Google Pixel 2 XL owners can't catch a break.
After reports of screen burn-in, handsets shipping without operating systems, and other problems, some Pixel 2 XL owners have reported on Google's Product Forums that their screens are smudging without any way to address the issue.
After some digging, users both on the product forums and Reddit say that the issue appears to be the oleophobic coating on the Pixel 2 XL's screen, which is wearing off too quickly and allowing the smudging.
Oleophobic coating is applied to smartphone screens to act as a protective barrier against fingerprints. The coating repels smudging but also allows you to more easily remove them when they do show up on the screen. With each swipe across the screen, however, the coating comes off a bit, and after a prolonged period of use, there's a good chance the coating will be wiped away and smudging will become more apparent.
However, according to the forum postings, which were earlier reported on by BGR, the coating appears to be coming off just weeks after the Pixel 2 XL launched. The problem doesn't appear to be affecting the Pixel 2.
The problem, of course, is that there isn't a simple fix.
It's unclear from the forum posters just how big of a problem this is. Some users have complained, but those who are on forums do not make up the majority of Pixel 2 XL owners. So, it's possible this is a rather small issue that affects a small number of users.
Still, in light of the recent Pixel 2 woes, including burn-in and other flaws, the latest reports point even more to the troubles Google has experienced with its Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. And next year, if Google really wants to compete with Apple and Samsung, it'll need to address quality control before the smartphones ship.
Google has so far not responded to the oleophobic coating reports.