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Google updates Pixel 2 XL with new ‘saturated’ color display option and other bug fixes

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It’s also fixing the clicking problem on the Pixel 2

Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

The regular, monthly patches for the Pixel are one of the main reasons to buy a Google phone instead of another Android device. This month, however, the company has done more than add the usual security fixes. For the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, it has also layered on a bunch of bug fixes and new features. The most important of which, as Android Central reports, are new options for color saturation.

It also contains “a fix for the faint clicking noise heard in some Pixel 2s” as well as the subtle changes to the Pixel 2 XL’s display behavior to mitigate against potential screen burn-in — though those latter changes might not be obvious in normal usage, as a Google community manager writes:

As we mentioned in our deeper dive, this update also brings planned UI changes which extend the life of the OLED display, including a fade out of the navigation buttons at the bottom of the screen and an update to maximum brightness. These features have been carefully designed so as not to detract from the user experience. Since all OLED displays experience some degree of decay over time, we’ll continue to make enhancements which maximize the life of your Pixel screen.

Currently, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have a single toggle under the Display setting for “vivid colors.” But after applying the patch for this month (which we haven’t received ourselves yet), apparently there is a new set of three different options on both models: boosted, natural, and saturated.

This appears to be one of the promised software updates that Google said it would release after the initial reaction to the screen issues on the Pixel 2 XL. Here is how Google described how the “saturated” setting would look:

The saturated mode puts the display into an unmanaged configuration, similar to how the Pixel 1 operates. The colors will be more saturated and vibrant, but less accurate (similar to most other smartphones which display more vibrant colors): we give consumers the option to choose the color saturation.

Presumably, then, “saturated” will make your Pixel 2 XL look a little more like other Android phones — though it’s clear from the tone of Google’s description that it doesn’t think that’s the best experience.

Android Central reports that even this saturated setting doesn’t suddenly turn colors on the Pixel 2 XL into anything overly garish — suggesting that “Google's intentions are to keep the Pixel 2 XL looking accurate rather than eye-pleasing and unnatural.”

The main purpose of this software update is to provide a security patch for the Wi-Fi “Krack” vulnerability and also to add a bunch of updates for the Pixel 2, which are primarily focused on Bluetooth features.