Soft bricks: Some Pixel 2 XL units reportedly ship without operating system on board

According to some amusing and rather odd reports, some users have received Pixel 2 XL units that came with no... Android operating system on board. Yes, it boggles the mind, but a redditor going by the name of MAKES_PEOPLE_MAD had their brand new Pixel 2 XL device greet them with a "Can’t find valid operating system. The device will not start." message right out of the box, which is more than enough to ruin anyone's day.

Accompanying the message is a security link to Google's support page, which indicates that "The operating system on your device has been changed or corrupted and is not safe to use". So, it's not clear if the Android operating system has been gravely tampered with in the factory or it's missing at all.

This is merely one of the latest issues to raise questions about Google's quality control, which has allowed Pixel 2/2 XL units with display issues and clicking sounds in the earpiece to make their way to early adopters. The display issues are even about to cause a class-action law suit against Google, LG, and HTC

Fortunately for the unlucky redditor, Google has dealt with the issue by reportedly agreeing to replace the faulty Pixel 2 XL and also throwing some Google Play Store credit to squash the bitter taste in the mouth. 

That's not an isolated case, though. A week ago, another Reddit user going by the name pdbouleyou also received a Pixel 2 XL with no operating system in sight. This unit also got replaced, as the user reports.

Let's hope that neither Google nor future Pixel 2 XL adopters will have to deal with a similar issue, though it's worrying that these mishaps happened in the first place. Step up your quality control, Google.

No images

source: Reddit, (2) via TheNextWeb

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
Pixel 2
  • Display 5.0" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 12.2 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Octa-core, 2350 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 2700 mAh



1. pokharkarsaga

Posts: 561; Member since: Feb 23, 2012

Soul departed from the body.

17. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

Lightest operating system ever! So light to the point that it doesn't even exist inside the phone...ha ha haaa

2. mootu

Posts: 1541; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

Google would be fools to partner with LG again, should have just stayed with HTC. The launch has been an absolute farce, one problem after another.

20. MrShazam

Posts: 987; Member since: Jun 22, 2017

I just keep appreciating my decision to always avoid anything LG in the mobile industry. Ever since my LG Neon's screen cracked on day one while just sitting in my pocket like my former Nokia flip phone, LG has literally stood for Low Grade in the mobile industry to me...

23. omnitech

Posts: 1131; Member since: Sep 28, 2016

LG's QC is 50 million times better than HTC, which is why I have no idea why they bought HTC employees instead of LG ones. The Nexus 9 was by far the worst Nexus/Pixel device ever. And LG has two in the top 4 best. The Nexus 4 and the legend the Nexus 5.

3. njbal68

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 03, 2017

My pixel 2 xl started flashing after pressing power button. Replacement coming next week.

4. Clars123

Posts: 1079; Member since: Mar 16, 2015

Dont worry guys..this is just google honouring their promises to give you the lightest version of Android

8. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

It blows my mind how Google, of all companies, can't properly get it's very own Android operating system to work on it's own hardware out of the box. As I've said, it seems like issues concerning the new Pixel phones are popping on a daily basis.

14. Clars123

Posts: 1079; Member since: Mar 16, 2015

It is ridiculous. However, I have no sympathy for them given LG has had a sketchy record with their quality control. Signed - a dude still only slightly pissed about having to go through 4 LG G4s.

24. omnitech

Posts: 1131; Member since: Sep 28, 2016

HTC is way worse dude, which is why they are going under and Google had to save them. Now that I think of it, all these issues is probably because if the incompetent HTC engineers. Google is probably easing them in by putting them in charge of manufacturing before starting work on the Pixel 3.

16. lyndon420

Posts: 6915; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

It's the pixel branding. Such a gay sounding name...I expected nothing good from Google once they dropped the Nexus lol.

18. Clars123

Posts: 1079; Member since: Mar 16, 2015

How exactly does one think 'gay' with the word 'pixel'?

19. mikehunta727 unregistered

The dumbest thing I heard today, and maybe this week. Congrats

5. jeroome86

Posts: 2314; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

Not a pretty launch for the Pixels. This is one to skipped for sure.

6. truthbetold

Posts: 42; Member since: Oct 16, 2015

There's a good chance that this message comes as a result of a failed/badly soldered NAND Flash or RAM chip. The way the manufacturing process is set up, it's unlikely that random devices would be skipped in the software flashing stage.

9. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

I thought so too... Looks like the NAND is having issues. Google should just halt the production of Pixel phones at this point. I was genuinely interest in it.

7. LanjaKodaka

Posts: 219; Member since: Sep 27, 2016

What a lame duck phone from Google!

10. MasterAlchemist

Posts: 56; Member since: Oct 14, 2017

ROFL. Google did them a great favor thereby.

11. MarvzIsFallen

Posts: 646; Member since: Aug 11, 2017

Now this is the most secured phone ever! Good job android.

12. NexusX

Posts: 613; Member since: May 16, 2013

The only difference between pixel and nexus is name change and a price hike

15. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

I have nothing to say about this. Because I have to laugh non stop right now. LMAO

21. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Yet here you are commenting

22. Trex95

Posts: 2383; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

Sad. Google should sell Android to Samsung and stick with there google chrom if they can’t handle Android.

25. omnitech

Posts: 1131; Member since: Sep 28, 2016

They honestly should just sign an agreement with Samsung stating they can use the Galaxy S series and the Note series hardware in their pixel devices. That hardware and software synergy junk is just a false construct that Apple fans use for an excuse for Apple to skimp on good hardware. There would be no downsides to have Samsung build the best hardware they can and then have Google build the best software they can around the best hardware. They don't have to communicate. This way is probably even better. If Samsung doesn't know what Google wants, they will just make hardware that can handle anything that Google wants. A GS8 with stock pixel 2 XL software would be lights out amazeballs.

26. Trex95

Posts: 2383; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

Most important thing optimization not only hardware.

27. MartyK

Posts: 1043; Member since: Apr 11, 2012

I'm very happy I am not having any issues like the ones everyone else is having with their P2XL..

28. Skizzo

Posts: 424; Member since: Jul 14, 2013

Google really needs to get their act together. The Pixel 2 (XL) is a prime example for the argument that Google may need to stick to just the OS, and leave the hardware game to others.

29. mootu

Posts: 1541; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

How the hell are HTC engineers at fault for the 2XL which is LG designed and built and the phone which is having 95% of the problems?

30. tokuzumi

Posts: 1996; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

I wonder if this is something where if you were proficient with ADB if you could load this yourself? I guess the phone would need to be able to connect to the computer. But if the bootloader is there, you could in theory install recovery and flash a ROM.

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

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless