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Android Google Cellphones Displays Operating Systems Software Hardware Technology

Google Addresses Pixel 2 XL Display Issues, Pixel 2 Clicking Sounds With Software Updates (phonedog.com) 103

An anonymous reader quotes a report from PhoneDog: Google explains that it's been investigating reports about the Pixel 2 XL's display and that this has given it "confidence that [its] displays are as great as [it] hoped they would be". Still, Google will be taking steps to respond to consumer complaints about the screen. Google plans to issue a software update that'll add a "saturated" color mode that will make the colors more saturated and vibrant, but less accurate. This way, consumers that feel the Pixel 2 XL's screen is too muted can punch up the color saturation themselves.

When it comes to burn-in, Google says that its investigations of the Pixel 2 XL's display found that its "decay characteristics are comparable to OLED panels used in other premium smartphones." Google does plan to take further steps to fight burn-in, though, and it's testing an update that'll add a new fade-out of the navigation bar buttons after a short period of inactivity. Google is also working with more apps to use a light navigation bar to match the app's color scheme. Additionally, the update will reduce the maximum brightness of the Pixel 2 XL's screen by 50 nits, which Google says will be "virtually imperceptible". This will reduce load on the display with very little change on its observed brightness. This update will roll out to the Pixel 2 XL "in the next few weeks." Google also touched on the reports that some Pixel 2 phones are emitting some clicking sounds. The company plans to release an update in the coming weeks to address the issue, but until then, it says that Pixel 2 owners can turn off NFC by going into Settings > Connected Devices > NFC.

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Google Addresses Pixel 2 XL Display Issues, Pixel 2 Clicking Sounds With Software Updates

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  • Does it matter? (Score:1, Interesting)

    Anyone who is willing to slash out a premium for a smartphone is getting an iPhone, or possibly a Samsung. I have a hard time believing Google is selling > 100k of these to actual customers who are not Google employees.
    • by Lisandro ( 799651 ) on Friday October 27, 2017 @08:16AM (#55443495)

      The original Pixel sold very well and was deemed the best premium smartphone of 2016 by many.

    • There is a market for them. A lot of folks don't like the bloatware on Samsung phones and won't get an Apple, for instance.

    • I won't buy a Samsung because I like plain Android and it's a lot of trouble to put everything back the way I like it. I still want a nice Android phone.

  • This sounds more like something that was tested as a "feature", not chosen as #1 by the consumer group that tested it, and now played back to the people as though this were a fix.

    --
    "It's a sign" - E. Corp

  • by zifn4b ( 1040588 ) on Friday October 27, 2017 @08:16AM (#55443499)
    It would seem that the newer OLED panels suffer more from burn-in than LED. I'm glad this was brought up. I'll be refraining from upgrading to OLED until this sort of thing is made better or a newer technology supersedes it. More details here [reviewed.com] for those who are interested. The burn-in is not permanent but can occur when a static image is present in as little as 45 minutes. The ghosting is not permanent like older CRT and Plasma screens but it's annoying to have to run through steps to clear it up periodically.
    • by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Friday October 27, 2017 @08:32AM (#55443575)

      I don't know how similar the oleds are between the $10 hobby i2c modules ('maker stuff') and the oled big color screens; but I've built quite a few of the 1.13" i2c oled display projects and one of them has been a gps clock that has been on for at least 2 years now. its display cycles between calendar and some other modes but the display is always on. and its already showing 'lines' of fade, based on which pixels were lit the most.

      on my diy projects, I put the oleds in sockets so they can be replaced later. of course, phones are so ANTI FIX-ME (hardware) that they'd never think of letting users replaced worn out screens. sigh...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by thegarbz ( 1787294 )

      It would seem that the newer OLED panels suffer more from burn-in than LED.

      They do nothing of the sort. It would only seem that specific lemon panels from a specific manufacturer (LG) suffer from burn-in problems.

      Burn-in that isn't permanent and which is fixed without burning adjacent pixels is called a design defect and not a feature of OLED technology.

    • by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Friday October 27, 2017 @09:22AM (#55443831) Journal

      I don't think that's true that OLED burn in is not permanent. I was very surprised to learn it is even possible in this day and age - OLED seemed to be the end-all technology for displays, as the contrast ratio is extremely high and the colors are vivid. I guess everything comes with a downside. Search for OLED burn in on Samsung phones, and you will see it's a serious problem. OLED pixels have a lifespan, and they will gradually wear out and dim over time. It's quite simple - if you have pixels that are consistently at a higher brightness than other pixels, they will wear out sooner and will look different.

      A friend purchased a Samsung Note that has bad burn in. They tried a number of things to fix it (utilities that strobe the display in different colors, etc), and trust me, it is indeed permanent. The title bar and the keyboard areas are permanently ghosted on that phone. It's is most noticeable on bright white screens, as the worn out pixels cannot emit as brightly as the others. The darker the image being displayed the less noticeable it is.

      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        I don't think that's true that OLED burn in is not permanent. I was very surprised to learn it is even possible in this day and age - OLED seemed to be the end-all technology for displays, as the contrast ratio is extremely high and the colors are vivid. I guess everything comes with a downside. Search for OLED burn in on Samsung phones, and you will see it's a serious problem. OLED pixels have a lifespan, and they will gradually wear out and dim over time. It's quite simple - if you have pixels that are co

      • Oled has been suffering from burn in since day zero. Hence i always have been staying away from Oled TVs.
        Not sure if this problem is even entirely fixable you can hack around it to some degree.

