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Pixel 2 XL screen prone to burn in?

Does the Pixel 2 XL have a dodgy display? (Source: Google)
Does the Pixel 2 XL have a dodgy display? (Source: Google)
Google is "actively investigating" burn in issues that have started to crop up on some user's Pixel 2 XLs. The latest report follows mixed reviews about the device's LG-sourced pOLED display, which some have said is unworthy of a high-end device priced as it is.

The new Google Pixel 2 smartphones may have received DxOMark’s highest ever camera rating for the second year in a row, but you may not want to view the photos it takes on the Pixel 2 XL smartphone’s LG Display-sourced pOLED display. A number of reviewers have noted that the display exhibits muddy colors and grainy textures in certain lighting situations. The Verge’s Vlad Savov even goes as far to call the display “an inexcusable disaster.” If that wasn’t bad enough, now some users are starting to report that they are also experiencing screen burn in issues.

When The Verge contacted Google about the latest development, it issued this statement on the matter:

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.

OLED displays can suffer from burn in problems. Some of Samsung’s earlier AMOLED displays could suffer from the problem, particularly over time. It’s latest AMOLED displays are, however, among the best mobile displays on the market. So good, that Apple, which once dismissed the technology, has now contracted Samsung to deliver the AMOLED panels it is using on its iPhone X.

LG, however, has been focused on using more traditional IPS LCD technology on its flagship smartphones. The LG G6 uses an 18:9 IPS LCD that offers an excellent viewing experience. It switched to the pOLED for the display on its new V30 flagship for the first time since the Flex 2 launched in 2015. Reviewers have hardly been positive about the V30's display either. Given that everyone already knew that the Pixel 2 XL was being made by Google and would feature a similar 6-inch pOLED panel from LG Display, some were holding their breath about its quality.

For a high-end flagship device that costs as much as Google is charging for the Pixel 2 XL, we sincerely hope that it can sort out these display issues with a software update. However, we suspect that LG may be lagging somewhat behind Samsung’s OLED display tech (which has relentlessly pursued OLED tech for years), and a software update may not be enough. There’s always the stock Android running Essential Phone which has just received a US$200 price cut if you are looking for high-end specs with an excellent tried and tested IPS LCD panel.


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Sanjiv Sathiah, 2017-10-23 (Update: 2017-10-23)