Put lightly, Google's latest pair of flagship phones have had some issues since their launch, and based on reports we've seen, we have yet another problem to add to our growing list. Many Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL owners are reporting a wide variety of issues related to phone calls, behaviors which cover a range of things from more "basic" call sound quality problems like choppy or inconsistent audio and tinniness to long call connection times and intermittent microphone failure.

Reports are widespread, with a surprising number of threads posted to both Google's Product Forums and Reddit. Based on those reports, the issue doesn't seem to be restricted to any one carrier or device, with both sizes and seemingly multiple SKUs in several countries experiencing call-related issues, and the problems manifest on both Wi-Fi and cellular calls. For some, disabling Advanced or Enhanced carrier calling features, which typically use VoLTE for improved voice quality, seems to mitigate the issues for some, but the vast majority appear to experience problems regardless of the setting.

Again, these call-related problems cover a wide variety of apparent circumstances, but issues include:

  • Generally low/tinny audio quality
  • Choppy or intermittent call audio
  • Long (~20s) call connection times after answering
  • Failure to transmit audio (i.e., the person on the other end can't hear you at all)

Those with these call issues claim the problems can be intermittent, affecting only a fraction of calls made. Problems may also present themselves at the very beginning of a call, or they may not run into any of the symptoms for several minutes.

Google has issued RMA replacement hardware for some of those affected, but in many cases, the issues persist. Typical troubleshooting methods like factory resets or safe mode also apparently have no effect.

Reports alternately claim improved, worsened, or unaffected changes as a result of this month's Pixel patches, but reports nonetheless continue to accrue at the time of writing.

We've reached out to Google for comment, but have yet to hear back. In the meantime, that's one more issue among an already large list to keep an eye out for as a Pixel 3 or 3 XL owner.

  • Thanks:
  • Andrew Dahir,
  •  Dave Quennell,
  •  Christian Clemmer