Pixel 2XL display problems and how to fix them

Since the launch of Googles’ 2017 flagships devices, there have been reports about issues regarding their displays. Although Google used the high-resolution OLED display tech, it seems it has its problems. To alleviate user concerns, Google has confirmed they are still doing extensive research on it. Below are some common problems associated with the display.


This is the most reported issue among the Pixel 2 XL users. A burn-in is the after image that you see on what was on the screen after it’s not there. The afterimage may stay on the screen for a longer period depending on how long the static image was on the screen. It should not be confused by image retention in which a similar case occurs, but the after-image fades afterwards. The burn-ins are more noticeable in the notification and the navigation bar areas. The burn-in also known as differential aging in OLED technology. Its normal for burn-ins to appear in OLED displays, but it takes longer, and when they appear, they usually disappear without much hassle.

But in case of the Pixel 2 XL, their pOLED display seems to have a problem. Google seemed to be aware of the problem and mitigated it at first. But the solution didn’t work as expected. The mitigation involves the way the UI is designed. i.e. the always on display lock screen ensures the clock moves in unnoticeable zigzag pattern to ensure the pixels are not lit persistently.

Blueshift Polarization

This means seeing a blue color on the display when viewing from different angles. If you have tilted your Pixel 2XL device, then you might have noticed it. If your eyes can’t notice the color at the slightest tilt, use a polarization filter, and you will see it. Also, some users have reported that the displays are not saturated as in other devices. Google has attributed this to the sRGB color profile used by most devices which isn’t the case in OLED displays which have a wider gamut than the sRGB. But Google said every screen has tints when you tilt the screen but most users prefer blue, and it shouldn’t be a problem. It all depends on your preference, if you hate color blue, it will surely be a problem.

How to fix the problems

Burn-ins can be fixed by;

  • Reducing your screen brightness
  • Setting your display to turn off in less than a minute
  • Enabling auto-hide of the notification bar and navigation keys.

Advanced solutions including running a burn-in fix video. However, before you do this, ensure you don’t have photosensitive epilepsy as the video may trigger seizures. You can also try running a screen burn-in reduction app.

Permanent solutions

Google is rolling out a November update that is supposed to fix problems associated with the display and other firmware security bugs and fixes. Further enhancements will be rolled out in their December update. If you purchased your device and it came with a warranty, you can return it for another device that doesn’t suffer from the aforementioned display problems.