Google extends Pixel 2 warranty to ease burn-in fears

The tech giant is trying to alleviate concerns that its new smartphone's screen has a problem with image remnants.

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Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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Steven Musil
2 min read

Google is beefing up the warranty on its Pixel 2 phone over consumer fears about the device's screen.

Josh Miller/CNET

If you're thinking of buying Google's new Pixel 2 XL smartphone, the tech giant wants you to know you won't get burned by possible display burn-in issues.

Google, reacting to reports that some Pixel 2 XL phones are suffering from screen burn-in, said Thursday it would double the length of the warranty on the new smartphone to two years. The move comes just days after reports emerged of image remnants lingering on Pixel 2 XL screens despite not being actively displayed. (Meanwhile, no reports about this issue have emerged about the smaller Pixel 2).

Google said its investigation into the reports found the Pixel's burn-in rate to be in line with other premium smartphones and that any issue "should not affect the normal, day-to-day user experience" of the Pixel 2 XL.

"Regardless, we use software to safeguard the user experience and maximize the life of the OLED display, and we'll make ongoing software updates to optimize further," the company said in a statement.

Just after Google's Pixel 2 phones started to ship, earlier this month, reports surfaced that some 2 XL models suffered from screen burn-in. Though such burn-in does happen on different types of displays, OLED screens (which the Pixel 2 XL has) are more prone to it. However, when CNET investigated the issue, our editors did not find burn-in issues with the Galaxy S8 and the LG V30, the latter of which uses the same POLED screen technology to the Pixel 2 XL. 

But the issue typically occurs only after the unit has been in operation for some time. Some early plasma television screens were notorious for screen burn-in.

The burn-in reports were just the second blow to the new smartphone's screen. The Pixel 2 XL's screen also got grief for its muted colors and the bluish hue that was viewable when tilting the phone at different angles -- an occurrence known as blue shift.

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