When you spend the better part of a thousand dollars on a new phone, it’s pretty reasonable to expect that it will actually work. But Google says that a small number of its Pixel phones contain a hardware issue resulting in broken microphones.
A support expert for the company posted on a customer support forum that a “hairline crack in the solder connection on the audio codec” is likely the primary cause for the issues.
“This will affect all three mics and may result in other issues with audio processing,” the rep said. “This problem tends to be transient because of the nature of the crack.”
Depending on factors like temperature and how the phone is being held, the connection may temporarily work.
“We believe this problem is occurring less than 1% of phones and often happens after a few months of use,” the expert notes, adding that the issue could be triggered by dropping the phone, causing damage that may not be externally visible.
We’ve reached out to Google about the issues, and will update this post when we hear back.
What Should Owners Do?
The employee notes on the forum that because the issues are related to actual hardware, a software update will not fix the problem. Instead, the device will need to be replaced completely and owners have two options:
Purchased From Google: A customer who purchased phones directly from the company should contact support and describe the mic failure. Reps have already been trained on the issue and will initiate the return process.
“Google will put a hold your credit card for the replacement and ship you the phone immediately,” the employee states. “Once we receive the defective phone and verify the problem, the hold will be removed.”
Purchased From Outside Retailer: For customers who purchased their Pixel phone from another retailer, the company says the best option is to go back to the store for a replacement.
However, Google says it can also process the return, but they must receive the defective phone before shipping a replacement. This, the company warns, normally takes a couple of weeks.