What should be a time of celebration for tech giant Google has been marred by technical dramas as the company’s new Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 smartphones run into problems.
Some users of the new smartphones have been beset by hardware issues, including strange noises and screen faults.
This comes after 12 months of hardware and software problems that have plagued the world of new smartphone technology, begging the question: are we being taken for a ride?
Some users of the larger of the two handsets, the Pixel XL 2, have reported their new smartphone has developed faults on the handset’s shiny, new POLED screen.
Some Pixel XL 2 screens are starting to exhibit screen ‘burn in’ – when an image displayed on screen remains after the display changes. This can be a problem when equipment starts to age, but never days or a week after release.
Meanwhile, other users are reporting their Pixel XL 2 screen displays a blue tint when viewed from certain angles – a visual aberration an OLED screen should not exhibit.
Interestingly, the Pixel 2 has not developed any such fault, likely because Samsung manufactured the screen for this model. The Pixel XL 2 OLED screen, on the other hand, was made by LG.
A Google spokesperson told The New Daily: “We are investigating the report of suspected burn-in. We are confident in the quality of the Pixel 2 XL POLED display and the superior user experience enabled by its resolution, contrast ratio, wide colour gamut, and other innovative characteristics.”
At present, scores of users of both the Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 have reported their handset making a high-pitched whining sound when they are on a phone call. The noise then disappears when they end the call.
Others have experienced a different issue: a continuous ticking sound, not unlike a loud wristwatch, which can be heard from the handset speaker when the phone is unlocked.
It appears that switching off the smartphone’s NFC feature – used for contactless payments and other tap-and-go services – quiets the noise, but is definitely not a long-term fix.
Big company, big drama
Google is not the only company to run into problems with new smartphone hardware: both Samsung and Apple have recently experienced hardware issues with new flagship device releases.
The most dramatic was the Samsung Galaxy Note7, released in 2016. Soon after launch, many users found their handset would develop a battery fault and literally burst into flames, explode or both.
Samsung eventually issued a voluntary product recall and discontinued the model, but not before the handset was deemed a fire hazard and banned on airlines around the world.
Apple has also experienced a similar issue with the company’s newly released iPhone 8 Plus, with some users reporting their handset swelling to the point of bursting open – likely the result of the battery inside the handset swelling up.
Although only a dozen or so cases have been reported, and the problem is nowhere near that experienced with the Galaxy Note7, it does suggest that a certain batch of the new iPhone 8 Plus has been manufactured with faulty batteries.
Another previous iPhone issue occurred with the release of iPhone 4, in 2010, when users of the new handset found that holding the smartphone in a certain way caused calls to drop out.
With any luck, the noise issues experienced with Google’s new handsets can be resolved with a simple software update. The screen problems, however, will likely require Google to supply the customer with an entirely new handset.