Reviews are pouring in for the Pixel 2 XL, Google's larger, almost bezel-less sequel to last year's Pixel. It's great — excellent even, as reviews say. Internals? Couldn't be more powerful? Design? Slightly plain but still decent-looking. Camera? Probably the best there is, says DxOMark.
What about the screen? Terrible — and for a phone that costs $849? Simply unacceptable.
Pixel 2 XL POLED Display Issues Are Surfacing
That's at least according to several Pixel 2 XL reviews that have come out recently, many of which count its "weird" display as a startlingly awful blemish on an otherwise all-around excellent 2017 flagship.
So what's up with the Pixel 2 XL's screen? Why are so many people calling it terrible? Apparently, that has to do with the display's POLED configuration, which many are now discovering to be lackluster and poorly made.
After just a couple of weeks of use, press reviewers are now discovering some burn-in issues on their screens, particularly from the navigation bar on the bottom, the one with the "back," "home," and "menu" icons. As a result, there's some "ghosting" happening, a phenomenon where the previous image is being retained to some degree, which, in this case, is the said navigation bar.
9to5Google's Pixel 2 XL review unit had this problem. Android Central's review unit suffered from the same screen burn-in. Keep in mind that Android Central had only used the phone for about seven days before the burn-in occurred, which is a startlingly shorter period than the average time it takes for Samsung's AMOLED displays to suffer from the same issue.
Well, hello there. I have burn-in on my 2 XL. Not as bad as some, but this is maybe 10 days of not even being used as a primary device. pic.twitter.com/g600Gw1GdK
— Stephen Hall (@hallstephenj) October 22, 2017
That's some pretty wild OLED burn-in on the Pixel 2 XL after maybe 7 days of full-time use pic.twitter.com/EPJTs6D0Kg — Alex Dobie (@alexdobie) October 22, 2017
Here's another example shared by one 9to5Google's other writers, with the issue more pronounced when color settings are adjusted:
Welp, looks like my Pixel 2 XL also has burn in. It's still faint but I adjusted the colors to make it more visible pic.twitter.com/ZPfmZeMoWO
— Justin Duino (@jaduino) October 22, 2017
Screen burn-in isn't the only problem the Pixel 2 XL is apparently suffering from. There's also the issue of its uneven display, blue tint discoloration, and color bleeding in some areas, especially apparent in tiny icons at the notification bar. Some have also reported green lines and extreme levels of grain. The colors too look dull, as many have noted. This might be because of Google's decision to tune the display to sRGB instead of more saturated color profiles. The company is considering pushing out an update to adjust this.
Google Is Investigating Pixel 2 XL Burn-In Issues
Now screen burn-in is a fairly common issue among OLED displays, but having them occur in just a couple of weeks' worth of use is particularly worrisome. Google has officially addressed the issues via The Verge, first saying that the screen "has been designed with an advanced POLED technology."
"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," said Google.
Is LG To Blame For The Pixel 2 XL's Burn-In Issues?
It remains uncertain exactly what's causing these displays to behave the way they do, but some users speculate that this is on LG, which manufactured the POLED displays on the Pixel 2 XL. Perhaps that kind of technology simply isn't on par with AMOLEDs yet, and maybe that's exactly why Apple is forced to get its iPhone X displays exclusively from Samsung at the moment because if not, what's happening now on the Pixel 2 XL might happen on iPhone X as well.
Do you own a Google Pixel 2 XL? Notice any burn-in issues on the display? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!