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Google looks into reports of Pixel 2 XL screen burn-in problems

It’s well-known that OLED displays can suffer from screen burn-in if objects regularly remain on screen for long periods — that’s why Samsung uses tricks like shifting the home button on newer phones. It’s not supposed to crop up mere days after you’ve brought a device home, however, and that’s what has Google and owners concerned about the Pixel 2 XL. Google told Android Central that it’s investigating reports (including from AC‘s own Alex Dobie) of the 2 XL’s P-OLED screen apparently suffering burn-in after roughly a week. It’s not offering a verdict on the issue at this stage, but it stresses that it puts products through “extensive quality testing.”

While the evidence seems strong at first blush, it’s not certain that this is burn-in. There’s a chance this is image retention (something more commonly associated with LCDs), which could go away on its own if you introduce some variety to what’s happening on screen. It’s also uncertain just how many people are affected. There are certainly other reports of burn-in, but there’s a difference between anecdotal stories on forums and widespread issues.

Whatever the case, this definitely isn’t what Google wanted to deal with. There are already other complaints about the Pixel 2 XL’s display, whether it’s colors that aren’t as vibrant as on some phones (albeit more accurate) and a blue tint when you view the screen from a sufficiently wide angle. The Pixel 2 XL is supposed to be one of Android Oreo’s two showcase devices, but it may end up leaving a sour taste in people’s mouths if it’s more commonly associated with display flaws.

Source: Android Central

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Existing EV batteries could be recharged five times faster

Lithium-ion batteries have massively improved in the last half-decade, but there are still issues. The biggest, especially for EVs, is that charging takes too long to make them as useful as regular cars for highway driving. Researchers from the University of Warwick (WMG) have discovered that we may not need to be so patient, though. They developed a new type of sensor that measures internal battery temperatures and discovered that we can probably recharge them up to five times quicker without overheating problems.

Overcharging a lithium-ion battery anode can lead to lithium buildup, which can break through a battery's separator, create a short-circuit and cause catastrophic failure. That can cause the electrolyte to emit gases and literally blow up the battery, so manufacturers impose strict charging power limits to prevent it.

Those limits are based on hard-to-measure internal temperatures, however, which is where the WMG probe comes in. It's a fiber optic sensor, protected by a chemical layer that can be directly inserted into a lithium-ion cell to give highly precise thermal measurements without affecting its performance.

The team tested the sensor on standard 18650 li-ion cells, used in Tesla's Model S and X, among other EVs. They discovered that they can be charged five times faster than previously thought without damage. Such speeds would reduce battery life, but if used judiciously, the impact would be minimized, said lead researcher Dr. Tazdin Amietszajew.

Faster charging as always comes at the expense of overall battery life but many consumers would welcome the ability to charge a vehicle battery quickly when short journey times are required and then to switch to standard charge periods at other times.

There's still some work to do. While the research showed the li-ion cells can support higher temperatures, EVs and charging systems would have to have "precisely tuned profiles/limits" to prevent problems. It's also not clear how battery makers would install the sensors in the cells.

Nevertheless, it shows a lot of promise for much faster charging speeds in the near future. Even if battery capacities stayed the same, charging in 5 minutes instead of 25 could flip a lot of drivers over to the green side.

Via: Clean Technica

Source: University of Warwick

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