Unless you've been hiding under a rock for the past few weeks, you'll know that Displaygate has been tearing holes in the new Google Pixel 2 XL.
The criticisms are numerous, but the biggest is that the colours appear dull and lifeless compared to some other devices. Scratch that, compared to all other devices.
Google has long been saying that this is a deliberate move to make the display more accurate. Basically Android Oreo and the Pixel 2 XL display is capable of displaying a wider colour gamut (more accurate colours) so what you're looking at is what the colours are supposed to look like.
On other devices, these colours are inaccurately portrayed, so we've all got used to looking at them wrong. It's not the fault of the device, says Google, it's the fact that you're used to looking at saturated displays.
"Many users prefer accurate colors; others prefer more saturated colors. What we’ve found is that you can become acclimatized to either," says Seang Chau, writing on the Pixel User Community forum.
Some might read this as Google saying "you're looking at it wrong", or "your personal preferences are wrong" but the explanation is a little more useful: "With Android 8.0 on Pixel 2 XL, the phone now understands color spaces … As a result, the OS can make sure images are rendered with accurate colors, exactly as the author intended."
To move this issue forward, Google has conceded that, as accurate as the Pixel 2 XL might be, it's left a lot of people unhappy, so there's going to be a "saturated" option for those who want the phone to look, well, normal.
There's still a lingering feeling that this display isn't natural at all: we've seen devices with displays that look different colour temperatures and what appears on the Pixel 2 XL display looks nothing like those images on other displays claiming to be "natural".
With reports of "burn-in" or image retention that's not supposed to be there, Google is also looking at tweaking peak brightness, encouraging app developers to adopt the light navigation bar and a fade-out of the navigation bar when you're not using it.
As for the off-axis blue tint that occurs when you're not looking directly at the display, Google says this is inherent to the display technology, so you're going to have to live with it.
We're waiting to see what improvements software updates bring to the Pixel 2 XL, but reading the comments on Google's update are not pretty. While the intention for a more natural display might have been well-placed, it feels like a huge miscalculation with the Pixel 2 XL launch. If you're still in the market for one, make sure you see it before you buy it.
In the meantime, if you're after a full-screen display, your options appear to be expanding: not only can you select the Samsung Galaxy S8 or Note 8, but there's the LG G6, LG V30 and Huawei Mate 10 Pro that you might like, or the OnePlus 5T and HTC U11 Plus rumoured to launch soon.
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