The Pixel 2 vs. the Pixel 2 XL. The smaller cellphone makes use of a 5-inch Samsung AMOLED display screen, whereas the bigger has a 6-inch LG P-OLED one.

James Martin/Proinertech

You might need heard: The Google Pixel 2 XL has a less-than-perfect display screen.

Relying on whom you ask — see: Reddit, XDA Builders — the cellphone’s LG-made P-OLED display screen has muted colours, a bluish tint or a blotchy, grainy texture that is seen whenever you scroll down webpages.

The brief reply: It is mainly all true.

However after a detailed comparability of 5 totally different telephones right here within the Proinertech workplaces — two Pixel 2 XL, two LG V30 and a Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus for comparability — it is extra of a nuanced challenge, and fewer of an open and shut case.

Display screen nerds could need to keep away from the Pixel 2 XL for now, however we do not consider any of the problems we’re seeing are deal breakers for odd customers.

Here is how issues shake out.

1. Muted colours

There is no query that the colours on the Pixel 2 XL’s 6-inch, 2,880×1,440-pixel P-OLED display screen aren’t fairly as vibrant as these on the flagship Samsung cellphone we used for comparability. We created pure purple, inexperienced and blue RGB pictures in Photoshop at every cellphone’s native decision for an apples to apples check, and the Pixel 2 XL’s colours have been persistently muted by comparability. It did not matter whether or not we turned on the cellphone’s “Vivid” mode, or decreased the Samsung cellphone’s brightness to higher match — the Samsung’s colours all the time popped in a approach the Google’s display screen did not.

However would you discover in on a regular basis use? We’re tempted to argue you would not. Once we watched film trailers and Proinertech movies as an alternative of peeping pixels, we had a troublesome time noticing a distinction in shade. (Perhaps the pores and skin tones have been barely higher on the Samsung.)

Google’s cellphone is water resistant.

James Martin/Proinertech

You may also argue that the muted colours are intentional, that Google calibrated its display screen this manner. Google definitely argued that, in a press release to Proinertech:

“We designed the Pixel show to have a extra pure and correct rendition of colours this yr however we all know some folks choose extra vivid colours so we have added an choice to spice up colours by 10% for a extra saturated show. We’re all the time folks’s responses to Pixel and we’ll have a look at including extra shade choices via a software program replace if we see loads of suggestions.”

However once more, the “Vivid” mode did not make a giant distinction in our assessments — and for no matter motive, the 2 LG V30 telephones we examined, additionally with equivalent dimension and determination P-OLED screens, did not have muted colours. They seemed almost as vibrant because the Samsung.

Moreover, colours aren’t the one potential challenge with Google’s display screen.

2. Blue shift

The cellphone seems to be nice seen head-on, pointed immediately at your face. OK, possibly the colours are a contact muted. (See above.) However tilt it even just a little bit, and all these colours get approach cooler. All the things you see takes on a blue tint.

It is common for a display screen’s colours to alter at off-angles, significantly in telephones with curved glass edges like these. Even our reference Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus takes on blue tint for those who tilt it far sufficient. However the Pixel 2 XL’s blue shift is so instant, the candy spot so small, that it’s essential maintain it completely stage along with your face to keep away from the blue shade forged.

Here is the factor: It is not almost as unhealthy on LG’s personal cellphone, the LG V30. We pit two LG V30 telephones towards two Pixel 2 XL telephones, and the V30s did not tackle almost as deep a blue tint when tilted the identical diploma.

three. Noisy/blotchy display screen

Of the varied issues with the Pixel 2 XL’s display screen, that is the tiniest by far. Certainly one of my colleagues stated she could not see the problem in any respect. However for those who look very intently, significantly when scrolling down a white webpage, with the cellphone’s brightness turned down, possibly in a darkish room, for good measure, you’ll be able to see little splotchy rainbows seem on the floor of the display screen, or a nice grain just like the noise of a photograph taken in poor gentle.

The idea is that these are as a result of the person subpixels that make up the pixels of the display screen aren’t all lighting as much as the identical diploma, and so a few of these subpixels stand out. I am unable to affirm that, however I positively noticed it occur on each the Pixel 2 XL and LG V30 telephones.

Nonetheless, as soon as once more, it wasn’t almost as noticible a problem on our twin LG V30 models because it was on our two copies of the Pixel 2 XL. 

Which leads me to consider there’s extra to the story than Google is letting on.

Eye of the beholder

The “smoking gun” for some are the noisy, blotchy patterns which are (barely) seen within the Pixel 2 XL’s display screen, which immediately mirror these in early “preview” samples of the LG V30 despatched to journalists over six weeks in the past, akin to those highlighted by Ars Technica’s Ron Amadeo.

Early previews complained of points with the LG V30’s display screen as effectively.

Sarah Tew/Proinertech

That is successfully what Vlad Savov at The Verge is saying: That LG’s P-OLED display screen expertise could also be responsible. Each screens are from the identical producer, are the identical dimension and determination, and use the identical underlying P-OLED display screen expertise, so it is not an enormous leap to make.

However once we examine the V30 and the Pixel XL, we’re seeing one thing totally different. Our ultimate evaluate models of the LG V30 look significantly higher.

What does it imply? Nicely, with the caveat that perceptions are subjective, maybe Google obtained a nasty batch of LG screens, just like those that wound up in these LG V30 “preview” models just a few early reviewers obtained.

I’ve no proof of that — Google declined to remark and LG did not instantly reply to a request for remark — so take that concept with a grain of salt.

Nevertheless it would not be the primary time that an preliminary manufacturing run had some teething issues. Keep in mind the “yellow-tinted” iPhone 4S screens in 2011?

The query is: Will the Pixel 2 XL you purchase have a display screen that appears extra just like the Pixel 2 XL models now we have, or the LG V30s now we have? I am unable to reply that query.

You are not lacking a lot

Once more, none of those points are deal breakers. Lots of them aren’t even noticeable except you are a pixel peeper, or examine the Pixel 2 XL aspect by aspect with different telephones. We’re not at present planning to dock factors from our Pixel 2 XL evaluate, as a result of the display screen continues to be lovely, sharp and colourful, even when it is not the most effective that OLED has to supply.

Talking of which, we did not spot any useless or discolored pixels in any of those telephones, which was one discussion board concern. We examined with completely-black and completely-white pictures, and every cellphone provided the good whites and inky blacks that OLED screens are recognized for. No points there.

If you happen to’re an absolute display screen nerd, for whom the display screen is the principle motive to choose one cellphone over one other, you may rethink your Pixel 2 XL determination. (You may also rethink for those who’re planning to make use of Google’s VR headset.) 

In any other case, we at present suppose the Pixel 2 XL is a wonderful alternative.

Simply possibly purchase it via Google’s Play Retailer, which typically has a way more liberal return coverage than different retailers.


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