Pixelgate: Google offers extended warranties and software updates to Pixel 2 owners
Google's VP of Hardware Product Management, Mario Queiroz, has issued a statement responding directly to a range of issues directed largely at the larger 6-inch Pixel 2 XL and its pOLED LG-made display. In response to customer concerns about the vibrancy of the display and possible issues with burn-in, Google has decided to add an extra year of warranty giving users two years of customer support up from just 12 months.
Queirox had this to say about the matter of color saturation on the Pixel 2 XL pOLED display:
On the topic of color saturation, we designed the Pixel 2 XL to take advantage of multiple facets of the innovative new pOLED technology, including QHD+ resolution with 538 pixels per inch and a wide color gamut. One of our design intents was to achieve a more natural and accurate rendition of colors. We know that some people prefer more saturated colors, so both Pixel 2 phones already include an option to boost colors by 10% for a more vivid look. And based on the recent feedback, we’re adding a new mode for more saturated colors, which will be made available via a software update to both Pixel 2 phones in the next few weeks.
Queiroz had this to say with regard to the reports of burn-in (differential aging):
Regarding differential aging, we put all of our products through extensive quality assurance before launch and in the manufacturing of every unit. Thorough testing of the Pixel 2 XL display shows that its decay characteristics are similar to OLED panels used in comparable products. Our current investigation of burn-in, which started as soon as we received the first user report on October 22, confirms that the differential aging is in line with that of other premium smartphones and should not affect the normal, day-to-day user experience of the Pixel 2 XL. Regardless, we use software to safeguard the user experience and maximize the life of the OLED display, and we’ll make ongoing software updates to optimize further.
Users have also complained about the Pixel 2 XL showing a blue tint that is particularly noticeable as soon as the device is viewed off-axis. In a post titled “Diving Deeper on the Pixel 2 XL display,” Google VP of Engineering Seang Chau says that the display is calibrated to a white point of D67 for a color temperature of 6700K. As a result, the “Pixel display errs ever so slightly on the blue side…,” which seems plausible, however some have suggested that the blue tint issue might be related to a poorly applied display polarizer.
A separate post from Google addresses clicking sound that some Pixel 2 owners have been experiencing. Apparently, this will be addressed in a forthcoming software update currently going through the validation process. In the meantime, affected users can turn off the NFC connection in settings as a short-term workaround for the issue.
The Pixel 2 smartphones have generally received very positive reviews, with the camera being singled out once again as a real highlight. It remains to be seen whether the software updates that Google is promising addresses the Pixel 2 XL display issues, or whether there might be underlying issues with LG’s pOLED display tech that simply can’t be addressed by software. Naturally, we will keep our readers updated if there are any further developments on the matter.