Over the past few days, the internet has been a flurry of reports of screen burn-in issues with the OLED display of the Google Pixel 2 XL.
Alex Dobie, an executive producer at Android Central posted an image to twitter showing his Pixel 2 XL with a large grey overlay which clearly shows the navigation bar has started to burn in on the display.
Enough people have reported the problem that Google is now officially investigating it. Worryingly this is just days after many reviewers reported issues with the dull blue-tinted display of the Pixel 2, and a couple of weeks ago another blogger reported 24/7 audio recording from his Google Home Mini. After the Samsung battery incident last year, it makes you wonder how much product testing gets done on these devices before release.
In the case of the Pixel 2 XL, screen burn-in occurs due to a portion of the display showing the same image for a long enough period of time that it creates a permeant ghost image in the display. It used to be an issue with Plasma TVs, and it has always been a concern with the latest OLED technology, which is one of the reasons why mass production has taken a while to occur.
For many people, burn-in will hardly be noticeable, especially on navigation panels, as the image never changes. If you do have a Pixel 2 though you can easily check it by loading a solid black or grey image in full window mode and closely inspect your navigation and notification areas.
Android Authority received the following reply from Google regarding the issue:
The Pixel 2 XL screen has been designed with an advanced POLED technology, including QHD+ resolution, wide colour gamut, and high contrast ratio for natural and beautiful colours 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.”