Apparently, Google doesn't like making a big fuss over LED notification lights, which is evidenced by how it handled the beloved feature on the original Pixel and Pixel XL and their successor the Pixel 2 XL this time around.
At any rate, it's been confirmed that the new Pixel 2 XL does indeed have a working albeit hidden option to turn on the notification blink light.
Pixel 2 XL LED Notification Light Is Official
UK tech reviewer Darren Gloster, aka @GadgetDevo, managed to get ahold of a non-retail Pixel 2 XL for a "small period of time." During it, he found out that the device does have an LED notification light, which is placed on the upper-right corner of the display near the edge.
— Darren Gloster (@GadgetDevo) October 11, 2017
For comparison's sake, the original Pixel had the LED under the earpiece, right below the grille and cloth that covers it. By default, it was disabled.
How To Turn On LED Notification Light
It's still unclear whether or not the notification light on the Pixel 2 XL will be set to off from the get-go, but regardless, it's easy to turn on.
For Android Oreo, users will just have to go to Settings, Apps & notifications, and Notifications. Under Notifications, there should be a toggle to switch on Blink light, which is the option to enable the LED.
What About The Pixel 2?
The thing is, Gloster only had a Pixel 2 XL, and not the smaller-sized Pixel 2. In other words, the LED notification is only confirmed for the larger sibling.
Fingers crossed that Google didn't decide to give the Pixel 2 the cold shoulder for this feature.
Always-on Display Conundrum
Since the new Pixel phones support always-on display, some might think that the notification light is sort of an overkill. However, there are times when an LED can do more.
For instance, blinking LED notifications are easier to spot, especially when far away. Occasionally, the colors are also based on what kind of alert came in, such as when the phone goes from solid red to green as it goes from 99 percent of battery to 100 percent.
Put simply, notifications on an always-on display need the user to be near the device to be useful.
Now with all said and done, don't forget to check out Gloster's hands-on video with the Pixel 2 XL. Take note that if you want to take the handset out for a spin yourself, Verizon has demo units across its stores.