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What just happened? Were you an owner of one of the original Pixel phones? If so, you could be due a payout---even if the device never suffered from any issues---after Google agreed to settle a class action lawsuit over the handsets' defects.
Soon after their launch in October 2016, hundreds of Pixel owners reported not being able to make calls, record audio with the camera app, or use Google Assistant because of a hardware fault that affected the microphone. Google eventually admitted this was due to a "hairline crack in the solder connection on the audio codec," which was present in fewer than 1 percent of units sold at the time.
In February 2018, Pixel owners launched a lawsuit against Google for continuing to sell the phones despite knowing about their faults, and after it promised to take "additional steps to reinforce the connection."
The Verge reports that Google's settlement is separated into four groups with different amounts of compensation. The highest level, which will see claimants receive up to $500, is for those who returned a defective Pixel phone only to receive a handset with the same issues. Anyone who owned a single device could get up to $350, and owners who experienced no problems could still get up to $20. Anyone who used their insurance to get a replacement Pixel could be reimbursed for the value.
The settlement still needs preliminary approval, which is due to take place on June 5.
The news comes a month after another class-action lawsuit in which Google and Huawei agreed to pay users affected by Nexus 6P battery issues up to $400.