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Google fans are complaining about so many different Pixel 3 problems

Published Oct 24th, 2018 10:12AM EDT
Pixel 3 XL Review
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

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It goes without saying that every major phone launch is accompanied by an initial wave of problems. As people begin to explore every nook and cranny of their new smartphones, they uncover all sorts of bugs. It’s the nature of the beast and it’s completely unavoidable; there’s simply no such thing as software that’s free of all bugs. Of course, some phones ship with more problems than others and it looks like Google’s new Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL flagship phones have more problems than most.

The good news is that the bulk of the issues people have uncovered so far on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are indeed software issues that can likely be fixed with relative ease thanks to software updates. The better news is that these are Pixel phones from Google, not Android phones from another vendor. That means updates will come fast and furious since they come directly from Google instead of having to be reworked by vendors and tested by carriers. But there is also bad news, of course, and it’s fairly obvious: If you want one of Google’s brand new flagship smartphones, there are a whole mess of problems that you’re going to have to deal with until Google fixes them with future updates. 

There’s really no question that Google’s new Pixel phones are terrific devices in a broad sense. As we explained in our in-depth Pixel 3 review, Google has made great strides with its hardware and the overall user experience is fast and smooth. When you get to a more granular level though, there are a number of bugs that range from minor annoyances to fist-shaking mega-bugs.

Early adopters have taken to Reddit and social media to complain about the wide range of bugs they have encountered. We were just starting to sift through them all when we came across a fantastic roundup on the xda-developers blog. The site dug through its own forum as well as Reddit and elsewhere to put together the most comprehensive list we’ve seen so far of the various problems people have discovered on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.

Before we get to xda’s list, let’s discuss three issues in particular. First, there’s a weird problem where the Pixel 3 XL starts to display a second notch on the side of the phone. This problem is particularly hilarious since hardcore Android fans who inherently hate everything Apple does were very angry that Google decided to copy the iPhone X’s notch on the larger of its two new Pixel 3 phones. With that in mind, this bug sort of reads like Google trolling its most avid fans.

Random Side Notch appears… Pixel 3 XL from pixel_phones

Don’t worry though, because there’s good news to Pixel 3 XL owners who are affected by this bizarre bug. We reached out to Google and a spokesperson confirmed to us that “there is a fix for this rolling out in the coming weeks.”

The second problem we wanted to mention up front is an issue where a Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL will fail to actually save photos it captures. Yup, this is another big dose of irony. Some of Google’s brand new flagship Pixel phones, which arguably have the best smartphone cameras in the world right now, don’t actually save the beautiful photos captured by those cameras. Thankfully, we have more good news here: Google confirmed to SlashGear that the issue only impacts a small number of units, and that a fix is coming.

Third, we come to a problem that is unlike the first two we mentioned, in that it will never be fixed because it’s a hardware issue. That’s right, we’re talking about the issue that BGR was first to discover and draw attention to — the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL vibrate like crazy when you use the speakers. Here’s a video that helps illustrate how intense the vibration is:

Google downplayed the issue in its response to BGR, and there are some hardcore Android fans who are downplaying it as well. If you’re a smartphone user who leans heavily on your loudspeakers though, you should do your best to go to a Verizon store (even if you plan to order the phone directly from Google) and try it before you buy it. This issue is serious, and it makes the phone very uncomfortable to hold while the speakers are being used. It’s most intense when you play music at high volume, but the vibrations can still be felt at low volumes as well as during spoken dialog. It’s constant and it’s very, very annoying.

There are plenty of other problems beyond those, and they range in severity from minor issues you’ll barely notice to huge problems that might drive you crazy. Check out xda-developers for all the details.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.

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