The Google Pixel 2 XL may have just launched this past week, but over the weekend reports began to surface that the device’s OLED screen was already exhibiting signs of burn-in, which left UI elements faintly evident after switching screens.
A Google spokesperson confirmed that the company was looking into the reports:
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.
At first glance, it doesn’t look like a huge issue for day-to-day usage, but burn-in is an issue that has been known to worsen over time, so it’s not a great sign that early testers are already exhibiting this problem.
This issue appears to only be affecting the larger LG-manufactured Pixel 2 XL model at the moment.
I’m seeing limited ghosting of the bottom navigation bar where the image is retained after switching from previous screens, but it appears to go away after several seconds, unlike burn-in, which is generally more permanent.
OLED screens are far from perfect and have some known issues; this ailment, however, has the potential to be a bit more problematic. The fact that I didn’t realize this until I downloaded a gray background image and squinted at the bottom of the screen suggests that image retention issues at least won’t be something that gravely affects all users early on, but whether or not these problems worsen is something we’ll have to keep an eye on.