The Pixel 2 XL display has been under fire from many in the Android community since the phone’s launch. There are reports a-plenty about dull colors, blue color-shifting, and even screen burn-in, in some cases.
In fact, our own Rob Blaich wrote an article suggesting that you buy the Pixel 2, rather than the Pixel 2 XL. But, that was before we had a device in hand, and based purely on my experiences with the smaller variant and the shitstorm of negative press the larger variant was getting at the time.
I’m here to give my personal opinion on all of this – and you can take it, or leave it. I’m just a regular, everyday consumer, like many of you reading this article. But these are the types of opinions that mean the most to me.
I’m not a professionally-paid, corporate-backed device reviewer. I’m the end-user who, aside from being lucky enough to receive review devices (shout-outs to Verizon, as always!), pays cold-hard cash for all of his phones. I keep it 100% real in all of my reviews.
That said, here are the Pixel 2 display flaws I’ve personally seen.
#BlueScreengate is very real
I’ll be the first to admit that #BlueScreengate is real. Let’s get that out of the way first and foremost. There’s a minor blue tint when you hold the Pixel 2 XL at a non-straight-on viewing angle. When you hold the device face-forward and you’re looking straight at it, there’s no problem at all.
I get it – you may like to look at your phone at an angle on your desk from time to time, and it may have a very slight blue tint when you do. But is it something that’s going to detract from your viewing experience? Absolutely not.
This may sound like a bullshit answer, but it’s only a “defect” if it bothers you, and in my case, it doesn’t; not a bit.
The black jelly effect is real too, I guess…
This one is also true, although I’ve only noticed it in one instance. There’s a very small – and when I say small, I mean “you might miss it” small – smearing effect when sliding through apps on the Play Store.
The black jelly effect may exist elsewhere, but not that I’ve noticed in my daily usage. And I’ve been putting a few hour of screen-on time on this baby every day since I got it.
Nope. Not here.
And again, I’ve had this screen on as much as possible over the past week-and-a-half. Especially considering this is a review unit that, if it’s a screen defect, I can only assume I won’t be held responsible for burn-in, I WANT to replicate the burn-in issues I’m seeing other folks raging about. But I can’t, if that tells you anything.
I’ve been rocking at full-brightness, and I’ve yet to see anything that even makes me scratch my head, let alone grab the pitchfork.
And before any potential Apple fanboys chime in here about how the iPhone X display is superior, can it. Apple is actually reminding (see: warning) its customers about the potential for image retention and screen burn-in due to the iPhone X also using an OLED display.
So, there’s that.
Should the Pixel 2 XL display “issues” stop you from buying?
That’s completely up to you. If you want a really saturated and colorful display, you might be better off with the Galaxy Note 8. But you can sit in the corner quietly waiting for your Oreo (and future) updates. And you can continue to take photos that look overprocessed and oversaturated, too.
Don’t get me wrong – I just gave the Note 8 a glowing review, and I stand by every word of it. But given the chance to do it all over again with a handful of cash, the Note 8 on the left, and the Pixel 2 XL on the right, I’m going with the Pixel 2 XL every time.
Another thing worth considering is this: when you make the switch from one of those overly-saturated displays to the Pixel 2/Pixel 2 XL display, it may look different at first. Give it a week or two, then go back and look at that Galaxy S8/S8+/Note 8 display you were so in love with. I promise you, it’ll be the one that looks “off”.
It is my honest opinion that there’s nothing here to be upset about. In fact, I’d be just fine with my purchase, had I went with the larger device, rather than the smaller Pixel 2. For the record, I only got the Pixel 2 because the 2 XL is slightly out of my budget right now. I may end up with one at some point down the road, though.
And by all means, don’t take my word for it. You can buy into those “professional” reviewers giving the Pixel 2 XL display a bad name, or you can make an honest, educated decision for yourself. Trot on into your local Verizon store, get some hands-on time with the device, and be sure to look at it from every angle you can think of.
If the display isn’t up to your standards, buy something else. But again, keep your complaints to yourself come I/O season when the next version of Android rolls out and you’re stuck on the sidelines wishing you had a Pixel 2 XL.
Put down those pitchforks, Y’all! The Pixel 2 XL display is fine.