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I'm fed up with the Google Pixel 3's horrendously slow camera

The Pixel 3's camera is amazing. Even before Night Sight swept us off our feet with its incredible low-light capabilities, everyone was smitten with the photography performance of this phone. It's one of the biggest reasons why I continue to use a Pixel 3 XL — I know that I have the best tool for the job when it comes to taking photos on the go.

Unfortunately, the other thing I can always count on with my Pixel 3 XL is that the camera is the slowest of any phone released since ... well, the Pixel 2 XL. It's frustrating, and frankly unacceptable for this level of phone. Particularly when Google's marketing message around the Pixel 3 is that you never miss a shot:

You don't get a chance to use Top Shot if your camera is too slow to take the photo.

Top Shot, which takes a series of burst photos and lets you choose the best one, actually works well. Its suggestions aren't perfect, but having the ability to scrub through a timeline of photos to get just the right one is a valuable tool. But Top Shot is useless if the camera takes an excruciatingly long time to open and get ready to shoot. I like to pick up my phone and double-press the power button in a single motion, and have the camera open as quickly as possible so I can start taking photos. If I have to wait nearly 5 seconds for the camera to actually let me press the shutter button, I may have lost the shot before I even started.

The situation is even worse when I'm listening to music or a podcast at the time. There's just enough extra overhead in the system to make the Pixel 3 XL take even longer to open the camera and be functional. Whether it forcibly closes my media app or not, the result is the same: I'm sitting there waiting for the camera to open and become responsive. Even when it does open quickly, I'm often waiting multiple seconds to be able to press the shutter, or waiting seconds for a photo to be captured after pressing the shutter.

Google is simply the only company selling a high-end phone with terrible camera performance.

The December software update for the Pixel 3 did help fix a lot of issues, including addressing camera-specific problems. My camera app fails to save photos far less often than before. Instances of the camera app causing my podcast or music app to close in the background are infrequent. But these thing still happen on the Pixel 3 XL. And the camera app is no faster to open or respond than before — it's simply more consistent at what it does. But that's really just damning with faint praise; I haven't experienced these sorts of issues on a single flagship phone in the last year. The last time I had problems with camera app speed, instability and lost photos was on the $200 Nokia 6.1 — not great company when your phone costs $900.

Google is, quite simply, the only company making a high-end phone that still hasn't managed to ship a stable, fast and consistent camera app. It hasn't for years, and despite all of the improvements in photo quality, the app itself has continued to be a sore spot of the experience. Competitors have very fast camera apps, with photo quality that's almost on par with the Pixel 3 — the performance delta shouldn't have to be so large on Google's end.

It's true that when you share a beautiful photo or capture a scene that you couldn't fathom getting from any other phone, you start to forgive the shortcomings of speed on the Pixel 3's camera. And when someone else sees the photo they have no idea it took your camera app several seconds to open and several more to capture and save. But these are the sorts of compromises we shouldn't have to make to get such a great camera. Google's selling a more polished, simplified experience everywhere else on the Pixel 3 — it needs to do the same with the camera.

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

163 Comments
  • f it doesn't affect the DXOmark score they don't care.
  • I either had a dud galaxy note 8 or my pixel is performing better than average because opening the camera and taking a picture is much quicker on this xl than I'm used to. Not to say I'm not having bugs, there are a few forced closed that I've had to do and some restarts with assistant. But not noticed any issues at all with the camera or camera speed.
  • Same here mine has been fine. Hasn't had any of the "plaguing" issues everyone likes to rant about. Happy with mine.
  • My Galaxy s8 had the same issues and more. So slow to open and take a pic, I couldn't capture a moment. Am having similar issue with pixel 3 xl as OP describes. Camera is sooo slow to take pics and to even open. The app. The saving pics is better now, but this is em embarrassing for them, and for me when I ask anyone to take a pic on my "amazing Google phone"
  • Just checked mine. Double tapping the power button to shutter working is barely 2 seconds. Probably less. No complaints here.....
  • Just for kicks, I measured my P2XL. The first tap on the power button to shutter click is consistently between 1.0 - 1.1 seconds when flash is disabled. Takes a smidge longer when flash is enabled.
  • Something close to 1 second on my pixel 2 xl (about the time needed to get ready to snap a short).
  • Hmm I've never noticed my Pixel 3xl camera so be slow nor not save pictures. Maybe I'm a lucky one, but I've been very happy with its performance
  • Mine seems super fast but I've seen others on youtube having issues. My pixel 2 XL after about a year had reealy slow processing speeds where if I took too many, it would take upwards of 15 seconds to be able to shutter again. So far my 3XL is super quick to open and lightning fast to shutter.
