Designed as premium smartphones, the Pixel/Pixel XL are meant to represent Google’s version of a perfect Android smartphone, with the hardware and software seamlessly working together.
As with every generation one product, the Pixel has suffered from a lot of problems since launch like LTE connectivity issues, static distortion issues with its speakers and a ‘halo effect’ occurring around the edge of pictures taken from the rear camera.
While most of these issues were fixed by Google through software updates, the Pixel is now suffering from a crippling hardware issue that according to the company’s own admission cannot be fixed via software tweaks.
Many users have long been complaining of microphone issues with the Pixel and now Google has finally confirmed that a number of Pixel smartphones have faulty microphones incapable of recording clear audio.
Brian Rakowski, VP of Product Management at Google has posted a message on Google’s support forums acknowledging the issue and the fact that it as a hardware problem incapable of being addressed via a simple update. Rakowski also claims that less than one percent of Pixel smartphones are affected.
He said – “We do believe this is a hardware issue. You are correct that software updates will not fix it. We are taking additional steps to qualify refurbished phones to make sure they don’t have this mic problem. It’s possible that some replacement phones were not properly qualified before we understood this issue, but that’s no longer the case.”
Google is advising users who are facing the issue to send the devices back to the company wherein they will be issued a replacement.
The cause of the problem appears to be a “hairline crack in the solder connection on the audio codec”. Google has identified this issue and has taken steps to fix it in devices produced since January.
Google has a lot to learn as a hardware manufacturer and all these issues are sure to help Google make a better smartphone the next time around with the Pixel 2.
What to expect from Pixel 2
A few days ago, Google’s head of hardware Rick Osterloh confirmed that the Pixel devices will stay premium and there will not be a budget Pixel phone in the near future, with the company leaving lower price points for other hardware manufacturers.
He also hinted at a fall announcement for the Pixel 2 by saying ” There is an annual rhythm in the industry. So, you can count on us to follow it. You can count on a successor this year, even if you don’t hear a date from me now”.
We are mightily excited for the second generation of the Pixel smartphones and hope they come with certain key features that the current Pixel duo lack such as dust/water resistance, optical image stabilisation, wireless charging and stereo speakers.
Early rumours indicate that the devices will come with Qualcomm’s latest flagship processor – the Snapdragon 835, water/dust resistance and an edge-to-edge display. The company is also expected to follow in Apple’s footsteps and ditch the headphone jack in the Pixel 2.