Video: My USB-C problems with Pixel 2 XL

Posted on August 13, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Android with 39 Comments

As many readers are all-too-well aware, I’ve had to replace my Google Pixel 2 XL twice because of USB-C issues. Here’s a video that demonstrates this and how my third replacement device appears to fix this issue.

You can read about these issues in far more detail in Google Pixel 2 XL, Round Two, Google Pixel 2 XL, Replaced, Google Pixel 2 XL, Round Three (Premium), and Google Pixel 2 XL, Replaced. Again (Premium).

Here’s the video:

Tagged with

Join the discussion!


Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Comments (39)

39 responses to “Video: My USB-C problems with Pixel 2 XL”

  1. lcramlet

    I had the same issue my original Pixel phone. I got a replacement device from Google (no issues with the return).

    My replacement device eventually started having the same issue. At one point, I couldn't charge the device because I couldn't get the USB-C to connect.

    However, I did come up with a "solution". The issue seems to be debris in the usb-c port on the phone (lint, etc). I was able to take a needle and scrape out a layer of compacted dust/lint. Not ideal, but after doing this, my cable was able to connect again.

    Seems like there's a design flaw here (port too shallow?), but at least in my case, there's a hack that works.

  2. harmjr

    So not the same problem but I have a Logitech H800 headset and it charges via a micro usb cable. Over time the insert and removal of the cable will damage the port and it will stop charging. I have had this happen to 2 of these headsets. So I had a magnet charging cable for my old phone (Like this on on Amazon) where you place the magnet tip into the device and never remove it. So this wont fix the headset issue but you could use a Bluetooth headset. It might help on the charging. Its most likely an issue with the model of the phone and no one has complained enough.

  3. mestiphal

    Paul, just some constructive feedback, see if you can turn off the auto-focus on the camera. it's very distracting. I tried watching Sam's unboxing video of the Surface Go and started to get motion sickness from the constant auto-focus.

    Also, makes sense for this video not to cover what you're doing with your hands, but it's true what Karma says, always pull from the connector, never the cable.

  4. ben55124

    My OP3 has this issue. After over 2 years, USB port is wearing out. On my next phone, wireless charging may appeal to me more to reduce port wear than any convenience factor.

  5. unfalln

    You could've invested in a force meter so that you could show the exact force required to remove the cable from each device.

  6. namanor

    I had the same issue with my Pixel "1" (on which I am writing this comment). I had made several attempts early on to clean the connector of pocket lint. It was better, but never felt correct...same issues, wiggle, no positive connection, cord falling out, etc... I was convinced this must just be the way it is. I finally compared my phone connection with a friend with USB-C, and amazed at how much better the connenction was. I then completed a much more thorough and aggressive cleaning, and was amazed at how much material I was able to remove. After that, the connection has been great...almost better than when the phone was new. I wonder if this is an issue with other phone makers?

  7. jlmerrill

    No problem with my Pixel 2(not XL) 9 months old. Wiggles a little but clicks in.

  8. SebastienJRM

    Worth noting that my almost-three-year-old LG/Google Nexus 5X, which I plug a USB-C cable into at least a few times daily, still establishes a strong, secure connection. It's always in a case, and is frequently in pockets. It gets dust and debris (lint, as others have pointed to) on and in its crevices frequently, but this has not altered the port's functionality or reliability in any way.

    I'm actually about to send it to LG for a warranty repair due to the widely-known bootloop issue that it just got plagued with, but that's an unrelated matter. :)

  9. YouWereWarned

    Was going to trademark "Lint Sucker" and start selling them. Then I checked the Urban Dictionary. Now convinced NO description will be SFW...

  10. red.radar

    What does it say about the state of customer service that you are pre-emptively publishing a video to prove your innocence.

    I think I am going to pass on Google Hardware for a while. Its a great camera, but that One-Plus 6 is a really good phone. I wouldn't put up with all that nonsense despite how good the camera is.

    I also wonder if others have had issues with USB-C devices....

    • bassoprofundo

      In reply to red.radar:

      You're right, of course, but I've done this exact thing several times before selling or returning a device so that I have proof of an issue (returning) or that a device is fully functional (selling). The worst are the companies that make you send back a device for them to "verify" an issue before granting you an RMA. I once had a device held for nearly 2 weeks and then returned to me with physical damage that wasn't on the device when I sent it. Having the video proof saved my bacon...

