Google Faces Pixel 2 XL Screen Burn-In Dilemma

The Google Pixel 2 XL hasn’t even been released yet, but users with review units are already noticing what could become a big problem for the premium handset: screen burn-in.

Reports of burn-in on the Pixel 2 XL first surfaced on Twitter over the weekend. Apparently, users who have been given review units are noticing that faint outlines of the device’s navigation buttons have “burned” into the screen. The issue becomes even more apparent when displaying a gray, red or black background.

Put simply, burn-in occurs when a screen displays the same imagery for an extended period of time — causing a ghost outline of the image to “hang around” even after the screen is changed to display something else. It’s a fairly common problem on OLED devices, but it usually occurs much later in a device’s lifespan.

Many users who have been given Pixel 2 XL devices to review received the handset around seven days ago. Having screen burn-in this severe after just seven days of use is worrisome — typically it affects OLED displays after months or even years of constant use. Google, for its part, said that it is looking into the issue.

“We put all of our products through extensive quality testing before launch and in the manufacturing of every unit,” Google said in a statement. “We are actively investigating this issue.”

Of course, as The Verge points out, the lingering after-images could be a result of image retention rather than screen burn-in. That typically occurs on LCD displays and, unlike burn-in, goes away on its own after a short while. At this point, however, most signs point toward screen burn-in on the Pixel 2 XL.

Google sourced the Pixel 2 XL’s OLED displays from LG, which could pinpoint the problem. Reportedly, users with Pixel 2 or original Pixels aren’t experiencing screen burn-in — as both of those devices have Samsung OLED displays.

Unfortunately for the Pixel 2 XL, screen burn-in isn’t the only display-related problem being reported. Previously, users have complained about muddy colors, graininess and a blue tint on their devices, Newsweek reported. None of which bodes well for the otherwise impressive device.

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