Every phone has its unique set of potential problems, most of which get fixed over time. Google's latest Pixel 3 and 3 XL aren't without their own issues, and we've decided to make it a bit easier to keep track of those individual bugs and problems and, more importantly, when and if they are fixed. So here's an unofficial list of all the current Pixel 3 and 3XL bugs and issues, as well as steps taken to remedy them.
Each of the items below is a separate issue, most of which we should have more detailed, linked coverage for. Any sub-bullets on the list indicate a response from Google or a fix for the problem.
Fixed/not considered a bug
- Stereo speaker imbalance: The Pixel 3 XL suffers from extreme stereo imbalance on its front-facing speakers.
- Status: "Feature, not a bug." Google says this is "by design."
- Poor audio quality in video recordings: Audio recorded in video is of substantially lower quality than other recent phones, and previous Pixels (affects 3 and 3 XL).
- Verizon Pixels SIM locked: Verizon is SIM-locking Pixel 3s, including those sold at Best Buy, in violation of its FCC agreement (affects 3 and 3 XL).
- Status: Resolved - for now. Temporary unlocks are being rolled out, as Verizon reassesses implementing them again in the future.
- Slow wireless charging shows as "fast": The Pixel 3 and 3 XL only wirelessly fast charge on the Pixel Stand (for now), but still display text on slow wireless chargers saying they're charging rapidly when they are, in fact, not.
- Status: Resolved. November's security patch fixed this issue, and the phones now correctly show that they are charging slowly on non-Pixel Stand wireless chargers.
- Notification vibrations disrupt video recording: This is something that should be prevented by default, but some Pixels are shipping without the right setting to disable it. Take a look here at how to fix it with a simple settings toggle.
- Memory management problems: The Pixel 3 and 3 XL have a memory management issue, with apps being killed after 3-4 for many, and Spotify dies while taking photos.
- Double notches: The Pixel 3 XL has a bug that can show two notches at once.
- Status: Resolution incoming. Google says a fix is "coming soon."
- Photos not saving: Photos on many phones, including Pixels, don't always save (affects 3 and 3XL).
- Status: Resolution incoming. A software update in the coming weeks should fix things.
- Ambient notifications broken: The Pixel Stand breaks ambient display notifications on the Pixel 3 and 3 XL. A reboot temporarily resolves it, but they break again the next time the phone is put on the stand.
- Status: Resolution incoming. Google has confirmed a fix will be distributed at some point in the future.
- Buzzing/distorted 3 XL speakers: There are complaints of buzzing and distorted speakers on Pixel 3 XL.
- Status: Resolution incoming. A fix is on its way in an upcoming software update.
- Camera "Fatal error" with third-party apps: Accessing the camera via a third-party app can sometimes trigger an error that disables the camera until reboot, and once experienced, the issue is permanent in third-party apps.
- Status: Resolution incoming. According to a statement given to BuzzFeed, a fix "will roll out in the coming weeks."
Unresolved/no comment/no fix
- Clicking noise on phone calls: Some complain of clicking noises from the 3 XL's top speakers while in a call, similar to the issue experienced by last year's Pixel 2.
- Status: Unknown. Coverage of this issue to date has been limited, and we have not yet requested comment from Google.
- Pixel Stand photo frame mode bugged: The Pixel Stand's photo frame mode just doesn't seem to work at all for many users. An Assistant setup bug in the Pixel Stand first launch could be to blame.
- Status: Comment requested. To date, Google has not provided an official response to this issue that we are aware of.
- Text messages disappearing: It's unclear if this is a Pixel 3 problem or a something to do with the Messages app, but it's only happening on Pixel 3s at the moment so it's fair to treat it as a bug with those phones until we know more.
- Call quality problems: Some Pixel 3 and 3 XL owners are reporting a wide variety of issues with call quality, including choppy audio, long call connection times, and a total failure to transmit audio.
- Status: Comment requested: Although we reached out to Google for more information or a statement surrounding the problem, at the time of writing none has yet been received.
In many cases, we don't know if issues are able to be fixed via updates, or if they're symptoms of a deeper problem that can't be solved via software, but whatever the case, we'll be sure to update our coverage as new statements and solutions are provided.
On November 5th, Google confirmed fixes were coming for the Pixel 3's memory management issues as well as a bug with the Pixel Stand that broke ambient display notifications. Specific timelines were not provided.
Google has confirmed that a fix to the speaker buzzing issue is going to be rolling out soon in the form of a software update.
The December patch seems to have fixed the Pixel 3 and 3 XL's memory management issue, though we're still lacking official confirmation outside a non-explicit statement made by an Android developer at Google. While we think it's probably fixed, there has been no statement made my Google to that effect.
January's Pixel updates has delivered improvements to audio quality while recording video, fixing one of consumers' more vocal complaints for the handsets. In this case, Google was also pretty explicit about the fix in its functional patch notes, which is appreciated — all too often they're vague, requiring additional testing on our part to better confirm.