Leading into the announcement of the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, one of the great mysteries involving Google’s latest pair of Android smartphones was from which supplier the search giant had sourced its OLED panels.
Thanks to iFixit, that mystery has been solved.
Well, at least partially.
According to the company, which recently published its teardown of the Pixel 3 XL, at least one-half of Google’s new smartphone lineup features a Samsung AMOLED panel. After taking apart its unit, iFixit discovered tell-tale serial markings that confirmed the origin of their Pixel 3 XL’s display panel. The company also found a host of other Samsung-influenced design elements, including plenty of adhesive around the battery.
At the moment, it’s unclear if the Pixel 3 features a Samsung display panel, as well; iFixit only took apart the Pixel 3 XL, not both devices. Moreover, since iFixit only took apart one unit, it’s unclear if Google is dual-sourcing OLED panels from both Samsung and LG.
Last year, Google single-sourced the Pixel 2 XL’s flexible plastic OLED panel from LG. The Pixel 2 XL’s OLED display became notorious for a variety of reasons, including poor colour management, premature OLED burn-in and a purple smear effect.
In contrast, the screen on the Pixel 3 XL appears much improved. DisplayMate, one of the leading authorities on display panel technology, awarded the Pixel 3 XL’s screen its highest possible A+ rating, praising factors like colour accuracy and screen reflectance.
Turning to repairability, iFixit awarded the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL a score of four out of 10. That’s a lower repairability score than last year’s Pixel 2 XL, which iFixit awarded a score of six out of 10.
One of the main issues with the new Pixel XL is that, thanks to the layout of the phone’s internals and ample use of adhesive inside, the majority of repairs are more complicated than they were with the Pixel 2 XL. Additionally, the new glass back, which is necessary for wireless charging, is easier to damage.