Mobility

Google Investigates Reported Pixel 2 XL Screen Issues

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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Users have reported ghosted images on the screen, amongst other problems marring the launch of Google’s iPhone 8 competitor

Google has said it is investigating user-reported problems with the screen of its newly introduced flagship smartphone, the Pixel 2 XL, its latest effort at a hardware device to compete with Apple’s iPhone.

Google-Pixel-XL-2Over the weekend users began reporting ghosting issues with the Pixel’s display, which uses a new OLED technology and is manufactured by South Korea’s LG.

Intended to offer more “natural” colours, according to Google, some reviewers said the Pixel 2 XL’s 6-inch, edge-to-edge screen appeared muted compared with the Pixel 2’s smaller display.

A potentially more serious issue, however, is the faint ghosted images some users reported after as few as seven days of use.

Screen burn

A report by Android Central found users had said the notification area, status bar and on-screen navigation buttons were visible as ghosted images on some phones.

One user posted an image of a Pixel 2 XL device displaying a grey block over which the faint images of the navigation buttons were visible.

The issue could signal a problem with burn-in, meaning the images are permanent and could make viewing images more difficult as time goes on, but it’s also possible the problem is only temporary and will disappear.

If permanent, the screen problem could make it necessary for Google to halt production to fix it, industry analysts said.

Google said it is “actively investigating” the reports.

“We will provide updates as soon as we have conclusive data,” said Mario Queiroz, Google’s vice president for Pixel product management, in a statement.

Google earlier said it may offer a software update to fix what some reported as a blue tint to the Pixel 2 XL’s screen.

Flagship launch

Some users and reviewers have also reported a clicking noise during calls and problems with Bluetooth connections. Google hasn’t commented on those reports.

Other trip-ups with the device’s launch include a delay of up to one month in shipping the Pixel 2 to some users, for which the company sent out apologetic emails over the weekend.

Credit: Alex Dobie
Credit: Alex Dobie

Google has also said it would refund users mistakenly charged an extra $30 (£22) for the Pixel 2 at some US outlets and would drop the price of a headphone adapter from $20 to $9.

The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL launched in the US last week. The Pixel 2 is also now available in the UK, but the larger handset won’t arrive until mid-November.

The Pixel range represents a new direct investment in smartphone hardware for Google, which in the past has collaborated closely with hardware makers on Nexus devices and owned Motorola’s handset division for a time.

Last month Google paid $1.1bn for the engineering team at HTC responsible for the Pixel’s design, but still contracts the device’s manufacturing to third parties.

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