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Google Pixel 3 & Pixel 3 XL Issue List: Know before you buy

Everything you might have missed!

We’ve been singing praises of the Google Pixel 3 and its bigger sibling, the Google Pixel 3 XL, since they have been introduced. In my preliminary evaluate of the Pixel 3 XL, I defined how the newest Google Pixel gadget embodies the 3 rules that make Google’s Chrome OS so beloved: Velocity, Simplicity, and Safety. However even units as polished because the Google Pixel are sure to have some points after reaching the arms of shoppers, and this yr’s Pixel 3 is not any totally different.

I usually take a conservative strategy to masking information about an issue with a brand new gadget as a result of it’s troublesome to inform when a consumer report is absolutely indicative of a bigger concern with the system. Within the case of the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, nevertheless, the Pixel consumer group on our boards and on Reddit have raised a stink about numerous points which have made their approach to different blogs. So, before you shell out lots of of dollars for a brand new Pixel after seeing the unimaginable Night time Sight digital camera samples that we posted, we expect you ought to concentrate on a number of the points that early adopters have confronted.

A few of these points could also be deal breakers, whereas others might look like nitpicking to you. We’ll notice which points can possible be resolved by way of a software program replace and whether or not Google has already provided a press release on the matter. Lastly, since I solely have the Pixel 3 XL with me, I can solely supply my opinion on points that solely have an effect on the 3 XL.

Reminiscence Administration

Apps being closed within the background

It feels unusual for me to say this contemplating my very first article on XDA was an argument in protection of the Nexus 5X having solely 2GB RAM, however the Pixel 3 won’t have sufficient RAM. With larger high quality apps and video games releasing every month, it’s turn out to be clear that Android units merely want extra reminiscence today. The Google Pixel, Google Pixel 2, and Google Pixel 3 all have 4GB RAM, whereas the OnePlus 6, Razer Telephone 2, Xiaomi POCO F1, and extra supply as much as 8GB RAM choices. 4GB RAM ought to be sufficient for many customers of the Pixel 3, however there have been many consumer studies of the gadget typically closing just lately used apps within the background.

This isn’t an remoted difficulty, both. An Android Central editor, an editor from The Verge, the founding father of Android Police, Marques Brownlee, and numerous others on Reddit have points with reminiscence administration. (All hyperlinks by way of Android Police.) My very own Pixel 3 XL is way worse at protecting apps in reminiscence than my OnePlus 6, although in fact, I attribute that to my OnePlus 6 having 8GB RAM. Whereas few customers could have the identical expertise as Artem Russakovski (proven under), I guess most customers will expertise the Pixel 3’s reminiscence administration difficulty at the least a couple of occasions a day. I’ve lately began advocating for Google to supply a minimal of 6GB RAM on their units after seeing how video games like Fortnite Cellular carry out on the Pixel 2 XL, and I feel movies just like the one under present how even the essential consumer expertise may be affected by not having sufficient RAM.

As for a possible reason for the difficulty, two kernel builders that I’ve spoken to attribute a few of the blame to Google’s transfer to utilizing the LMKD. LMK, or Low Reminiscence Killer, is a course of that screens reminiscence utilization and kills the least important processes to release reminiscence for extra necessary duties. The LMK driver often resides within the kernel, however since Linux kernel four.12 there’s now a userspace LMK daemon. Whether or not the default values Google selected are too aggressive stays to be seen, as Google has not but provided any sort of assertion on the matter. However now that it’s attainable to root the Pixel 3, we will tweak the LMK values to see for ourselves.

Severity: Excessive

Google Response: None

Probability of a repair coming: Excessive

Typically, pictures aren’t being saved

It’s exhausting to not gush over how superior the Pixel 3’s digital camera is. The Google Digital camera app does every thing it may well to be sure that even learners like me who merely point-and-shoot at a topic can seize respectable pictures. With options like Prime Shot, Movement Photographs, and Movement Auto Focus, it’s simpler than ever to seize a fantastic photograph – even when your palms are unsteady or the topic is shifting. That’s, until, your Pixel truly saves the image you simply took.

For some customers, the Pixel, Pixel 2, and Pixel 3 merely fail to seize a photograph or video. You press the shutter button anticipating to stow away an honest shot, solely to seek out that the picture or video by no means saved. I had this occur as soon as on my Pixel 3 once I was testing whether or not the Pixel 3 can document movies with stereo audio (it does), however haven’t had it occur since. I’ve additionally by no means had this concern with my Pixel 2 XL, both. Nonetheless, lots of people have had this occur to them, and it completely sucks when it does. The prevailing concept behind the difficulty is that it’s associated to reminiscence administration, however no one actually is aware of why it occurs.