  • Completely agree. My OG Pixel XL was better than this. The slow camera opening has actually started to train me that it's not even worth getting the phone out for some events, because I know it won't open in time. Oh, and when it eventually does, it has killed my bluetooth connection to my watch - so the pattern is double press button, wait 3 seconds, watch buzzes for disconnect, and then app opens a few ms later. Seems like a combo of continuing memory issues and lag when waking from a deep sleep. One workaround I've been trying (mixed results) is to unlock the phone first, then wait a second, then double-tap the button to open the camera. Even with the extra steps and manual pause, this seems to be reliably faster. And, as a bonus perk, I'm not sitting on a black screen not knowing when the app will open - I have complete control over this shorter delay. It's something, at least.
  • What happens if you disconnect Bluetooth?
    Doe the camera still lag? While it shouldn't maybe it's something not camera related that you can submit through feedback to help.
  • Turn off battery optimization device wide. Should fix this.
  • Turning off battery optimization for the camera app fixed mine. 5 seconds down to probably 1s.
  • Worked like a charm. Thanks
    Google really needs to take into consideration battery optimization slowing down the camera opening
  • You're a genius! Mine had started to get slower to open lately but turning off battery optimization has fixed that! Opens without any lag now. Thanks!
  • I get what you're saying, it could be quicker sure.. Maybe my pixel3 is underworked, but I've never had an issue double tapping the power and taking a pic in under 5 seconds.. That being said, It's a poor musician who blames his instrument.. Chances are, you know when a photo is coming. I do a bit of professional photography, and I'd be hard pressed to: turn on, set the camera mode, focus, and take a photo quicker than my pixel. And i'd wouldn't have top shot or night mode.
  • That is, unless the instrument makes you wait 5 seconds to hear the note ;)
    I think the problem is that other phones are so much faster, and the Pixel cannot get the shots that others can. 1.07 seconds is what the U11 camera takes with just a squeeze while you are drawing it out of your pocket, and I'm sure other phones can top that. It means others will be done and walking down the street before the Pixel camera wraps things up.
  • The whole idea of a camera on a phone is that you use it spontaneously. You don't have it on and ready to take a photo all the time, because it does other things ... I should be able to expect that my phone can quickly transition between a bunch of different tasks. It's not like my mirrorless Olympus camera that only takes photos and I carry with me when I plan to go take photos.
  • Agreed. A lot of my photos are spontaneous.
  • your mobile phone does other stuff other than take photos??? Well I'll be...never knew that! Guess the folks at Google, Apple, Samsung et all don't know that either based on their marketing.
  • Samsung's marketing definitely goes beyond the camera, that's for damn sure. Apple yea, they do focus on the camera... but that has a lot to do with the core UX of iOS being extremely stale (not changing much over the years), leaving them with no other avenue for marketing... Otherwise, mind as well run one of their older commercials! Not sure why Google is trying to copy that... Android has competitive advantages over iOS, and vice versa. Market to them, cause iOS users aren't going to switch just because you offer a phone incompatible with their PC/Accessories/Apps/Services that costs damn near the same price.
  • Chances are there are many times when you don't even plan to take any photos then a moment comes and you have a few seconds to capture it, wait times like these on a flagship charging top money is never acceptable. The instrument is at fault.
  • It's been my experience that the more you use the playground features the slower it gets. Try clearing cache on the camera app.
  • Cache was at 350MB for me and clearing it has fixed my lag, which was awful. Thank you!
  • Wow! Phones should be smarter about this.
  • Haven't touched Playground. My app cache was just 10MB.
  • Wish they would have done more than 4gb ram in this phone. It really needs at least 6gb.
  • Tell us why
  • I've been pretty underwhelmed by the pixel 3 overall. I feel the same way as the person that wrote this article. The often incredible pictures that the phone takes will make overlook frustrations with the rest of the phone but I've noticed my camera has gotten way slower since I first got it and I think battery performance is worse as well. I've been a nexus / pixel ball washer since the Nexus S and this phone and OS version has been a bit of bummer.
  • Google really needs to step up their hardware specs. I love their software but they are lagging behind in hardware that paired with their software could be awesome instead of just good.
  • The Note 9 uses the same base spec package, and more cameras, with a dual aperture... and the camera does not lag... ever... with Samsung's software on top of Android. Specs have nothing to do with it. I've never met a phone that needed Apple's CPU/GPU, and all the "specs" do is leave tons of headroom for developers to get lazy about quality, bloating up the code and causing updates to destroy performance/battery life on older devices... forcing them to devote entire development cycles to rectifying those issues. The spec bumps are more often than not routine, and done because people aren't going to want to buy a new phone with an old - but still well-beyond-viable CPU/GPU in it. Google used the same base spec package (barring Pixel Visual Core) as other OEMs... other OEMs who don't have a laggy camera app. What spec did you expect them to improve? They don't make their own CPUs or GPUs like Apple. They don't make their own CPUs, GPUs, Displays, RAM, Storage, etc. like Samsung. They are basically beholden to Qualcomm, and due to their marketshare QC doesn't have much to gain in wasting resources doing mid-year spec bumps for flagship CPUs like they used to in the past. They only iterate aggressively for mid-range and IoT chips.
  • "I've been a nexus / pixel ball washer since the Nexus S and this phone and OS version has been a bit of bummer." Lol.
