Google Slowly Starts Fixing Pixel 3 Problems

Posted on November 6, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Android with 20 Comments

With its users reporting a wide range of reliability issues, Google has slowly started fixing problems with its Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL handsets.

And it really is an incredible list.

The biggest problems facing Pixel 3 users—well, excluding that ginormous, buck-toothed notch on the Pixel 3 XL, for which there is no fix—include a memory management issue that causes the RAM-constrained handsets to apps to die prematurely, especially music and audio apps, unbalanced stereo speakers with tinny/echoing audio playback, a camera app that sometimes silently doesn’t save photos, a Pixel Stand bug that prevents the wireless charger from using fast charging, a “double-notch” effect in which a second, software-based notch appears on-screen, and a clicking noise heard during phone calls. Among many others.

Google has acknowledged some bugs and has promised fixes in the coming weeks. For example, the photo-taking issue will be addressed, it says. As will be the memory management issues, which I consider among the most serious.

Actual fixes have been few and far between, at least so far. But this week, Google released its normal monthly software update for the Pixel family of handsets. And among the changes, it seems, is a fix for the slow-charging issue. Now, when the phone reports that it is using fast charging, it really is.

What’s most alarming to me, however, is that Google has publicly stated that some bugs—the stereo speaker imbalance, for example—aren’t bugs at all, but are “by design.” And some major issues, like the tinny/echoing audio playback, and the phone clicking sounds—have never been addressed by the search giant.

I’m sure they’ll get it right eventually. And I look forward to evaluating the Pixel 4 family next year, which I’m sure will come with its own unique set of problems. Just like the preceding three generations of Pixels.


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