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Google quality assurance continues to struggle with some Pixel 2 XL shipping without Android

By Mike Wuerthele

Some users are finding that their brand new Google Pixel 2 XL phones are arriving -- but without an operating system installed, necessitating a return and replacement.

The Pixel 2 XL started shipping to customers on Oct. 29. It is unclear how widespread the problem is at this point -- but multiple accounts of the problem have appeared on social media and other venues.

The Android absence on a new phone is the third problem with the Pixel 2 family of phones, and the fourth quality assurance-related problem that Google has suffered with in a month. The first quality assurance problem was an issue with the Google Home Mini, the second was the OLED screen burn-in, and the third was reports of clicking from within the Pixel 2.

Preview Google Home Mini hardware distributed at assorted release events had a serious flaw that caused the device to listen in on every noise generated in a house. This problem has since been permanently dealt with by a firmware update disabling the touch-to-activate button on all units, pre-release or shipping notwithstanding.

In October, Some Pixel 2 XL review units showed faint ghosts of navigation buttons when a gray background is onscreen. Burn-in is an eventual problem with OLED panels, but it's rare for devices to begin displaying it within only days of use.

The Pixel 2 XL uses a 2,880-by-1,440 pOLED display instead of the 1080p AMOLED found on the regular model, which could suggest the source of the defect. LG's pOLED, based on a plastic substrate, is extremely compact when compared with LCDs or glass-based OLED.

A class action suit regarding the display flaws in the Pixel 2 family is currently in the investigative phase.

The click was generated by an issue with the near-field communication circuitry, and a firmware fix is incoming.

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