Following reports of defective screens in the first batch of Pixel 2 XL smartphones, Google says that its tests show so-called burn is not a widespread issue.
Following initial positive reviews for Google's renewed big bet on hardware, the top-end Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones, some journalists have reported problems with the larger Pixel 2 XL's pOLED screen.
Some have criticized Google's color set up for the Pixel 2 smartphones, which intentionally have a less saturated, more accurate look compared with rival Android devices, and a cooling of the color temperature of the display towards blue when viewed at an angle.
Addressing concerns, Google's vice president and product manager for the Pixel, Mario Queiroz, said: “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.”
But the most damaging reports involved image retention or burn in the navigation bar area at the bottom of the screen.
Following two weeks of testing, the Guardian can confirm that the screen of the early Pixel 2 XL unit it was provided retains a very faint outline of the navigation bar visible on a grey background from time to time.
Queiroz said: "Our current investigation of burn-in, which started as soon as we received the first user report on 22 October, confirms that the differential aging is in line with that of other premium smartphones and should not affect the normal, day-to-day user experience of the Pixel 2 XL.
"Regardless, we use software to safeguard the user experience and maximize the life of the OLED display, and we'll make ongoing software updates to optimize further."
A careful inspection of a Samsung Galaxy S8, which has an AMOLED display and has been in use by the Guardian for six months, shows no signs of screen burn-in.
The Guardian understands that only a handful of devices currently only in the hands of reviewers, not consumers, have displayed burn-in problems. Meanwhile, the smaller Pixel 2 has reportedly exhibited some clicking noises, which Google said it would fix with a software update in the near future.
Google has extended the manufacturer's warranty to two years as a result of the reports. With the Pixel 2 XL due to ship on 15 November, Google will hope that it can assuage concerns as it attempts to take on Apple's dominant iPhone.
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