Google responds to the Pixel 2 XL screen controversy

Ever since people started getting their retail units of the V30 and review units of the Pixel 2 XL, Reddit and XDA forums became abuzz with complaints that there is something amiss with LG's P-OLED panels that both phones carry. 

Starting with subdued colors, and continuing with blotchy, non-uniform pixel brightness, grainy texture while scrolling, and very pronounced "blue tint of death" when you at the phone from the slightest angle, various issues have been noted in forum threads. previews and final reviews alike. Google came out with a statement to explain the pale coloring, but is mum on the rest of the issues:

Even if you boost the screen colors of the Pixel 2 XL in "vivid" mode, the testers claim, they still remain lifeless in comparison to, say, Samsung flagships' default mode, or even to the retail V30 units. Moreover, no amount of software updates can fix irregularly lit pixels resulting in scattered brightness spots, which is likely a result of the active matrix passing more current than needed to light up some individual pixels, but we'll take a deeper look at the displays on the retail units, and let you know if there are any issues you can't live with (unlikely). 

LG's P-OLED screen tech stands simply for plastic OLED, one with an underlying polymer instead of rigid glass substrate, allowing for thinner, more flexible displays, which is what Samsung also uses for the curved screens of, say, the Note 8 and S8. That being said, though, the quality of those plastic OLED screens depends on many other input components like the plastic compound mixture used, the type of organic materials used for the LEDs (especially the blue pixels which degrade the quickest), and even the sub-pixel matrix arrangements. LG doesn't have the years of extensive experience Samsung has with flexible OLED displays in retail handsets, and it might be that their P-OLED technology needs further fine-tuning and improvements to reach its true potential.

source: XDA, Reddit & CNET

Related phones

Pixel 2 XL
  • Display 6.0" 1440 x 2880 pixels
  • Camera 12.2 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Octa-core, 2350 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 3520 mAh



1. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

No one can make oled as good as Samsung. Samsung has spoiled a lot of people thinking all oled screens on phones are as great. The sad truth is LG cant produce anything near good.

9. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Right, Samsung is the only one that can make great OLED, and competitors know it really well. That's why Google and Apple invest several billions to LG's P-OLED, to stop Samsung's monopoly (or at least, to make competition)

20. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

Samsung has been investing tens of billions in oled tech and factories for decades. The investment LG and Apple do is laughable the least. Not only that but Samsung's tech is way ahead of any competition when it comes to mobile phone oled.

26. KingSam

Posts: 1515; Member since: Mar 13, 2016

Samsung staying true to oled is paying off big time. LG makes great oled tvs so idk whats the problem here. Maybe the shrinking process? Even in the article thumbnail the smaller pixel screen appears better. Just look at the ocean color.

17. ZEUS.the.thunder.god

Posts: 1183; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

No one is going to make better displays than Samsung and I don't see that changing ever considering how Samsung pours billions into R&D of AMOLED.

19. Avieshek unregistered

Samsung currently produces 6th Gen OLED Panels and is on the line to upgrade to 8th Gen Panels (Note 9?) While LG.. is only starting to get 4th Gen Panels and is nowhere near having even 6th Gen until Apple is asking them with their own investments. Still, even the Galaxy S2 has better displays, which too had 4th Gen Panels and by the time if LG do upgrade, Samsung would be on 8th Gen OLED panels.

25. applesnapple93

Posts: 340; Member since: Jan 06, 2016

your statement is the equivalent of saying iOS is 11th gen and Android is 8th Gen so iOS is better by default.

28. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

That's no equivalent, because iOS and Android do not have the same numbering pattern, as well as a different release and upgrade cycle.

24. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2510; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

I think it should be pointed out that LG has proven to make some very impressive OLED panels for television sets. In fact, their OLED TVs are rated just as high as Samsung TVs and sometimes even higher. I'm not sure why it hasn't crossed over into their mobile displays, but something tells me it has to deal with it being a P-OLED display instead of a normal OLED display used in their TVs.

30. kamejoko

Posts: 255; Member since: Nov 10, 2011

oled on tv of lg not true oled. them use oled white light and then filter to color, same way of lcd. on mobile phone, need think panel, use filter will make panel thick, and power need more.

27. w1000i

Posts: 251; Member since: Jul 22, 2015

This why we see OLED TV, you nothing mate, LG is leading this OLED stuff.

2. haruken

Posts: 309; Member since: Nov 06, 2013

That's what they get for getting the lesser LG panels instead of the high-end Samsung ones.

4. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

It's not that, It's because LG is the one who make Pixel 2 XL

3. LanjaKodaka

Posts: 219; Member since: Sep 27, 2016

Another way of saying that our panels don't suck.

