Google is investigating reports of Pixel 2 XL screen ghosting

Some owners of Google’s new Pixel 2 XL phone are complaining about significant ghosting caused by the persistent software navigation buttons, showing after just a few days of use. Google is aware of these reports and is “actively investigating” them, it told The Verge.

First reported on Twitter by Android Central’s Alex Dobie, the device’s LG-made plastic OLED (POLED) display appears to be prone to the burn-in issue way more than it should.

After using the phone for a full seven days, Dobie noticed faint outlines of the onscreen navigation buttons at the bottom of the display.

The ghosting is especially noticeable when looking at the screen with a gray background.

A Google spokesperson said:

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.

Screen burn-in, or ghosting, is a mostly permanent discoloration of specific areas of a display, typically caused by cumulative non-uniform usage of the pixels.

As The Verge noted, it’s also possible that what we’re looking at here is a simple issue of image retention instead of actual screen burn-in.

If that’s the case, then it’s not as permanent.

As iPhone X uses an OLED screen, Apple has built a software feature into iOS 11 that is said to minimize or completely mitigate the burn-in effect by subtly shifting either the whole user interface or just those pieces of content that haven’t seen any variation in brightness or hue.

Most reviewers find the Pixel 2’s POLED screen pretty mediocre.

Aside from the aggravating blue cast observed when the phone is held at an angle, people are complaining about the unconventional color tuning (the new Pixels do support a dedicated sRGB display color mode) that results in a little darker screen than necessary.

Although most of the reviews agree that everything on the phone’s screen is appearing washed out and feeble when set against an iPhone 8, some of the complaints of the phones being deprived of color and vibrance likely stem from the fact that the vast majority of Android phone owners are used to a tad oversaturated displays.