Google recently released the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. Of these two, the Pixel 2 XL has received staunch criticism regarding the new LG-built POLED panel. The good news is, Google has now addressed these issues, with addition to the high pitch clicking noise.
Some early adopters of the Pixel 2 XL have complained about screen burn-in (known in the industry as ‘differential aging’), which is an issue impacting all OLED-based technologies, but is not usually obvious in the first few weeks of use. Other owners of Pixel 2 XL have complained that the screen is not as vibrant as other OLED-based handsets.
The criticisms must have Google’s Pixel product designers throwing their hands up in the air in despair, because the display has been designed to “to achieve a more natural and accurate rendition of colors,” which presumably is in reference to many older OLED panels with cartoon-like saturated colors (many of Samsung’s flagship devices). Google later explained a new setting that would combat this in that of a new vivid mode, which boosts colors by 10%.
In fresh news, Google is relieving more users who have complaints. The company announced that it’s adding an even higher color saturation mode, for those users who prefer this display type. This is coming to the Google Pixel 2 XL handset “in the next few weeks.”
As for the more important issue, the screen burn-in problem, Google reported that it has received a small number of complaints and has investigated the issue. The company explained that the Pixel 2 XL’s POLED panel deteriorates at a similar rate to other OLED panels and “should not affect the normal, day-to-day user experience of the Pixel 2 XL.” The company also explained that it uses software to maximize OLED panel life in Android 8.1 Oreo and will continue to roll out software updates to further optimize matters. For those customers who are now seeing screen burn-in issues, this is small comfort, as often when we see a flaw we cannot unsee it. The Pixel 2 family now has a two-year warranty, which is an interesting development and should benefit all customers of the device.
The smartphone industry in 2017 has become a very cut throat business. Faults are not often forgiven or brushed over and so manufacturers feel the wrath of negative attention. Google is not alone in this: Essential, OnePlus, BlackBerry, Samsung, and LG have all received negative articles covering their devices. Whether these are substantial issues will ultimately come down to luck, and how you perceive them to be for your own use. Remember, Google is accepting returns, you have a warranty, and if the burn-in problem is severe, Google will allow you to swap your unit for one that hopefully doesn’t have the same issue. You have control over the situation as the consumer, so don’t panic.
How are you feeling about all this? Let us know in the comments.