Turns out Google Pixel's audio issues are rooted in hardware, instead of software, which is much, much harder to fix.
Google's Product Forums for the Pixel and Pixel XL first received a report in relation to the device's audio issue late November. Similar anecdotes quickly followed the original post, showing what seemed to be a widespread issue with the device's speakers.
The issue, as demonstrated in a video posted December, sees the handset output a sort of crackling sound when pushed to its volume limits, occurring even with headphones plugged in. Many hoped it was just a simple software issue that Google, sheltering software engineering heavy hitters, could patch up in no time at all, but that prospect is looking pretty nebulous now.
Google Pixel's Audio Issue Is Hardware-Related
The audio issue being hardware-related was confirmed via an email exchange between a customer and the Google Store Support team. The exchange also reveals a key detail: unlike last time, Google will not issue a refund in light of the audio issue. It will, however, be more than willing to issue a warranty replacement, Android Headlines reports.
This course-reverse either means that Google didn't originally plan on issuing out refunds or that the refund window has passed. The latter guesswork is much more apt, considering the first email from the exchange stated that the refund process would have to be initiated within 14 days, and Jan. 13 is well beyond that mark.
What This Means
It seems now that there is a clear understanding of the Pixel and the Pixel XL's audio issues, at least. What this means, at its core, is that handsets with the audio issue will unfortunately have to get it replaced. If it's a software problem, that could easily be fixed, but that's is not the case.
The other thing that complicates the situation is that Google hasn't versed which builds are affected by the issue, and it hasn't informed users how they can avoid replacement units that are embroiled in the same unfortunate audio snafu.
Quite an unfortunate turn for Google's pair of self-branded flagships, surely, given that these handsets have so far been unanimously revered, partly for its camera — which is not without its pressing issues, for the record — and its overall Android experience. Save for its alpine price point, several publications have opined that it's the best Android smartphone currently in the market at the time of its launch.
Google Pixel And Pixel XL Specs
The Google Pixel and Pixel XL doesn't differ greatly, except for a few notable details. First, the Pixel XL's screen is, of course, larger — a 5.5-inch AMOLED Quad HD display against the Pixel's 5-inch AMOLED 1080p configuration.
Both house the same internals, with a 2.15 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chip and an Adreno 530 GPU. Both phones are running Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box, and both phones come with 4 GB of RAM, with either 32 or 128 GB of internal storage.
On the back of both phones is a 12.3-megapixel camera with dual tone flash that can record 4K videos, and on the front is an 8-megapixel camera that can record 1080p video. There's a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, and under the Pixel's shell is a 2,770 mAh battery, which is lower than the Pixel XL's 3,450 mAh capacity. The handsets come in Quite Black, Very Silver, and Really Blue.
Still experiencing audio issues with your Google Pixel or Pixel XL? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!