On paper, the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have the best specs. A few days ago, expert reviews suggested that these are among the best Android phones you can buy right now. And hundreds of thousands of people have purchased it. But the larger Pixel 2 XL hasn’t had a smooth ride since people started using it. Early users have reported tons of Google Pixel 2 XL issues. If not resolved at the earliest, these problems could spiral out of control and tarnish Pixel’s brand image.

Google Pixel 2 XL Issues
Image Source: Google Store (screenshot)

There is a long list of Google Pixel 2 XL issues

Since the phones went on sale, the overwhelmingly positive reviews have taken the tone of caution or harsh criticisms. The Verge has revised its review and now recommends people to hold off ordering the larger version. First, the Pixel 2 XL buyers took to various forums to complain about a washed out display. Suddenly, hundreds of owners began discovering OLED burn-in issues.

The burn-in problem occurs when a particular element remains fixed on the screen for a long time. For example, the multi-tasking, home, and back buttons leave a “ghost” image or “shadow” even after they have disappeared. Other complaints have been about the off-angle color shift, and color tuning. Google has confirmed that it is investigating the issues. The regular Pixel 2 uses Samsung’s display, while the larger Pixel 2 XL features P-OLED display made by LG, which is still a newbie in the smartphone OLED market.

Google is not the first company to face problems with its flagship smartphones. Samsung still holds the crown for the worst smartphone launch in years. Faulty batteries in its Galaxy Note 7 exploded and injured dozens of users last year before Samsung recalled millions of units of the Note 7. The Korean company killed the device when even the replacement units began exploding. Apple had faced the infamous antennagate issue with the iPhone 4 and bendgate with the iPhone 6.

However, Apple and Samsung were established players when the problems with their respective handsets occurred. They had built a loyal fan base around the world. Google is still a small player in the hardware business. It sells only a few million handsets a year. So, the Google Pixel 2 XL issues could do some serious damage to the Pixel line’s brand image.

In consumers’ minds, both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have display problems

The potential buyers are holding off buying a Pixel phone, and those who had placed pre-orders are canceling it. It’s not yet known how severe the problem is. Is it a software issue or a hardware one? Will Google recall the Pixel 2 XL phones? Only time will answer these questions. What we do know is that a large number of people who were interested in Google’s latest offerings might have been turned off by the Google Pixel 2 XL issues.

You don’t want to spend close to $1,000 on a phone plagued by a series of problems. Another bad thing about the Google Pixel 2 XL issues is that people are associating the display problems with the smaller Pixel 2 as well. As The Verge points out, consumers are assuming that both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have problems. You can’t blame them because in most cases, the regular and larger versions of a phone have the same display technology. The displays are different in the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, though.

Meanwhile, owners of both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are reporting that their phones produce high-pitched noises and clicking sounds from the speakers when the device is held up to the user’s ear. Many users have pointed out in the Pixel User Community forums that turning off NFC resolves the clicking sound problem, though the high-pitched noise persists. At this point, it doesn’t appear to be as big a problem as the display. But thanks to the Google Pixel 2 XL issues, this small problem is getting additional attention.

Don’t buy until Google fixes the problems

Google was trying to position the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL as an iPhone challenger. The Pixel line was also supposed to be an alternative to Samsung’s premium Android phones that dominate the market. The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL certainly have the world’s best smartphone camera, a powerful processor, and other premium specs. But Google doesn’t have Samsung-like expertise in hardware manufacturing. Samsung’s OLED panels are years ahead of LG’s P-OLED screens that are used in the Pixel 2 XL.

Should you buy the Google Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL? The Pixel 2 doesn’t have as many issues as the Pixel 2 XL, but I would suggest you hold off until Google completes its investigation and fixes the issues either via software updates or by recalling the handsets. If you are a big Pixel fan and want to buy one anyway, go for the smaller Pixel 2. It has the same features as its larger sibling, except for the display and display-related problems.