Google Investigating Reports of Possible Screen Burn-In on Pixel 2 XL as iPhone X Unlikely Affected

Multiple reports have surfaced over the past few days about potential screen burn-in or image retention issues with Google's new Pixel 2 XL smartphone.

Pixel 2 XL with apparent screen burn-in via Michael Kukielka‏

Android Central's Alex Dobie‏ shared a photo on Twitter on early Sunday that shows faint outlines of Android's navigation buttons at the bottom of the display. 9to5Google, The Verge, and Ars Technica also experienced the issue.


In a statement to The Verge, Google said it is "actively investigating" the reports.
The Pixel 2 XL screen has been designed with an advanced POLED technology, including QHD+ resolution, wide color gamut, and high contrast ratio for natural and beautiful colors and renderings. We put all of our products through extensive quality testing before launch and in the manufacturing of every unit. We are actively investigating this report.
Google hasn't confirmed how many users are currently affected.

Google sourced the Pixel 2 XL's plastic OLED display from LG, which could be the root of the problem, given that the smaller Pixel 2 and original Pixel's Samsung-supplied OLED displays have experienced far fewer issues.

Apple is also sourcing OLED displays exclusively from Samsung, so if the issue stems from LG, then the iPhone X shouldn't be affected either.

LG's own V30 smartphone has suffered from many of the same display issues, which has also included banding and uneven colors.

Screen burn-in is typically a result of static images or on-screen elements displaying on the screen uninterrupted for a prolonged period of time. The issue can result in persistent discoloration or a "ghosting" effect on the screen.


Discuss this article in our forums

Pixel 2 Reviews: Iterative Update Lacks ‘Wow Factor’ But Still ‘Best Android Phone You Can Buy’

Two weeks after first unveiling the Pixel 2 at an event in San Francisco, reviews of Google's latest smartphone have now been published online. Many of the reviews written on the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL are positive, with multiple articles referring to the smartphones as the best Android devices on the market, as well as legitimate competitors to Apple's iPhone series. The only slight negatives appear to surround Google's decision to aim for functional, more iterative updates over flashier feature additions.

Like most reviews posted today, The Verge was more impressed by the design and look of the Pixel 2 XL than the smaller Pixel 2, calling the latter phone "humdrum" with "big, chunky bezels" that don't compare favorably to the XL's smaller bezels and larger 6-inch screen. The site noted that each device's Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor and 4GB of RAM resulted in a snappy UI, running "better overall than Samsung's or LG's" version of Android.

Image via The Verge

The Verge described an all-day battery life that "lasts until bedtime just fine," and said that the Pixel 2 is "easily a contender for best smartphone camera" with photos that are "way sharper than the iPhone 8 and the Note 8." Although the site had qualms with the 2 XL's display quality -- calling colors "muted" -- the overall takeaway came down to being impressed by the smartphone's snappy functionality, despite a lack of "razzle dazzle."
The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL do not razzle dazzle. It's not just the somewhat disappointing screen on the Pixel 2 XL, it's that Google has gone out of its way to do things that are functional instead of flashy. Instead of going bezel-less, it added front-facing speakers. Instead of a million camera effects, it focused on one or two, while making the core camera experience much better with machine learning. The list goes on.

The Pixel 2 has many, many things going for it. Were it not for a few problems — the screen, the slightly inelegant design, and (yes) the lack of a headphone jack — it might have received the highest score we've ever given a phone. As it is, it's a great phone, but not quite a home run.
TechCrunch compared the second iteration of the Pixel line -- focusing its review on the Pixel 2 XL -- to an "S" generation of the iPhone, meaning that the Pixel 2 is an "evolution" of a smartphone that was already solid, but lacks a central "wow factor." Still, the site was impressed by what Google accomplished with a single-lens camera system, describing "admirable" performance in low- and mixed-light settings, and mostly positive early impressions from Google's AI-powered "Lens" feature, which automatically tags objects in pictures.

Image via TechCrunch

Even though the Pixel 2 XL runs for upwards of $800, TechCrunch ultimately stated that Google's smartphone shows "what can be done without having to charge users $1,000 for a device."
The Pixel 2 doesn’t make a particularly compelling upgrade case for users of last year’s model. The hardware isn’t a radical departure, and many of the new software features will be coming to the first-generation model — after all, Android support for older devices is one of the key tenants of Google’s first-party software approach. The device also doesn’t push the boundaries of what a mobile device is as much as other recent flagships.

