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Google says some Pixels have defective microphones and need to be replaced under warranty

Google can't seem to figure out its Pixel problem. Not only does the best phone of 2016 (and beyond) have some major inventory problems, but when it's not working properly, it's really not working properly. Take the latest issue the company is dealing with. Since the phone's release, an increasing number of people have been complaining about the microphone issues — one day it will be able to make calls and record audio, the next day, nothing.

Turns out that in "under 1% of devices," a tiny crack in the solder connecting the audio codec chip to the main motherboard causes the phone to lose audio processing abilities. More frustrating is that, according to Google employee Brian Rakowski, some users were intermittently getting microphone use back, since the solder, depending on whether conditions and the severity of the crack, would occasionally re-establish a connection.

Based on temperature changes or the way you hold the phone, the connection may be temporarily restored and the problems may go away. This is especially frustrating as a user because, just when you think you've got it fixed, the problem randomly comes back. We believe this problem is occurring << 1% of phones and often happens after a few months of use (it could be triggered by dropping the phone that may not cause any visible external damage).

Rakowski also says that a very small number of units just have defective microphones. Either way, the phone needs to be replaced under warranty, either by Google or the carrier/retailer from which it was purchased. Google says it is honoring all warranty claims for this particular problem.

The Google employee goes on to reassure users that all Pixels sold after January won't have the audio disconnection issue because the solder has been reinforced during manufacturing.

Does your Pixel have this issue, or have you experienced any other hardware-related problems that needed to be fixed under warranty?

Daniel Bader was a former Android Central Editor-in-Chief and Executive Editor for iMore and Windows Central. 

47 Comments
  • Some Pixel phones also have defective rear glass panel that cracks with very little to no force.
  • I think that's just called having a glass back, but yeah that's definitely a concern.
  • Iphones didnt crack and they had full glass back. I also dont remember having this issue with Nexus 4. I think Pixel glass is just too thin and/or not properly glued
  • My glass back on my s7e is still kicking along like new....
  • The problem with this hardware defect is that it can manifest after 1 month, 6 months, 1 year, or never. With this being a known and admitted hardware manufacturing defect by Google, they should make good on its correction whether it occurs during the warranty timeframe or not. Google's clear admission of fault in this case is, of course, "hey guys, we started making this defective build procedure much better in January" OOPS, on October, November, December, and how many ever months prior to those for initial release stock.
  • HTC was the wrong partner for this project. Hopefully they aren't stuck with them for too many years.
  • Absolutely correct, it's too bad their prom date Huawei broke up with them, because they weren't allowed to co brand the phones. I think we would have had a much better outcome with Huawei as a partner. We wouldn't have had this "rushed and just ran out of time" BS. I also strongly suspect we would have gotten much better sounding speakers and a much higher degree of water resistance. Funny, I didn't see any discounted rates for their "rush" job and the shortcomings it entailed.
  • I agree. Looking at something like the Honor 8 makes me wish that would have worked out.
  • Huawei would've been better. I really liked 6p. Pixel feels more solid but that rear glass back is crap, along with bezels, and no stereo speakers etc. Samsung is not bad either minus the single speaker issue. Pixel S8 and S8 Plus or whatever would be nice......with front firing speakers
  • Didn't the 6P bend in half?
  • That's a bummer.
  • I've had people asked me if "I was there", but that has been very intermittent, with only the usual cellular hiccups.
  • One would hope that "I was there" wasn't an actual quote.
  • Well, I'm very glad to see Google taking up on their mistakes. It's a good juxtaposition compared to what Nintendo has been doing about their Switch issues (Dead pixels are a common problem with LCDs a few days after launch am I right? Kek.)
  • Knocks on wood..... So far my Pixel has been drama free.
  • Surprise Surprise. They still have yet to resolve some of the other issues for some since it's inception.
  • I hope the continued hardware issues with this release is enough to dissuade Google from using HTC ever again. Samsung or Huawei were the OEMs I had hoped they would have used.
  • I'd love a Nexus 6P re-release with updated hardware and with a reinforced frame, as unlikely as it'll ever be
  • I believe that HTC and Google have a 5 year deal?
  • Not what I wanted to hear lol.
  • Damn, I thought it was a 3 year deal, 5 is even worse.
  • Think it's 3
  • Huawei or Sammy won't make a "Google" phone. Foxconn or HTC or should of just kept Moto.
  • I had this issue they overnight the replacement. Not that big of an inconvenience because people like us always have a backup phone laying around.
  • Did they replace your phone with a new unit or refurbished?
  • Here's the phone if the year: microphone issues; Bluetooth, wifi, and cellular connectivity issues; availability issues; and lens flaring issues. How did it become phone of the year again?
  • It's just BS hype, Google owns advertising... Duh! Why wouldn't they want to push their phones on unsuspecting customers...money $$ & to push Google's agenda.
  • In other words everything one needs for basic phone functionality has issues
  • Do you think every single Pixel is affected? Mine is working flawlessly. Availability doesn't determine how good a phone is.
  • Because this website said so in the 1584 praising articles they wrote about it. As simple as that.
  • Pretty sure you could dig up issues on every phone
  • That second sentence just sounds weird.
  • No way in hell was the Pixel the best android phone of 2016 and the monthly defects that keep sprouting up kinda prove that point. HTC needs to exit the smartphone game.
  • I don't know why everyone wants to constantly experiment with new Chinese phones & phones that have a limited R&D budget, stop screaming at your phones defective attributes & buy a Samsung s7. It's damn near perfect 👌
  • Yup!
  • Damn near must exclude lag & random deaths
  • I don't like cheesewiz
  • As soon as the Nokia 8 is announced I will finally be rid of my pixel, which has been issue upon issue. For a phone that has been out this long at this price it's totally unacceptable
  • I actually just had to refurb mine this week due to speaker and microphone issues.
  • Huawei would certainly have been better using a mate 9 now and it's the best phone I have held and used and I have used them all iPhone to pixel
  • Phew, bought at the end of February....
  • >buys used Pixel
    >used Pixel is kind of beat up
    >sees this story
    >calls Google "my mic is borked help!!
    >gets new (or refurb) replacement, free, is pristine Sadly, most of the "it's broken!" RMAs will be per usual...half-truths to get a new/unused unit at Google's expense. The temptation for a new battery and scratch free device/screen is enough for people to flat out abuse things like this (see every Nexus ever and like 12 RMAs fueled by XDA perfection demands).
  • I agree. But that doesn't excuse google or HTC for that matter to keep having issues upon issues.
  • "The Google employee goes on to reassure users that all Pixels sold after January won't have the audio disconnection issue because the solder has been reinforced during manufacturing" What about the phones bought in shops that were manufactured before the problem was resolved?
  • I'm rooted running Resurrection Remix on Pixel Xl(verizon) haven't ran into any issues..Only gripe is the Halo affect from the camera..HTC hardware..SMH..HTC played games with Google..
  • All these Pixel "issues" articles keep popping up. It does make me feel a little uneasy constantly seeing these articles. Was the Pixel that poorly constructed or is it just exaggerated by the media for views? My Pixel has been working perfectly since December. *knock on wood*
  • "AGAIN KNOCK ON WOOD!|" BOUGHT in December. No issues so far. Regarding number of complaints they are still less than my 7 plus. Slow shutter, uneven camera lens, creaking chassis and these are universal in iPhone 7 plus. I have used huawei too. Its wasn't no saint. Htc has done a good job. And no the device doesn't feel premature. It's great. and no I'm not being defensive. I swap device in no time of anything goes wrong.