  • When you say "camera has gotten way slower" do you mean opening, snapping a photo, navigating through the camera modes, or all around slow? Because on my phone the camera app is one of the few apps (besides messages) where performance is always fast and smooth.
  • It's slow to open, slow to get ready to take the picture slow to switch modes (flip the camera / switch to video). Saying it's slow might be to harsh but it's definitely much slower than when I first got it back in October.
  • I've had my Pixel 3 XL for a week now. Using it for photos is one of it's primary duties. I was surprised when I saw the article title because my 3 XL camera launches super fast. When I double tap the power button It's up in one second or less.
  • I don't multitask as you do apparently because my camera app opens up quickly and takes a photo super fast. I take a lot of pictures at times too, but have not noticed slow performance.
  • I've still yet to encounter a situation where I take photos and listen to music on my Pixel at the same time. Maybe take a screenshot at the most, but I never use the camera and listen to music or podcast simultaneously.
  • Haven't had any problems with mine... Loads up quick and takes a snap instantly. Night sight is the only time I see it take a noticeable pause which is Understandable.
  • My own experience as well. I've noticed the better the lighting conditions the faster the "Night Sight " shot will be.
  • Thank you for writing this. I've had this exact same issue on my Pixel 1. Even when the camera opens, it takes forever once I push the shutter button. Seems to be an issue with the redesigned camera app or something else maybe. They really need to fix this.
  • OMG! I thought this was only an issue for me!
  • I'm not having any of these issues with the GHome, and with the Pixel 3 XL. Try clearing the app's cache.
  • I did. It doesn't help. I've also switched phones, did factory resets, etc. This isn't just a "my phone" issue.
  • Well it certainly doesn't affect all Pixel 3 devices. My camera is incredibly fast to open, ready to capture.
  • No problems on "my phone"
    Less than 1 second and the pic is taken so I dunno
  • It is if it's not affecting everyone
  • Dudes, get a Pixel 2 XL. The camera is awesome and without problems.
  • So, if the Google Camera App is slow. laggy, etc. any other camera appas in the Google Play Store people are using?
  • Could you post a video of your camera app taking 5 seconds to open? That is totally mind-blowing. What you have described has been the exact opposite of my experience. After reading this article I ran a quick test with the phone's camera app and it never once stuttered or lagged when opening.
    I've doubled tapped the power button as I was pulling it from my pocket and the camera was fully launched and ready to snap photos by the time I got it to my face. One time, I was even able to tap the shutter button before the viewfinder loaded and I was still able to capture my shot, albeit a blurry shot of my desk. I can't say the same for Instagram.
  • Agreed. There is something wrong with his phone.
  • When I've experienced the same thing across 3 different Pixel 3/3 XLs, it isn't just my phone.
  • But, it isn't with MY Pixel 3. I just tested, double-pressed power and the camera opened instantly and was ready to take a shot. And this is with over a dozen other apps present in the "previous apps" list. I've had this Pixel 3 since they first shipped, bought it as soon as they were available to order. Not had a single problem with it. Maybe I'm just blessed and you're not?
  • Maybe it's the user then. Shouldn't be hard to show a video as proof if it's so prolific, cuz this pixel 3 owner thinks you're probably overstating.
  • Maybe you got 3 duds from the same batch...there appears to be enough of us with zero problems with speed to dispute your notion that "all Pixel 3 XL's" are affected because clearly mine is NOT
  • I feel like I've been living under a rock! I didn't know about the double power button click. Tried it on my 2xl, worked fast and snapped a pic, no issue. Tested on my wife's regular size 3 and the same, no issue. It was ready to take a pic in about 2 seconds. Tried with my friend's pixel 3 and the same. Took about 2 seconds. I wonder if there's a combination of factors going on here that cause the issue. I'm unable to duplicate.
  • Apparently it is. LOL. No issues here either. Less than half a second and mine is ready.
  • I think you need to turn off HDR+
  • You might be on to something. I noticed that when launching the camera from a cold start if I turn off the motion photos it speeds up slightly.
  • Why should I turn off the best feature of a Pixel phone's camera?
  • I have a Pixel 2. The camera is the fastest that I've ever used and I used to buy iPhones. Honestly have no idea what you are talking about in this article. 🤔
  • I have a regular Pixel 2 also and it's the best phone I have ever owned. Super fast at everything...I sold my 2 XL. For some reason the regular Pixel 2 is noticeably faster.
  • I have the same issue. I purchased my P3 through Verizon and my camera spotatically takes up to 30 secs to open. Wife wife purchased a P3 through Google and she has yet to experience lag. Must be a batch issue or something.
  • Interesting. Andrew, are you using a Verizon issued model or a "stock" model? Have you had this same problem out of the box or only after set up and adding all of your favorite apps? You mentioned having this issue with the Nokia 6.1, which I have. That issue is primarily fixed with a Nokia update some months ago. It honestly sounds like a memory allocation issue.