The new phones offer a glimpse at that future and, in the case of the device’s camera, show what can be done without having to charge users $1,000 for a device.
Ars Technica looked at the performance of the Pixel 2, calling Google's build of Android for the new smartphones "the most highly optimized, smoothest, and fastest build of Android I have ever seen." Although the site had similar problems with the OLED display as The Verge -- Ars called it "an ugly graniness" most detectable in dark environments -- and the "dated aesthetic" of the 5-inch Pixel 2, its final impression was that Google's new smartphone is "the best Android phone out there."

The Pixel XL, Pixel 2 XL, and iPhone 8 Plus via Ars Technica
Every single animation goes off without a hitch. Scrolling is flawless. There are additional, exclusive animations on the home screen like bounce scrolling and folder opening that add to the buttery smooth feel. It's amazing—head and shoulders above every other Android phone out there.

With the Pixel, you get an iPhone-like update experience, a cohesive software package, and super fast UI performance. It offers a harmonious device with a single, cohesive design language and none of the junk that slows your phone down. In 2017, that's enough to merit the title of "Best Android phone."
Interestingly, Ars Technica also pointed out that the Pixel 2 marks Google's first foray into its own custom designed system on a chip (SoC), packed into the smartphone in addition to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC. Although not active yet, the chip is said to be "dedicated exclusively to camera image processing" on the Pixel 2, and will eventually make processing photos "faster and more efficient than ever." Google calls the SoC the "Pixel Visual Core," and it includes an eight-core Image Processing Unit capable of more than three trillion operations per second.

For more Pixel 2 reviews, check out the following sites: CNET, Business Insider, Engadget, TIME, Wired, ZDNet, CNN Tech, and Venture Beat.


Discuss this article in our forums

Single-Lens Google Pixel 2 Camera Takes Top Spot From iPhone 8 Plus in DxO Labs Tests

The new Google Pixel 2 has bumped the iPhone 8 Plus and Galaxy Note 8 off the number one spot to become the top-performing smartphone camera in DxO Labs' mobile photography tests.

Just a day after Samsung's latest device matched Apple's largest iPhone 8 handset with an overall DxOMark score of 94, Google's newly launched Pixel 2 has now beaten both dual-lens devices with a score of 98, despite despite its rear-mounted single-camera design.

Its top scores in most of our traditional photo and video categories put it ahead of our previous (tied) leaders, the Apple iPhone 8 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, despite the Pixel 2 coming in lower in the new Zoom and Bokeh categories. The Pixel 2 is also a major step forward from the Pixel (which was our top scorer when it was released a year ago), moving from 90 to 98.
The reviewers praised the Pixel 2 for excellent video performance, scene reproduction, color rendering, and fast and accurate autofocus, highlighting in particular its "amazing" ability to render detail in both the bright and dark areas of difficult scenes.

One weak spot for the Pixel 2 was said to be exposure in very low light images, which show increased noise in high dynamic range scenes, although excellent exposure and highlight preservation is still in evidence.


Despite performing very well for a single camera phone, the Pixel 2 couldn't outscore the zoom capability of the dual-lens Apple iPhone 8 Plus. The Pixel 2 also sometimes displayed aliasing and moiré artifacts in medium- and long-range zooms.

The reviewers concluded that for just about any photo or video use case, the Pixel 2 recommends itself as the phone camera with the best image quality, with the exception of zoom and bokeh (including Depth and Portrait) that dual-camera smartphones such as the Apple iPhone 8 Plus and Galaxy Note 8 can provide. The Google handset was especially recommended for videographers, since it achieved the highest video score (96) for any device tested by DxO Labs.


The reviewers signed off by noting that their scoring system has "plenty of headroom" to go beyond 100, so we'll have to wait and see if Apple's iPhone X can break that ceiling when it's released next month.

You can read the full DxOMark Pixel 2 camera review and view all of the full-resolution images here. Do you agree with DxO Labs' assessment? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Related Roundups: iPhone 8, iPhone X
Buyer's Guide: iPhone (Buy Now)

Discuss this article in our forums

Leaked Images Show Google Pixel 2 XL Smartphone With Minimal Bezels

A day ahead of Google's October hardware event, serial mobile leaker Evan Blass has shared images of the company's new 6-inch Pixel 2 XL smartphone, revealing a display with thin bezels and rounded corners reminiscent of the Samsung Galaxy S8.


