Some Google Pixel 2 XL oleophobic coatings are already wearing off, leaving behind smudges

Ben Schoon, 9to5Google:

Almost every Android smartphone ships with an oleophobic coating on the glass, and the purpose of that is to help make fingerprints easier to get off of the display. In short, it keeps the oil from your fingertips from adhering to the glass, and it also makes water easier to wipe away.

Over time, this coating wears off, but it usually takes at least a few months or years of intense usage. On the Pixel 2 XL, however, some owners are having this come up within just a couple of weeks.

iPhones have shipped with an oleophobic coating, starting with the iPhone 3GS. This is mature technology. Surprising to see this issue crop up with the Pixel 2.

I’ve got an email in to Google PR asking about this issue, will update this post if and when I get a reply.



  • Janak Parekh

    I wonder if the oleophobic coating is worth it more broadly. Sure, I love the idea of fewer fingerprints, but it often fails, e.g. if you put your phone in a case, then the fingerprints often don’t wipe off by themselves. And then it wears off a year or two later, unevenly, and feels weird. Or there’s the case of the iPad Pro, which doesn’t use it because of Apple Pencil.

  • JimCracky

    Shitty phone with great reviews. Despite the crummy screen, problems with the camera’s portrait system and now this, it'[s still the “best smartphone.”

  • jimothyGator

    Before we gloat too much, there is at least one report of this happening on the iPhone X, too. How widespread the problem is remains to be seen.

    http://www.idownloadblog.com/2017/11/08/iphone-w-air-bubbles-display-banding/

  • rick gregory

    Man, the 2 XL is just a clusterfu… The 2 seems fine. If I’m Google, I’m looking into why that is.

  • Mo

    “Is it ready to ship?”

    “Sure. Why not.”

  • Sigivald

    This is half a disaster, all together (the P2XL problems).

    Which is odd, since Google’s own hardware has traditionally, as I understand it, been of excellent quality.

    (Kinda like Microsoft’s – for all people dislike their software sometimes, I’ve never had a piece of hardware with “Microsoft” on it that was of low build quality.)

    • Colin Mattson

      Le Garbage was perhaps not the best choice of manufacturing partner.

      LG can’t even produce their own flagship phones (the ones with their name on them) to anything approaching consistent spec, and Google thought they could somehow produce the flagship of Android flagships?

  • Herding_sheep

    Google sure is catching up to, or even surpassing Apple in hardware. Tech media sure nailed that one.

    Apple got slammed for iPad 3’s getting warmer than iPad 2. Google on the other hand gets awarded “best smartphone” for a phone that tech media would have sang “Apple is doomed” if the table was reversed.