Google’s Pixel 2 XL is built by LG. The plastic OLED, or POLED, display is supplied by LG Display. Here is a list of display-related problems some Pixel 2 XL users are reporting:
- Muddy color
- Grainy texture in low light
- Burn in
The burn in issue is particularly troublesome since it is most likely a hardware issue. The muddy color and grainy texture problems can potentially be fixed with a software update, but not burn in.
This is how to check to see if your Pixel 2 XL has burn in: change your background wallpaper to a file with a solid light gray and pay attention to the area where the navigation buttons are on the bottom. Bring up the navigation buttons and then hide them. If you see remnants of the navigation buttons but they don’t disappear within a few seconds there’s a good chance your display is experiencing some level of burn in with the likelihood that it will get worse as you use it more.
According to Android Authority, LG Display’s POLED uses a polyamide plastic substrate, a plastic material that is more suitable for the high manufacturing temperatures. This is not the first time LG Display has manufactured OLED displays — remember the G Flex? — but the display size was 6 inches, its pixel format 1280×720 in landscape orientation, with a resolution of 245 ppi. The current OLED display featured in the Pixel 2 XL is also 6 inches, but the number of pixels have increased dramatically with a pixel format of 2880×1440 (landscape) for a resolution of about 538 ppi. Manufacturing OLED displays with that many pixels with high yields is extremely difficult and that’s why it has taken Samsung several years to perfect its smartphone OLED display manufacturing methods.
Pushing the bleeding edge of display manufacturing technology can and usually results in bumps along the way and it isn’t surprising to see what seems to be a display hardware defect like the one on the Pixel 2 XL. Like Samsung it might take LG Display a few more tries to perfect the science and art of smartphone OLED manufacturing with plastic substrates.