Google shipped some buyers a Pixel 2 XL without an operating system

As great of devices as the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are, Google's been facing a heap of issues since their release last month. First, there were numerous complaints about the Pixel 2 XL's display, then came reports of the regular Pixel 2 exhibiting a hissing sound due to the NFC chip, and most recently, the company is facing a possible class-action lawsuit.

Now, in addition to all of that, it's being reported that Google is shipping some Pixel 2 XL units that don't have Android installed.

You read that correctly. Google is selling and shipping devices that are missing the entire operating system.

It's not clear how or why this is happening, but what we do know is that multiple users on Reddit (spotted by 9to5Google) are reporting this issue. When an affected device is turned on for the first time, a message pops up saying "Can't find valid operating system. The device will not start." The first sightings of this appear to date back to six days ago from the date of publishing this article, but another customer received a device like this just yesterday (November 1).

Buyers that have received a device like this are being instructed to contact Google and return it for a new model, and while it is good to see that Google isn't leaving them in the dark, something like this really shouldn't happen in the first place. There's still some debate as to whether or not Google or LG is to blame here, but in any case, we hope that the two companies can work together to get their quality control issues figured out ASAP.

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

103 Comments
  • LG phones are hit or miss.
  • It's a Google phone. They can choose any manufacturer they want but ultimately Google is responsible.
  • More like "***** or dissed"
  • I had to read the title twice because I couldn't believe what I just saw. Wow. Those customers should get a pair of buds with a replacement phone. Or at least a slew of cases and accessories. That's just unreal.
  • And also sign their right to joining the lawsuit away!
  • Maybe they should've kept Motorola and produce their own.
  • I was thinking about that recently
  • Is the codename for the Pixel 2 XL Surströmming?
  • This is my favorite comment ever.
  • Look, this is just proving Google's commitment to shipping the leanest, most bloat-free devices possible.
  • 🤣🤣🤣
  • Amazing comment!
  • That made me laugh and all my stress went away.
  • This comment was amazing! Lol
  • Mahahahahahaha
  • Internet won. Lmao
  • You win the interwebs today
  • Awesome comment! I hadn't logged in so long, I forgot my password, but I just had to log in today to give you your due.
  • You win, take a bow. 😂
  • Wait til it bootloops.
  • Hey that's why they gave you two year warranty
  • Maybe this is a variety of boot loop. As in the file early in the boot process is corrupt.
  • It can't bootloop if it can't boot 😉
  • Haha well that's one way to fix the bootloop issue
  • I bet its the last time they will use LG
  • It should all be in house going forward with their purchase of HTC, right?
  • Yup! HTC going forward. They'll finally get it right.....though I have no issues with my phone yet.
  • Wish Samsung would do this so I could put a decent OS on one of their phones instead.
  • HA!
  • I almost spit out my coffee all over my keyboard after reading this.
  • That.was.not.funny!
  • It's funny how all the positive attributes of this phone are linked to Google but all the negatives are blamed on LG. This is a Google phone, not an LG. When something is wrong with an iPhone, Apple gets the blame, not Foxconn.
  • This.
  • Google, you had one job...
  • This
  • Even without an OS, I'm sure AC would review one of these units and say its the best phone money can buy! lmfao!!!!!!
  • Their review is based on the unit they had.
  • So funny to me how there's a crowd that thinks AC is totally biased for it, and another crowd that thinks they're obsessed with the screen issue and not giving it a fair shake.
  • This. it's pretty much called reporting the news, sooooo....
  • I seem to be fortunate. My 2 XL came with an operating system.
  • This product launch is a complete clusterf*ck
  • Who's in charge of quality control, LG or Google?
  • Pretty sure nobody is lol
  • Can't you see, nobody :)
  • Google of course. They can assign anyone they want but ultimately they are in charge and make the call
  • One of those drinking birds (like from the movie Alien) is in charge of quality control.
  • I thought you were...
  • I think it's Alan.
  • Well, it would address the nav/status bar burn in issues.....
  • Is that not the purest strain of Android? Who wouldn't want this?
  • Yes, it's the perfectly pure strain. No features whatsoever.
  • I'd be fearful of sullying its DNA by owning something so pure.
  • I've always liked AC reporting but I feel like I'm reading IGN articles with their Pixel fanboyism lately.
  • Would you say this article is critical or praising of the phone?
  • Tremendous
  • It must genuinely hurt when you guys have to say something negative about these Google phones. And after all this A.C. will still claim its the best phone on the market lol. "Hopefully Google can fix this with an update" is the new cry for help
  • I think some of the tech reviewers are like abused spouses on this, google has messed them over so many times some have to make up excuses for Googles behavior.
    "It's going to get better, Google wouldn't treat me badly..."
  • Reddit: the most honest place to cite as a good source and the best display of reality. Next college idiots will be citing it as a source for their term papers. "I got it from Reddit so it must be true!"
  • Add microphone defect to that list. mine randomly went out and there is a post in the pixel Google group with multiple users reporting the issue. Won't talk to assistant or work on a phone call for that matter. Speaker phone is the only thing that works.
  • Come on Google..........smh
  • Best Android phone you can buy. Although technically it's not an Android phone if it has no OS.