  • I've had no camera lag issues. Mine has been plenty fast. If the issue is that bad for you, maybe it's time to switch to a different phone I guess?
  • I have had pixel 3 for about a month and have not noticed this issue. Just took a bunch of pics of young kids over the holidays, and only way we got any decent group ones was bc of the pixel 3. A few quicks trials just now and I'd estimate it taking on average about 1 second to open camera with double click power button and able to snap a shot in less than 2 seconds. Only way to get much quicker than that is too have the camera app open already!
  • I have definitely experienced this problem with my P3, generally it happens from the double tap on the power button after not using the phone for a while. Sometimes it'll just sit there blank for a few seconds, sometimes the camera will pop up but the on-screen menus will be all janky and move around. I'll try clearing the cache and turning off the HDR manual mode that I had turned on for fun but don't really use. I shouldn't have to think about this though, it is disappointing.
  • "the camera is the slowest of any phone released since ... well, the Pixel 2 XL" What are you talking about? I've never had a situation where the 2XL (or the 2, for that matter) was anything but lightning quick to open and be ready to snap a photo. It's fast to open and fast to capture a shot, and as someone who has also owned recent high-end Samsung and LG phones, I have zero complaints about the speed of the Google camera.
  • I just tried ten camera openings whilst listening to a podcast on Spotify over Bluetooth. The app was fully closed in between attempts. Longest it took to get to the ability to take a picture was 2.354 seconds, with an average of 1.758 seconds. I'm perfectly happy with that. Ever since the December update was released, I have not encountered any such problems with camera speed.
  • I think that 4GB of ram is not enough for power users on Android. For the average person buying a Pixel 3, who will likely only download a couple apps, 4GB is fine, but for those of us that want a little more out of our devices, it just isn't.
  • I'm experiencing the same thing on my Pixel 3. I've noticed that once I launch the camera once, take a picture and then move on, even if I've swiped away the app, it seems to capture faster the next time at least for a little while (could be an hour or so later even). It's almost as if I have to wake it up from hibernation or something and then it's fine. It's extremely frustrating to miss pictures and moments due to the heavy lag. I also notice it with the video camera as well. Launching the camera app, then switching to video and trying to record there's still a delay, it's like it's not ready to write to storage or the shutter button isn't enabled yet or something.
  • I have a similar experience. Love the phone, but do get lag when opening the camera after it hasn't been used in some time. Once it is open and presumably in system memory it is lightning fast to open and take a shot.
  • I've had my Pixel 3XL for over a month and it's been incredibly fast. Never a hesitation on opening the camera app nor taking pics. Very happy with this phone.
  • I am fed up with people being fed up for stupid reasons. 99% don't care.
  • The media is filled with whiny little ******* that can't handle anything if it isn't instantaneous and perfectly fit to their liking.
  • Yup. Fake news.
  • Really? When none of the other flagships have camera problems like these one'd think Google is to blame rather than these "whiny little ***s".
  • Get real....other phones have the same issue....some as normal occurrence
  • This guy is always complaining about something. Always seems so negative. Once again you're the rare few who would say this. Of all my phones the Pixel 2 XL and 3XL open the fastest and shoot the fastest. My 6T and Note 9 seem slow in comparison.
  • Look, I am Google biased, and probably a bit of a self aware fan boy to some degree. However, noting that I try to take into consideration some of the issues the Pixel 3 gives people. Such as some experiencing grey cut off pictures, but thats a software bug, most of everyone's issue down the road after the purchase of the phone has been software bugs. Despite some of the screen and heating issues. I hate seeing articles like this en mass later down the road though. If you can't hold a camera for a few seconds to literally use one of the most powerful camera's then it's not a phone problem it's a you problem. I am sorry but that is just how I feel. I have learned to pretty much adjust to any issue people have had with any Google product or better yet just discover it's user error. For example, the Pixel Buds? I can't get where anyone says they are not useable. Pull the loops through the buds and they go back in the case easy (seems like those who have a tough time putting them in the case are just easily annoyed.) There just seems to be this constant flow or posting or article writing of things that just seem to be user related. You are taking a photo and you are "fed up" with the camera because it's "slow" dude slow is people who had to fill their camera's with film rolls to take pictures. I take photos on my Pixel 3 camera it's it takes .3 to .4 seconds. Our ******* grandparents would have killed for those times. Better yet once the processor has warmed up it takes pictures in an even shorter amount of time. The only argument I could see this made against is maybe night sight, but even then night sight mode tells you to give it a few seconds and hold still. I mean I don't know how people can feel like they are so inconvenienced for life by a completitors camera being .05 seconds slower than another phone's camera when having pretty much the most powerful camera next to Huawei and the XR/XS on the planet. It's like we have become so accustomed to spec numbers we think we should have super devices. I am not saying their were not issues and are not issues for the Pixel 3 and 3XL that aren't user related. Or that those that are user related shouldn't be able to speak their mind like you are. But when your article is "the camera is horrendously slow" (and horrendously is a huge exaggeration) then you are not just complaining about a few milliseconds on a camera you are actually hurting the reputation of a phone that honestly is pretty damn great because you can't hold the phone for literally .05 seconds longer. It's like we feel a sense of entitlement over our devices. Instead of trying to just use and enjoy our products and maybe take a second to figure out how they really work it would kill us. If a half a second is the only reason you can't enjoy your phone and it's camera there is something else at work. You know let's just say you love the phone and hate the camera. Then I will stand behind your argument, but then my argument would be "if you want a really fast camera or an impressive camera, like if your camera's time is so inconvenient for you, then buy a nice 1000 dollar camera." I just see countless articles like this. The audio issues, Google seriously has an audio implementation issue. Th fact we don't have 4K and 60 fps those are real losing factors to the P3 series. The fact the phones need to launch better, that is a real losing factors hear. But "the camera is slow." Get that **** out of here. Write about something that is really inconvenient a real issue that most of us are having not something you are inconvenienced by that is not really a problem. Write about the fact you can't deal with the Pixel 3 audio quality. About how there are two speakers and you just don't understand why we are forced to have terrible mic and audio feedback quality when on the phone. About how Google's response to that was just crap. Talk about it how the Pixel 3 could use some more ram like 6 gigs at most. If you want to talk about the price of the phone, and compare it to the XR's price which also has a single powerful camera lens. Then do that, because I agree that the Pixel 3 devices are more expensive than they should be, but not for a measly .05 camera processing time. Give me a break with that ****.
