5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Buy the Pixel 2 XL

The new Google Pixel 2 XL is a good phone with plenty to offer, but it’s not for everyone. There are a lot of reasons to get one, but even more reasons not to. Whether that’s all the issues and problems that continue to surface, the confusion around Google’s warranty, or the many alternatives available.

Google’s smaller Pixel 2 remains a good buy, but we can’t confidently say the same about the bigger XL, at least not yet. Here’s what’s happening and a few reasons why you shouldn’t buy this phone today.

Read: 6 Best Pixel 2 XL Alternatives 

The first big concern is the display and all the complaints around it. However, in the weeks after the release date, we’ve seen a slew of other problems emerge. From image burn-in, phones shipping with no operating system, weird sounds coming from the speaker, or devices that failed quality control but shipped anyways. Google is taking steps to fix the situation, but we’re not sure if they’ve done enough yet.

On October 19th two phones hit the market made “inside and out by Google”. Those are the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, Google’s second attempt at its own smartphone. Initial reviews praised the bigger Pixel 2 XL for multiple reasons. It comes with a fancy 6-inch edge-to-edge display, dual front-facing speakers, long battery life, and the latest Android 8.0 Oreo software. Not to mention a world-class camera experience that offers features like Portrait mode. Only Google’s phone can do it with one camera, instead of needing two like Samsung and Apple’s latest devices.

Google improved in key areas over the original Pixel from 2016. This phone has a sleek design and water-resistance, it has better specs, the fingerprint scanner is blazing fast and much more.

But then the complaints started pouring in. Some shipped with no operating system, essentially a brick of metal and glass in a box. Owners started complaining about the screen, and after one week we saw signs of burn-in. A problem that most LED screens exhibit over time, but not after one week.

Read: 15 Common Pixel 2 Problems & How to Fix Them

Google quickly addressed these problems in two blog posts, promised the screen had no “real life” issues and extended the warranty to 2 years. Here’s the problem: Google’s warranty doesn’t specifically mention the biggest part of the phone, it’s 6-inch OLED display. According to Google nothing is wrong with the screen, so how can buyers get a replacement if that’s not covered. That’s just one of the many reasons we recommend passing on the Pixel 2 XL, or waiting until things clear up.

Don’t get me wrong, the Pixel 2 is still a good phone. The screen is worrisome, but it’s not terrible. It’s just not as great as Samsung or Apple’s screens. With that said, our slideshow below goes into more details on the Pixel 2 XL situation, and why you shouldn’t buy it yet.

Pixel 2 XL Display Problems

Pixel 2 XL Display Problems

The first problem is something anyone interested in the Pixel 2 XL has seen time and time again. Complaints all over the web have nothing but negative things to say about the screen. Google is using a 6-inch Quad-HD AMOLED display from LG. The same screen in the LG V30 smartphone. 

This is LG's first OLED display in a flagship phone, and it's not perfect. Just like the screen wasn't perfect in the early Galaxy S days. The colors aren't extremely vibrant like Samsung devices, and the viewing angles aren't the best. If you don't look directly at the Pixel 2 XL, there's a weird color shift where whites start to turn blue. This happens on every LED screen, but it's more visible on LG's panel. 

Another complaint is the colors and vibrancy of the Pixel 2 XL. Google optimized the screen to match the sRGB color space to show true-to-life and accurate color reproduction. That's nice, but the problem with that is most phone's don't show accurate colors. Millions of buyers have a Samsung phone with oversaturated colors that are vibrant, rich, and pretty. The Pixel 2 XL is dull and boring in comparison.

Google promised to release a software update that changes the color management on the phone. Giving owners the choice of sRGB, or something more saturated that closely resembles Samsung, Apple, or even the original Pixel screen. That's nice, but we don't know when that update is actually coming. 

Not to mention fixing the colors won't fix the viewing angles and color shift, or the "black smear" problems we keep hearing about. 

So while the Pixel 2 XL screen isn't a complete deal-breaker, we can't confidently recommend it in the current state. Until Google further addresses these concerns or releases that color-fixing update, it's a hard pass on the Pixel 2 XL.

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