5. skyline88

Posts: 701; Member since: Jul 15, 2013

better get a OnePlus instead of wasting time and money on Pixel.

6. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

OnePlus is out of stock.

7. Boast_Rider

Posts: 536; Member since: Sep 14, 2017

No matter how much they saturate or desaturate the display, it won't matter. The panel is garbage, and the smaller, lower-res screen of the Pixel 2 looks much, much better. I didn't expect Google to cheap out like this. Ars technical, verge, AP and Android Central all have tested the panel and the blotchiness is there, albeit not as bad as the V30. On a nearly $1000 phone, I don't expect such a bad display.

8. Nopers unregistered

True. I noticed the display was very blue yesterday when I saw the Pixel XL 2 in person I took a photo and you can see how blotchy the display actually is from that photo.

10. jmill75

Posts: 127; Member since: Jul 22, 2009

"Google responds to the Pixel 2 XL screen controversy" Is it really a controversy, PhoneArena? Jesus

11. salami1980

Posts: 80; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

I do prefer Samsung Super Amoled & Sony IPS LCD in Xperia XZ family, LG display should improve their displays performance, even LG LCD performance is not that much good. If you want Amoled Display get Samsung. If you want clear IPS LCD get Sony.

12. slannmage

Posts: 289; Member since: Mar 26, 2013

I applaud them for having a more natural display (if it is true) and I find it a shame everyone just wants high satursted displays.

13. BuffaloSouce unregistered

When it comes to TVs, I find LG display to look more natural and better looking than Samsung. I haven't got the chance to see the Pixel or V30 in person yet to compare those two devices.

14. DRS1977

Posts: 680; Member since: May 27, 2015

You can get a 100% natural color display on Samsung phones too in Basic Mode. People with Samsung phones have the very best of both worlds.

15. Bozzor

Posts: 248; Member since: May 02, 2012

There will likely be another 2-3 years of OLED tech, before micro-LED starts to make an appearance.

16. Lumberjack

Posts: 306; Member since: May 04, 2017

This is why I hope Sony keeps LCD until JDI is able to provide oled. Instead of buying from LG. Anyway, they can get the oled and make it better just like the Bravia A1E that uses LG oled.

18. rshanberg unregistered

What does everyone think of the screen on the regular-sized Pixel 2? I'm torn over which one to get, primarily because of the size, but if the screen on the XL isn't good, then my decision is much easier.

21. libra89

Posts: 2333; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Apparently the screen on the regular sized one is really good. For that reason, others chose the smaller one over the XL.

22. kevin91202

Posts: 642; Member since: Jun 08, 2014

"...when you at the phone from the slightest angle, various issues have been noted in forum threads. previews and final reviews alike." -Daniel P. (PA) When you what? Threads? Previews? Huh? You know you're reading a PA article when sentences don't make any sense.

23. justchilliando

Posts: 16; Member since: Oct 19, 2017

I don't understand how people think that the oversaturation is as a good color on phones I personally don't like when phones are always over-saturate colors I have the S8 plus I have my original pixel XL and actually I went in on the original pixel XL and adjusted the colors to srgb because the colors are realistic I don't want yeah the red pops out of the blue pops out but it's ugly it's not realistic I didn't know I understand that some people like that because it's like everything else it's the wow Factor but I personally have no interest in that I would like a phone that's accurate actually features you know that you know make things look realistic you know you can I put it next to a red sign when I take a picture and it looks like the red sign you know when you using those oversaturation if screen is like all blown out, an LG makes the best 4K TVs or lets out there so Samsung might be ahead of the game as far as the phone goes supposed to because they're on their sixth generation but when it comes to TVs Samsung was behind LG. The only difference is that out the box the phone doesn't look really good because of the colors but it can all be adjusted it's all of software it has nothing to do with the actual hard work the original pixel XL has a beautiful screen and by default it doesn't I talk to you by default it was ugly I actually went into the settings on the developer mode and change it to srgb now when I put the phone next to a blue color sign it looks blue and the red looks red and so on and so on. Before the colors were blown out of proportion it was ugly as hell I hate that when they do that.

33. andyroberts

Posts: 7; Member since: Oct 25, 2014

The color gamut is only one part of the equation and something that Google can control with software updates. I did the same as you on the 6P and the original Pixel XL and enabled sRGB mode because the oranges were almost red and unnatural. The real problem with these displays is the blue tint at off angles. On my Pixel XL there isn't so much as a hint of blue tint. The other problem is the graininess and splotchiness while viewing white screens at 0 brightness. I do that at night. There is no software fix for it. I'm going to check my phone when it comes and see if there's a problem with the display. If I can't live with it, I'm just going to return it and either get the Pixel 2 or just stay with my 2016 Pixel XL.

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