How large of a problem is a Pixel 2 XL’s screen, really?

Ping / Counterping is a special underline where editors of The Verge discuss issues from a universe of record head-to-head, no binds barred. Vlad Savov and Dieter Bohn are bringing it behind after a unequivocally prolonged interregnum to discuss either a shade on a Pixel 2 XL is a understanding breaker.

I reviewed a Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL a integrate of weeks ago. After that examination was published, we detected that a 2 XL exhibits some-more picture influence than you’d pattern on a flagship (or unequivocally any) phone, generally one so early in a lifecycle. Google fast changed to residence a issue as best it could, observant it’s assured there’s no genuine burn-in, yet also earnest program updates to lessen opposite it going forward. The association is also fluctuating a guaranty to dual years.

Ever since, I’ve been stability to exam both a Pixel 2 and a Pixel 2 XL. In fact, we purchased both phones so we could do longer-term contrariety on them. Yes, we am a maniac, yet this is also my job. I’ve also preordered an iPhone X, since we am an equal event maniac. Anyway, we have both Pixel 2 phones accessible to me during a humour now. And for a past week, my humour has been thus: we have been picking up, using, and enjoying a Pixel 2 XL many some-more mostly — notwithstanding a shade troubles.

I will now postponement and let my venerable colleague, Vlad Savov, conflict to this extraordinary information.


Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

Vlad Savov

For me, a Pixel 2 XL represents a impulse of personal (melo)drama. All via this year, we knew accurately what was going to happen: LG would build adult my expectations usually to let them down, Sony would announce a groundbreaking phone in winter that would be entirely conventional by a time it was expelled in a summer, and Samsung would be that small bit too undisturbed and unchanging in a ways to constraint my passions.

It was Google we was watchful on; each other phone, even a shining HTC U11, was a fling. The loyal inheritor to my Google Pixel passions was going to be a Google Pixel 2. And a Pixel 2 XL looked like something tighten to perfection: slim bezels, vast battery, plain design, and an even improved HDR+ camera. we was prepared to commit.

What we can’t pardon Google for is a approach it screwed adult one of a things we’d prolonged ago figured out. Good phone displays have been around for approach too many years for us to accept poor ones from Google. And generally not from a differently close-to-perfect Pixel 2 XL. The arrangement is too essential, too executive to all we do with a phone for it to be deliberate an excusable compromise.

Maybe we can live with shorter battery life. Maybe we can endure vast bezels for another year. But a bad screen? No chance. And that’s since I’ve finished adult a unequivocally confident Google Pixel 2 user, even yet we unequivocally would have desired to have been a delighted Pixel 2 XL owner. As to Dieter, we consider he’s investing his hopes in Google’s betrothed program fixes rather than looking during things objectively.

Dieter Bohn

You should never buy a phone currently formed on a guarantee of a program tomorrow. And make no mistake: we do not trust that Google’s program changes are going to change a knowledge of this screen. Google is earnest to do usually a few things, and zero of them are going to be vital changes.

It’s going to change a approach a nav buttons and other determined elements are illuminated up, so they’re reduction expected to means burn-in over time. That may revoke picture retention, yet we doubt it. It’s also going to give users a choice to spin off tone government and get some-more vibrant, less-accurate colors if they so choose.

That’s great, yet it won’t stop a blue change or a pellet on a earthy shade itself. But for me, in both of those cases, I’m not justly indignant about it. I’m not going to reject this shade out of a element that “Flagship, dear phones shouldn’t have sub-par screens.” Standing on element is reduction critical to me than carrying a phone that matches my needs.

Another thing: this shade does have saving qualities. Because it’s OLED, a blacks are wholly black and so we can get some unequivocally impassioned contrast. we generally like reading on a Kindle app during night with Night Light incited on — a usually pixels illuminated adult are a disproportion and they’re low adequate to not keep me awake. we don’t feel bereft or angry each time we demeanour during a screen. It’s also, we know, big.

I’m going to hang with a Pixel 2 instead of another Android phone since we consider a camera is roughly positively a best of this generation. Also since Google’s chronicle of Android is flatly higher to all else out there. As for which Pixel 2, it’s about trade-offs. For me, battery life and a vast shade for my big, reticent eyes is some-more critical than tone accuracy. Besides, let’s face it, a smaller Pixel 2 avoids a impiety of tone change yet is guilty of another sin: being small and cramped.


Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

Vlad Savov

It’s good that we brought adult a specifics of a Pixel 2 XL’s shade issues, Dieter, and good that you’re wholly wakeful of them in creation your choice. A vast reason for since I’ve been so assertive in my snub about a 2 XL is that a problems are not immediately celebrated — many people will travel into a Verizon store, demeanour during a skinny bezels and high DxOMark rating of a 6-inch Googlephone, and breeze adult assured that they’re removing a good product. we consider they’re getting, say, 90 percent of a good product.

I’m right there with we on a value of Google’s possess Android software, a significance of a plain battery, and a desolate leverage of Google’s Pixel cameras. The disproportion between us is that we do caring about principle. we caring that a approach we spend my income signals something to tech companies and mobile carriers. If I’m purchasing products with elemental flaws — either they be iffy displays or absent headphone jacks — I’m observant that those flaws aren’t meaningfully cryptic to me. If we wish a destiny of mobile tech to be tangible by extraordinary audio and video, that’s a running light that should be directing my purchases today.

