Problems & Issues Plaguing Google Pixel 3 / 3 XL [Running List]


First off, let me begin by saying that this post is not a dig at the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. Both devices are excellent and have their merits, but it is essential to know about some of the issues that they have before making a purchase. Let's through some of the known issues with Google's latest flagships.

Poor memory management

Although 4GB of RAM should technically be enough for most daily applications, the Pixel 3XL often closes recently used apps in the background. The problem was first highlighted by several people including an editor from The Verge, the founder of Android Police, and countless others on Reddit. Most users will experience the Pixel 3’s memory management issue at least a few times a day. Here is a video of it in action (via Android Police)

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After a user reported the issue on the Google Issue Tracker, a Google representative stated that they had passed the issue to the development team, so the likelihood of a fix coming in the next security update is high.

Photos not being saved at times

For some users, the Pixel, Pixel 2, and Pixel 3 fail to capture a photo or video. After pressing the shutter button the image or video never shows up in the Photos app or anywhere on the device. Only a few people appear to be affected by the issue, but it needs to be fixed pronto. A Google spokesperson told Engadget, "We will be rolling out a software update in the coming weeks to address the rare case of a photo not properly saving." We can expect a fix along with next month's security patch, which is a few days away.

Poor Audio Quality in Video Recordings

As a flagship device, one would expect the Pixel 3's video recordings to be at least on par with its competitors, but that is far from true. YouTuber SuperSaf TV  demonstrated that the recording quality drops off significantly when you move a few feet away from the device and is pretty bad up close too. In a statement to Android Police, a Google representative said

We made several advances in the audio recording capabilities of Pixel 3, including enabling stereo recording in landscape mode. When recording outdoors, our tuning is specifically designed to reduce background noise like wind and road noise and overly loud sounds and optimize for audible speech. To achieve this, we selectively de-emphasize some frequencies, which minimizes disruptive noises and optimizes the resulting audio. We do extensive user testing of our products to ensure they are tuned for real world usage, and we’re always looking at additional tuning opportunities based on user feedback.

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Speaker Issues

As first discovered by many users on Reddit the speakers on the Pixel 3 XL have a pretty noticeable difference in volume output. Google claims that the Pixel 3’s speaker sound is 40% louder than the Pixel 2 while having a better low-frequency response. Additionally, several users are reporting a buzzing, distorted sound at low volumes on the Pixel 3 XL as well. According to the official Pixel Community handle on Reddit
“Hi all, This is by design. We specially designed speakers that allow for louder sound (40% louder than last year) and better low frequency response. We use new amplifier technology with advanced speaker protection algorithms to push these speakers harder and really get every last bit of performance out of them. We also worked closely with the expert tuning of a Grammy-award winning music producer to enhance the audio in a way that plays to the strengths of the hardware system.”


According to several YouTubers such as Zack Nelson from JerryRigEverything, the back glass on the Pixel 3 XL scratches very easily. Some reviewers, however, disagree and have observed that it doesn't scratch as easily as Zack demonstrated. We'll let you decide who's right.

In a statement to The Verge, Google said:

We have designed Pixel 3 to look and feel great in your hand. We engineered the front and back with Gorilla Glass 5 for strength and protection. On the back, we added a special texture to make your Pixel 3 comfortable to hold, less slippery, and much less prone to fingerprints than other glass-back phones. We added an extra strengthening step to the manufacturing process of the textured back glass for greater resistance to marks and scratches. We put every element of our phones through extensive reliability testing

Wireless charging

On paper, the Pixel 3 XL supports 10W wireless charging via the Qi wireless charging standard, but the technology is proprietary, which means you can’t just use any 10W wireless charger. At the moment, only the Pixel Stand and one Belkin wireless charger seem to be certified for the full 10W. All other wireless chargers are only able to charge the Pixel 3 at 5W.

Display Issues

Unlike last year's Pixel 2 XL, the Pixel 3 XL uses a Samsung OLED panel to power its display. It has received several accolades including DisplayMate's 'best smartphone display' award, but it isn't free from issues. Some users report that the bottom parts of the display on the non-XL Pixel 3 have a pink-coloured tint to it. Others say that the panel suffers from "black crush" which makes darker grey shades appear identical to black, providing no visual distinction and low contrast for darker scenes. The instances appear to be isolated and don't affect all users.

So, here is the list of the ongoing issues with the Pixel 3 and XL. We'd recommend that you wait for a bit till the issues are resolved before buying one. Hopefully, it shouldn't be too long, and some, if not all, of them, should be patched with the upcoming November Android security patch.