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Some Google Pixel 2 XL phones are shipping without Android

Google Pixel 2 XL
Julian Chokkattu / Digital Trends
The Google Pixel 2 XL has gotten some pretty rave reviews since launch, but the launch has not been without its issues. First, the Pixel 2 XL suffered from screen burn-in issues that frustrated some users. Now, perhaps even more frustrating, is another issue — some Google Pixel 2 XL handsets are shipping without operating systems whatsoever. It does not seem as though the issue has affected any users of the standard Google Pixel 2.

Yes, that means that you could get your Google Pixel 2 XL, try to turn it on, and be greeted with a message saying that the phone “can’t find a valid operating system.” The issue was first reported on Reddit. As some reports note, it may be possible for the more tech-savvy users to salvage handsets by flashing a factory image of Android on the phone — but others may not be so comfortable with the inner workings of their $850-plus device.

Google confirmed to us that the issue has been fixed, though didn’t really have anything else to say.

Now, before this gets blown way out of proportion, we should note that the issue likely affects a very small percentage of Pixel 2 XL units being shipped, and Google is offering to replace phones that ship without Android, meaning the only real penalty to users is that they have to wait a few more days for their shiny new phone.

Still, there’s really no excuse to ship any phones without an operating system. The issue essentially renders a device totally useless — no calls, texts, Facebook — nothing. On top of that, the message prompts users to visit a Nexus support page about operating system warnings, but it doesn’t really specifically focus on this particular issue, which could leave some users confused about what their next steps should be.

So what should you do if you get a Pixel 2 XL without an operating system? We would suggest simply reaching out to Google support and returning the phone for a replacement device. If you got your device from Verizon that makes things even easier — just head down to your local Verizon store and tell them what’s going on. Best case scenario is you’ll get a replacement phone immediately. Worst case is that you’ll have to wait a few days for one.

Update: Google has confirmed that the issue has been fixed.

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