By David Meyer /
October 23, 2017

This story originally appeared on

Google’s Pixel 2 XL is one of a pair of smartphones that the tech giant introduced this month. Like the 5-inch Pixel 2, the 6-inch Pixel 2 XL is supposed to showcase the best that Android has to offer. However, there appear to be problems with its screen.

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While the Pixel 2’s screen was made by Samsung, the Pixel 2 XL’s display is an LG product, and there are reports of various issues with it. The screen uses a technology called POLED, which stands for “plastic organic light emitting diodes,” and some users have been complaining about its dull color reproduction and alleged blue tint. But there may be a worse problem: screen burn-in.

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Remember when PCs’ cathode-ray-tube (CRT) monitors required moving screen savers when not in use to stop text or images from leaving an indelible trace? The same image-retention issue sometimes affects modern OLED screens to a degree. And, according to Android Central’s experience with its review unit, the Pixel 2 XL may be a victim.

On Sunday, the specialist Android website tweeted a photo showing the device’s navigation bar as faintly visible against a gray background—evidence, it said, of screen burn-in after just a week’s use. Google says it’s looking into the problem:

If Google’s investigations do confirm a widespread problem, the implications could extend beyond customers sending back their units for refund or repair. The big question would be whether LG has a problem with its POLED technology.

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The advantage of POLED screens is that they allow a degree of flexibility. Indeed, LG has used it before, in its G Flex 2 phones. CNET reported last week that its review units of the LG V30 smartphone, which seems to use the same screen as the Pixel 2 XL, did not have the muted-color problems some have associated with Google’s new device.

So did Google’s first run of the Pixel 2 XL contain a bad batch of screens? Time will tell.