Rumors suggest the Pixel 2 XL will feature a QHD+ display with an 18:9 (2:1) aspect ratio, 4GB of RAM, a 12-megapixel rear camera, and front-facing stereo speakers, with a price tag of $849/$949 for either 64GB or 128GB of storage.

Blass also tweeted images of the smaller 5-inch Pixel 2 (below) which, apart from a less impressive 1080p display, is thought to share the same specs as the XL 2. The wallpaper used in both the leaked images shows a vibrant depth-of-field view, suggesting an upcoming "bokeh" camera feature native to the new Google handsets.


According to a source familiar with Google's release plans that spoke to VentureBeat, the new phones will have a pre-order period followed by a staggered rollout, with October 19 for the Pixel 2 and November 15 for the Pixel 2 XL.

MacRumors will have all the details on Google's October 4 event, when the company is expected to unveil a range of products, including new Google Home smart speakers, a new laptop, and perhaps more.


Discuss this article in our forums

Google Teases Upcoming Pixel 2 Event, Aimed at Those Who Are ‘Thinking About Changing Phones’

Google has launched a new advertising campaign and teaser website for its upcoming "Pixel 2" smartphone. The site teases visitors with an October 4 event date, aimed at anyone who might be "thinking about changing phones" (via TechCrunch). The page presents no other information, and asks for the user's email address to stay up-to-date with alerts regarding breaking news ahead of the October 4 event.


Since the original Pixel smartphone debuted in October of last year (it was actually announced on the exact same date in 2016), a similar date was expected for the new version of Google's smartphone. Rumors about the Pixel 2 have been spreading over the summer in the lead-up to its launch, with current predictions aimed at a smartphone with a Snapdragon 835 or 836 chipset, 4GB of RAM, "squeezable" sides to perform different functions, and IP68 water and dust resistance.

The Google Pixel 2 will also come in standard and "XL" versions, similar to the first generation (launched in 5-inch and 5.5-inch sizes). The XL is rumored to have premium features, however, including a larger 6-inch display with "very narrow" bezels, which the smaller device will lack and reportedly appear similar to the 2016 design. There's a chance other Google devices, like a new Chromebook and "Google Home mini," will appear at the same event.

The current lineup of Pixel Phone devices

Google's tease comes two days after Apple revealed the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X, which have enticed many users who are ready to upgrade their smartphones -- the customers that Google is likely aiming at with its new Pixel 2 campaign. If the rumored specs become true, compared to the iPhone X the Pixel 2 will have slightly better RAM (4GB vs 3GB), water resistance (IP68 vs IP67), and screen size (6-inch vs 5.8-inch).


Discuss this article in our forums

Google Pixel 2 Smartphone Will Feature Squeezable Sides and No Headphone Jack

Google's second-generation Pixel smartphone will be made by HTC and feature "squeezable" sides to perform different functions, according to a filing with the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday.

The filing essentially confirms that the Google Pixel 2 will borrow the squeezable frame from the HTC U11. Screenshots included in the document show the feature is to be called "Active Edge" and will launch Google Assistant by default. Other possible functions include turning on the flashlight, launching the camera, and taking a photo.

Leaked image of Pixel 2 from Evan Blass

The 4.97-inch device is expected to feature a 1080p display and stereo speakers, and will have an overall design similar to the original Pixel. The filing also suggests that the Pixel 2 will have a Snapdragon 835 or 836 chipset and 64GB storage capacity – although additional capacities are likely.

LG is said to be manufacturing the Google Pixel XL 2 and will put its own stamp on the larger handset by including a 6-inch AMOLED display with a 2:1 aspect ratio, but it's also likely that the XL 2 will share the same squeezable frame of the smaller device. Based on leaked images, both handsets are rumored to do away with the headphone jack, although this was not confirmed in the filing.

It's still not clear when Google's second-generation Pixel smartphones will be released, but the original version was unveiled in October of last year, so a fall release is likely. (The original Google Pixel FCC filing appeared exactly a year ago on Tuesday.) That would put Google's new phones in direct competition with the iPhone 8, which is expected to launch in September alongside iterative "S" cycle updates to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.