Severity: Excessive

Google Response: A repair is coming for all Pixels

Probability of a repair coming: Already confirmed

Audio and Video

Poor Audio High quality in Video Recordings

Given Google’s monitor document with computational images, it’s no shock that a lot of the eye was targeted on the picture-taking capacity of the brand new Pixel 3. However we shouldn’t overlook that the Pixel is – or moderately must be – nice at recording video, as properly. The Pixel 2’s Fused Video Stabilization know-how, their algorithm combining the hardware’s Optical Picture Stabilizer with Google’s Digital Picture Stabilization method, made for extremely stabilized movies. Google isn’t doing something as loopy because the Huawei Mate 20’s Video Bokeh or AI Cinema results, however we might anticipate the Pixel 3’s video recordings to be at the very least on par with the newest Apple iPhone…proper?

Sadly, that doesn’t appear to be the case, principally because of the comparatively poor audio recording high quality from the Pixel 3. The recording high quality drops off considerably when you transfer a number of ft away from the gadget, and up shut, nonetheless sounds fairly distant. This difficulty was first delivered to mild by YouTuber SuperSaf TV, and we expect it’s greatest you take heed to the primary a part of his video to listen to the distinction between the Pixel 3 and iPhone Xs Max.

Apparently, somebody discovered that the audio output when video recording with a Playground AR sticker within the foreground is considerably higher. The Pixel 3 can document fairly respectable audio, however Google’s tuning appears to noticeably decrease the standard. Why? We’ll let Google clarify:

“We made several advances in the audio recording capabilities of Pixel 3, including enabling stereo recording in landscape mode. When recording outdoors, our tuning is specifically designed to reduce background noise like wind and road noise and overly loud sounds and optimize for audible speech. To achieve this, we selectively de-emphasize some frequencies, which minimizes disruptive noises and optimizes the resulting audio. We do extensive user testing of our products to ensure they are tuned for real world usage, and we’re always looking at additional tuning opportunities based on user feedback.” – Google spokesperson in a press release despatched to Android Police

Severity: Medium

Google Response: Working as meant

Probability of a repair coming: Excessive

Speaker Imbalance

When you’re coping with stereo audio system like on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, you would anticipate that the 2 are balanced when it comes to quantity output. This isn’t the case with the Pixel 3 XL, nevertheless. As first found by many customers on Reddit and captured on video by Android Police, the audio system on the Pixel 3 XL have a reasonably noticeable distinction in quantity output.

Once I examined the speaker high quality on my Pixel 3 XL evaluate unit, I discovered it has good bass, minimal distortion, and fairly loud output when in comparison with final yr’s Pixel 2 XL. Google claims that the Pixel 3’s speaker sound is 40% louder than the Pixel 2 whereas having a greater low-frequency response. I consider that the Pixel 3 is utilizing the MaxxAudio know-how by Waves Audio, however Google hasn’t but gone into element concerning the audio enhancements they’ve made. In any case, right here’s Google’s official assertion on the stereo speaker quantity discrepancy:

“Hi all, This is by design. We specially designed speakers that allow for louder sound (40% louder than last year) and better low frequency response.  We use new amplifier technology with advanced speaker protection algorithms to push these speakers harder and really get every last bit of performance out of them. We also worked closely with the expert tuning of a Grammy-award winning music producer to enhance the audio in a way that plays to the strengths of the hardware system.” – /u/PixelCommunity on Reddit

Severity: Low

Google Response: Working as meant

Probability of a repair coming: Low

Extreme Vibration

I don’t know what number of of you take heed to music from the audio system whereas holding a telephone in your hand, but when that describes you then you could also be bothered by the Pixel 3’s vibration motor. Whereas the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL supply the perfect haptic suggestions on any Android system (I’m not the type of one that often cares, however I can inform that it’s distinctive), some reviewers have famous that the units vibrate excessively when loud music is performed over the audio system. This challenge was first introduced up by BGR, however I’m skeptical how a lot of an issue it truly is. Nonetheless, it’s one thing you ought to check for your self if you have the prospect to demo a tool before shopping for it. Right here’s an excerpt from BGR‘s assessment which describes the difficulty they’ve:

“Google’s new Pixel telephones have front-firing stereo audio system that sound nice and are splendidly loud. Sadly, utilizing them means coping with an undesirable aspect impact: an insane quantity of vibration on the again of the telephone…At low volumes, it’s actually annoying. The again of the telephone vibrates with each beat of no matter music you’re enjoying. Even throughout dialog in a video, you can nonetheless really feel the again of the telephone vibrate continually. If there’s sound, it’s vibrating.

