Google Pixel and Pixel XL problems continue to plague users around the world. With that in mind, below we’ll look at some common Google Pixel and Pixel XL problems and offer tips on how to fix them. Including some bug fixes in the latest Android 7.1.2 Nougat update that arrived in July.
Recent updates to Android 7.1 and then 7.1.2 Nougat fixed some issues while delivering a few of its own. At the same time, some can’t install the new July update and Google is working on a fix. While users wait for the Android O release, these are some of the small problems we can fix.
We’re still seeing complaints about random reboots, freezing, Bluetooth issues and more. If you’re still experiencing problems after Android 7.1.2 Nougat updates or don’t dare install the Android O beta, we’re here to help. Read on for more details, suggestions, and tips for the best experience.
Overall most Google Pixel owners are reporting an excellent experience. From a world-class camera, battery life better than most Android devices, to a beautiful screen and more. It isn’t perfect though.
Some users are facing WiFi issues, microphone problems, and Bluetooth is still a big issue for many. There are complaints about lens flare or pink colors and a halo in photos from the 12.3 megapixel camera. Not to mention overheating, slow charging and more. Some are having slow charging issues as well. There are even some random reports about the battery running out before it says its empty. If so, try this fix or read on for more details about any and all problems.
Google Pixel WiFi Problems
Just like we see with virtually every smartphone release on Android or iOS, a lot of users are complaining about WiFi. Whether that be speeds, drops or connectivity. Typically this is just a little glitch that is easily fixed.
If you’re having issues with WiFi our first suggestion would be to toggle it off and back on. Slide down the notification bar and tap the WiFi quick-setting tile at the top. Then turn it back on and try to connect. If this still doesn’t help a quick reboot usually solves the problem.
That said, if you’re still experiencing Pixel WiFi problems it’s always a good idea to reset any home routers or modem. Another option is to head into Settings > WiFi and forget your wireless network. Then search again and reconnect, put in the password, and try it again.
Pixel Bluetooth Problems
With so many different devices, brands, accessories and car makers we always see Bluetooth complaints. Personally, my Pixel connects to my headphones with ease, blasts music on my UE Megaboom consistently, and works great with Android Auto in my Toyota Tacoma.
Some are reporting Bluetooth drops randomly, which has been a problem in the past. The biggest thing we’re seeing is connectivity in cars. Some just don’t want to keep the connection, or it turns itself off. We recommend deleting all Bluetooth pairings and starting over, for the best experience.
Google recently confirmed they fixed this issue in recent updates, but some are still having problems. More details are available found here. This isn’t a software update but a server-side change that fixes issues. Additionally, the June Android 7.1.2 update had three Bluetooth related patches.
Pixel Camera Problems
Google claims the Pixel and XL have the best smartphone camera on the planet. It received the highest score ever from independent reviews, and so far most owners absolutely love it. Sadly, there does seem to be a hardware issue with ALL Pixel phones, but Google made some tweaks to fix this. Not to mention the new Android 7.1.2 update made things even better.
We’re talking about lens flare, which happens on all cameras, especially expensive DSLR’s. That’s why big lenses come with hoods to block out reflecting light. Some users are seeing a flare of light in photos, or a ring. Many use this for artistic purposes, but it’s happening more than it should on Pixel.
This is due to a variety of reasons, and Google promises that it’s nothing to worry about. Personally, out of over 300 photos, only two of mine experienced this in just the right situation.
If photos are blurry make sure to enable HDR+ and try wiping the camera lens free of any fingerprints. Google released an update in 2016 that fixed the camera, and most don’t have this issue anymore.
Another problem is international models in poor signal areas (no 4G LTE) have a weird camera glitch or artifacts on the display. The Google Support forum has multiple complaints of the camera freezing, artifacts, and blocks on the screen or even pink and purple colors appearing and ruining photos. This is a small limited problem that only happened in specific scenarios. Read all about Google’s fix at the Google product forum.
Pixel Microphone Problems
Our microphone on two Pixel XL devices work just fine, but this Reddit thread is full of complaints. Apparently, sometimes the microphone just stops working or acts funny. This is an issue we’re not hearing too much about, but some have received replacements over the situation.
We recommend starting a phone call to voicemail and turning speakerphone on and back off. That should toggle the microphone and fix any issues. Another idea is to perform a factory data reset, although that will erase everything from your device. Those with microphone problems may want to get a replacement. Are you facing problems with this? Let us know.
While not the microphone, there is another problem with sound. Multiple owners have confirmed at loud volumes the speaker gets scratchy and there’s some sort of audio problems. Some have even received replacement devices as a result. We have good news, the Android 7.1.2 update fixes Pixel audio problems. Google confirmed this was one of many fixes too.
The Galaxy Note 7 got so hot while charging and had a faulty battery that some exploded and caught fire. That will not happen to your Pixel. Every smartphone gets hot while charging, especially using the fast rapid charging technology with USB Type-C. Because of Samsung issues, all users are getting worried about a hot phone, when they shouldn’t.
