Last week there were a number of reports concerning screen burn-in on the Pixel 2 XL, to which Google responded saying that it was “actively investigating” the issue. And now, a week later, the results of Google’s investigation are out, and in a crux, Google says that the reported burn-in is not an issue. Nevertheless, Google says it is going to release some software updates to expand its color gamut, and protect it against screen burn-in. Google also said that it will offer a two-year warranty on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.
In a post on the Google Pixel support forums, VP of product management Mario Queiroz said, “Our investigation so far has given us confidence that our displays are as great as we hoped they would be, though we’re also taking steps to address the concerns we’ve heard.”
Essentially, the big concern here is the burn-in or as some are calling it, the “ghost lines”. First reported by Android Central basically, when looking at a grey background on the device, users were noticing faint outlines of the navigation buttons at the bottom. Dobie said he has used the smartphone for seven full days, and the ghosting issue was persistent. After he tweeted his issue last week, many more came forth saying that they too are noticing the same issue with their units. It’s been unclear until now whether the ghost images were merely image retention or actual burn-in. If it is the latter, it would be incredibly troubling to see so early in a phone’s life. DON’T MISS: Google Pixel 2: Even if the newest flagship doesn’t succeed, Android is still winning
Google, however, says that its tests show that the Pixel 2 XL is not any worse than other phones when it comes to burn-in. The company, by the way, is referring to it as “differential aging”. Burn-in affects every display panel over time, and Google believes that it’s not going to be any worse on this phone than the others. Nevertheless, the company is going to be issuing some software updates to mitigate any concerns that there is.
“Extensive testing of the Pixel 2 XL display show that its decay characteristics are comparable to OLED panels used in other premium smartphones. The differential aging should not affect the user experience of the phone, as it’s not visible under normal use of your Pixel 2 XL. We understand, however, that it can be concerning to see evidence of aging when using a specialized display test app, so we’ve taken steps to reduce differential aging through software.” ALSO READ: Google Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL review roundup: A look at what reviewers say
“We’re currently testing a software update that further enhances protections against this issue by adding a new fade-out of the navigation bar buttons at the bottom of the Pixel screen after a short period of inactivity. In addition, we’re working with more apps to use a light navigation bar to match their app’s color scheme. The update will also reduce the maximum brightness of the Pixel 2 XL by a virtually imperceptible 50 cd/m2 (nits), thereby significantly reducing load on the screen with an almost undetectable change in the observed brightness.”
Besides the burn-in, another issue with the Pixel 2 XL is the narrow color gamut it offers. To that, Queiroz responded saying, “The saturated mode puts the display into an unmanaged configuration, similar to how the Pixel 1 operates. The colors will be more saturated and vibrant, but less accurate (similar to most other smartphones which display more vibrant colors): we give consumers the option to choose the color saturation.”
Further, he also addressed the issue of color saturation, which was pointed out by many, saying, “On the topic of color saturation, we designed the Pixel 2 XL to take advantage of multiple facets of the innovative new pOLED technology, including QHD+ resolution with 538 pixels per inch and a wide color gamut. One of our design intents was to achieve a more natural and accurate rendition of colors. We know that some people prefer more saturated colors, so both Pixel 2 phones already include an option to boost colors by 10% for a more vivid look. And based on the recent feedback, we’re adding a new mode for more saturated colors, which will be made available via a software update to both Pixel 2 phones in the next few weeks.” ALSO READ: Google Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL pre-orders kick off Thursday: Here’s a look at the offers