  • Haaa Haaa Haaaa Haaaaa Haaaaaaaaa Haaaaaaaaaaaa..... hih hih hih hih huh huh huh huuuuuuu..... I can laugh from my butt even right now.....LMAO Damn it google, just get your **** together already, my dear God!
  • That's one way to avoid LG bootloops. No OS, no boot.
  • Now someone needs to make Google's head explode by flashing Windows 10 Mobile onto one 😉
  • That would make WP fans' heads explode. There hasn't been new hardware to talk about it in a year.
  • 😂
  • This makes sense. A while back there was a phone that shipped with a quality test paper and one of the tests were OS FAIL
  • I've had my Pixel since Lunch day from Verizon and outside one of the speakers being louder than the other when on speakerphone I love everything about the phone. And I haven't experienced the other issues everybody's been talking about out side the blue tent and that doesn't bother me. But Google has to get their crap together this is Google's fault it's not LG fault it's Google...the box the phone comes in says made by Google everywhere you look for marketing it says made by Google so this is Google's fault they can say LG messed up and if that's the case then day need to send somebody down there to stand over LG shoulder
  • This has become a ******* disaster
  • Had to read it twice to make sure it wasn't a typo. How does something like that get past QA and into shipping channels?
  • Some buyers or one buyer? Unfortunately things like this slip once in a while. Has happened before and will happen in future.
  • Prove it has happened before. Name one time someone got a phone with no OS, and identify the brand of the phone. Then provide a link to prove it. And it better be a well known brand, not some Chinese "never heard of it" brand.
  • No. Enough with that sorry excuse. This doesn't happen, like, at all.
  • Gee, it just keeps getting better for "Big G", doesn't it? Doesn't...it? Take that L, and hold it tight, Google.
  • Think it may be time for me to take advantage of the n8 deal. Taking 6+ weeks and all these issues is making me nervous 🙀
  • Smart by Google, get get sued for Burn In screen or any other issues if there is no software to Burn into screen!!!! HAHA
  • Any info on the screen can cause burn-in. Even without the OS
  • google is a disaster, no QC what a joke they are.
  • I don't care how many people say the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL they bought is the perfect phone. If I shelled out that kind of cash for a piece of ****, I would call it perfect, too, just to save face.
  • I believe you would.
  • You can’t have bloat when you have nothing to install bloat on.
  • Issue after issue after issue. It's time to put these phones to rest. They're a bigger disaster than the Note 7. At least Samsung had the decency to recall them all.
  • Amen!
    "LG" = Life's Good (was) "LG" = Lagging Google (now)
  • FYI, LG stands for Lucky Goldstar...
    Source- https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/LG_Electronics
  • FYI, I'm referring to their TV commercials. Should be UnLucky Goldstar
  • No problem man...
    Unlucky lol that made me laugh... :)
    I'm just wondering who's doing QC on these pixel phones... Should be google I reckon
  • 8-)
  • Google released a great camera this year. Other than that, this was a great year to go Apple instead imo. These issues just make me happier with my choice. If I want a bare bones OS, might as well go with the original. Maybe next year Google.
  • Damn Google, absolutely bloat free perfection achieved, at long last. Lmao 😂
  • I want one. I'll put W10M on it.
  • I'm buying a 5t!
  • It's the special Android Zen Pixel.... It ships with an OS that doesn't inherently exist. The purest Android experience.
  • Nexus phones; amazing software, occasional problems, reasonable prices, good value. Pixel phones; amazing software, ridiculous problems, poor components and QC, flagship prices... value proposition shot to hell. You're supposed to improve over time, Google. But you aren't getting any better at hardware than you are at hiring people for their race or gender rather than their skills and competency.
  • I had considered purchasing the XL2 128gb model. This phone is priced at 950+ tax. With all these current complaints I'm having second thoughts. That's a whole lot of money for a phone with a terrible launch. It seems to be plagued with many issues so I will stick with my s8+. It's been problem free & performs quite well. This is the second year in a row with Bluetooth problems. The P-OLED made by LG has it's share of problems also. I guess I refuse to purchase & 950.00 plus tax is not chump change. Very disappointed with Google & would have expected more out of a phone with its pricetag!
  • You would loose your headphone jack, wireless charging, expandable micro USB, superior display, and edge to edge.... If you seriously were considering going from a Samsung s8+ to the Pixel 2... I'd argue going from a Samsung s8+ to a Pixel 2 would be a downgrade. Why anyone would change android phones within the same year is another question.... But if spending cash on phones is your thing, you aren't hurting anybody... Have fun.
  • Wow. They’re charging top dollar premium prices; claiming they’re selling you a premium devices yet they are behaving in a very amateurish way. That’s str8 embarrassing. I really wanted a Pixel 2 but I think I might not only wait a year I might wait 2 yrs before buying a google phone. These are serious concerns for me.
  • It's "Google" Pixel 2 and not LG Pixel 2. So GOOGLE IS TO BLAME. SIMPLE.
    All these OEMs, be that Apple or Samsung, Google or Motorola, they all take consumer for granted, and consumers will always line up like bunch of sheep to buy their new ****.
  • Who does final assembly and QA?
  • Ah, sorry. Shipped you the enthusiast model, the one where you get to flash your own Oreo. IT's a Feature :)
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  • Very childish comments in this blog... More than usual.
  • Is that a preview of Android P? Awesome, it looks completely bloat-free!
  • I was a Nexus user for a while. The Pixel turned me off because of the price. What I never expected was for Google to up the price while still treating it's consumers as beta testers.