Over the last six months or so, reports regarding a shaking/stuttering/vibrating issue with the smaller Pixel 3's camera have been building up, with hundreds of replies accumulating among threads discussing the issue at Google's Pixel Help forums, as well as other venues. By all appearances, this is a hardware problem, and for whatever reason, the smaller Pixel 3 is more likely to experience it.

The issue manifests as you can see in the video above, visible as the viewfinder in the Pixel 3's camera app shakes wildly. This results in videos and motion photos that are equally as jittery, and inconsistent focus in photos. Some have speculated that it's the camera's OIS (optical image stabilization) or autofocus mechanism bugging out. Those with the issue sometimes report an audible noise coming from the camera, occasionally heard in recorded video. No fix or solution has been discovered short of a hardware replacement.

At the time of writing, the vast majority of reports we've seen regarding the issue are for the smaller Pixel 3 (though we have spotted some for the bigger 3 XL), and it isn't clear why. There could be some difference in the physical hardware or design that makes the smaller model more susceptible to the problem (i.e., it may have some sort of design defect predisposing it to suffer from this issue) or it's possible that Google simply sold more of the smaller Pixel 3.

We spoke to a representative from Google about the issue while seeking additional information as well as an opportunity for comment, but the company has yet to provide any at the time of writing. We'll be sure to update our coverage if that changes.

In the meantime, if you're among the Pixel 3 owners affected (and it sounds like a fairly common issue based on the volume of reports) the only fix we're aware of right now is a hardware replacement.

  • Thanks:
  • Peter