It’s what allows our phone to charge from 0-50% in about 20 minutes, and gives the Pixel amazing battery life. Fast charging is a great feature although the phone may get a little hot while charging. Especially if you are gaming or using navigation at the same time.
We recommend just using one of the great cases we linked to at the top of the page, and you won’t feel the charging heat. At the same time, there could be an app misbehaving that is causing the device to stay awake. Thus using too much power and heating things up. Head into Settings > Battery > and see if anything suspicious is at the top of the list. If so, uninstall it and contact the developer.
Pixel Notification LED Light Missing
Most Android smartphones have a notification LED light near the top that blinks for incoming calls, texts or notifications. It’s something many Samsung users love. We’ve received a lot of questions about why the Pixel doesn’t have one.
It does though, it’s just disabled by default. Follow this guide to enable the notification LED, and customize it with an app called Light Flow for the best experience. The phone uses a feature called Ambient Display, but some users prefer the old style. Carry on.
Pixel Battery Life Problems
In our testing, the Google Pixel XL has some of the best battery life of any Android smartphone on the market. Pair the 5.5-inch screen with its huge 3,450 mAh battery and it should last everyone an entire day if not more.
As with every phone, because everyone uses them differently, some are having problems with poor battery life. This could be due to a lot of things but is likely an app that isn’t working right with Android 7.1.2 Nougat. We recommend customizing location settings, turning the screen brightness down to around 40% or automatic, and closing big apps you no longer need.
However, the best route is to head into settings and make sure an app isn’t draining your juice. Head to Settings > Battery and see what’s at the top of the list. Typically Android system, Android OS, or the screen is at the top. If there’s an app at the top, something isn’t right. Uninstall it, disable the app, or tap on it and hit “Force Close” to kill an app that’s draining the battery.
We also recommend setting up Battery Saver modes when you’re in a pinch and need extra juice.
Another issue is the phone draining abnormally fast, or shutting down at 40% instead of when the battery runs out. This affects the Nexus 6P too. Again, Android 7.1.2 Nougat reportedly fixes this.
Fingerprint Scanner Problems
The Google Pixel has one of the fastest, most accurate, and easiest to use fingerprint scanners. That said, if you didn’t set it up right or saved a print before adding a case, it might not work 100% of the time.
If so, try going into settings and deleting any saved fingerprints and redoing the process to set it up. If you’ve installed a case the angle could be slightly different, so again we recommend redoing the entire process. Make sure the scanner is clean and free of dirt, and same goes for your fingertips.
On a semi-related note, previous Nexus devices had a feature where the screen would turn on when the device is picked up. So you don’t have to constantly tap the scanner on the back. This was left out of the Pixel software at launch but Google added it in recent software updates. Find this under display settings.
General Bugs & Problems
Another problem is the Pixel and Pixel XL keep freezing for users. The June Android Nougat update fixes it, according to Google. However, following that fix the July Android 7.1.2 Nougat update for the regular Pixel is having problems. Several users are reporting the latest July update fails to complete with a red “installation problem” pop-up appearing on the update window after downloading the files. This is only for the regular Pixel on T-Mobile, Project Fi, Sprint and a few others. Those with the Verizon or international model are not experiencing issues. There is no fix for this yet, but Google is aware and working on a solution.
Of course, some users may have other small problems here and there. Like screen glitches or rotation, lag, app crashes, or other minor things that can often be solved by a simple reboot. Actually, most problems I get asked about daily are often solved by a reboot.
Owners can easily reboot the phone by long-pressing the power button, and hit “restart”. It will quickly turn off and restart back to how it was before the problems. You shouldn’t need to do this often.
If the Pixel is completely frozen, do a hard reset. Simply press and hold both power and volume up at the same time, and hold for about 10 seconds until it reboots. This will fix any issue with a frozen or unresponsive device, then make sure you’re running the latest July software upgrade.
Pixel Factory Data Reset
Last but not least is a factory data reset. This is the last resort, as it will erase all user data, apps, messages, and content from the phone. This typically fixes any major issues, software problems and more. It will revert the Pixel back to the stock out of the box state.
This is the best route to take for any big problems, and actually something I do after every major software update for a fresh start. Keep in mind it erases everything on the phone. Backup all data using many of the tools available, then follow the steps below wipe out your phone.
Head into Settings by pulling down the notification bar and hitting the gear-shaped icon near the top. In settings scroll down to Backup & reset and then tap Factory Data Reset. The phone will reboot a few times, erase everything, and boot up fresh and ready to go.
Expect more changes and bug fixes to arrive with each monthly update, or with the big Android O release later this summer.
After trying some of these fixes are you still having problems? If so, we know what’s next. The update to Android 8.0 “O” is coming sometime near the end of summer or in Q3. Right now the third developer preview of Android O is available to download, which is another route for those experiencing issues.