Hold the applause, Google’s Pixel 2 is faltering

We all had high hopes for Google’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL; even the most religious iPhone worshippers were interested to see if the digital dominator had the technology to put an end to Apple’s supreme smartphone reign.

Google's Pixel 2 and 2XL (2)[Credit]

On October 4th Google’s Pixel 2 and 2XL exploded into the world of tech, achieving full marks across the board. In the words of Wired, “it [had] the best, smartest, most reliable software”. The Verge explained that “there [were] some who fear that the Pixel 2XL will suffer from the screen issues that plague[d] a closely related phone, the LG V30.” But went on to counter this, saying “that’s not the case for me; my screen doesn’t have any blotches or dead pixels”. Even Trusted Reviews considered the new-comer as “the best version of Android”.

Google's Pixel 2 and 2XL (4)[Credit]

Pixel 2, we were all rooting for you.

Google’s Pixel 2: the issues

However, since the euphoric release, it hasn’t been all rainbows and butterflies for the tech titan. Around 100 people on Google’s Pixel Product Forum have complained about various noises, primarily a clicking and high-frequency whining, from the call speaker. The clicking had been likened to a second-hand on a bad watch that runs continuously when the phone is unlocked, or as Gadget Comparer likes to describe it – a Chinese torture technique. The high-pitched noise is less intrusive as it’s only heard when the owner is on a call – erm.

Google's Pixel 2 and 2XL (3)[Credit]

Fortunately for Google’s 2XL, the noise irritations don’t seem to be as severe, with fewer people complaining (but, the noise is still there). However, riddled with hardware issues of its own, the 2XL has been suffering from a bunch of screen issues. Not only are there reports of the handset offering up graininess and odd blue shifts, but now 2XL owners are being blessed with burn-in on units that are just a week or two old.

Burn-in, which is a fault with the display. It still works as normal; however, a ghost image or discolouration will persist on the screen. To be considered burn-in the defect must be permanent (and not a glitch or frozen screen).

How to check for burn-in

Sometimes if the burn-in is slight, and because we often have a tonne of information on our screens, it can be hard to detect the fault. Here’s a quick test you can do:

  • Open this article in a web browser on Google’s Pixel 2
  • Hover over the black and red images below, moving the screen around to test different areas.

black red

  • Problem areas include the bottom of the screen, where navigation bars and buttons are, as well as notification areas (particularly near the clock).

You should be looking for faint, or “ghost” images of any screen elements that are left behind. The black and red background will help to highlight the defects.

What to do

If you’ve got Google’s Pixel 2 and are worried, unfortunately, there’s not a great deal you can do. There are apps on the Play Store that will claim to reverse the damage – but steer very clear of these – they’ll only burn the rest of the screen to match the problem area.

If you haven’t experienced any problems, then you can lower your risks by:

  • Lowering the display brightness.
  • Shortening the screen-off timer to reduce the length that static elements are displayed unnecessarily.
  • Where possible, use immersive mode (which hides navigation and static icons).
  • Change your wallpaper regularly (and pick one with darker colours).

If you are experiencing issues within the first week, or even month, then you’ll need to contact your contract provider as you can get a replacement. In 2016, when we saw similar issues with the original Pixel, people were issued with post-haste warranty replacements. Though, at this point, there’s no guarantee that a similarly faulty handset wont replace it (yippee!)

Still, note the issue with your provider and sit tight for an announcement from Google who are “considering the reports”.



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