Google’s Pixel 1 was a good device, with some flaws, introduced at a time when Samsung was on its back after the exploding Note 7 phone fiasco. At the time, despite the device being a little rough around the edges in terms of software bugs, it looked like a worthy competitor in the Android phone arena, with a really fantastic camera to boot.
This has all changed with the release of the Pixel 2. While the new Google device has an improved camera that has received rave reviews, little else about it has changed. Google was also clearly undersupplied again, despite one of the selling points of the Pixel 2 being an ample supply on hand. This deflated sales of the Pixel 1 and is probably on the way to deflating sales for the Pixel 2.
The Pixel 2 is also having another major problem now:
Over the weekend, people with review units of the Pixel 2 XL began noticing a problem. No, not the already-known issues of muddy color and grainy textures when viewed in low-light, but one that’s potentially more worrisome: screen burn-in. First reported on Twitter by Android Central’s Alex Dobie, multiple people have noticed that when you look at the screen with a gray background, you can see faint outlines of the phone’s navigation buttons on the bottom.
Screen burn-in isn’t an uncommon issue, but it does seem especially worrisome that it’s showing up within a week or so of these units coming into usage. It’s also possible that what we’re looking at here is image retention instead of actual screen burn-in. If that’s the case, then it’s not as permanent. Neither one is good, but “ghosting” goes away where burn-in may not. Android Central has a good breakdown.
If it really is genuine screen burn-in (and early indications do, in fact, seem to point in that direction), it’s a really big problem. Many screens, especially OLED screens, do begin to exhibit burn-in over time. But that time span is usually measured in multiple months or even years, not days or weeks.