The displays found on some Google Pixel 2 units may be crushing blacks and dark details, as suggested by one owner of the new flagship who recently shared their discovery on Reddit with a comparison of Google's latest phone and the old Moto X displaying a 16-bit depth test image which clearly shows that the recently launched handset appears to be suffering from some severe color banding near the darker portions of the screen. The problem doesn't seem to be affecting all or possibly even most models, as evidenced by the gallery below which contains the photographic proof of some crushed blacks on the source's Pixel 2, but also the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL review units from Android Headlines running the very same test and exhibiting no such problems, save for some minor banding that can be observed on most OLED panels and cannot be attributed to a manufacturing defect.
Regardless, provided that the image showing crushed black details on the Pixel 2 is legitimate, it suggests that Samsung Display may have some quality control issues with the 5-inch AMOLED panel of the smaller member of Google's new flagship family, or that the same problems are troubling HTC who assembled the phone, unless this isn't just a faulty unit not representative of the average product quality. A small number of other Reddit users claimed their Pixel 2 units are suffering from the same issue but provided no proof of their claims. Color banding is a somewhat common problem with a wide variety of modules tasked with displaying graphics, especially extremely smooth gradients with numerous similar values that some screen calibrations may not be able to differentiate, resulting in rough and clearly visible lines appearing between such similarly colored pixels because there's no known value to fill in for them, as is the case in the first image seen below. The source claims that no amount of software tweaking related to things like brightness and display modes managed to alleviate the issue but it remains to be seen how many units of the Pixel 2 are affected by the problem seeing how only a single case has been reported so far. If you want to see whether your phone exhibits any such issues, try opening the 16-bit display depth test image yourself by navigating to the third and final item in the gallery below.
The latest report comes shortly after Google defended the Pixel 2 XL's reportedly pale POLED panel as "more natural" and said it may consider introducing additional saturated display modes to the phone in the future if more users end up demanding such a move. The two new members of the Pixel flagship family officially started selling today and will be looking to surpass the commercial performance of their 2016 predecessors which are estimated to have sold around two million units worldwide.