Google Pixel 2 XL is the best smartphone I have used this year, or at least it should be. Its camera is head and shoulders above the competition, its battery life is stunning and it has easily the best real-world Android performance I’ve ever experienced. But for now, both my review and recommendation of the Pixel 2 XL and Pixel 2 remain on hold until Google clears up some serious problems…
Much has been written about the Pixel 2 XL’s display and with good reason. I’ve had the phone for nearly two weeks now and it simply isn’t good enough – not for a phone starting at $849. But that’s far from the only issue, so let’s break everything down:
Dull, Inaccurate Colors
Google first promoted then defended the Pixel 2 XL display by claiming it is mapped to the sRGB colour spectrum to maximise its colour accuracy. It’s a strange boast because a) sRGB is a much narrower spectrum than the P3 wide colour gamut the display supports and which most rivals use, and b) colours are not accurate.
A nasty side effect of this is image editing on the Pixel 2 XL is misleading. What looks good on the phone will actually look oversaturated on most other displays and you can ruin then share important photographs before you realise what has happened.
The good news? This can be fixed in software and Google has indicated a willingness to offer a different colour profile (an existing ‘Vibrant Colors’ option makes no tangible difference) and it must.
Solution: software fix
Where Google’s software and AI wizardry won’t help, however, is the blue tint which affects the viewing angles of the Pixel 2 XL. You can see this by opening anything with a white background and tilting the phone progressively away from you.