  • Google fanboys are ridiculous. Why should you have to adjust when you don't need to with any other phone. Not even budget phone have such long delays fanboys always defending no matter what happens is why every gen of the Pixels have been riddled with problems. Pixel 3 is by far the most problematic product of the year tone down the fanboyism.
  • Do you ever consider making factual statements?
  • Wow. That's a lot of words to say "the stuff that bothers you isn't as important as the stuff that bothers me"
  • I've had my Pixel 3 since they were first shipped. I've not had the "photo saving" issue and I've never had the "slow camera" issue described by the author of this article. We've traveled quite a bit and I've used the camera on my phone extensively. It has never performed poorly and I've never "missed a shot" waiting for it. There was a slight learning curve in order to utilize the features this phone possesses, but that took all of a day or so. I think some people just like to complain about something. Maybe they're pressed for an article and have to write something, anything, to get page hits.
  • This problem goes back to at least the Nexus 6. Another phone that had everything going for it, but would constantly miss pictures because the hamster wheel inside took so long to get the camera up and running. It was so much faster on third party camera apps that I have to assume some of the issue was in the built-in app.
  • First off, it's not just Andrew, a lot of people are having issues with the camera even after the Dec update. The camera is constantly slow for me and sometimes crashes while I'm trying to take photos(I've cleared the cache and I don't use playground). It was terrible during the holidays. For this expensive of a phone whose main selling point is the camera I shouldn't have to deal with this, basically the point of his article. I cannot believe that you guys are basically sitting here saying he complains about everything and how it's just him and it's not an issue. This feels like Apple and you guys are telling him he is holding it wrong...
  • There are more people that don't have the issue
  • Absolutely no snark intended: You should try with another (fresh) Pixel 3 and/or clearing the cache on yours. I've used 2 different pixel 3 and have never had it take anything over a second or two, and thats with plenty of apps installed and some running in the background. What you describe is in no way what I experience
  • I honestly have no issues with my pixel 3xl relating to that, the camera is pretty quick in my opinion
  • I have the Pixel 3 XL and I find it to be the best phone camera I've ever used. It's not slow and takes phenomenal pics.
  • I think this a very unfair and misinformed article. The camera is slow when using enhanced HDR only and that's because it takes like 30 pictures in a second to make the picture. You shouldn't use enhanced HDR at all times. If you disable it and turn it off, or just use the normal HDR, the camera is not slow at all.
  • While Enhanced is slower,,,,it not that slow
  • my pixel 3 XL camera is open as fast as I double press the button not to say it's perfect there should definitely already be a patch out that fixes videos and plays them symmetrically in original size and the audio when recording video is hot garbage hopefully the January security patch fixes the video issue and makes the camera issue better but all in all I think I'm lucky and got a good pixel it's not having a lot of the problems people are reporting
  • To fix the slowness just didsable the "motion" feature or the camera. Lightning fast after that. That's what worked for me
  • I have motion enabled, still only takes 1 second (near instantaneous) from locked state after double tap.
  • On double-clicking the power button it takes about 1 second to bring up the app, and 1/2 second later the shutter is able to react instantly. Have to think it's an issue with your phone (or a batch), or an app conflict, as I doubt you would be objecting so strenuously if your experience were like mine. Running a Pixel 3 XL 64GB Black acquired about a month ago. Also, motion picture is enabled
  • You must have a faulty phone as my Pixel 3's camera opens and is ready to take a pic in about a second.
  • Instead of commenting on how slow the camera takes to open, what a out doing a story on the ongoing call quality issues MANY users worldwide are facing, spanning many different carriers.