Here’s my question: have we attempted regulating a Pixel 2 with all a arrangement settings reduced to a smaller size? It’s a small bit of a reversion to a BlackBerry days of yore, yet it has been a good resolution for me, wise copiousness of entertaining calm on a shade even yet imagination new shade tech.

Another thing that’s mostly missed with smaller phones: they make for many some-more watchful cameras when you’re out and about. we was a photo-happy traveller in Milan this past weekend, and we could fire my snaps yet feeling like everybody can see my huge screen, or like I’m removing in people’s way. The Pixel 2 is simply some-more inconspicuous.

Dieter Bohn

I have attempted a Pixel 2 with opposite settings, fiddling with both a “Display size” and “Font size” settings. Sadly, creation things smaller isn’t unequivocally an choice for me anymore. we use it on a go too mostly to review small form while station on a transport car, and I’m aged adequate that squinting isn’t an option.

You are scold that it’s critical to clearly promulgate to as many people as probable that a initial sense of a Pixel 2 XL shade isn’t going to accurate communicate a knowledge over time. This is a arrangement that is subtly worse than other phone displays in ways many will usually unconsciously notice, as we forked out here. But if you’re unwavering of those issues going in, we consider it’s a totally confirmed purchase.

As for a reduction celebrated camera, well, if we wish something like that, maybe I’ll collect adult a Google Clips camera ;).

I take your indicate about voting with dollars — and a Pixel 2 XL positively represents a lot of dollars. But somehow we doubt that my squeeze is going to pierce a needle. On a other hand, we theory I’m doing a bit of grandstanding myself with a Pixel 2. Samsung, OnePlus, and Essential have all figured out how to revoke bezels on smaller phones, so it’s usually a bummer to me that Google couldn’t figure it out.

Honestly, we consider some of a angst we’re all feeling right now is that smartphones are improved than they have ever been. In many ways, we can see clearly that it is 100 percent probable to build a Platonic Ideal Smartphone all of us wanted a integrate years ago. Yet, it is roughly obstinately not happening:

In a march of a work, we mostly collect adult and use mixed devices. The one we privately keep picking adult and sighing over is a Essential Phone. It army a opposite set of trade-offs — we can’t hoop a camera — yet a same simple feeling: we know that a scarcely ideal phone could be made, during slightest by a standards we’ve been vital with a past few years.

Just once, before AR and who-knows-what-else changes a manners and expectations again, I’d like somebody to make that idealized phone. Maybe it’s a iPhone X.


Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

Vlad Savov

The stupidity of a ideal phone is driven by a constantly rising standards of expectation. I’ve indicted a Pixel 2 XL of looking like it has an OLED shade from a year 2012, and that illustrates a point: even with a visible faults, this phone would have been deliberate modernized visitor tech 5 years ago. Everything is removing better. And if we all suspicion in comprehensive rather than relations ways, we’d be gay about it.

But there’s an unavoidable titillate to try and optimize a squeeze as dear as a smartphone and to find out a decisive best. Which phone gets me a many for my hard-earned money? we no longer consider there is a transparent answer to that doubt for a infancy of people. we know some members of my family who can’t live yet Apple Maps, for instance, others who dwell wholly within Facebook’s app ecosystem, and others still who are sum Google services addicts. Yes, they all use a camera, yet do they caring about a Pixel’s imaging advantages over something else that’s good, such as a Samsung Galaxy or an iPhone? How many does that aspect matter to them?

You and we yield plenty justification to uncover a disproportionate priorities people place on device characteristics. we have a checklist that goes camera, display, battery life, and until I’m confident that all 3 accommodate a certain standard, zero else matters about a phone. we can totally see a universe in that battery life is some-more important, as it is for you, and things like one-handed distance can totally trump all else. It’s usually that with a Pixel 2 XL we do indeed have a choice to get a infancy of a strengths yet a one vital weakness, and that’s since we keep advocating in preference of a Pixel 2.

More broadly speaking, I’m unworried that a ideal smartphone will ever come into being — yet we might be inequitable by a fact that we’d need to find new jobs if phones were ever perfected. Nobody cares to review about x-ray ovens these days, and that’s since they paint a bound problem. Phones are engaging since we’re still reckoning out a hows, whats, and whys of building and regulating them.

Dieter Bohn

Hard agree. Also, as prolonged as we’re on a subject of “figuring out a hows,” can somebody explain to me how it is that Google keeps shipping phones that should have been deserted by peculiarity control before they got out a bureau door? It’s mystifying.

I still can’t get over a feeling that a choices this year feel a small some-more sheer than usual. we know there will never be a ideal phone, yet we also know that it used to be a small easier to get a phone that strike high outlines in all a critical categories instead of usually many of them. Like we pronounced before, we can daydream what we wish and know it could have been made, yet darned existence keeps removing in a way. we censure Plato, tbh.

Well, now that we’ve wholly finished this turn of Ping / Counterping, First World Problems edition, it’s time to pierce on to a subsequent intensely absolved thing to dispute about: USB-C is still a disaster and it’s Apple and Google’s error for presumption a ecosystem would figure it out.

Vlad Savov

No evidence here.

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