Pixel 6 problems continue, and this time it's the selfie camera

Google Pixel 6 Pro review
A Google Pixel 6 Pro (Image credit: TechRadar)

The Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro had a slightly rough start, with numerous problems reported, but after a series of software updates it was looking like the two phones were out of the woods. However, at least one issue still seems to be affecting a number of users.

Starting around January, a growing number of people have reported seeing what appear to be clusters of 'dead' – i.e. black – pixels on their Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro screens. These reports have appeared on the likes of Reddit, Twitter, and the Google support forums, and in most cases the pixels seem to be around the front-facing camera, making the cut-out appear larger and irregular.

The dead pixels are bunched together, creating an unsightly looking black hole, and (rather like an actual black hole) some users claim that it’s expanding over time.

A photo of a Pixel 6 with dead pixels around the camera

(Image credit: Zappid on Reddit)

In a smaller number of cases the black area appears elsewhere, such as in the top-right corner of the screen, and it’s not clear whether this is actually the same problem or a different one; but either way, it’s certainly an issue.

At the time of writing there doesn’t appear to be a reliable fix for the issue, short of owners sending the phone in to be repaired or replaced. Some users claim that software updates solved the problem, and for some the issue is only present when the phone is in landscape mode, while others have it all the time.

Restarting or resetting the phone doesn’t appear to help, so while it wouldn’t hurt to try those things if you have this issue, you shouldn’t get your hopes up. It sounds like your best bet is to check that the software is up to date, and if it is, and the issue persists, to send your phone off for repair.

Hopefully a software update will more reliably fix the problem in the future (if it’s a software rather than hardware issue), but there’s no guarantee of that arriving soon, if at all.

Analysis: don’t let this put you off a Pixel 6

While issues like this are certainly concerning, the reality is that any phone can have problems, including big-name handsets like the Samsung Galaxy S22 and iPhone 13.

In fact, a quick Google search will show that both of those devices have developed issues for some users.

The Pixel 6 line does appear to have had more than its share of issues, but as noted most of them have now been fixed, and in most cases it’s not clear how widespread the issues were in the first place.

A number of people have reported this latest fault on various sites over several months, but that’s still a drop in the ocean compared to the number of people who actually have a Pixel 6, so the chance of you experiencing this problem is probably low.

And outside of any issues, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are fantastic phones, with great cameras, slick software, and eye-catching designs. So if you like the look of a Pixel 6 we wouldn't discourage you from getting one, as overall it's one of our best phones.

Via Phone Arena

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.