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Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL problems, and what to do about them

Google’s Android poster boy boasts the slickest software experience around wrapped in a stylish body, which is why our Pixel 2 XL review[1] called it the best Android smartphone in the world. Its smaller sibling, the Pixel 2[2], is no slouch either, but as great as these phones are, they’re not quite pixel perfect. We’ve been lurking on forums, digesting comments, and conducting our own testing to find the most common issues with the Pixel 2 and identify the tricky Pixel 2 XL problems that you’ll want fixes for.

This is what we found.

Problem: Pixel 2 XL screen quality

Some people are having serious issues with the display in the Pixel 2 XL. You can find detailed discussions at the XDA Developers forum[3] and the Android Central forum[4]. The chief complaint seems to be about the color, which is less vibrant than expected.

We noted in our Pixel 2 XL review that the pOLED screen has an issue with a bluish tint when you tilt it, however, we didn’t find the cooler color temperature to be a major issue. There have also been reports of problems with grain or blotches, explained in detail by Ars Technica[5], but we aren’t seeing it as a big problem on our review unit. Potential solutions:

  • Google responded to Digital Trends to say, “We designed the Pixel display to have a more natural and accurate rendition of colors this year but we know some people prefer more vivid colors so we’ve added an option to boost colors by 10% for a more saturated display.

    We’re always looking at people’s responses to Pixel and we will look at adding more color options through a software update if we see a lot of feedback.” The option is turned on by default, but you can check in Settings > Display > Advanced, where you should see Vivid display. If you’re unhappy with your Pixel 2 XL display, then complain to Google, as it looks as though enough complaints will prompt another software update.

  • While the color temperature is a tuning issue and a deliberate move by Google, we don’t think your display should be blotchy or grainy. If you have serious issues with inconsistent color or blotchy patches then you may have been unlucky and received a less than perfect panel.

    Contact Google, your carrier, or retailer and ask about a replacement handset.

Issue: Portrait Mode not working for selfies

There have been some[6] reports[7] of people[8] struggling to get Portrait Mode working when they’re using the front-facing camera to take a selfie. Thankfully, it should be a relatively easy fix. Google is rolling out a camera update that includes Portrait Mode support for the front-facing camera.


  • Make sure that you’re connected to Wi-Fi and that your Pixel 2 has plenty of battery life. Open the Play Store and tap the menu icon at the top left (three horizontal lines). Tap My apps & games and install any available updates.

Glitch: Clicking sound and high-pitched frequency noise during calls

A few[9] people[10] are experiencing problems with the audio on their Pixel 2 during calls.

Some people report a clicking or ticking sound, others are complaining about a high-pitched noise that’s constant, and some are suffering with both. Workarounds:

  • You may find that the issue is gone or reduced when using Wi-Fi calling. Open your Phone app and tap the More icon (three vertical dots) at the top right, then Settings > Calls.

    If your carrier supports it, then you should see the option to Configure Wi-Fi Calling.

  • Use a wired or Bluetooth headset for calls and the noise should be gone.


  • You could contact Google and ask for help. Go to Settings > Support & tips and choose Phone or Chat to report your problem and get help investigating it. If they can’t fix it, then you should be able to get a replacement.

    However, because it’s not clear what the issue is here, you may find that a replacement handset has the same problem.

Bug: Bluetooth connection issues

There have been many reports of Bluetooth issues with the original Pixel phones since the Android 8.0 Oreo update, but there are also some Pixel 2 owners adding[11] their voices to existing threads[12] on the Google support forum[13]. Some people can’t get the connection to work, others report problems with specific apps, and still others are having issues with voice commands. There was an October 5 patch designed to resolve some of these issues, but it doesn’t seem to have worked for everyone.

Potential solutions:

  • Bluetooth connectivity issues are supposed to be resolved with the Pixel 2[14], but the update hasn’t rolled out yet. A Google spokesperson said, “Google is aware of this issue and additional fixes are coming soon. Likely November or early December.” We have a couple of troubleshooting steps you can try while you wait for an update.
  • If you can’t connect at all, then go to Settings > Connected devices > Bluetooth and tap Settings (gear icon) next to the problem device or car and then Forget.

    Clear device connections from your Bluetooth accessory or car. Turn both off and on again and attempt to pair from scratch.

  • If music isn’t playing then make sure you’re connected to the right device or car, and that music isn’t playing through another connected device. Check that the volume is cranked up.

    Go to Settings > Connected devices > Bluetooth, then tap Settings (gear icon) next to the problem device or car and make sure the box next to Media audio is checked.

  • If the problem is with calls, then go to Settings > Connected devices > Bluetooth, then tap Settings (gear icon) next to the problem device or car and make sure the box next to Phone audio is checked.

We’ll add more Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL problems and fixes as we discover them.

In the meantime, grab yourself one of the best Pixel 2 cases[15] or Pixel 2 XL cases[16] to make sure you don’t have a drop damage problem with yours.

Editor’s Recommendations


  1. ^ Pixel 2 XL review (www.digitaltrends.com)
  2. ^ Pixel 2 (www.digitaltrends.com)
  3. ^ XDA Developers forum (forum.xda-developers.com)
  4. ^ Android Central forum (forums.androidcentral.com)
  5. ^ Ars Technica (arstechnica.com)
  6. ^ some (forums.androidcentral.com)
  7. ^ reports (forum.xda-developers.com)
  8. ^ people (productforums.google.com)
  9. ^ few (forum.xda-developers.com)
  10. ^ people (productforums.google.com)
  11. ^ adding (productforums.google.com)
  12. ^ threads (productforums.google.com)
  13. ^ Google support forum (productforums.google.com)
  14. ^ resolved with the Pixel 2 (www.digitaltrends.com)
  15. ^ best Pixel 2 cases (www.digitaltrends.com)
  16. ^ Pixel 2 XL cases (www.digitaltrends.com)

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