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People are completely flipping out over issues with the Pixel 2’s display

Published Oct 19th, 2017 8:51AM EDT
Pixel 2 XL Display Problems

The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are already in the hands of consumers, and as is the case with most new products, people are already complaining. The main problem affecting the new Pixel 2 phones concerns the screen. Specifically, some people say there’s something wrong with the Pixel 2 XL’s display.

But is there really a problem? Yes. And no. Well, not exactly. But maybe. The good news, at least, is that Google says it might fix this problem that isn’t a problem but sort of is a problem if you don’t like it.

So what’s the issue? Various sources including Ars TechnicaCNET, The Verge, and Reddit mention several things that affect user experience.

People are complaining about annoying viewing angles that highlight a blue tint and “dirty” (grainy) backgrounds that are apparent when scrolling on webpages (whites that aren’t white), as well as muted colors compared to other smartphones and anything else that has a screen.

Apparently, the issue with the phone’s screen is that it has sRGB turned on by default. Google addressed the matter in a statement and suggested it’s willing to fix these problems, depending on feedback. It also said that the Pixel 2 XL should accurately render real-life colors. But that doesn’t appear to be the case with some users:

We designed the Pixel display to have a more natural and accurate rendition of colors this year but we know some people prefer more vivid colors so we’ve added an option to boost colors by 10% for a more saturated display. We’re always looking at people’s responses to Pixel and we will look at adding more color options through a software update if we see a lot of feedback.

While professionals may agree with Google, regular smartphone users will probably notice the differences between the Pixel 2 XL’s screen and other handsets. And these issues may affect their experiences on phones, especially when it comes to photos. Some people may end up editing their pictures to look more like on other devices because of the way they experience the images on the Pixel 2 XL.

Not everyone agrees that the Pixel 2 XL has a defective screen, however. And some people may never notice these issues, or be affected by them. But it appears like the Pixel 2 XL offers a much different screen experience than the Pixel 2, and even the LG V30. The latter packs the same screen used in the Pixel 2 XL, as LG makes both devices.

In short, the Pixel 2 XL does not have a “Displaygate” problem. There’s (probably) nothing wrong with the hardware, and a software fix might be in the works. But if the screen is everything to you, maybe test the Pixel 2 XL in a store first, and compare it with other devices that have OLED screens.

Chris Smith
Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.