What you need to know
- Multiple Google Pixel 5a users (including myself) have experienced overheating when using the camera.
- The bug can also disable the flash at a much lower temperature before the cameras start shutting down.
- These thermal issues are very similar to those on the Pixel 5 — and they can also be triggered by gaming or intensive use.
I've been very much enjoying my Google Pixel 5a since it arrived three weeks ago, but the honeymoon period is over and some issues are starting to rise: the phone easily overheats when using the camera for a prolonged time. HotHardware and Android Police both focused on this happening when shooting 4K video, but on my own Pixel 5a, I didn't even have to bother with video to a get heat-related warning.
Just taking a bevy of photos and some short 1080p videos on an 80-degree Florida morning (can summer end already?) had it slow down and eventually stop working in under half an hour, and in many instances, the phone wasn't uncomfortably hot yet when the warnings appeared, turning off the flash and later the camera. This has led some to believe that rather than a hardware flaw we'll be stuck with, these issues are might be caused by a bug in the Google Camera app triggering shutdowns at lower-than-usual temperatures.
I have reached out to Google and they are investigating the issue.
Overheating was also an issue on last year's Pixel 5 — which the Pixel 5a shares most specs with — so this might just be a design flaw. Mr. Mobile's review noted the Pixel 5a getting unusually warm at times, something I've seen as well after long sessions on my match-three game or particularly intense Reddit deep dives, but the camera didn't shut down for Fisher or many other reviewers who tested the Pixel 5a's camera to the moon and back.
Google is looking into the issue and specifically the Google Camera app, but there's no word yet on a cause or, more importantly, a solution. For that, we'll all have to stay tuned. There's one more issue I and Android Police's Ryne Hager have experienced with touchscreen oddities in the bottom half of the screen. Google is also looking into this, but given that it's not triggering in safe mode, this is likely a software bug that needs to be ironed out somewhere. If you're seeing the same bug, tweet me at @arawagco or sound off in the comments so we can see if the issue's more widespread than we think. For an example of how the bug looks, check the video below.