Pixel 2 XL screen blue tint likely caused by poorly applied polarizer


Here is why the Google Pixel 2 XL has that very noticeable blue tint whenever you tilt the phone just slightly: it uses a polarizer that seems to be applied so poorly that it causes this weird screen coloration.

Screen polarizers are generally a great thing: they allow you to see your phone display when you look at it with sunglasses on.

Google even bragged about this as an important feature of the Google Pixel 2 XL display during the official launch event:

"We've integrated a circular polarizer, which lets you enjoy the screen even when you are wearing sunglasses," vice president of Alphabet Mario Queiroz said emphatically.

However, it is the particular screen polarizer of the Pixel 2 XL that seems to be causing the blue tint of the screen. A demonstration shows how the Pixel 2 XL screen compares to that of the iPhone 8 Plus and the original Google Pixel. The iPhone does a much better job with its polarizer, while the original Pixel lacks a polarizer whatsoever.

The solution to such a problem seems to require new hardware, or at least a new application of the polarizer on the Pixel 2 XL and there seems to be no easy way to fix this via a software update only. And even then, we have the ghosting issues...

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

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38 Comments

1. Bondurant

Posts: 781; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

"Its just a software issue" - MKBHD

2. mobiledigger

Posts: 110; Member since: Sep 24, 2015

The software issue MKBHD talks about is the lack of color saturation. He refers to this as a hardware issue

12. worldpeace

Posts: 3133; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Right, and google already tried to boost color by 10% (additional setting after update) and still looks dull, even compared to note8's normal mode but this one is totally hardware problem -_-

13. Bondurant

Posts: 781; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

"Pixel screen issue is just a bandwagon hype" - MKBHD

26. Peacetoall unregistered

Even I think the same I have seen the demo unit of LG v30 and pixel xl it looks alright with no major issues. The colours are accurate as it is a sRGB panel.

17. Guile

Posts: 9; Member since: Feb 26, 2012

Adding to the reply of "worldpeace", MKBHD specifically said it's hardware and there's nothing you can do to fix this...

3. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

It's about time Google eats a humble pie and goes back to Samsung for much better displays.

10. Cat97

Posts: 1892; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Not really. LG V30 has only a slight brightness unevenness, none of the bad Pixel 2 XL display problems are present on the V30.

16. worldpeace

Posts: 3133; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

"slight brightness unevenness" not slight, v30's screen is really blotchy, check verge review.

19. hazard1

Posts: 236; Member since: Feb 11, 2017

Yes, while some reviews note this issue, there are other reviews that do not report the problems noted in The Verge's review. Given that, I can only assume that the problem exists in some, but not all V30 units. No, I am not denying the problem exists. However, it is not seen in EVERY unit. And I do think the Verge exaggerated the issue. The phone is still useable unless you go looking for the unevenness.

27. Peacetoall unregistered

It was lg first attempt and first generation Qhd oled panel give them some time they will eventually improve over time

30. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Even LG's previous P-OLEDs in the G Flex and G Flex 2 were sub-par... It's got nothing to do with the resolution itself.

22. Peacetoall unregistered

I don't think google will do that because as per my understanding google is really feeling the heat from samsung as they are the only brand which comes in mind when average people prefer buying a android phone. That's tge reason Google is handing out money to oem such as Htc to stay afloat in the market for giving the competition to big players like samsung. Google is reducing its dependance on samsung. Again its Just my thought. I may be wrong.

38. vincelongman

Posts: 5692; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

I doubt Google left by choice They still use Samsung panels for the Pixel 2 My bet is Samsung could supply enough "bezel-less" OLED to meet demand for the all of the S8, S8+, Note8, iPhone X and Pixel 2 XL So Google was forced to go with LG (also explains why they had HTC make a backup Pixel 2 XL incase LG couldn't get their OLEDs ready either)

5. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

iPhone always get things right, no wonder they make industry standards every time when it comes to hardware tech. Even with the OLED displays they did not go for it until 2017 due to sub par quality of the OLED panels even made by Samsung. They embrace something only when it is ready and 100% perfect. Why? Because they only care about providing a better experience rather than money. Quality over quantity.

7. afrohoxha

Posts: 254; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

"Quality over quantity" Now more than ever since their quantity calculation skills suck.

11. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

That's wrong. Wait until the iPhone X super cycle begins and you'll see something you've never witnessed before. Even the iPhone 8 has sold in some respectable numbers being the obvious underdog this year. Apple is growing.

18. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

"Even with the OLED displays they did not go for it until 2017 due tosub par quality of the OLED panels even made by Samsung" Meanwhile Samsung's Super AMOLED has been owning the competition for several years in a row now... Winning awards left and right.: Galaxy S6:https://www.extremetech.com/mobile/200868-displaymate-galaxy-s6-has-the-best-smartphone-display-ever Galaxy S7 edge:https://www.phonearena.com/news/Samsung-Galaxy-S7-edge-screen-is-the-Display-of-the-Year-from-the-Society-for-Information-Display_id94273 Galaxy Note8:https://www.androidauthority.com/galaxy-note-8-display-796211/ Galaxy S8:http://www.knowyourmobile.com/mobile-phones/samsung-galaxy-s8/24131/samsung-galaxy-s8-plus-best-display-ever-says-displaymate It hurts you , I know... But deal with it.

34. Lumia_Luigi

Posts: 173; Member since: Mar 22, 2017

The S6 & S7 displays have terrible burn in issues.

35. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Which terrible burn-in issue? Burn in is first of all a natural flaw of the OLED display... However, Samsung handles burn-in better than anyone else, by doubling the number of blue pixels and applying less power to it than the red and green ones. Super AMOLED is the best, as proven professional by reviews and awards.

36. DFranch

Posts: 546; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

I had the S7 for 18 months, no burn in.

25. Peacetoall unregistered

"That's wrong. Wait until the iPhone X super cycle begins and you'll see something you've never witnessed before." We have been witnessing the same design same display and same pricing from 4 years in a row.

14. ShadowWarrior

Posts: 165; Member since: Aug 08, 2017

Exactly, spot on. I don't get why people don't understand this concept. Car manufacturers like Toyota and Honda do the same thing - they take the new tech in luxury cars and refine it and use in their vehicles after many years of quality testing.

31. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

That's not how that works. The lessor car companies don't wait for the high-end companies to beta test it. They wait until it's been out for years because the price comes down and they can afford to put it in.

21. hazard1

Posts: 236; Member since: Feb 11, 2017

Not questioning Iphone "quality" (they are good phones, but they make mistakes too), but Samsung's display has been the best for years. The idea that Apple waited til it was "100% perfect" is just silly. For one, the display is NOT perfect. But it is excellent and improves every year. And finally, the company made the move because it was advantageous for them to do so now. or get left behind. And that is exactly what they SHOULD do.

24. Peacetoall unregistered

Oh boy sub par quality panels from samsung are you alright mate , when it comes to oled samsung is the clear leader in mobile industry.

28. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

The reality distortion field is strong in this one. Even the iPhones had several quality control issues. Apple is no stranger in this area.

32. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

I want what you're smoking. If it can change reality that much, I wouldn't know up from down, left from right. Seriously did you just overlook the many issues that Apple has had over the years, and instead declare them an infallible company who care more about their customers quality experience with their devices than profits? If you want to join us in reality, that way of thinking needs to be flipped.

6. afrohoxha

Posts: 254; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

Very poor QA on the most used part of a smartphone. Get your s#$^t together Google!

8. LanjaKodaka

Posts: 219; Member since: Sep 27, 2016

And over confidance.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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