      • Let's review a couple of items - OLED are BRIGHTER and MORE VIVID, but suffer BURN-IN failure issues.
        RESOLUTION - DON'T fix the burn-in issue, just reduce the brightness and contrast - well, GOLLY-GEE - - - now we are reverting to the older LED display illumination and contrast - so just fork over the $$$ for the NEWEST_&_BEST technology, and then cripple it so it doesn't damage the screen - OR . . . just remain with the current development level of LEDs and save the NEW_OLED tech for those that just MU

    • by Zorro ( 15797 )

      Return of the Screen Saver!

  • "until then, it says that Pixel 2 owners can turn off NFC by going into Settings > Connected Devices > NFC."

    What is NFC, and why is that related to clicking noises?

    Enough with the TLAs, ok?

    • by TheCycoONE ( 913189 ) on Friday October 27, 2017 @08:28AM (#55443559)

      Near field communication is what it is; and wikipedia knows more about it than I do: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

      If you don't want to read that: It's a wireless communication protocol that requires very close proximity, used for mobile payment, and sometimes to transfer settings to new phones.

      Why is that related to the clicking noise? Well my first guess of interference is thrown out by the fact that they can fix it in software; maybe someone can shed light on this?

      • by burtosis ( 1124179 ) on Friday October 27, 2017 @08:37AM (#55443605)
        The clicking noises are probably noise leaking into the audio amplifier from the modulation of the NFC radio. The frequency of the radio is out of hearing range but the modulation is not, and intermodulation can appear as low frequency noise. My iPhone lte radio has done the same thing to land lines on several occasions.
        • Every GSM phone has done this to any amplifier and speaker within a foot or so when the radio was active. Was super annoying and I'm glad it's gone with the shift to LTE.

      • It's not the cause of both interference related noises. Mine was not caused by NFC (disabling it did not fix it). It seemed instead to be linked to wifi activity, and was very clearly caused by current being induced in the speaker. My phone also was unable to receive GLONASS navigation signals (other Pixel 2 XLs could), so I had more RF issues than just the earpiece speaker. Anyway, it's being RMAd currently, we'll see if the next one has the same issues.

    • What is NFC, and why is that related to clicking noises?

      If you google on "TCP/IP Over Bongo Drums", you'll find that NFC on smartphones clicks because the phones are so small. If the Pixel was the size of a Bongo Drum, the NFC would sound like a Bongo Drum, but the test consumer target group wasn't very comfortable with Bongo Drum sized smartphones.

      On the other hand, test consumer target groups have responded very positively to shoe phones, the only complaint being the whining emitted from Agent 13 hiding in the shoes.

      • Ooh! I really really want to implement TCP/IP Over Bongo Drums, but I don't think that's supported on Red Hat. If I install Ubuntu, are there third party bongo providers?
    • It's not related to both noises being reported. I got a Pixel 2 XL and it's currently being RMAd for a dead pixel and for this reason. The noise is like a static, interference hiss that lasts about a second or so then goes away, and comes back again anywhere from 1-10 seconds later. It was not related to NFC for me, I disabled it and still had the issue. It seems to be more linked to wifi. My switch lights would all flash the moment the noise began, such as a broadcast packet being sent. I'm assuming it's a

  • Apparently, the new Pixel 2 XL screens made by LG have a blue tint. No comments from Google about that problem.
  • When the iPhone X launched and they showed how you swipe up from the bottom of the screen to get back to home, I thought it was a bit odd, but their decision to avoid onscreen buttons does look smart now they've switched to OLED. Will Android follow suit now that phones are converging on an all-screen front with no hardware buttons?

    • Will Android follow suit now that phones are converging on an all-screen front with no hardware buttons?

      I don't know, did iOS phones start going in that direction after Samsung released the S8?

  • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Friday October 27, 2017 @08:59AM (#55443701)

    Apparently Google judged the burn-in on their displays in line with the industry despite problems being reported in the first few weeks where as industry standard is for the situation to be unnoticeable for several years.

    Apparently the screen is fine but we'll make software changes to make the totally not problematic screen less likely to cause a problem which totally doesn't exist in the first place.

    Apparently Google's answer to problems with display colours changing with viewing angles are a software update to make them more saturated?

    Like what the heck? Why not just give customers the middle finger? At least there would be less reading involved.

    • On the one hand, you're right that maybe this means that the specs aren't up to what was advertised... on the other is it different than having a lithium battery say its 0-100% is the 'safe range' subset of capacity rather than the actual physical/chemical capacity of the cells?
      • Nothing. But I was equally critical of Samsung's software patch for the Note 7. Just don't claim everything is fine while you're pushing out patches to fix the issues you claim aren't issues.

    • Well, they deliberately avoided the issue of the blue tint on viewing angles - don't think they had much choice there, they would have been well aware of that prior to launch. More and more it seems like they had to choose this panel because of supply issues.

  • by bbsguru ( 586178 ) on Friday October 27, 2017 @10:34AM (#55444273) Homepage Journal
    OK, Got my Pixel 2 XL a couple of days ago. At the end of my first day of use, I put the phone on the charger, then noticed about an hour later it was flickering and flashing like crazy. Unplugged it but it kept up, so I did a power-Restart. Flickering stopped, but there was a 1/4" spot at the left edge of the screen near the bottom bar that looked like the old "leaky LCD", with a streak of lightness going across the whole screen. A smaller spot was midway up on the right side, with a similar light streak.
    WTF?
    After another power cycle failed to clear it, I called Google, who immediately arranged for a replacement to be shipped (Thanks Google!). I really expected to hear something about some process I should go through to 'fix it' in some way. After another day of use, the problem HAS been reduced. In fact, if it were no worse that this in the first place I would likely not have called at all. Meanwhile, I'm charging it with power off to be safe.

    Bottom line, I still like this phone very much. It's wonderfully fast, and easier on the hand than my Nexus 6 was. The prompt replacement just reinforces my already long and happy relationship with Google hardware.

A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on. -- Samuel Goldwyn

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