Since getting in touch with +Marques Brownlee after his explanation video on Pixel 2 XL color which contains various errors, he said he didn't have the time available for a talk, but that he could do emails.

Usually I prefer discussions with a more hands-on approach to teach color science applied to mobile due to the amount of complexity involved.

But eh why not!
Here is what I sent him, following a reaction style because this is about YouTube after all. I post this because I want to share the knowledge with you, my dear readers as well.

Video itself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvNis_A6UaI


9:38 "For whatever reason Google decided on Oreo on the Pixel 2 XL they would show just sRGB"

The main reason is that most Android phones nowadays show arbitrary colors, which is a pain for content creators as you demonstrate at 11:36 in the same video.
A problem that is not existing on iOS since iPhone 7, since it implement color management for everything, with sRGB being the default for un-tagged content. Exactly like Oreo on a supported device.
- Untagged is anything to be displayed that doesn't specify "Hey my RGB values are encoded within AdobeRGB colorspace"
Google have been a bit lazy with color since the beginning of Android, and since Apple stepped up they decided to finally address the problem using the industry's solution: color management.

Pixel 2 is also color managed to sRGB default. It doesn't attract as much criticism for its color's display tho. More on that later.


9:55 "Most phones are now showing that wider range of colors, they all have P3 displays"

All phones with AMOLED panels have a native wide gamut capability. However depending on the panel generation and unit variation, it's not necessarily matching P3. They're wide-gamut but not really P3.

A lot of IPS panels are aiming at sRGB coverage. The main reason is that it's more power-efficient to have a narrow gamut since the color primaries fall closer to the spectrum where our retina is more sensitive. Also, the sRGB or narrower panels are cheaper to source.
A notable exception however is all Apple products with IPS wide-gamut panels. That's many.
Overall, we could guesstimate regular vs wide-gamut display for devices out here today to what, 50-50%?


9:59 "The effect of Google's decision is that it makes the colors more dull or more toned down that we're used to"

An iPhone/iPad user would be used to sRGB by default on most content, unless the app explicitly supports wide-gamut. Instagram posted about that in January: https://engineering.instagram.com/bringing-wide-color-to-instagram-5a5481802d7d

Indeed will look toned down to A Samsung Galaxy S user. (default: no color management, content colors stretched to full panel gamut + extra saturation boost), a Google Pixel 1 (same, without the extra saturation added)


10:29 "Now the weird part is that developers can flip a switch to enable showing wide color gamut in their apps"

Not weird: fully color-managed OS all function that way.

iOS added that to color-managed the P3 display of the iPhone 7: it's the UIGraphicsImageRenderer thing in Instagram's post linked earlier.
Without specifying anything: the OS converts it all to show accurate sRGB colors on display.

Windows OS lacks color management, so everything looks wrong by default on wide-gamut displays except for the too few programs implementing color management independently (example: Adobe suite does)


10:51 "The only place you will find that is in the camera viewfinder app and Firefox interestingly enough. If you grab Firefox from the Play Store it will show all the P3 colors on this display"

You've been mislead by the test: https://webkit.org/blog-files/color-gamut/, which assumes it's running on a color-managed browser: aka Safari, from Webkit's authors.

Google Chrome for Android added color management - converting everything to sRGB in software (not long ago, because earlier versions had no color management at all)

Since Chrome outputs on sRGB, it clips the red more intense than sRGB max red: both "sRGB" and "Display P3" images look the same.

Firefox Android doesn't enable color management by default. It'll send the RGB values of the image's pixel unmodified to the OS. On the Pixel 2 XL, this is down-converted to sRGB gamut.
You can enable color management like Chrome in Firefox with these steps:
open about:config
- search gfx.color
- set gfx.color_management.mode to 2
- set gfx.colormanagement.enablev4 to true
- kill and start firefox again

Your video shows that the P3 sample red in Chrome and Firefox look the same.
If you redo the comparison with an iPhone, you'll see that this one gives an extra saturation, instead of de-saturating the Webkit logo inside.


11:13 "Showing it in Firefox show how much you're missing"

The rose example displayed illustrate Firefox Android has no color management here

We can see the image is very de-saturated instead of more vibrant.


12:00 "And boom this super saturated photo shows up on everyone else's device, because they're all show more colors"

All iPhone and iPads will show the right colors in this example, all iMacs, MacBooks

All AMOLED and rare wide-gamut IPS Android devices will indeed show wrong colors: a bit incorrect hue and far too high saturation.

Given iPhone's and cheaper IPS (non-wide gamut) market share, a minority of devices will show incorrect colors.


12:03 Conclusion

Google marketing has been presenting Pixel 2 XL as "accurate/natural sRGB" and it you take the claim for granted, it is easy to blame sRGB and color management for all the issues. Why not scrap it all, right - it looks arguably worse than nothing at all, nobody so far likes the result.

Thing is,
Google's claims of color accuracy have not been verified.
Erica Griffin measured (using software I made - I can vouch on the precision of her analysis) her Pixel 2 XL displays and saw that they are not correctly calibrated to sRGB.
In fact the red primary in her units is lacking in intensity and their hue is too orange/yellow. Only from measurements, you can predict that red will be kind of muted and orange, and that a lot of things will kind of look brown.
Including known icons and worse: faces. And humans are extremely sensitive to skin tones. We can tell right away.
Also she mentioned that the gamma curve is darker than it should, which will compromise the result further.

You know, if the problem was sRGB and color management, then reviewers and owners would have complained the same about iPhone displays since the iPhone 7, up to the iPhone X which also uses a calibrated & color managed OLED panel.
Here, something went wrong with the factory calibration process in LG's factories and that is the cause of the color issues.
I don't have enough data on the the smaller Pixel to comment, what do you think?
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