Google announced Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL to much fanfare with one of the best smartphone cameras and stock Android experience that was hard to ignore. Google also tweaked the design to make them feel more modern and added a premium price tag to ensure it belonged to the top of smartphone price spectrum.
However, ever since the launch, Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL users started reporting a number of problems. The issues left a lot of Android users second guessing whether it would be the right decision to upgrade the newer Pixel smartphones. Google has managed to address some of the issues with quick software updates, but the problems just don’t seem to end. If you are considering buying the new Pixel, do take a look at all the problems that Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL users have reported since their launch
Pixel 2 XL swipe issue
Ever since the Android 8.1 Oreo update hit the Pixel devices, users have been complaining that their smartphone’s swipe mechanics have been affected, which has made the simplest task like unlocking the phone or answering calls, difficult. Some have also reported that they are having trouble swiping away notifications from the lock screen, whereas some say that they are facing difficulty swiping the notification bar down.
Pixel 2 XL Display Issue
The major issue has been around Google Pixel 2 XL’s P-OLED display, which is manufactured by LG’s display division. Users have reported that the display looks washed out in comparison to OLED displays on the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 or the Apple iPhone X.
The issue here is that Google calibrated the display on Pixel 2 XL in order to support wider color gamut but didn’t allow the colors to pop like they do on Samsung’s AMOLED panels. Google confirmed that it focused on accuracy and not vibrancy of the display.
The Pixel 2 XL supports 100 percent of DCI-P3 color gamut but developers noticed that the display is not tuned for sRGB color space leading to dull appearance. Google was quick to fix the issue by adding three color profiles with the November security update. The new Saturated mode makes the display look more vibrant, but color reproduction might be less accurate.
Blue shift on Pixel 2 XL
It is known that OLED panels exhibit blue shift by nature, but it can be mitigated at the time of manufacturing. However, Google Pixel 2 XL displays exhibit a blue shift that seems permanent. The blue shift is noticeable when you see the display from slightly off-center.
While Galaxy S8 and iPhone X also exhibit blue shift when viewed from a certain angle, the blue shift on Pixel 2 XL is quite dramatic. LG V30+ which uses the same P-OLED panel also exhibits similar blue shift when viewed off-center. While the issue is not a major concern, LG should have taken note of the issue at the factory itself and fixed it even before the device started shipping to customers.
The major display issue found on Pixel 2 XL is the screen burn-in, where part of the pixel gets burned into the OLED panel over time. The issue becomes noticeable on OLED panels as they age but on Pixel 2 XL, it became evident just weeks after the review units were seeded to tech journalists.
But Google responded saying that its tests proved the display on the Pixel 2 XL exhibited the same differential ageing characteristics seen on other OLED screens used in high-end smartphones. OLED screens are known to exhibit characteristics such as color shifts or image persistence, but these are only likely to appear in extreme use cases. In fact, this was reiterated by Apple, which uses OLED panel on the new iPhone X.
Clicking and high-pitched sound
This is one of the issues that affected both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL models. The issue being that Pixel users heard high pitched sound when the phone is placed right next to their ears. Some users also observed clicking sound while making phone calls.
Pixel owners suggested turning off NFC as the solution on Pixel Community Forum, but Google confirmed the issue and patched the same with the November software update.
This issue, discovered by 9to5Google, found that the top speaker of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL is quieter than the bottom one. It was observed that the top or left speaker of the Pixel 2 series was quieter than the bottom or right speaker by around 10dB.
The report added that Google deliberately lowered the speaker output because maximum output caused the Pixel 2 XL to vibrate and Google used software to lower the volume output. This is one of those issues which Pixel 2 users will not even notice during their normal usage.
Fingerprint sensor lag
The most recent issue is one where Pixel 2 smartphone users are noticing slower response time from the fingerprint sensor. Pixel 2 smartphone users claim the fingerprint sensor is lagging after upgrading to Android 8.1 Oreo. One user added that the sensor detected a finger and promptly vibrated but it took few seconds for the device to unlock.
The fingerprint sensor on Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are extremely fast and unlock devices almost instantaneously after touching it.
Slowdown with January Security Patch
Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL users are reporting slow down in their devices after updating their devices with January security patch. The users report that after the update, the app load times have increased and the device takes longer than usual to boot.
The Pixel owners have also reported that returning to home screen takes longer than usual. The problem, though minor, does not affect second-generation Pixel devices alone. Even those using first-generation Pixel devices have reported similar issues. The problem only affects those who sideload their devices with latest security patch and as a precautionary measure, the first and second generation Pixel owners should wait for the January security patch to arrive via OTA update.
Google Pixel 2 XL audio recording bug
The latest in the list of problems affecting Google Pixel 2 series is a bug that limits volume when recording messages. The problem seems to be affecting Pixel 2 XL only and users have reported that the bug limits volume when sending messages through apps like Instagram, Google Allo, WhatsApp or Telegram.
The Pixel community users have observed that uninstalling the messaging app or factory resetting the device does not fix the issue. Google has confirmed that it is investigating the cause and will issue a fix soon.
Google Pixel, Pixel XL defective mic
Besides the Pixel 2 smartphones, the first generation Pixel and Pixel XL devices also have their own set of issues. Users are reportedly suing Google over the defective mic on first gen Pixel smartphones. In March 2017, a Google employee attributed the problem to “a hairline crack in the solder connection on the audio codec.” However, he did mention that the problem can come and go depending temperature or based on how the phone is held.
February Security Patch
In the latest, Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL owners are complaining poor battery life and phones getting warm after February security update. The update was released early this month, which also enabled Pixel Visual Core for third-party apps, but it now seems to be affecting the core performance of the device. Google has not acknowledged the issue just yet but it could be fixed with March security update.