The ongoing saga of the Pixel 2 XL screen issues has finally been addressed by Google, with Mario Queiroz, Google’s Vice President Product Management writing about the issue and Google’s intention on their product forums.
In the post, Mr Queiroz has acknowledged the issues which include issues with ‘differential aging’ (burn-in) and vibrancy of the colours on the display but has responded saying that
Our investigation so far has given us confidence that our displays are as great as we hoped they would be, though we’re also taking steps to address the concerns we’ve heard.
The long and the short of it is that Google intends to address both the screen colour vibrancy, as well as the burn-in issue with software updates that will be delivered in the future.
The screen colour vibrancy is a conscious decision by Google to deliver a ‘more natural and accurate rendition of colors’, though there does exist an option in settings to boost colours by 10%. Google has acknowledged that this is not enough and will be adding a new mode for more saturated colours.
On the more pressing issue of screen burn-in, Google says they have been looking into this issue since it was first reported back on October 22nd. Google says that their tests have shown that ‘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’. Google will however be making changes to offset any potential issues with the screen. Mr Queiroz said
We understand, however, that it can be concerning to see evidence of aging when using a specialized display test app, so we’ve taken steps to reduce differential aging through software.
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.
The screen issue has also led to Google advising that all Pixel 2/Pixel 2 XL handsets have a 2-year warranty worldwide. Google also has a 15-day return policy on devices purchased from the Google Store, so if you do want to try out the Pixel 2 XL for yourself, you have a window to see if the issues affect your device.