Some Pixel 2 XL Phones Are Shipping Without an Operating System


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The Pixel 2 XL hasn’t had a easy launch. The cellphone’s show has had numerous issues, together with distorted or undersaturated OLED panels (our personal Ryan Whitwam argued this was by no means an issue in any respect), a “black smear” drawback, and a rapidly showing difficulty with burn-in that surfaced properly earlier than it was anticipated to seem. Some telephones additionally emit high-pitched clicking sounds and poor audio recording high quality. Google has promised numerous fixes for these points, together with:

  • An possibility for extra saturated colours (at decreased brightness to offset show loading)
  • A backside bar that fades out to forestall display burn-in
  • An replace to repair the issue with NFC that’s inflicting the high-pitched noises
  • A software program patch to repair the poor audio recording high quality

You can argue that an organization that’s been within the enterprise so long as Google has shouldn’t be making these sorts of errors (and I definitely would). But up to now there doesn’t appear to be something on the desk that isn’t coated by both guarantee or Google’s upcoming updates. These are causes to delay shopping for a Pixel 2, however not causes to junk the concept, offered Google makes good on its restore guarantees. But apparently some customers are additionally receiving Pixel 2 XL’s that both lack an working system altogether or have cataclysmic storage injury that stop them from booting correctly.


Image from @Trevorftard

Android Police has rounded up complaints from Reddit, Ars Technica, and Twitter, all with the identical difficulty: Their cellphone arrived with out an working system. There’s no option to know, simply from that message, if the problem is a corrupted bootloader, a literal lack of any OS picture, or a NAND storage failure, in a lot the identical method that your PC’s lack of ability to search out an working system on a drive that’s imagined to have one may mirror bodily injury, file system corruption, or that the earlier picture had been by accident formatted or by no means put in.

Could the HTC Acquisition Be to Blame?

One apparent clarification for why the Pixel 2 appears to be in such tough situation is that it was brought on by the inevitable shake-ups and uncertainty that happen when one firm buys a significant a part of one other. That’s what occurred on September 21, when Google and HTC introduced a deal wherein Google would purchase HTC’s contract manufacturing enterprise. There are a number of issues with this argument. First, HTC has an extended historical past as a contract producer and has labored with Google a number of instances prior to now. Being owned by an organization is completely different than working with one as a companion, however Google would’ve recognized that the good factor to do was to complete the Pixel 2, then make main organizational modifications. Second, many of those points ought to have been caught lengthy earlier than the Pixel 2 shipped to prospects. Remember, telephones usually undergo an in depth qualification course of to permit carriers to do their very own testing. Phones with these sorts of high quality management points ought to’ve been stopped lifeless lengthy earlier than the launch occasion.

The time-frame for this launch wasn’t notably quick; Google launched Pixel 2 roughly a yr after Pixel. Nevertheless, the problems that hold popping up recommend that somebody has essentially dropped the standard management ball. It’s commonplace for smartphones to have points after launch (anybody bear in mind “You’re holding it wrong?”) nevertheless it’s pretty uncommon for a smartphone to have a number of OLED points, a totally unrelated storage or OS drawback, a separate high-pitched whining and squeaking apparently badociated to its NFC implementation, and a problem with its audio recording high quality.

To the most effective of our information, there’s no causal issue that designate any two of those issues, a lot much less unexpectedly. And that implies somebody at both HTC, Google, or each tried to chop corners and ship units that merely weren’t prepared. Could Google have been frightened that the iPhone X would suck all of the air out of the high-end market? It’s not a loopy concept. Absent a crucial element provider difficulty or a extremely uncommon confluence of things, it’s about all we’ve acquired. The price of incidence on every drawback could also be fairly small, however we nonetheless shouldn’t be seeing fairly so many alternative issues.

Food for thought: What do you name a Google cellphone with out an OS? A Nondroid?

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