It's an ongoing saga, and it's on the verge of ruining one of the most anticipated smartphone releases this year: LG's new POLED displays certainly seem to have a few issues. But the biggest issue of them all — an apparent susceptibility to screen burn-in — may not be the problem we thought it was.
Redditor RJvXP now has us convinced that the Pixel 2 XL's "burn-in" problem is really just image retention. This is a common issue that happens with many different types of screens, including AMOLED and LCD, where a static image that has been displayed for a long time seems to stick around. Unlike burn-in, however, it's not permanent — and this appears to be the case with the Pixel 2's navigation buttons showing up when viewing a solid-colored image in full-screen mode.
As you can see in RJvXP's video above, the "ghosting" effect with the on-screen navigation keys starts to disappear when the screen is made to display a different color (namely black). This wouldn't happen if this were in fact burn-in, which is a problem with all OLED screens, but usually only after several months or years of use. The criticism with the Pixel 2 XL's screen has mostly centered on the fact that this effect appeared after only a week or so of use.
If the navigation buttons are only suffering from image retention, there's not much to worry about here. Sure, you might notice it when going into full screen for the first time in a while, but it would slowly fade away shortly after that.
That's not to say LG's new POLED displays (and more specifically, the one found in the Pixel 2 XL) are not without their faults. Uneven or dull colors, a blue tint when viewing the screen at off-angles, and now, image retention, are all very real issues — just maybe not deal-breakers. You can read more about the whole ordeal at the following link if you need to get yourself up to speed.