  • I never had an issue with it on my Pixel 2, it was always very fast and quick. Seems like the issue is more with the XL versions which is weird because it shouldn't matter. That said, I'm glad I went with the OP6T this time. Might not be quite as good of a camera overall but it opens fast and is ready. I saved a bunch of money and got way better battery life.
  • Is this now an addendum to the pixel 3 review?
  • I have to tell you, Andrew, I was sitting in my allergist's office reading this, and I snapped off a pic from a cold open on my 3XL by the time I could say "one one-thousand." Even now, sitting in the parking lot on a sunny, northern Indiana winter's day, I snapped two in just under two seconds. Several times, no less, from various instances of the camera app being either closed or open. As a matter of fact, having only ever owned Nexus/Pixel phones dating back to the Nexus 5, I've encountered shockingly few bugs in any of them, as reported by Android media outlets and forums. Maybe I have the opposite of Artem's Luck (apologies for referencing another Android news site here), but I've noticed over a period of years that the internet in general has a tendency to make the rarest of things look commonplace. I'm not trying to assert that anyone encountering software bugs has anything other than a genuine grievance, but we do all sort of live in echo chambers these days. Now, all that said, your role as a media outlet is important in fostering the discussion and reporting even the least widespread of strange occurrences. I'd never take that away from you, and there are a litany of very good reasons that I've been a daily reader of Android Central for a very long time. But perhaps hot take articles about problems that not everyone experiences could, from time to time, use a bit of temperance.
  • I guess everyone's mileage varies. But I have had no camera issues with my XL. It works as advertised.
  • I don't have any sort of problems like that on my Pixel 3XL. It's just as fast as any other phone I have owned.
  • Never experienced that slowness...
  • I tried to make the camera app open slow and couldnt get it to even get close to 5 seconds. Opened up facebook, instagram, reddit, netflix, pinterest, play music, prime video, youtube, nest, and a stopwatch. Made sure the camera app was not open. Started a song. started the stopwatch, double tapped power waited for the camera to come up and went back to the stopwatch app and it was at 3.5 seconds. So i can start a stopwatch, double tap the power button, wait for the camera to completely open, and gesture back to the stop watch in 3.5 seconds. Camera is in HDR+enhanced. I also tried this several settings in the camera app and could not get it to get even close to 4 seconds. I could even start the stopwatch, double tap to open the camera, take a picture, see that it saved, and gesture back in 4.5 seconds. I think your bigger or better argument would be with quality control from phone to phone. Ill check how my wifes 3XL performs tonight.
  • So my wife and my 3 XL both have the same fast response time when double tapping the power button. No issue. Even tested my 3 year old Nexus 6P and it was a bit slower but still no where near 5 seconds. The shear amount of people on here saying they dont have an issue with this probably means its not a real issue, one that is probably brought about by the user and a setting or another installed app, but hey you are the one with a platform that has to sell ads.
  • Makes me glad I opted for the V40 instead of a Pixel3. I've been pretty happy with it thus far.
  • The V40's a solid phone.
  • yeah, I really like it, think it's highly underrated. Some reviews ding battery life, but it kills my old S7 Active. It was a year old, but still, battery is way bigger. Samsung bloatware....
  • Perhaps it's time to sell. Plenty of other phones out there.
  • I haven't experienced this lag you talk of and I was actually hoping to see some examples from you. I'm actually pretty happy with the speed on my 3XL, this is the first time I wasn't turning off HDR and virtually every other automated camera feature along with depending on something like greenify to manage the resource hogging apps in the background slowing down my device. By the way, most of my photos are of my 5 year old daughter and of my black cat. Both of which have notoriously looked subpar on previous devices but I haven't had that disappointment with my 3xl
  • Andrew - unfortunate experience, no doubt, but I am struggling with the very strong statements you are making without seeing a video of exactly what you experience. Also, have you tried any other Pixel 3 units or reached out to Google for support - to rule out issues with your phone, etc.?
  • I've had my Pixel 2 for roughly a year and rarely have issues with the camera being slow to load. I really don't know what the author is talking about. I use the double-tap on the power button to activate the app as I'm picking it up, and it's almost always ready to take the shot as soon as I am. It's also fairly quick on post-shot processing unless I've taken a ton of Portrait shots in a brief period.
  • My 3 XL works awesome. I had to time it after reading this and it was less than 2 seconds from locked to picture snapped. I do know certain settings slow the camera down like hdr+ enhanced and possibly top shot so it's possible certain settings are causing the delay experienced here.
  • I have Pixel 3 XL and I haven't experienced these issues. I remember having horrible camera issues when I had the Nexus 5X, though.
  • Either this post was written before December, you hate pixel or you have a bad phone. The camera loads up and takes pictures way faster than the note 9. Double click power button and by the time your finger is off of it the camera is ready to go, it's loaded before you even have time to move your finger to the capture button.
