Last year we reported on the tendency of the Google Pixel 2 XL OLED display to rapidly shift colors when the device was tilted and viewed off-axis. Although the behavior is not uncommon for OLED panels, the LG-made panel on the Pixel 2 XL exhibited it to a significant degree, where it was hard not to notice.
Not all Pixel 2 XL displays are bad. Some lack the annoying blue shift. pic.twitter.com/p8RgkEbztF
Vlad Savov (@vladsavov) January 15, 2018
We are now hearing reports of users noting that their units don’t seem to suffer from the aforementioned problem, at least not the degree that was initially reported. One of them is Vlad Savov from The Verge, who has two units, one with and without the color shift issue.
The first conclusion was that it could be that later units have had the issue resolved. However, checking the manufacturing date on some of these units revealed that the date is seemingly irrelevant, as units manufactured later have the issue and some manufactured earlier didn’t.
Ultimately, it seems like this is an issue with OLED panel lottery. OLED panels are notoriously inconsistent and no two panels are really alike, which can lead to discrepancy. Of course, the discrepancy is usually within tolerance but in this case it seemed both LG and Google were okay to push out units with wildly different color shift tendencies instead of weeding out the bad ones. Considering there are more of the “bad” units than the good ones, they would likely be throwing out a significant portion of the displays, which is probably why they decided to use them anyway.
So if you decided to buy a Google Pixel 2 XL today and have bought one in the past and found that your unit doesn’t have the color shift issue, it’s not that the device in general doesn’t have the issue but just that you got lucky.