Then if you flip the quantity as much as about 50%, the vibration goes from annoying to aggravating. At 80% or greater, it’s downright horrible. The again of the telephone vibrates as onerous and even more durable than the vibration motor contained in the telephone that Google makes use of for notifications. Think about enjoying music and having your telephone’s notification motor vibrating the complete time. It’s so violent that Google’s material Pixel instances barely dampen it in any respect.” – Zach Epstein, writing for BGR

For what it’s value, I don’t assume the difficulty is as pronounced as Zach is saying. Positive, my Pixel 3 XL does vibrate once I performed music at max quantity, however it wasn’t so uncomfortable that it might make me put down the telephone. The official Pixel Material case additionally does dampen the vibration considerably for me. That is, once more, a type of points you need to attempt to replicate your self before deciding whether or not it bothers you. Right here’s a video which could give you an concept how a lot the Pixel 3’s again vibrates.


Positive. pic.twitter.com/RqonN0kgiW

— Russell Holly (@russellholly) October 23, 2018

Severity: Low

Google Response: None

Probability of a repair coming: Low

No 4K Video Recording at 60FPS

In the course of the official presentation on the Made by Google occasion, Google actually didn’t need to speak tech specs. We didn’t discover out about who made the Pixel 3’s and Pixel 3 XL’s shows (LG and Samsung respectively) till iFixit carried out hardware teardowns. Moreover, the one cause we all know that the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL use a Sony IMX363 for the only rear-facing digital camera is that I dug by way of some vendor information. Because the revelation that each units have the Sony IMX363, the thriller behind why each Pixel 3s don’t help 4K video recording at 60 FPS hasn’t been solved. In reality, it’s solely grow to be extra complicated.

The ISP within the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 is definitely able to dealing with [email protected], and different units with the IMX363 such because the Asus Zenfone 5Z, Razer Telephone 2, and shortly POCO F1 help [email protected] Thus, we will solely speculate why the units don’t help [email protected] recording. Some Google Digital camera modders consider it’s as a result of Google’s Fused Video Stabilization doesn’t work with [email protected] Regardless of the purpose, it’s barely disappointing that different units are able to this whereas Google doesn’t supply the choice. Talking of a scarcity of choices, Google eliminated the power to manually set 60FPS for recording at 1080p in favor of an automated FPS switching mode.

Severity: Low

Google Response: None

Probability of a repair coming: Low


We lastly have wi-fi charging once more on a Google gadget (with some caveats – extra on that under), however meaning we now have to cope with a glass again. The glass again is coated in a soft-touch end, making it really feel extra like plastic, and has a layer of Gorilla Glass 5 for cover. I child my units, by no means take them out of a case, and virtually by no means produce other objects in the identical pocket I maintain my telephone in, so I not often ever cope with scratches on my units. Nevertheless, there have been a couple of reviewers like Ron Amadeo from ArsTechnica and Marques Brownlee who’ve handled scratches on their assessment models. Whether or not the Pixel 3 is vulnerable to scratches, although, continues to be up within the air.

Listed here are two movies, one by Erica Griffin and the opposite by Zack Nelson from JerryRigEverything, testing the sturdiness of the Pixel 3.

Severity: Medium

Google Response: None

Wi-fi Charging

10W, non-Qi, proprietary charging

As a result of Google was extraordinarily obscure concerning the wi-fi charging know-how within the Pixel 3, I didn’t need to fill within the blanks by assuming that Pixel 3 supported 10W wi-fi charging by way of the Qi wi-fi charging normal. I wouldn’t blame you for making that assumption seeing how Google’s 18W wired charging is compliant with the USB Energy Supply commonplace. It seems, although, that the Pixel 3’s wi-fi charging know-how is proprietary – you can’t simply use any 10W wi-fi charger from Amazon or eBay.