  • Everything from the design to the price of the Google Pixel 3 screams they don't care about customers
  • My pixel 2xl and wifes 3 are super fast. Double tap power and boom your shooting a pic. Only slowdown I've encountered is if I snap multiple pics quickly one after another, sometimes the behind the scenes processing can slow down. But getting there isn't so bad to get the camera turned on, super fast for me.
  • Yea I don't know Andrew. I don't have these issues at all. Just tried to confirm and every time was speedy and instant. Sorry man.
  • There's a pretty wide sample of good and bad here. Maybe there's a quality control issue. Maybe there's a bad batch. And maybe some people are simply more patient with their tech than others. Just on a whim, I looked for "galaxy S9 slow camera". Lo and behold, yes, there's a thread for that too: https://us.community.samsung.com/t5/Galaxy-S9-Questions-and-Answers/S9-C.... You can probably find a few other manufacturers if you want to. In short, this doesn't sound like a global problem (which is how the article reads). Yes, I read that you've now tried 3 different XL's with the same results. In all the years of troubleshooting, if the same issue comes up over and over across multiple devices with the only constant being the user...
  • I've yet to see any lags in my camera and my phone is fully loaded with apps. Gathering from similar comments, it is possible your specific device is faulty. I've yet to encounter any significant delays opening or using my camera app.
  • My turns on instantly when I double click the power button from screen lock, 1 second at most. Have you installed apks or other sideloaded apps that could be causing software conflicts?
  • Hmm... Mine opens almost immediately after double pressing the power button. Probably less then half a second Super quick. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • return your phone or reset it. mine works in a second
  • Just tried this out on my Pixel 3 .. Snappy as ever. No slowness at all.
  • I really regret to get Pixel 3 XL, I hate it. I've been with Google since Nexus 6P, first and second generation of Pixels and now third generation. The only thing I love about the phone is the camera, everything else I hate it. I was undecided to get the pixel or the iPhone XS max. I should have bought the iPhone instead. Everything I open the camera it is so slow. Google assistant everytime I say hey Google is not working, the now playing sometimes it is not working for a week. All the good stuff that this phone has is always an issue. I had an iPhone once and believe me I regret it buying this phone.
  • This is a horrible take. You've had Google phones since the 6P and now hate the phone? You'd think changing to an iphone would have happened by now, no?
  • My Pixel 3XL camera opens very quickly. Zero issues.
  • The simple fix would be to add more RAM and just have it loaded in there. Similar to how Samsung would do for it's launcher (do they still do that). If Working on improving the software to where it loads faster on this hardware can't be done, upgrade the hardware. But that option leaves us all screwed in the meantime.
  • I love it when people think more RAM is the solution to everything.
  • I also have noticed a lot of lag some of the times but not all the time on the camera. I would say sometimes it's more than 5 seconds.
  • It's probably not the camera app, it's probably some other app you have given permission to use the camera. Step one is to remove all apps from camera permission. Try the camera again. My pixel 3 don't exhibit any camera issues. My Nexus 6 exhibited all the issues with being slow, I took permission away from Snapchat and it worked like a new phone. Then I uninstalled Snapchat cause it didn't make any sense. Anyway, first step is to remove permission.
  • Mine wasn't that bad, but I did ditch it for a Mate 20 Pro bro!
    Aim/guess, push vol down and it takes a quick 'ultra' snapshot in .2 or .3 sec and it's ready to go. Sometimes you even get a decent 'blind' shot. Battery is so good I don't need a backup battery/camera/phone anymore...
  • My pixel XL camera has no problems. To me it runs fine and actually starts up faster than my previous phone.
  • Mine works like a champ. I haven't seen or heard any problems about the camera until this. I guess now that the iPhone XR is the best single camera phone (according to DxO) we need to find reasons not to praise the Pixel 3 anymore and keep saying how it's the "best android phone ever."
  • The Pixel line is a fail, every gen has been beyond ugly and riddled with problems while not bringing anything over the other top flagships at around the same price.
  • Weird, I've had my Pixel XL 2 since launch... I've taken hundreds of pictures and have never had a single issue with the camera.
    Maybe your Pixel 3 is defective? I only mentioned my Pixel 2 because you hint that they are slow as well
  • I'd suggest you check what apps you're running. The camera opens in less than a second on my pixel 3 with a double power button tap.
  • Andrew, this is why I read your columns, you tell it like it is.
  • Someone had a deadline and nothing to say. You rambled on about the same thing for the whole article without adding any new information than what was in the headline. What a waste of time. No one else is having the same problems as you. I know no one is paying for real journalism these days, but you win the race to the bottom with this piece.
  • I'm on the Pixel 3 and have no speed issues at all. Camera app start within a second and directly snaps my picture. I recently switched from the iPhone (after 8 years) and although I suffered some switching anxiety, it's a pretty good phone. Had no stability issues and didn't encounter any bugs so far. Really don't understand where your experiences are based on. My wife got the iPhone XS and is actually jealous on my Pixel. Building quality of the iPhone is still far better and the display performs better in daylight, but the Pixel is far more exciting and the pictures are so much better. I still miss iOS notifications handling, iOS keyboard, iOS gestures and that's about it.
