Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Smart Phones

Is Pixel 6 really such a hot mess? A closer look at bugs, fixes, and user frustrations

When Google introduced its Pixel 6 series in 2021, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro aimed to be top dogs but stumbled into a bit of a mess with more glitches than anyone bargained for. Thankfully, Google’s been on the ball, fixing up most of these quirks with updates or finding clever little workarounds.Even with most issues ironed out, a few folks are still feeling the sting, and one of them is saying, “Google, it’s payback time.” Enter the drama of a lawsuit that’s basically telling Google to wave a big red flag about the Pixel 6 Pro‘s tendency to overheat, take back the phones, and hand out refunds.

If the court sides with the heated-up Pixel owner, Google might have to pull a magic trick: recall and refund. Makes you wonder, was the Pixel 6 lineup really a bug fest deserving a do-over? Let’s peel back the layers on those Pixel 6 bugs and peek at some possible fixes.

A reputation of one of the hottest (literally) devices around

From the get-go, the Pixel 6 series has been making waves, but not all for the right reasons. We’ve got a list of hiccups, and leading the pack is overheating – yep, the same issue that’s fueling the lawsuit fire. Pixel 6 owners have been feeling the heat, quite literally, with their phones turning into mini heaters during a bunch of different tasks like:

  • Video calls
  • Recording videos
  • Playing games or streaming media
  • Using navigation apps for extended periods

There’s even a user who said their Pixel 6 Pro got so hot and died after just a 10-minute phone call. Why is it getting so hot? Well, looking into it, it seems the Tensor chip has something to do with it. Maybe not shocking, considering it’s based on Samsung’s Exynos chipsets, which are known for having some heat issues.

Even the third-gen Tensor chip in the new Pixel 8 series is showing signs of overheating. And considering Google might not have a completely customized Tensor chip until the G5 in 2025, worries about overheating could stick around for the Tensor chipset and the Pixel, possibly affecting the next Pixel 9 phones, too.

Right now, Google doesn’t really have a fix for this problem. It suggests things like taking a break from using the phone, turning it off until it cools down, or stopping features or apps that use a lot of your phone’s resources.

You can imagine why this might have some users pulling their hair out. Dropping your hard-earned cash on what’s supposed to be a premium gadget, you’d expect it to outshine those budget-friendly phones, right? Being told to dial back on using all the cool stuff it boasts? Yeah, that’s a bummer.

Google’s fingerprint scanner issues

Many people are also having trouble with the fingerprint scanner on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. Some users say it can stop working if the battery runs out or if you get the screen fixed. Overall, people are finding the fingerprint reader to be kind of unreliable.The good news is that many problems with the scanner have been fixed through updates. Also, there are some tips to avoid issues, like keeping your phone’s screen clean and making sure you use the right finger and the right part of your finger. Depending on how you did the calibration, it might not recognize your fingerprint if you place it at an angle.

Pixel 6 screen problems

Users have reported several screen issues with the Pixel 6 series, including dead pixels, a green tint on the display, screen flickering when pressing the power button while the phone is off, and brief periods of display freezing when the battery level changes.

There’s no news about a fix for the greenish tint or dead pixels (aside from replacing the screen). However, Google has acknowledged the flickering issue, stating it can happen if you don’t press the power button hard enough to turn the phone on. The company released a fix for it, but if the problem persists, it suggests holding the power button down until your Pixel handset switches on to avoid the issue.

Pixel 6 not charging fast enough

Despite initially claiming that Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro could recharge up to half-power in 30 minutes with a 30W charging cable, Google later admitted that, oops, neither phone really hits that 30W sweet spot – they actually max out at about 21W and 23W for the base and Pro models. This little mix-up landed the company in hot water, sparking a lawsuit accusing it of overstating the Pixel 6 duo’s charging chops.

And as if that wasn’t enough, there’s been a chorus of complaints about the batteries on these phones draining faster than a bathtub with the plug pulled out. Google seems to be aware of the problem and last year it finally rolled out a server-side update to fix the issue. Yet, some users still experience the problem. 

For now, there isn’t much those users can do except turn on Adaptive Battery and battery optimization. Trying the Extreme Battery Saver is an option, too, but it limits apps and features. A bit ironic, right? You shell out for a premium phone, hoping for limitless possibilities, only to find you might need to dial things back just to keep it running.

The real headache: Connection issues

We’ve got our smartphones glued to our hands for just about everything – gaming, surfing the web, grinding through work, watching videos. But let’s not forget the OG reason we are all hooked on these gadgets: staying in touch with other people. Calls, texts, you name it. And for that magic to happen, our devices need to stay connected to the network. However, many Pixel 6 users report problems in this area, be it with Wi-Fi or cellular connections, experiencing interruptions. Google tried to address these connectivity issues with an update, yet there’s a bunch of folks still waving their phones in the air, hoping for a miracle.

The bigger picture

Despite the rollercoaster of issues, it’s worth noting that not every Pixel 6 series user is riding the struggle bus – that’s a silver lining. But if you are on the not-so-lucky side, feeling the sting of disappointment, I get it. Buying a device that doesn’t live up to the hype is a bummer, to say the least.

Lawsuits against big tech companies, like the one that triggered this story, should remind these companies that customers are the crucial piece of the success puzzle and they should strive to do better.

Should the Pixel 6 series be recalled? I don’t think it is necessarily the move, especially since plenty of folks are loving their devices. The real deal? Zapping bugs in record time and making things right for those stuck with a lemon.

And let’s be clear: Google’s not the only player in this game needing to step it up (yeah, looking at you too, Apple with those iPhone 15 issues and Samsung with the Galaxy S24’s own set of dramas). When you are asking for a grand or more for a smartphone, excellence isn’t just expected; it’s demanded.


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