Thursday, December 14, 2017

Pixel 2 XL screen flashing bright white on lock AKA the 'Pixel Flashbang'

After updating to OREO 8.1 my screen started flashing when I lock the phone (one really bright white flash) and then the ambient display kicks in. in a dark room, this is very noticeable.

Suspected issue:
I'd say it's almost a race condition when the screensaver is turned on. Kind of like the screen is being told to turn on and then the instructions on what to show are just slightly slower and therefore the screen assumes you want all pixels full brightness until the instructions for the ambient screen are sent through. BUT I'm not a Google engineer so don't take my word for it.

Turn off ambient display

Wait for Google to patch this (send them lots of bug reports)

Notes: After disabling the ambient screen and rebooting, I then turned ambient display back on and now the issue isn't occurring anymore (more testing required)

If you find this article useful please leave me a comment.

It's now 24 hours later and the phone has started to flash white again on locking and sometimes when waking up It's now slightly random it will flash when the screen has to wake up. I am now even more sure that this is probably a software bug in the ambient display software.

Update2: 15/12/2017
I found that there is a software called 'Pixel Ambient Services' in the apps. I cleared the 'cache' and the 'data' from this app/service. Currently, my screen isn't flashing on lock or wake now. I will continue to monitor and report on the issue here.

Update 3: 18/12/2017

The issue is back again. I'm going to call this a 'Pixel Flashbang' from now on as that's what it's like at 6 AM in the morning when I wake up and look at my phone. Clearing the above app cache stops it for awhile but it comes back and the issue is now intermittent. 

Update 4: 20/12/2017

I chatted with Google support and they said that there is no known fix yet but engineers are looking into it.

Update 5: 03/01/2018

Still the same issue no matter which workaround is applied.

Rebooted in safe mode and still the same issue flashbangs on wake up of the screen.

Update 6: 05/01/2018 No update from Google about this. 

More info

Final update: 
The Feb 2018 firmware update seemed to have resolved this issue. 

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