Google’s first ever self-branded smartphone effort, the Google Pixel and its larger sibling, the Pixel XL, having dropped the Nexus naming scheme altogether, has so far received warm acclaim, even being heralded as the best Android smartphone today. But the pair isn’t without its problems.
Those who are planning to get Google’s flagships should best learn some of its known issues. Sure, it’s an excellent smartphone bearing some of the most sought-after features expected on a top-tier device, but if it arrives mired with issues at that steep as price, then it might be worth a shot to shift gazes.
When played at maximum volume, the Google Pixel outputs annoyingly distorted audio, some owners of the handset have discovered. Certain apps, like one user tested, rendered crackling sounds at high volumes, both in loudspeaker mode or when headphones are plugged in.
Both the Pixel and the Pixel XL are affected by the issue, and though it doesn’t happen all the time, crackling speakers aren’t usually found on a phone’s spec sheet. As vexing as it sounds, the issue could be software-related, so Google, housing some of the most consummate programmers in the world, should ace this one with a future software patch.
The Pixel and Pixel XL’s rear cameras are tagged as the best camera found on a smartphone ever, and some publications are more than happy to agree. But recent issues have challenged that accolade.
Numerous reports online have mourned about the Google Pixel’s lens flaring problem, which occurs when a bright source of light beams directly at the camera’s lens. Lens flare, however, is a natural phenomenon with cameras, producing harsh light on the resulting image, but it’s different for the Pixel. White, pink, or purple rings appear near the edge of the frame, even if the source light isn’t directly hitting the camera.
Google has released a camera update that sort of fixed or minimized the flaring effect, but the issue still persists.
Another with the camera, as several users have pointed out, is that it often freezes, whereupon pink and purple lines show up on the screen. The issue seems isolated in Google’s preloaded camera app, but a few users have noted that some third-party camera apps occasionally sport the same issue. It seems to only affect international Pixel handsets, and users can switch to airplane mode to temporarily fix the problem, although that solution won’t likely hold up. Google has yet to release an update to iron out the issue.
Some units of the Pixel and Pixel XL have been found to sport a manufacturing defect that causes a bubble to form under the screen. The bubble appears even when the phone is kept in pristine condition, without it being damaged or dropped. The issue, however, is rarer than other Pixel issues, though it’s still something to consider before buying the phone.
Another less common issue involves the handsets’ microphone, which, according to reports, randomly becomes inoperable. It’s still hasn’t been determined whether the issue is software or hardware-related, but users can switch the speakerphone on and off mid-call, as this reportedly causes the microphone to consistently work.
Some users have reported connectivity issues with the Pixel and the Pixel XL on LTE Band 4, with the phones failing to connect to the said band. Google has since patched the issue up, and several owners have noted that they are now able to connect to the LTE Band 4 without problems.
OK, Google Doesn’t Always Work
A number of Pixel owners have reported that the “OK, Google” voice command to launch Assistant doesn’t work when the screen is off, which bars the user from unlocking the device via voice. Fortunately, this can be straightened out with a software update.
Know any issues we don’t? Tell us in the comments section below!
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