The Google Pixel offers one of the best smartphone cameras on the market… for most people. It turns out that a few are experiencing some major issues. One man even had a bum camera on a replacement unit sent to him by Google. This doesn’t seem to be a widespread problem, but it’s one you should be aware of if you’re picking up a Google Pixel for the holidays. Perhaps there’s a bad batch floating around?
The first report was made by a man named Mike Fox on the Google product forums. Fox submitted two screenshots showing the camera’s failure. You can see in the images above that the camera is clearly not functioning properly, with focus issues, huge pink areas, lines, gray blotches and more. “It freezes with pink/purple vertical lines very regularly although not all the time,” Fox said, noting that he had to force close the camera. “It also ends up with large blocks moved randomly around the screen. ”
Normally we’d write this off as a one-time thing, but Mike Fox continued to post in the product forums. Fox explained that Google had sent a replacement Pixel and, talk about bad luck, the replacement unit had the exact same problems. Other users started to complain about similar issues.
“I have the same issue,” a user named Christoph explained. “It doesn’t happen every time but regularly enough to be really annoying. I also tried rebooting and eventually a factory reset. Even the factory reset didn’t fix the problem. For me this is clearly a hardware defect. I already contacted support via chat and sent them an email with screenshots. I hope they send me another Pixel as soon as possible.”
Another user, Steve Hutchison, thinks he may have discovered part of the problem: “Might be coincidental, but I noticed that I had a large video (2 Gb) that I’d recorded with the camera app which wasn’t syncing to the cloud (it was the last thing I had taken with the camera before the glitching started). I plugged the phone into my PC, backed up all the photos and videos manually, deleted the files from the phone and the camera problem went away. Hasn’t happened again since.”
Google stops responding to Pixel camera failures
My guess is that’s not what’s causing the problem, it seems to me to be some sort of hardware failure as if the camera module isn’t connected properly. I’ve seen this sort of issue crop up when a phone is dropped and the module is knocked loose, for example, though I’m not drawing any conclusions or making accusations.
Google seems to have stopped responding publicly in the forums, so we reached out to the company for comment but a spokesperson was not immediately available.