The numerous worries about the Pixel 2 XL’s display were addressed by Google in late October, and the company is taking action now. Google has launched a new software update for the Pixel 2 series meant to address a variety of issues and concerns, including the so-called display “burn-in” problem seemingly affecting the Pixel 2 XL’s P-OLED panel.
The update includes a new Saturated color mode for both Pixel 2 models, fixes a faint clicking noise generated by some Pixel 2 units, and aims to extend the life of the Pixel 2 XL’s P-OLED display with a couple of features including a fade-out option for the navigation buttons at the bottom of the screen, and a lower limit on the phone’s maximum brightness.
The Pixel 2 series was launched a few weeks ago, with some recent buyers encountering various issues with their devices; the most infamous of which is the burn-in problem that appears to affect some Pixel 2 XL units.
Although this particular issue has been somewhat exaggerated by the media, Google did acknowledge the problem near the end of October and revealed its plans for an update that would improve the P-OLED experience and prevent the burn-in phenomenon.
Some of the fixes that are now distributed over the air have been available in the Android 8.1 Oreo Developer Preview build, including a navigation bar that fades out after a period of inactivity, and a small tweak to decrease the maximum screen brightness.
Aside from the clicking noise fix specific to the Pixel 2 and the display enhancements applied to the Pixel 2 XL, the latest update also brings some changes to color profiles and introduces a new “Saturated” option along with “Boosted” and “Natural” for both smartphone models, and furthermore, it includes the Android security patch for the month of November.
More interestingly, the update lowers the Pixel 2 XL’s maximum brightness by 50 nits. But before you all start panicking, Google’s VP of engineering, Seang Chau has clarified that the difference is “virtually imperceptible,” and that it’ll “significantly reduc[e] load on the screen with an almost undetectable change in the observed brightness.”
So while the display has technically become less bright, it’ll bring benefits for a small sacrifice. This change is only for the Pixel 2 XL, not the Pixel 2.
The latest software update started rolling out today – November 7th – and its availability will continue to expand to all eligible units in the wild over the next week. As usual, it’s advised to download and apply the new software build over a Wi-Fi network and with the battery of your Android flagship being fully charged.
According to Google, these features have been “carefully designed so as not to detract from the user experience” and further enhancements to maximize the life of the Pixel 2 display will be rolled out with the planned December Android software update next month.