Google’s new Pixel 2 XL phone: possibly serious screen problem reported

For Google, news that Apple’s new iPhone 8 wasn’t selling well was no doubt greeted with glee. After all, the reports of struggling sales for the new iPhone came shortly after Google unveiled its new Pixel 2 smartphones Oct. 4.

But less than three weeks after the Pixel 2’s release, reports are coming in of screen problems with the larger XL model, and Google is reportedly “actively investigating” the issue.

“Multiple people have noticed that when you look at the screen with a gray background, you can see faint outlines of the phone’s navigation buttons on the bottom,” The Verge reported Oct. 23, citing Android Central’s Alex Dobie as the first to publicly report the issue.

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The troubles appear confined to the XL, which has a different type of screen from the regular Pixel 2, Gizmodo reported.

What, exactly, the problem is has not been made clear. At worst, it could be a phenomenon called “burn-in.”

“Burn-in is when certain visual elements, often parts of the (user interface) like the navigation bar, become permanently discolored so that even when you’re looking at something else, you can still see the remnants of previous visuals,” according to Gizmodo.

“However, typically, it takes years or at least months to see the effects of burn-in, which is what makes these reports so troubling.”

Google, in a statement to The Verge, said it put all of its products through “extensive quality testing” before release.

“We are actively investigating this report,” the Mountain View tech giant told The Verge.

The website described a permanent burn-in problem with the Pixel 2 XL as close to a “deal-breaker,” but noted, as did Gizmodo’s report, that the issue could be ephemeral.

“It’s also possible that what we’re looking at here is image retention instead of actual screen burn-in,” according to The Verge.

“If that’s the case, then it’s not as permanent. Neither one is good, but ‘ghosting’ goes away where burn-in may not.”

Photo: Google’s Mario Queiroz unveils the company’s new Pixel phones, Wednesday Oct. 4, 2017, at the SFJazz Center in San Francisco. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)


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