Are the Google Pixel phones doomed?

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Google unveiled the Pixel and Pixel XL a few months ago as a part of it’s ambitious plan to take on Apple’s iPhone head-on.

The Pixel and Pixel XL are packed to the gills with exactly what you would expect of a flagship smartphone in today’s day and age - A 5.0-inch/5.5-inch AMOLED display protected by Gorilla Glass 4, 4GB of RAM, 32/128GB internal storage, big batteries, a fingerprint reader, Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 821 processor and a fantastic design to match.

However, the Pixel duo have been suffering from several crippling issues ever since their release. Users have been reporting issue after issue with Google’s flagship handsets.

Here are the top 5 issues plaguing the Pixel smartphones

1. Pixel owners are reporting lens flare or a ‘halo effect’ occurring around the edge of pictures taken in certain lighting conditions. Many people are also facing severe camera freezing issues, with some having their phone freeze up entirely. Users have reported that the screen freezes with pink/purple vertical lines very regularly whilst using the camera.

2. Users are facing crippling LTE connectivity issues, especially with the 1700Mhz ( Band 4) frequency. This has also been acknowledged by Google and a fix is supposedly on the way. By the way, did you know that Pixel smartphones in India did not support Jio 4G services for more than a month!

3. There have been reports of the microphone not working on several smartphones.

4. The Pixel smartphones are also suffering from static distortion issues with its speakers. Apparently, the the speakers on the smartphone start distorting badly at high volumes.

Here are two videos detailing the audio issues:

5. While slightly less important than the 4 above, certain users have reported that screenshots sent from an iPhone7, 7 Plus to Pixel smartphones appear heavily distorted.

Tainting the Pixel brand name

All these issues paint a very bad picture for Google’s ambitious plans to take on the iPhone with the Pixel smartphones. While it’s not uncommon for newly launched smartphones to suffer from issues, Pixel and Pixel XL have been suffering from multiple issues ever since launch. There are reports of people on their fourth or fifth replacement units.

This is a slightly odd situation as both Google and HTC are not new to the smartphone game and are respected players in the software and hardware field respectively. The issues are related to both hardware and software, so both companies are to blame here.

We hope Google fixes these issues ASAP as the Pixel smartphones are the most exciting Android handsets in years. The AI infused software is what sets the two Pixel smartphones apart from the rest of the inanely crowded smartphone landscape.

It will be sad to see the Pixel name tainted due to bugs and issues which could very well have been curtailed before launch. This might be a case of Google rushing the release of the smartphones in order to take iPhone head on during the holiday season.

Premium price, not-so premium experience

What makes these issues stand out even more is the fact that the Pixel smartphones, unlike the Nexus of old are not value for money devices but premium smartphones with extremely high-end pricing. When someone invests close to 60,000 rupees in a phone, he/she wants a device which just works.

If Google wants the Pixel smartphones to be a serious threat to the iPhone, it needs to fix these issues as soon as possible and ensure a bug-free, butter smooth experience in the future.

Features Writer at NDTV Gadgets 360. Past - Sub Editor at India Today Tech, Content Writer at TechRadar India.
A PG diploma holder in English Journalism from IIMC, New Delhi. Avid tech enthusiast, cinema buff, voracious reader and Formula 1 fanatic.