Google’s newly launched Pixel 2 XL smartphone has received some criticism from buyers who claim the POLED display appears ‘dull’ when compared to the vivid OLED displays used by some of Pixel 2 XL’s competition. Google recently commented on the criticism, telling 9to5Google that it will consider releasing a software update that adds more display color options.
“One of our design intents was to achieve a more natural and accurate rendition of colors,” Google said in its statement. For users who want more vivid colors, Google says it has provided an optional setting to increase the saturation by 10%. However, should that prove inadequate, Google says it will, “consider adding more display color options through software if that makes the product better.”
But a ‘dull’ screen isn’t the worst of Google’s Pixel 2 XL display troubles—this week’s news is just getting worse and worse for the handset. Some early adopters claim they are already experiencing burn-in, others claim there are ‘blue tint’ issues, and some reviewers have noticed a ‘graininess’ issue.
Regarding the burn-in issue, Google told The Verge it is “actively investigating” the reports. After all, while muted colors aren’t a concern for some users, rapid burn-in—a problem that causes a potentially permanent ‘ghosting’ image to appear on the screen—could be enough to deter consumers from buying the phone altogether.
Early Pixel 2 XL users are also reporting a distinct blue tint that is visible when looking at the display from an angle. This blue tint issue is said to be most visible when the display’s background is light; a similar problem has been observed with the previously launched LG V30, a handset that features the same panel used in the Pixel 2 XL. Our 2 XL handset definitely exhibits this issue, and we’d describe it more as a cyan-green shift accompanied by progressive desaturation the further you view off-axis:
|We can indeed confirm the viewing angle issues of the Pixel 2 XL, at least on our unit. Here it is pictured next to the original XL (bottom) in our offices. There is a cyanish-green shift accompanied by progressive desaturation as you tilt the phone in any direction in your hand. It’s noticeable at even modest viewing angles. This can particularly make using the Pixel 2’s otherwise phenomenal camera a bit uninspiring: the preview looks noticeably desaturated and greenish if you shoot any angle that doesn’t have the phone directly in front of you.|
Finally, reviewers have noted that the Pixel 2 XL’s POLED display has an underlying graininess not shared by the Samsung OLED panel used in the smaller Pixel 2 phone. Ars Technica posted a side-by-side comparison photo of the two phones that highlights the XL’s graininess issue.
It’s safe to say it’s been a rough weekend for Google. We’ll keep you updated as Google addresses each of these issues in turn, and keep an eye out for our own Pixel 2 XL review coming soon!
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