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Google admits that hardware problems are behind Pixel microphone failure

By midian182 ยท 12 replies
Mar 10, 2017
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  1. There’s no denying that Google’s Pixel phones are great devices, but some of them do suffer from technical problems. Reports have surfaced of purple shade and artifacts affecting the cameras, handsets freezing for minutes at a time, and issues with the audio when the phones’ volume is maxed. But another problem involving broken microphones has been around on Google’s support threads since October, and it’s one that the company is now addressing.

    There have been hundreds of users posting about their experience with the same problem. Some say the mic behaves normally when using certain apps, while others say it won’t work at all then suddenly comes back on. And there are plenty of people whose microphone has stopped working altogether.

    Not being able to make calls, record audio with the camera app, or use Google Assistant angered a lot of owners, obviously, so the company (finally) started investigating in January and revealed the cause last month.

    "The most common problem is a hairline crack in the solder connection on the audio codec," said Google employee Brian Rakowski. "The other related problems are due to a faulty microphone,” all of which means there’ll be no quick-fix software update.

    “Based on the temperature changes or the way you hold the phone, the connection may be temporarily restored and the problems may go away. This is especially frustrating as a user because, just when you think you’ve got it fixed, the problem randomly comes back.”

    Google started sending out replacement Pixels to affected users, but several people found the devices suffered from the same issues. "It's possible that some replacement phones were not properly qualified before we understood this issue," the company wrote.

    Google says it has reinforced the connections on all Pixel phones manufactured since January, so new buyers and people receiving replacements should now be okay. However, there are reports that one owner who got a replacement in March found the same mic problem.

    Google estimates that less than one percent of Pixels manufactured before February suffered from the microphone issue but, given how many were made, that could add up to a lot of phones. Owners of affected handsets should return them to Google for an immediate replacement.

    Permalink to story.

  2. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 2,142   +1,304

    Nothing against the Pixel its a cool device, but I always love to see those people who get the 'new shiny thing' get slapped across the face with an issue, or find out they don't like it. Things are still built to save money during assembly, even if they use decent materials; your 2017 vehicle uses the same crappy alternator, electric motors and generic waterpump they make year after year. Glad the new dash materials look/feel nicer, and golly gee look at that new styling! How impressive!
    You paid how much for it again? Wow it must be real nice then!
  3. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,286

    To me the Pixel is nothing more than an overpriced mid range device with some high end componentry, much like the 1+3 is, which is far better value for money and priced accordingly.
    Reehahs and petert like this.
  4. Panda218

    Panda218 TS Evangelist Posts: 587   +301

    I guess I should be happy that my Pixel hasn't had any issues since I got it on release day. Overall I'm happy with the device, but I do wish they would bring back the Nexus line of devices and pricing structure.
  5. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,437   +862

    This phone would look a lot better if it didn't have the forehead and chin of an iPhone 4. Sooo disappointing.
  6. Kenrick

    Kenrick TS Evangelist Posts: 630   +403

    Having the DNA of the nexus, go figure it out.
  7. Kotters

    Kotters TS Maniac Posts: 330   +223

    The pixel's still got some incredibly solid software, both in terms of usage and support. Rapid updates, and a "it just works" level of polish combined with Android's open nature makes it pretty damned nice.

    I've done the rooting, custom roms, etc. game, and though I don't mind it, I don't particularly miss it, either.
  8. petert

    petert TS Evangelist Posts: 358   +157

    Imagine that - beside an overpriced, iphone clone, you also get the opportunity to run in circles with Google support for a couple of months until they finally admit they screwed up.
  9. gcarter

    gcarter TS Enthusiast Posts: 99   +35

    /me cradles his faultless Huawei Nexus 6p
    dirtyferret likes this.
  10. Why don't they spend some of that $70 billion or so USD they have offshore and do some proper research before rollout
  11. Phr3d

    Phr3d TS Guru Posts: 404   +86

    Please Please.. Not a repeat YEAR of ticking the list of All Major Manufacturers selling comically defective Flagship products.. I agree with AMSTech, but the opposite is true for most consumers: You buy a flagship (if you can afford it, there's the rub) and we peons get that nifty gear in a generation-or-two in affordable devices - old story, first adopters get the Bill.
    Who is gonna buy Any flagship product if R&D&testing don't get the attention they Obviously need? Technically illiterate consumers know about iBend-gate and note-splosions..
    Who -the hell- is driving this pharg'n train?
  12. dirtyferret

    dirtyferret TS Evangelist Posts: 495   +519

  13. geechiesway

    geechiesway TS Rookie

    Have had a Pixel since launch. No issues whatsoever. Upgraded from a Nexus 5. The Pixel is my favorite smart phone I've ever owned.

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