Google’s Pixel 2 XL guaranty might not cover the biggest concern

There’s a antithesis to a approach Google is addressing intensity issues with a new Pixel 2 XL, that competence leave some buyers of a flagship phone reduction than assured with a company.

On a one hand, Google wants we to know reported shade issues for a phone, expelled Oct 19, aren’t a large deal. Even so, it’s motionless to extend a phone’s customary one-year warranty to dual years.

100417-google-pixel-2-xl-side-by-side-7192Enlarge Image

There’s a lot to adore about a Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, expelled Oct. 19. But we had some concerns about a incomparable phone’s screen. 

James Martin/CNET

But here’s a problem: That guaranty doesn’t indeed discuss a 6-inch OLED screen, one of a highlights of a $850 phone. In a pair of blog posts on Oct. 26, Google strongly suggested that a Pixel 2 XL’s many worrying emanate — where images could henceforth “burn in” to a screen — isn’t deliberate a forsake lonesome by a warranty.

“Thorough contrast of a Pixel 2 XL arrangement shows that a spoil characteristics are identical to OLED panels used in allied products,” wrote Google Mario Queiroz, clamp boss of product management.

So if Google says there’s no emanate with a Pixel 2 XL screen, how are business who explain to have shade problems ostensible to take advantage of a warranty? There’s no easy answer to this question, that is given we went to Google’s Silicon Valley domicile on Monday to speak about that shade and that guaranty with Queiroz and Seang Chau, clamp boss of engineering for Pixel software.

And even yet there are some enlivening difference for Pixel 2 XL buyers, explained in fact below, there’s also some reduction than comforting news. 

When it comes to a doubt of possibly you’re lonesome or not when it comes to a screen, a bottom line — so distant — is “maybe.”

It’s not startling that Google wouldn’t wish to possess adult to any problems with a Pixel 2 XL, quite if they incited out to be singular to a tiny collection of devices. Google CEO Sundar Pichai has done a large investment in consumer hardware, formulating a dedicated hardware multiplication final year and pouring some-more than a billion dollars into employing HTC engineers to accelerate a Pixel operation this September. The hunt hulk has been perplexing to position itself as some-more than usually a program company, though also as a lifestyle code that creates inclination you’d wish to put in your home or your pocket.

So any hits to a repute and peculiarity of its flagship phone — that is a aim of a vital promotion shell — competence be a blow to Google, generally as it heads into a all-important holiday selling deteriorate and tries to woo people divided from Apple’s iPhone X and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8.

Here’s where things stand. 

Good, though presumably confusing

Here’s a enlivening news: Google is now strictly peaceful to cruise burn-in and other shade issues as potentially authorised for guaranty support.  

“We’re unequivocally assured that Pixel delivers an well-developed smartphone experience, and if any business knowledge defects, including bake in, they should hit patron support for a resolution,” a association told CNET. “All guaranty requests are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and a two-year guaranty covers a series of areas, including display-related defects.”


CNET editor Dan Graziano couldn’t get his Huawei-built Nexus 6P replaced because he bought it from Best Buy instead of a Google Store. But Google says it backs a newer Pixel phones regardless of where we purchase.


Google also says a guaranty relates no matter where we buy a phone, so we don’t have to fight with your mobile conduit or large box store to get support. Just hit Google’s patron support.

Now, here’s a treacherous bit: Google still doesn’t trust any of a shade issues it’s seen so distant — both internally and floating around a web — validate as a defect. Unless your phone has an scarcely cryptic screen, that guaranty competence still not apply.

“Google has given itself substantial embodiment to appreciate a terms of a possess warranty,” says Adam Polk, an profession with a law organisation of Girard Gibbs in San Francisco who’s exploring a intensity category action around a Pixel 2 phones. “The guaranty prolongation moves this problem to a behind burner, though there is zero in essay committing Google to mount by this product if burn-in becomes an emanate in a future.” 

So that’s given a “maybe” stands. 

According to Google, a crux of a matter is this: all phones that use vibrant, high-end OLED displays can potentially humour from burn-in. Users have had this regard with opposition phones as well. But Google’s Queiroz and Chau pronounced Monday that a Pixel 2 XL doesn’t humour some-more than most, and importantly, that those afterimages aren’t manifest during normal use.

