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Why You Should Be Wary of the Display on Google’s Pixel 3

by Justin Herrick | October 19, 2018October 19, 2018 4:30 pm PST

Google’s latest Pixel phones are alike in many ways. Still, there are some not-so-obvious differences starker than you might think. iFixit did a teardown earlier this week for the Pixel 3 XL, and it revealed an OLED panel from Samsung. The smaller model, however, doesn’t share a similar structure for its edge-to-edge screen.

It turns out that, despite last year’s controversy, LG earned itself another opportunity. The other South Korean company screwed up with the Pixel 2 XL, but it’s back again for the Pixel 3. LG makes the smaller model’s OLED panel, according to iFixit.

LG’s OLED panel on the Pixel 2 XL was criticized for burn-in, image retention, blue tint, graininess, and smearing. Although some of that seems to have been overexaggerated, there was definitely a gap in quality between it and Samsung’s alternatives. Now there’s some hesitation to go all-in on LG.

The decision might be puzzling, but it’s not too much of a surprise. Google made a significant investment in LG’s display-making business to develop OLED panels. If the Mountain View-based company pulled away, it’d basically have a near-$1 billion write-off. That’s a lot of money to lose even for Google.

Yet there shouldn’t be too much concern about the OLED panel on the Pixel 3. In early testing, multiple media outlets have reported on it flaunting vibrant colors and strong brightness.

As for its repairability, iFixit declared the Pixel 3 to be a 4/10. Google didn’t make it easy to fix the display without or unglue and reglue all the components. Needless to say, let a professional fix your Pixel 3 if necessary.

iFixit

Justin Herrick

Justin is easily attracted to power buttons. His interest in technology started as a child in the 1990s with the original PlayStation, and two...

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