Google Pixel 6 Hero In HandSource: Alex Dobie / Android Central

Smartphones tend to host their fair share of bugs just after launch. In some cases, software bugs or manufacturer errors take both consumers and developers by surprise; in other cases, you'll encounter issues that the devs purposefully masked in order to drum up sales.

In the case of the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, people have spotted more than the usual share of bugs or unexpected issues. Heightened expectations have led to some overblown Pixel 6 criticism, but it's also fair to call Google out for not catching many of these issues before launch.

Thankfully, Google has addressed or will address many of the Pixel 6 bugs below through updates like the December security and feature update. But other bugs may be an issue across your Pixel's lifespan. So here's what you need to know about Pixel 6 problems and whether or not they can be fixed.

Unresponsive fingerprint scanner

Pixel 6 Fingerprint ScannerSource: Nick Sutrich / Android Central

The issue: The majority of Pixel 6 owners have noticed that the fingerprint scanner takes too long or too many attempts to recognize a fingerprint compared to other phones.

Google claims its "enhanced security algorithms" ensure that fingerprints "take longer to verify or require more direct contact with the sensor." However, others have blamed Google's choice of an optical fingerprint sensor instead of an ultrasonic sensor.

Is it fixed? Both the mid-November update and December update provided fingerprint scanner fixes; the first "improves the performance of your device's fingerprint sensor" while the second has "general improvements for fingerprint sensor stability & performance."

In her Pixel 6 set-up guide, our Pixel 6 reviewer Ara Wagoner provided a tip if these fixes didn't work for you. One, Pixel 6 Pro owners may need to reinstall a screen protector that doesn't interfere with the in-screen scanner. Two, all Pixel 6 owners should register their fingerprint twice, since the phone lets you store up to five prints. That way, the phone is more likely to recognize your print as working with at least one saved profile.

Phantom calling

Google Pixel 6 Display NightSource: Alex Dobie / Android Central

The issue: Many people noticed that their Pixel 6 was "butt-dialing" specific contacts, even if the phone wasn't in their pocket. It turned out to be an issue with Google Assistant misinterpreting random words from people or audio playback as the wake word, followed by a name.

Is it fixed? Yes. Download the latest Google app update (12.43.18) from the Play Store for a hot-fix. Also, the December 2021 security update provided a "fix for issue causing Assistant to unintentionally start a phone call in certain conditions." This should provide a more permanent fix to the problem.

Screen flickering / green tint

Google Pixel 6 Widgets Material You GreenSource: Alex Dobie / Android Central

The issue: Many Pixel 6 & 6 Pro owners noticed screen flickering when power cycling the phone. Among other issues, the screen could flicker during brightness adjustments or when locking and unlocking the phone. And some users noticed a white screen flash when the display turned off.

Also, some users reported that their display had a green tint. This has been a common software issue on various Google, Samsung, and OnePlus phones over recent years.

Is it fixed? Google addressed all of these issues in the December 2021 update, which most Pixel owners will have received by mid-December. Check for an update to see if you have yet to receive it.

Slow charging

Pixel 6 Pro ChargersSource: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

The issue: Slow Pixel 6 charging isn't a "bug" but is a frustrating issue for some people. Despite selling a 30W charger for the Pixel 6, Google designed both new Pixels to only support 22W charging. The phone charges up to 50% in 30 minutes but then takes well over an hour to charge the remaining 50%.

Another Pixel 6 charging issue is that older cables charge it slower than average. Without an e-marked cable to support Programmable Power Supply (PPS), the charger and the Pixel 6 can't talk to each other properly to negotiate higher charging speeds without overheating. In these cases, the Pixel charges more slowly by default. If you have a PPS-supported charger but aren't getting to 50% in 30 minutes, you need to swap to an e-marked cable.

What's the fix? If your phone isn't hitting 50% charge in 30 minutes, you'll want to buy one of the best Google Pixel 6 chargers. All of these support PPS, and many come with e-marked cables in the box, ensuring it'll charge fast without making your Pixel 6 run hot. Some will charge other devices like laptops more quickly, while others are designed for portability.

Unable to connect with Android Auto

Android Auto 2Source: Android Central

The issue: Some Pixel 6 owners report that Android Auto either won't recognize the Pixel 6 or will frequently disconnect from the phone. This obviously can cause issues if you lose access to your directions while driving.

Is it fixed? Not that we know of. A Google Support page shows that the Android Auto team wasn't able to replicate the issue, which has slowed down a potential fix for the problem.

One potential fix is to buy one of the best USB-C cables for Android Auto. It could be that your old cord isn't working as well as it should after getting cooked in the sun during months and months of triple-digit heat, and a new cable may abate the issue.

Microsoft Teams app blocks 911 calls

Microsoft Teams HeroSource: Dan Thorp-Lancaster / Windows Central

The issue: One Redditor explained an Android 12 bug that prevented them from calling 911 during a medical emergency. It turned out to be a widespread issue on Pixel phones where Microsoft Teams somehow blocked emergency calling if you had it installed but hadn't logged into the app.

Is it fixed? The Microsoft Teams app has been pushed out with a fix for the issue, so if you use Teams, go install the update now. On January 4, Google will push out an Android platform fix to prevent any other apps to exploit this vulnerability, either accidentally or on purpose.

Telegram raise-to-speak disables 90Hz/120Hz

Google Pixel 6 Pro Child Photo 04 Action PanSource: Nick Sutrich / Android Central

The issue: If you enable raise-to-speak on the Telegram app, it locks the Pixel 6 refresh rate to 60Hz, regardless of your current Settings. This essentially disables its Smooth Display unless you disable that Telegram feature.

Is it fixed? You can manually fix the issue by disabling Telegram's raise-to-speak option. In the December update, Google enabled a "fix for issue preventing Smooth Display to switch display refresh rate in certain conditions," which we hope has resolved the issue.

Banishing bugs

We hope that by the January security update, the majority of the worst Pixel 6 bugs will have been eradicated. Overall, most of the bugs are more related to Pixel-specific Android 12 software and apps causing glitches to the Pixel 6 hardware — which means they can be solved. But we'll have to wait and see what else pops up over time.

Despite their apparent bugginess, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro rank among the best Android phones available. The vast majority of our polled readers love the Pixel 6 despite their bugs, but a healthy minority did say they were waiting to buy one or considering returning it because of the problems.

We'll keep an eye out for other Pixel 6 issues over time and will keep this list updated with the latest info on how to fix them. In time, we hope the new Pixels will prove bug-free enough to win back people's trust.