Google probably hoped that their new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones were going to be iPhone killers, but so far, just a few weeks after they were brought to market, the only thing that has these smartphones in the news is problems.
The problems with the Pixel 2 lineup, which is Google second-generation lineup of smartphones, tend to involve both audio and video. Google doesn’t actually build the smartphones; they’re built for them according to the company’s specifications.
Processors are the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, with storage options of either 64 or 128 GB. The primary differences between the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL are screen size and resolution, with the XL offering a bigger screen and better resolution.
Unfortunately, that bigger screen and better resolution isn’t going to help much given some of the problems that Google has had reported to them regarding the displays.
The first unpleasant reports had to do with screen burn-in, where a commonly displayed image on the screen can, with time, begin to be visible on the screen after the phone has been turned off.
For many people, burn-in is a relic of old CRT computer monitors, which more common LCD monitors do not exhibit. The OLED (organic light-emitting diode) displays used by the Pixel 2 models can have this problem, and Google is reportedly working on it.
Other video problems with the Pixel 2 line include a “black smear” issue, where black pixels seem to take their time in changing to colored pixels as images change on the phone.
Other issues have to do with customer complaints about understaturated colors. Google says that their phones conform to spec, but users accustomed to other brands of smart phones say that the Pixel 2 displays have dull colors compared to their competitors.
That’s possible; anyone who has ever bought a flat-screen television will probably notice that the manufacturers tend to “dial up” the color levels in order to give a more vivid, if less accurate display. That works well in store showrooms even if the colors shown may not reflect the actual world in which we live.
Of course, customers want what customers want, and if they want brighter, less-accurate colors, then they should have it. Google is reportedly working on a solution to be released soon in a firmware update.
Yet another problem with the displays of the Pixel 2 is that they do not view well unless you’re looking right at them. If you view them at an angle, the images tend to not look too good. This could be a hardware problem, and there’s no word on whether Google is working for a fix.
Finally, users are complaining about problems with audio, too, saying that when listening to music or other audio sources, the sound on the Pixel 2 series can suddenly develop a tinny sound that can also sound garbled.
Google says they are aware of the issue and are working on a fix that should be available soon.
These are the problems with the constant struggle to keep hardware up to date and to keep ahead of the competition.