Pixel 2 XL: What’s a POLED display and what’s burn-in?


The Pixel 2 XL, Google’s prime of the road cellphone for 2017, is a implausible cellphone general, however it’s been dogged by questions on its plastic-OLED (“POLED”) display screen because it was first launched. On some preliminary fashions, no less than, the Pixel 2 XL exhibited faint outlines of photographs that “burn-in” to the display screen and do not go away.

To alleviate person considerations, Google stated that it investigated the problem and can roll out software program updates to repair these considerations. It additionally prolonged the unique one-year restricted guarantee to 2 years, although when and the way potential display screen points will probably be handled beneath the guarantee program stays an open query.

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The Pixel 2 XL has display screen burn-in, and it is a huge downside


Before we look at the problems, it is necessary to notice: The smaller-size Pixel 2 — the non-XL mannequin — makes use of a extra conventional OLED show (not POLED). There have been no stories of burn-in or picture retention on that mannequin, and it doesn’t exhibit the XL’s “blue shift” challenge mentioned herein, both.

But again to the problem at hand.

So what’s burn-in, and why is it occurring on this display screen specifically? We’ll get into that, however first, a fast recap of the state of affairs.

What’s occurring with the Pixel 2 XL?

Reports have surfaced that the Pixel 2 XL experiences display screen burn-in, whereby faint remnants of photographs stay on the display screen regardless of not being actively displayed. In addition to stories elsewhere on the internet, two of CNET’s 5 Pixel 2 XLs had been affected. When we displayed a grey shade swatch on a kind of telephones, we noticed outlines of the notification bar’s battery standing and clock, and the navigational hotkeys on the backside of the show.

When we ran the identical gray-swatch take a look at on three different Pixel 2 XLs we had, we did not see any burn-in results.

We do not suppose this downside will closely disrupt your day-to-day expertise with the Pixel 2 XL. While watching YouTube movies full-screen, for instance, I noticed burn-in solely when a video occurred to indicate gentle colours on the proper facet of the display screen for quite a lot of seconds. And at that time, I needed to be actually on the lookout for it.

Google Pixel 2 XL screen burn-in

A Pixel 2 XL exhibiting burn-in with the underside navigational buttons.

Josh Miller/CNET

There’s additionally been a extra minor challenge in regards to the show’s muted shade look and tendency to look blue on the slightest tilt of the display screen. This downside is extra about private desire and once more, Google’s upcoming firmware replace will supposedly supply extra person selection. Click right here for more information on that.

Why is that this occurring now?

Both POLED and AMOLED are kinds of OLED, or Organic Light Emitting Diode shows, whereby particular person pixels emit gentle. Every OLED display screen as we speak truly makes use of AMOLED (active-matrix OLED) know-how and mainly, OLED and AMOLED are the identical factor.


Early burn-in points haven’t been reported but for the V30, which has a POLED display screen too.

Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung is the main producer of AMOLED cellphone screens and has been utilizing it in telephones for nearly a decade. Samsung Display additionally manufactures AMOLED cellphone screens for different manufacturers, reportedly together with Apple with the brand new iPhone X.

POLED is one other form of AMOLED. Instead of the glbad substrate utilized in typical AMOLED shows, POLED makes use of a plastic substrate. One benefit of plastic is flexibility, one thing Samsung and LG, one other maker of OLED screens, have demonstrated earlier than.

The smaller Pixel 2’s AMOLED display screen is made by Samsung, whereas the bigger Pixel 2 XL’s POLED display screen was made by LG. Meanwhile, the LG V30 has a POLED show too, with the identical decision because the Pixel 2 XL. However, we have not seen burn-in points with the V30, nor the smaller Pixel 2 and Galaxy S8.

We’re undecided why we have seen burn-in points this quickly within the Pixel 2 XL, regardless of Google saying the problem is “in line with that of other premium smartphones.” LG Display, which is closely purported to be the maker behind the Pixel 2 XL display screen, stated, “The conditions under which afterimage occurs may vary, and it also depends on the product.”

What precisely is burn-in?

Problems of a lingering afterimage have been round because the first days of plasma TV. Traditionally “burn-in” implies that the afterimage (a ghostly “impression” of the picture that was on the display screen beforehand) by no means goes away; it is completely burned into the display screen. Image retention, however, implies one thing non permanent, the place the afterimage disappears ultimately.

Whatever you name it, burn-in is usually attributable to leaving a static part of display screen on for a very long time. Examples on TVs embrace logos and tickers on the backside of reports channels like CNN, a rating bug from a baseball recreation, or the standing show from a online game. You see extra static photographs on telephones, significantly the notification and navigation bars.

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What is Pixel Burn?


In most circumstances, these static sections of screens do not linger as faint afterimages. But on the Pixel 2 XL, the faint strains of the notification bar and hotkey buttons nonetheless caught round after the show was turned off in a single day and after working a display screen burn-in repair video. These components counsel that this challenge is extra persistent than normal picture retention, which normally disappears after a while.

Reports of burn-in on OLED screens usually are not new; the Nexus 6 reportedly had comparable points. But the “stuck” afterimages normally occur after months or extra of use. The indisputable fact that we’re seeing it on such a premium and costly cellphone so quickly is regarding.


Burn-in can happen in OLED TVs too.

Sarah Tew/CNET

That’s a bummer. Can I keep away from it?

Most of the time, this would possibly not be an issue. But, finest follow is to keep away from maintaining these static photographs up for lengthy durations of time.

  • Set your display screen off timer to a minute or much less
  • If your cellphone has the choice, set the persistent comfortable keys to “auto hide” once they’re not in use
  • Do the identical with the notification display screen
  • Turn down the display screen brightness. Brighter static photographs are extra liable to retention
  • Try working a display screen burn-in discount app or burn-in repair video (Warning: this video can probably set off seizures for folks with photosensitive epilepsy. Viewer discretion is suggested)

The Pixel 2 XL.

Josh Miller/CNET

What can I do if I wish to return my Pixel 2 XL?

If you bought the Pixel 2 XL via the Google Store, you can return it there inside 15 calendar days after receiving it. As talked about earlier than, you are additionally entitled to a restricted two-year guarantee as long as the cellphone was bought via a licensed retailer. Note that the Google Store usually has extra liberal return insurance policies than different retailers. That’s why it is best to buy Pixel telephones there, moderately than via a service or different retailer.

We’ve reached out to Verizon about its return coverage particularly badociated to the Pixel 2 XL, however have but to listen to again. In the meantime, ask your native Verizon retailer to provoke a return.

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