A Reddit consumer discovered this lesson the exhausting means once they purchased an Anker wi-fi charging stand that marketed 10W wi-fi charging, solely to seek out that it wasn’t charging on the marketed energy. He found this, admittedly unscientifically, utilizing the Ampere software. Customers none the wiser believed that their previous Qi-enabled wi-fi chargers have been offering the utmost 10W energy as a result of the telephone advised them it was “charging rapidly,” nevertheless, although Google’s threshold for figuring out whether or not a charger is “fast” is that if it supplies >7.5W of energy. This looks like a bug with the SystemUI, although.

Before you buy a wi-fi charging accent, right here’s a abstract of what you have to know:

  • The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL solely help 10W wi-fi charging by way of the Google Pixel Stand and authorized chargers bought by way of the “Made for Google” program. Thus far, solely this Belkin wi-fi charger appears to be licensed to help the Pixel 3’s proprietary wi-fi charging know-how. Nevertheless, solely the Pixel Stand lets you entry the brand new Google Assistant integrations.
  • The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL solely help 5W wi-fi charging by way of Qi-enabled wi-fi chargers.

Severity: Medium

Google Response: Working as meant

Pixel Stand oddities

Sure, you can place the Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL on the Pixel Stand horizontally, however why would you when the lock display, ambient show, and all the time on show don’t help panorama mode? Truly, they do, however Google by no means enabled it. It’s a single line of code they would wish to vary, and I can perceive that toggling the boolean worth and releasing it to customers might be not a good suggestion because the ambient show UI hasn’t been optimized for the panorama orientation. Nevertheless, I really feel like this can be a huge oversight on Google’s half as a result of you can’t plug-in any USB Sort-C earbuds just like the Pixel USB-C earbuds when the telephone is docked vertically on the Pixel Stand. Hell, if Android Pie didn’t take away the power to put in customized overlays, the group might repair this problem in minutes.

Subsequent up is the power to unlock the gadget whereas on the Pixel Stand. If you have to entry one thing in your gadget past what Google Assistant can do, you’ll have to unlock your telephone. Since there’s no face unlock function, the quickest option to unlock the gadget is by way of the fingerprint scanner on the again. Sadly, the Pixel Stand is simply tall sufficient to partially impede the fingerprint scanner on the rear. You sort of should raise the system ahead a bit before putting your finger on it – a bit of awkward for my part.

Severity: Medium

Google Response: None

Probability of a repair coming: Medium for the previous difficulty, not potential for the latter concern

Software program

Random notches

I feel this concern is hilarious due to its absurdity. All of us laughed when ZTE made a design idea for a tool with two notches, and when Google acknowledged the potential for a tool with two notches by including a “double display cutout” overlay to Developer choices. This problem was first picked up by PiunikaWeb after they noticed a couple of customers on Reddit report that a mysterious second notch overlay seems onscreen. We’re unsure why this occurs for some customers, nevertheless it’s in all probability tied to a problem with altering the orientation in Android.

Google Pixel 3 XL notchAll you need to do to repair this problem is to reboot your system. The bug could be very uncommon (I’ve by no means met it) and really straightforward to repair, luckily.

Severity: Very low

Google Response: None

Probability of a repair coming: Excessive

YouTube movies aren’t centered, and different notch oddities

If you’re new to utilizing a tool with a notch, you ought to know that the majority video apps don’t truly show content material within the notch space. They can achieve this if you zoom into the video to make it fullscreen, however in any other case, most movies with a 16:9 facet ratio don’t take up the entire display. Within the YouTube app, the video is off-center, as proven under in MKBHD’s video. In different elements of apps like Instagram’s Tales, Yahoo Fantasy, and YouTube Studio, the notch space isn’t used very successfully.

Pixel 3 XLThough these are all points with the purposes themselves, the problems nonetheless influence the consumer expertise on the Pixel 3 XL. OxygenOS on the OnePlus 6, for instance, lets you select how apps ought to behave with the notch on a per-app foundation. We all know that Google isn’t a fan of interfering with how an app needs to work until it’s a part of a brand new platform restriction or mandate, however counting on apps to replace themselves for notched units will take a while to occur.