For instance, several reviewers and Pixel 2 XL claimed a Pixel 2 XL’s navigation bar competence leave resounding images of a Home, Back and Recents buttons forged into a screen. (CNET found a problem in 2 out of a 5 phones we tested.) Google creates an critical indicate about that: it’s not generally probable to see a picture of those buttons burnt into a shade given a navigation bar customarily covers that region.

Google Pixel 2 XL shade burn-in

Here’s a burn-in we saw on a Pixel 2 XL examination section when observation a grey tone swatch during full resolution. As distant as Google’s concerned, this turn of burn-in would not validate as a defect, given it doesn’t uncover adult underneath normal circumstances.

Josh Miller/CNET

(In other words, you’d have to make a navigation bar disappear before we could see a emanate — say, by observation a plain grey picture that takes adult a whole screen. Not accurately normal.)

To validate as a defect, a Google exec pronounced a burn-in would need to impact a buyer’s normal day-to-day use of a phone. You’d need to see it though contrast for it.

That blue tint? It’s intentional

As to a second many distinguished shade issue, blue shift, Google says all displays denote some grade of tone shift, a explain that remarkable arrangement expert Raymond Soneira confirms. (FYI, blue change happens when we lean a Pixel 2 XL off-center. Everything on shade takes on a blue tint.) With a Pixel 2 XL, Google pronounced Monday that it was a tradeoff: a association sacrificed wider observation angles in preference of softened arrangement opening when looking during a shade closer to true on. 

Bottom line: Don’t design Google’s guaranty to cover any unhappiness we competence have with blue shift.

One other thing value noting: Google pronounced on Monday a Pixel 2 XL’s colors do change some-more than a distinguished aspirant (whom Google asked me not to name) when a shade is slanted distant divided from your face — past 45 degrees or so. Even so, Google pronounced that during a some-more picturesque angles you’d reason a phone, a colors are some-more consistent. That doesn’t unequivocally nonsense with what CNET saw in a initial tests, though we admittedly usually tested a handful of phones.

Google will make changes

Google execs contend they were astounded by media reports of burn-in and other shade issues, given their inner dogfood tests — where a association distributes a product to a possess staff to copy real-world use — didn’t exhibit any issues. And given a initial reviews of a Pixel 2 XL in mid-October, Google pronounced it’s been contrast a “statistically significant” series of Pixel 2 XL inclination though anticipating any poor units.

But that’s not to contend Google isn’t holding additional stairs to assistance assuage business who feel a screen’s not adult to par.

Over a subsequent few weeks, a association skeleton to hurl out program updates that blur out buttons on a navigation bar to revoke intensity burn-in and to boost a vibrancy of a screen’s colors — another early complaint — with a new “Saturated” mode. (The shade nerds among us competence wish to review Google’s authority on tone management before enabling that to know a trade-offs of a several modes.)


Google also pronounced it’s already been operative with app developers to offer a lighter navigation bar (white with black buttons, instead of black with white buttons), that could potentially assistance a shade wear some-more evenly. Google combined that it’s constantly looking during tweaks like these to see if it can revoke a fundamental detriment of liughtness that some of a pixels in an OLED shade competence knowledge over time.

And if you’re unfortunate with a phone for any reason, “defect” or no, Google says it still wants we to call support so it can try to assistance out.

So how does all of this impact someone’s preference to buy this phone? Like many things, it’s not accurately cut and dry. Some CNET staffers didn’t notice a shade issues during all. Right now, we do trust normal, non-screen-junkie users will be assured with this phone, notwithstanding a teenager issues we’ve seen after a tighten examinations. 

But it’s value observant one some-more time that Google won’t acknowledge there are any issues with a Pixel 2 XL’s shade at all, in a blog posts or comments by executives. So if Google’s program updates don’t prove you, a guaranty competence not either. You’ll need to rest on Google’s good graces.

Depending on what you’re looking for in a phone, that could possibly be softly frustrating or a dealbreaker.

CNET’s Rich Nieva contributed reporting. 

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