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.
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.
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.