Google’s Pixel 2 XL has been facing a lot of display-related issues from day one. Both the regular Pixel 2 and larger Pixel 2 XL users have reported clicking sounds and high-pitched noises coming out of the speakers. During Alphabet’s third-quarter earnings call, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told investors that the Google Pixel 2 pre-orders on the first day were more than two times higher than the original Pixel phones last year.
Google Pixel 2 pre-orders encouraging
Pichai did not reveal the exact number of Google Pixel 2 pre-orders. The original Pixel phones sold only in small volumes and faced availability issues for several months after launch, though the devices were praised for their powerful specs and the impressive camera. Pichai’s comments suggest that the Google Pixel 2 pre-orders were in line with the hype.
Pichai also talked about how he plans to get Google’s hardware products into more hands. Google will step up investments in marketing, sell in more countries, and join hands with more retailers. But the search engine giant also needs to focus on manufacturing and quality control. Selling lots of devices won’t help if customers keep complaining about the display, noise, and other issues.
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Google accounts for nearly 99% of Alphabet’s sales. For the third-quarter ending September 30, the technology giant posted revenues of $27.7 billion with $9.57 in earnings per share. Wall Street analysts were projecting $27.2 billion in sales and $8.33 in earnings per share. Sundar Pichai told investors that the search engine giant was battling with the problem of fake news and its impact on the world.
It is too early to say how the Pixel 2 XL display problems will affect the sales, especially during the all-important holiday shopping season. LG, which makes the larger Pixel 2 XL and its P-OLED screens, reported that its mobile division suffered a loss of $331 million during the third-quarter.
Google promises to fix Pixel 2 / 2 XL issues via software updates
The Pixel 2 XL users have complained about washed-out display colors, a bluish tint, and burn-in problems. The phone’s screen turns a shade of blue depending on the viewing angle. In the burn-in issue, users see the remnants of an element even after it is gone. Some other users have noticed high-pitched noises and clicking sounds from the speaker when on call.
Google has been investigating the issues. Surprisingly, the company said that the Pixel 2 XL screen burn-in rates were “in line with that of other premium smartphones.” The good thing is that Google is taking a series of steps to address users’ concerns. It has extended the warranty on Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL from one to two years at no extra cost. It applies to both the current and future Pixel 2 owners.
The search engine giant is also planning a series of software updates to optimize the display and reduce the burn-in rate. In one of the updates, it would make the navigation bar buttons at the bottom of the screen fade out after inactivity. It will reduce the chances of burn-in. The company will also reduce the phone’s maximum display brightness by 50 nits to minimize the strain on the display. Google says the reduction in the brightness is “almost undetectable.”
Google will also add support for a new “saturated” color mode that will be a little less accurate, but will satisfy people who want a more vibrant look. The company has also promised to fix the clicking sounds coming from the speaker. Until the update arrives, you can fix it by turning off NFC in Settings > Collected Devices > NFC. Google needs to address these issues at the earliest because they may hurt Pixel’s brand image.
If you have been thinking of buying the Google Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL, hold off until the search engine giant addresses the display and other problems. It would be interesting to see whether all of them can be fixed via software updates, or Google would have to recall some units. The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are among the best smartphones, but it’s not worth spending nearly $1,000 on a phone plagued by various problems. Buy only after the issues have been resolved.
If you want to buy one right now, go for the smaller Pixel 2. It has the same features and specs as the larger Pixel 2 XL, but doesn’t suffer from any display related issues. Google should roll out a fix to the clicking noise in a few days.