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Android 10 has a terrible bug that can’t be fixed

Published Sep 5th, 2019 12:30PM EDT
Android 10 Update
Image: Photo by Jeff Chiu/AP/Shutterstock

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Google released the final version of Android 10 for all four Pixel generations just a couple of days ago, but it looks like the software upgrade is hardly the smooth experience Pixel users had hoped for. Earlier this week we learned that several Pixel models froze on the boot screen during the update, with the whole thing lasting anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. You either had to wait for the phone to move past the boot screen or downgrade to Android 9 and attempt the update later.

It turns out that’s the least of your worries, as Pixel owners are now reporting an even more annoying problem for devices already running Android 10. The current build kills sensor functionality on various Pixel phones, and there’s no way to fix it.

Android 10 is currently compatible with all eight Pixel phones that Google has released to date, including Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, and Pixel 3a XL. Some handset owners have posted the issues they’ve encountered with their devices on Google’s Issue Tracker and Google’s support forum, describing what happened with their devices after updating to Android 10.

“Auto-rotation, auto-brightness, active edge, double-tap to wake do not work in 10,” a Google forum post reads. The user noted that sensors work when the Pixel 3 XL is running Pie, but die on Android 10 no matter how he performs the upgrade:

1. Factory reset in Android 10.
2. Update from Pie (sensors working) to 10 (not working anymore.
3. sideloaded 10 and factory reset
4. Revert to Pie (all the abovementioned work again)

These are the two ways you can update a Pixel phone to Android 10 right now, but both of them seem to break sensor functionality. Another Pixel owner revealed in great detail what happened with his Pixel during the update:

hi, I was on latest stock Pie, and all sensors worked great. this morning I updated to Q via system updates, and since then all my sensors are not working anymore (active edge, proximity sensors, dt2p/lift to wake, adaptive brightness, auto-rotation).

This is a major problem me and other guys on XDA are experiencing. I’m on blueline, but this is confirmed for some people on crosshatch too.

Please fix this very urgently. Already tried factory reset, enabling the “sensors off” tile from developer options I can confirm that all sensors are on / not disabled.

Q build QP1A.190711.020

I unlocked the BL downgrade to P, and all sensors started working again!

And if I reflash Q factory image with full wipe, sensors stop working again.

Other users commenting on the post have confirmed the sensor issues following the Android 10 update. Similar posts are available over on xda-developers forum.

For the time being, these issues cannot be fixed on phones running Android 10. The only thing you can do is to roll back to a previous Android version, either Android 9 or a previous Android 10 beta release. Google will hopefully issue a fix soon, given that it has already responded on the Issue Tracker thread, asking for more details from people experiencing this aggravating bug.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.