Update Feb 10: Google responded and said that the "team is aware of the issue" and will be getting back to us if they have anything new to share. Certainly seems like positive progress.
Are you a person that loves to use your phone without a case? I'm definitely one of those folks. I don't ever drop my phones and I don't mistreat them at all, either. But it looks like that doesn't matter much with the Pixel 7 Pro if my experience today is anything to go by.
After a brisk walk in the woods to take pictures for the upcoming Galaxy S23 Ultra review, I took the phone out of my pocket and noticed something strange was on the screen. After taking a closer look, I thought it looked at least a little bit like the volume rocker from the Google Pixel 7 Pro.
Sure enough, I took the Pixel 7 Pro out of my other pocket, and voilà — the volume rocker was completely missing from the phone.
How in the world could this happen, I thought. As I said before, I treat my phones immaculately. The Pixel 7 Pro isn't even my daily driver — that's the Galaxy Z Fold 4 — so this phone has been sitting on the bench outside of the times I take it out on photography trips or to test some new Pixel or Android update.
Based on what I can see, the Pixel 7 Pro's volume button doesn't look much different from how other phones' volume rockers are made. Here's the Galaxy S22 Ultra's volume rocker for comparison.
If anything, Google's structure here looks more reinforced than Samsung's. It's got protruding bumpers on the sides and a second pair of connectors on the bottom. But, for whatever reason, several people have posted about it falling off since the phone came out back in October.
Judging from the number of posts online, it looks like the number of reports has increased since after the New Year. That makes sense since a bunch of people probably got one for Christmas, and it seems like it takes at least a few weeks for this to occur.
This isn't the first time we've seen aesthetic issues with the phone, either. Early reports showed that the shiny metal camera housing scratched easily — I can confirm this as mine is also quite scratched despite gentle handling — and some camera lenses appear to be randomly cracking for other owners. Like most problems, these are likely few but are, nevertheless, a bit worrying to see if you just spent $900 on one.
We've reached out to Google to find out more, but, again, based on reports online, it doesn't look like the company is currently offering replacements under warranty as Google representatives seem to be telling customers that this is due to "mishandling" of the phones.
My model allows me to pop it back on without issue but beware; if you put it upside down, it'll feel weird. Even flipping it around to the right side" feels "crunchy," while I didn't notice this feeling before it fell off.
Worse yet, I can easily pop it back off by pressing the top or bottom edge with the end of my fingernail, as you can see in the photo above. Here's hoping Google resolves the issue. We'll update this article if we hear anything more back from Google.
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