  11. namanor

    The key to this being debris (compacted pocket lint) in the phone-side of the connector is pointed out in the video (1:15). The plug will not fully insert. Something is physically stopping it from seating to the bottom of the connector. The same plug will fully seat in the other phones. I experienced the same issue to a T. An aggressive ("scary" aggressive, using a small sewing needle) cleaning fixed it.

    The bigger question is why is this happening? My guess is that it has something to do with attempting to seal up the phones for water/dust intrusion. The connectors are sealed, and there's no where for the debris to go.

  12. overseer

    I understand why you are fighting to get this fixed since you already are invested, but why are you going ahead and getting a Pixel 3. I was on Project Fi and had such problems getting a replacement for a damaged Nexus and such horrible customer service that I decided there was just no way I was doing business with Google again. These companies will never have an incentive to improve if people continue to give them business no matter how poor of products and services they deliver.

  13. dfcrone

    I just want to know what Keyboard that is.. Is it a Dvorak type?


  14. HellcatM

    Paul the other 2 phones did they work fine (the cable clicked to insert and it was locked in and no gap) or when you got them they were already broken?

    • Paul Thurrott

      In reply to HellcatM:

      They worked normally at first.

    • Winner

      In reply to HellcatM:

      I'm wondering if some small amount of grime acquired over time could be preventing the insertion all the way? If it's happened twice, perhaps it's related to Paul's usage. Pocket lint or something like that? The fact that it won't insert all the way, and the lack of "snap" is consistent with something in the way.

  15. Levi

    Always had the same problem charging my pixel. Once I get it to start charging I can't even touch my night stand or it will stop charging. Maybe this is why Microsoft was reluctant to put it on the Surface.

  16. gregsedwards

    Paul, this is excellent. You should do more videos. It's a terrific way to consume your content and would make a really nice companion to each article. And this shows it doesn't have to be overly produced. Even if it's just you reading through your article with some color commentary, I think it adds a lot of value.

    • Paul Thurrott

      In reply to gregsedwards:

      Thanks ... Yeah, I think about this. It's a different kind of work, I guess. :)

    • red.radar

      In reply to gregsedwards:

      Excellent point about simple and not overproduced. It was to the point and very efficient. I can't stand watching a cheesy opener to watch someone ramble to a camera for 20 minutes only demonstrate a 10 second issue. Worse stock B-roll from a trade show...

    • wright_is

      In reply to gregsedwards:

      Yes and no... 99% of the time I'm reading Thurrott, I'm not in a situation where I can watch video - either due to bandwidth restrictions (at work, I'm lucky to get Edge speeds on my phone) or other people are around me and it would disturb them.

      • gregsedwards

        In reply to wright_is:

        Sure, and it's not necessarily for everyone. Different people consume media differently across their devices, depending on a number of factors. But I really like the idea of having options. In my company, I'm really investing in a simplified workflow that allows our authors to easily add the components that make sense. Ideally, there's an easy way to write up an article, record a simple video version and then optionally pull featured still images and audio from that video, all of which gets stored appropriately in the CMS and automatically presented as related channels that can be consumed based on the audience's preferences.

        I'd really like to see Microsoft invest in reading mode for Edge, as I could see this being a great option for presenting a "quick and dirty" audio version of a basic article.

  17. Aritting

    Did you check it for pocket lint?

  18. Tedzio Gibonni

    This happens to me due to pocket fluff and dirt that slowly get packed down in to the socket. Get a small plastic (non conductive) pick type instrument to go around and loosen anything stuck in there.

  19. skane2600

    Several people have commented about the problem being related to pocket fluff or lint, but I doubt that's a common issue. Or maybe other people have their clothes hanging in the closet much longer than I do. :)

    • Paul Thurrott

      In reply to skane2600:

      I checked for that. Unrelated.

      • skane2600

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        Yes. The "lint" advice reminds me a bit of the technical support representative who asks if your computer is plugged in.

        • namanor

          In reply to skane2600:

          I believe that there could be another explanation, but my phone had the exact behavior as in Paul's video. It was so bad that it wouldn't charge some nights if I accidentally bumped it. I fixed it by cleaning out debris that was in the bottom of the connector. This is not something a blast of air will fix. It required some serious scraping with a hard plastic tool. It's amazing how compacted the debris can be.

  20. dave415

    Thank you Paul. I've had a Pixel @ XL for almost a year and started experiencing the precise problem you documented. My phone is in pristine condition and has never been dropped. I've purchased a dongle which seemed to correct the problem for several weeks but it now the it is not stating inserted. There is a clearly a flaw in the phone. I am receiving a replacement phone and Verizon is paying the insurance deductible.