Earlier this month, on October 4, internet juggernaut Google introduced their latest forays into mobile hardware, powered by their developed Android operating system (latest version too). The Google Pixel 2 smartphone, manufactured for Google by HTC, and the Pixel 2 XL phablet, courtesy of LG Electronics, have been hyped as some of the most advanced mobile gadgets yet designed. These initial positive predictions held until the Pixel 2s were finally released last week on October 19. A few days on, new users were surprised and dismayed at the sheer number of problems popping up in their freshly purchased gadgets. Oops.

Pixel problems

Google finds itself in the unenviable position of Samsung last year during their disastrous Galaxy Note 7 days.

Granted, none of the new Pixel 2 and XL devices have melted or ignited yet, but the issues hampering the performance of Google’s new phone and phablet could spell similar troubles. First to start with the glitches was the 2 XL. While the rather washed-out color palette appears to be intentional on the part of the LG manufacturers, the same cannot be said for the excessive burn-in tendency of the OLED screen, reducing the display into an ugly stained mess.

Neither was the Pixel 2 phone spared from some serious bug issues. Some buyers began complaining about Google’s Community Forums that the new Pixel sometimes generated random clicking or high-pitched sounds through its earpiece. Then again, similar problems have also been encountered by users of the iPhone 8. But Apple has already announced that they have fixed their speaker noises with a patch near to the same day that the Pixel 2s were introduced.

That leaves Google, which has yet to respond to the complaints much less take steps to resolve them. But these issues with the smartphone and phablet are serious.

Reputation hit

While it was Google who developed the Android OS, it was open-source and therefore was free to be built upon by mobile carriers and smartphone manufacturers, unlike Apple which keeps its iOS close to the chest for use with their iPhones and iPads. The internet giant decided to create its line of Android-using devices through OEMs and thus started the Nexus, then Pixel lines. The first gadgets of the latter have been highly reviewed. Their success has spurred Google to become a serious hardware company itself, but these aspirations could now be seriously damaged by the problem-heavy Pixel 2 and XL.

It is up to Google to quickly find solutions to the bugs that the latest models of their gadget family are being plagued with. The company could not afford to have the mishaps of the Pixel 2 or even the Home Mini smart speaker escalating towards a bad reputation, wrecking their hardware division before it has a chance to grow more.