Severity: Very low

Google Response: A repair is coming, at the very least for the YouTube app

Probability of a repair coming: Just for YouTube

Voice Match unlocking is gone

Android 5.zero Lollipop launched a set of options referred to as “Smart Lock” which let you mechanically unlock your gadget whereas you’re holding it, when you’re at a trusted location, when you’re related to a trusted system, or when your voice is acknowledged by way of Voice Match. Unlocking your gadget by way of Voice Match has been eliminated, as first reported by PiunikaWeb. We’re unsure why Google eliminated the function, however from my expertise, it’s all the time been an inconsistent solution to unlock your system. I don’t miss the function, however I don’t blame you for being upset if you often used it. Nonetheless, I do assume it will be a helpful function to have particularly since Google is pushing customers to get the Pixel Stand.

Severity: Low

Google Response: None

Probability of a repair coming: Low

No audio from Android Auto

For these of you with an Android Auto head unit, you’ve in all probability handled a few bugs before. The Pixel 3 has a bug with audio output that causes music to not play when related to an Android Auto system, as reported by PiunkaWeb citing a number of discussion board posts on the Android Auto Consumer Group and Reddit. Thankfully, Google has acknowledged the difficulty and is already planning to roll out an replace to Google Play Providers to resolve the issue.

Severity: Medium

Google Response: A repair is coming

Probability of a repair coming: Already confirmed

No Wi-Fi calling by way of O2, Three, or Vodafone UK, however AT&T within the US gained help

O2, Three, and Vodafone within the UK have all confirmed (by way of PiunikaWeb) that the Pixel 3 doesn’t help Wi-Fi calling – but. Service certification is all the time messy, however we hope that Google works with extra carriers to ensure the Pixel 3 provides all of the connectivity choices on supported carriers. There’s a silver lining for Pixel followers in America who hoped for higher connectivity, although. The Pixel 3 helps Wi-Fi calling by way of AT&T, lastly.

Severity: Low-Medium

Google Response: None

Probability of a repair coming: Medium – AT&T Wi-Fi calling help is an effective signal that Google is working to enhance connectivity options


No Netflix HDR – But

Because of a “highly optimized software decoder and custom rendering stack,” final yr’s Google Pixel 2 was capable of play again HDR movies from YouTube in as much as 1080p. This yr’s Pixel 3 is able to 1440p HDR movies in YouTube (by way of Reddit) because the show meets the required metrics for HDR output whereas the gadget’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset has native HDR decoding help. The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL meet the UHD Alliance‘s guidelines for HDR10 and are YouTube Signature Devices. However, the devices have not yet been certified by Netflix so they can’t play Netflix HDR movies despite the fact that they’re technically succesful.

Severity: Low

Google Response: None

Probability of a repair coming: Medium

Black Crush

If you heard concerning the Pixel 2 XL’s show woes final yr, you might have heard concerning the momentary picture retention (resolved by sometimes altering the navigation bar background shade), uninteresting colours (resolved by including a extra saturated show mode), and “black crush.” The black crush challenge, in a nutshell, “makes darker gray shades appear identical to black, providing no visual distinction and low contrast for darker scenes” in line with our show analyst, Dylan Raga. Many attributed the difficulty to using an LG OLED panel in final yr’s Pixel 2 XL, and personally, it was an enormous problem on my Pixel 2 XL. The black crash situation made the gadget actually uncomfortable to make use of in low brightness ranges. Whereas my Pixel 3 XL evaluation unit doesn’t present the black crush problem almost as drastically my Pixel 2 XL did, our show analyst and a number of other early adopters do report that it’s nonetheless there. Your mileage might differ.

Severity: Low-Medium

Google Response: None

Probability of a repair coming: None

The best way to Ship Suggestions to Google

So you discovered a problem together with your Google Pixel 3 or Google Pixel 3 XL and you need to make your voice heard. You’ll be able to shout into the wind by making a Reddit or XDA thread and hoping that somebody from Google will reply to it, however there are higher methods to offer suggestions to Google

Direct Suggestions

Tweet on the Made by Google Twitter account

Publish on the Pixel Consumer Group product discussion board

It’s also possible to ship a suggestions report immediately out of your gadget. Google even made a video displaying you how!

Oblique Suggestions

If you actually do need to shout within the wind, you can achieve this on our boards under. There’s many useful, educated customers who might reply your query or train you easy methods to resolve the difficulty your self.

Be a part of the Google Pixel 3 Boards

Be a part of the Google Pixel 3 XL Boards

Miscellaneous Points

Lastly, if you come throughout a software program challenge that you assume may be an issue with Android Pie generally, use the Google Issue Tracker and file a bug report underneath the best element.

Submit a Bug Report on the Google Issue Tracker

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