Discuss this article in our forums

Upcoming 2017 Google Pixel XL May Feature ‘Squeezable’ Frame for Activating Google Assistant

Google's second-generation Pixel XL could feature a squeezable body, a 6-inch AMOLED display, and thinner bezels, according to information and rendered images leaked today by Android Police.

LG is said to be manufacturing the Google Pixel XL 2, which features a design that's curved like the original Google Pixel. It continues to offer a rear fingerprint sensor (now located in the aluminum portion of the device) and a large single-lens camera, eschewing the dual-lens camera trend.

Rendering created by Android Police

The XL version, which is the only version covered in the leak, offers a 6-inch LG-made display with a 2:1 aspect ratio, rounded corners, and a "minimal bezel." Design wise, it could look a little like Apple's rumored iPhone 8, which is also expected to have a longer design with much thinner side and top/bottom bezels. Current iPhone 8 leaks suggest Apple's device will have little to no bottom bezel and a smaller top bezel, however.

Most notably, the 2017 Pixel XL is rumored to include a "squeezable" frame like the recently launched HTC U11. The technology will let Pixel users squeeze their handsets to activate Google Assistant "in various ways."

In the HTC U11, the "Edge Sense" feature lets people use a squeeze gesture to activate pressure sensors that can turn on the flashlight, launch the camera, take a photo, or launch Google Assistant.

It's not clear when Google's second-generation Pixel XL device will be released, but the original version was unveiled in October of 2016, so a fall release date could be planned. If that's the case, the Pixel XL will launch during the same time frame as the iPhone 8 and could be one of the device's main competitors along with the already-available Samsung Galaxy S8 and the yet-to-be announced rumored Galaxy Note 8.


Discuss this article in our forums

Google Hires Veteran Chip Designer Away From Apple to Build Custom Chips For Pixel Smartphones

Google has hired veteran chip architect Manu Gulati, who worked at Apple for the past eight years, according to Variety.

Gulati is now a Lead SOC Architect at Google, where he began in May, according to his recently updated LinkedIn profile.

Gulati was "instrumental" to the company's efforts to build custom chips for the iPad, iPhone, and Apple TV, according to the report.

Apple's custom silicon ranges from the single-core A4 chip in the original iPad and iPhone 4 to the quad-core A10X Fusion chip in the new 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

At Google, his expertise is expected to help the Mountain View company design custom chips for its own Pixel smartphones.

Pixel smartphones are currently powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 821 processor, which is the same chip used in several other flagship Android smartphones. But reports claim Google plans to build its own chips, as it takes on the iPhone more directly in the premium smartphone category.

Gulati is listed as an inventor on over a dozen Apple patents related to mobile processors and integrated circuity. He has over 20 years of industry experience, including lengthy stints at AMD and Broadcom.


Discuss this article in our forums

Google Has No Plans For More Pixel Notebooks

Google has ended production of its Pixel laptop, which originally aimed to compete with Apple's MacBook Air.

During a small meeting with journalists today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Google's senior vice president for hardware Rick Osterlohthe responded to a question about future Pixel notebooks, saying the company has "no plans to do one right now".

According to TechCrunch, he added that versions already on the market have totally sold out and there are no plans to make any more of them. However, Osterlohthe was quick to clarify that he was not referring to the notebooks' operating system, ChromeOS.


"Chrome OS is a huge initiative in the company," Osterloh said. "Google hasn't backed away from laptops. We have the number two market share in the U.S. and U.K. — but we have no plans for Google-branded laptops."
Google's Chromebook was the first device to carry the Pixel name, which has since been adopted by the tech giant's latest range of branded smartphones. The original Pixel laptops were launched in 2013 and were notable for their integrated hardware – which included a touchscreen – and their premium design appeal, but the web-only operating system only ran Chrome browser and a handful of other cloud-based apps, and prices started at $1,299.

The second version of the Pixel Chromebook launched in 2015 and cost $999. It was one of the first laptops to feature USB-C along with Apple's 12-inch Retina MacBook, but saw limited uptake due to the restrictive OS and prohibitive cost. Other third-party Chromebooks sell for as little as $250.

There's no cast-iron guarantee that Google won't launch any more branded laptops, but it seems the company wants to keep the Pixel name for its phones going forward, the only caveat being Google's Pixel C tablet, which it still sells.


Discuss this article in our forums