Controversy around the Pixel 2 XL’s display has been looming large in the market for some days now. The primary concerns that users have voiced, include a screen burn-in issue on the pOLED display, and poor representation of colours. Some users complained that the Pixel 2 XL’s display appeared “washed out”, and there’s also a distinct blue tint on the display when viewed from off angles.
While Google had been prompt to address these concerns, the company hadn’t given concrete explanations of why they’re noted and what can be done, until now. At 4:02am IST, Mario Queiroz, VP of Product Management, Google Hardware, responded to these concerns on the Pixel product forums. Although responding on the forums seems like an effort to downplay the issue, Google’s response does shed some light on the measures the company is planning against them.
Screen burn-in and colour space problems
About the screen burn-in issue, Queiroz writes, “Thorough testing of the Pixel 2 XL display shows that its decay characteristics are similar to OLED panels used in comparable products. Our current investigation of burn-in, which started as soon as we received the first user report on October 22, confirms that the differential aging is in line with that of other premium smartphones and should not affect the normal, day-to-day user experience of the Pixel 2 XL.”
The post also mentions that Google will be passing along some software updates to “safeguard the user experience” and “maximize the life of the OLED display”. According to a separate post Seang Chau, VP of Engineering for Google, the company will be introducing a “fade-out navigation bar” on the device. “We’re currently testing a software update that further enhances protections against this issue by adding a new fade-out of the navigation bar buttons at the bottom of the Pixel screen after a short period of inactivity. In addition, we're working with more apps to use a light navigation bar to match their app's color scheme. The update will also reduce the maximum brightness of the Pixel 2 XL by a virtually imperceptible 50 cd/m2 (nits), thereby significantly reducing load on the screen with an almost undetectable change in the observed brightness,” Chau wrote.
Next, with regards to the colour issues on the display, Google will be introducing a new saturated mode, that will apparently produce more vibrant colours that many users like. Chau explained the colour space management feature on Android Oreo as well, which you can read here.
Faint clicking noise issue
Lastly, many users had also reported hearing “faint clicking sounds” on some Pixel 2 devices. Google has now identified the problem, and says a fix is possible if you turn off NFC on the device. This can be done from Settings -> Connected Devices -> NFC. This is an interim fix for those who find the noise bothersome, and Google says it’s going to issue a software update to fix this in future.