  • The biggest defect on pixel series i found regarding slowness is....Don't keep any tabs open on your chrome browser. After using chrome, if you keep it closing each and every tabs, whole phone is running fine (including camera) otherwise the whole phone becomes laggy. Looks like RAM management issue regarding opened tabs in chrome
  • I have a 2XL set to HDR and I can pick it up while asleep (but has the ambient display on) double-click the power button and its nearly instantly up and ready to go, click to take a photo right away and it just works flawlessly. I'm sorry you are experiencing issues, so odd. Remember when there was a bug where the phone wouldn't open right away (slight delay, nothing dramatic) unless ambient display was enabled? I wonder if there's something similar going on with the phones which lag?
  • Not sure why you have issues with your device - mine opens almost instantaneously.
  • The camera on my Pixel 3 XL is actually quite fast. No problems at all with this phone
  • Registered to be able to comment for this. I have the same issue with my Verizon Pixel 3xl, the camera opens quickly, but sometimes it took a few seconds (>3 at least) to allow me to press the shutter. Never happened on my pixel 2xl and nexus 6p before.
  • No idea what you are talking about. My Pixel 3 xl does not have camera speed problems. Is the Pixel 3 that different? I double click the power button and it is ready to take the pic before I can rotate it to landscape. The picture is ready to examine in less than a second in the button on the bottom right (top right in landscape).
  • Sounds like someone misses his iPhone.
  • I understand the Pixel 3 takes great PHOTOS. But what about video recording? It looked subpar against the V40 and Note 9 on a video comparison test I saw on YouTube. I know this is off topic but just want to hear people's opinion about that.
  • Frankly my entire experience with the 3 XL has been trash. The December update hardly helped. Shipping a flagship with 4 GB of ram and saying our software our software is a joke and inexcusable. I can't even open Chrome listening to any type of Media because it stops whatever I'm listening to, closes whatever app it is, crashes the phone and reloads the launcher. Even then, that's if it doesn't force my phone into a screwed up reboot cycle for 8 reboots. Another trashy performance from a Google flagship. I shouldn't have expected anything more. Don't even know why I keep bothering anymore at this point.
  • Say it ain't so! Android Central editor saying bad stuff about Google's Pixel phones? :P
  • Hey Andrew, it seems that google sent defective 3 XL's to you guys , there is quite a few people here with no issues at all.
  • Is it possible you have an app not playing well causing a problem ? It's doubtful you would get 3 separate phones with the same problem. I own the 1. 2. And the 3. All of the cameras have been really fast. But then I only use a couple apps besides what comes stock.
    I don't doubt people have problems but I would have to see a video of a bone stock pixel having this problem before I would believe it.
    It's ether another app causing it or could this article just be click bait ? Hmmm
  • But I thought this was the best Android smartphone you can... hyperbole much?
  • No one claimed the Pixel phones were perfect. It's just better than the competition in AC's opinion.
  • I have the Pixel 3 and that's the worst thing about the phone. The camera app opens quickly but there's a ton of lag with the initial shot. Even if you wait a few seconds and take the shot it still lags. I thought Google would have fixed it by now but they haven't. It's awful.
  • I have the Pixel 3XL. The camera opens quickly and I've had no problem. Usually it opens within 1 to 2 seconds on a double click on the power button. I use the camera often. I have battery optimization on. It would be nice to figure out what is common for those that are facing the slowdown.
  • For those of you crying because it's not on video, watch the PhoneBuff speed test.
    Google Pixel 3 camera launch and photo snap: 4.305 seconds.
    iPhone XS Max camera launch and photo snap: 2.44 seconds.
  • 1. Developer options, turn off system wide animation. 2. Camera app, turn off battery optimization. 3. Check battery usage look for excess battery usage, close background apps. Enjoy your snappier snapshots.
  • « eautiful photo or capture a scene that you couldn't fathom getting from any other phone«  The picture quality is not that much better than its direct competitors, except for night shift which takes even longer to take... otherwise, picture quality is on par with most other flagship!
  • Yet this is the phone that you Android Central guys always put above Samsung flagships....Crazy.
  • Looks like Andrew missed his Google CHeck. LMAO
  • It does seem to hang in a black screen when opening for a while if I have not had the camera app open recently. However, upon reading this and experimenting, I notice it is superfast if the app had previously been open (from lock screen or from another app less than 2 sec for camera buttons to appear). When I cleared all recent apps and waited til the next day and double tapped on power button I get the hang again. I bet this has to do with performance battery settings (limits on background power consumption settings etc...). So, easy fix, open the app a lot so it is ready to go when needed.
  • Perhaps the AC should do a story on some of the alternative camera apps that are available in the Play Store? I don't use them, I'm content with my stock Moto camera app, but some of them actually look like pretty good camera apps. One in particular has electronic image stabilization which is lurring to me as the Moto camera app has no stabilization electronic or mechanical...