn-in on your own screen, please drop us a comment to let us know.
If you are planning to buy a Pixel 2 it is better to hold off till Google clarifies the situation.