How to return a Pixel 2 XL with screen burn-in

We gathered all the ways to return, exchange, repair or replace your new shiny Google phone.

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Patrick Holland
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Some people are reporting that the display on their Pixel 2 XL phones suffers from screen burn-in.

Juan Garzón/CNET

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect Google's new two-year warranty for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.

Just after Google 's Pixel 2 phones started to ship, reports surfaced that some 2 XL models suffered from screen burn-in. On Oct. 26, Google acknowledged the issues and -- contrary to our own in-house tests -- asserted that the burn-in rate for the Pixel 2 XL was "in line with that of other premium smartphones." Despite this, Google has extended the product warranty from one year to two years.

The company also promised readers that it would continue to use software updates to optimize the display and minimize the burn-in rate. For example, Google is currently testing a software update that would make the navigation bar buttons fade out after inactivity, reducing the likelihood of burn-in.

If you have a Pixel 2 XL that you think might be plagued by these burn-in issues, consider exchanging it for a new device. We went through all the fine print for both Google and Verizon 's return and repair policies to help you out.

What is screen burn-in?

Screen burn-in (also called "differential aging") is when an image or parts of an image remain on the screen even when not actively displayed. For example, you might notice a faint version of the navigation bar on the bottom of the display despite the bar not actually being on the screen. Some early plasma television screens were notorious for screen burn-in.

You bought it from Google within the past 15 days

The Google Store has a 15-day return or exchange window for any device you buy. If you're within this window, simply return or exchange your 2 XL.

Go to Google's support page and login with your account. Find the order you want to return and print out the return confirmation. Pack the phone, accessories and return confirmation in the original packaging.

You bought it from Verizon within the past 14 days

On Verizon, the return or exchange window is 14 days and there is a $35 restocking fee unless you live in Hawaii.

Verizon permits one device exchange during its 14 day window. The 2 XL needs to be in "like-new condition" and shipped back with the original box, accessories and receipt.

To start, go to Verizon's return process support page.

What to do after the return period

If you bought it through Google

If your return window has closed, but you're within the first two years of ownership you can still have your Pixel 2 XL replaced or repaired by Google. Visit Google's warranty page to start the process.

This is where things get a bit legalese-y. Google defines a defective device as suffering from one of the following:

  • Doesn't charge properly
  • Won't turn on
  • Freezes often
  • Has microphone, speaker or button issues
  • Has trouble getting internet or cell signal

Obviously, screen burn-in or display defects are not listed, but that doesn't mean Google won't replace or repair it. I recommend filing a claim as each one is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

If you bought it through Verizon

If you bought a 2 XL from Verizon, you can either go through Google or Verizon to claim a defective device. Verizon's criteria for a defective phone is a device with a factory defect and not one with damage caused by "outside forces."

To start a claim with Verizon, call (866) 406-5154 or visit a Verizon Wireless Store.

Keep checking back here, as we'll update this article with additional information if we hear more from Verizon or Google.

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