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Failing Pixel Camera on a rise more due to hardware malfunction than software bugs!

While Google has been receiving much approval regarding their Pixel lineup, there have been a few missteps. Google has always taken pride in the camera feature of its product lineup. However, for some, it does not work the way it was designed. Pixel Camera issues probably started with their Pixel 2 series.

Over the years with each Pixel phone getting launched, multiple reports on jittery Pixel camera continued to flood the internet. On Reddit and Google forums, harrassed users were found to be seeking solutions to Pixel camera bugs.

The Pixel camera issue got noticed due to an increase in 1-star rating on Play Store reviews for the camera app. The review score of the Google Camera app has fallen to a 3.3-star rating, an indicator of simmering problems in the backyard.

Google Play Store receiving 1 star reviews due to camera failures in older Pixel phones

The typical issues Pixel owners reported were mostly Pixel 3 camera focus, Pixel 3a stuttering, Pixel 3 camera crash, front camera not working Pixel 4, Pixel 2 XL camera not working Android 11, Pixel 4 XL rear camera not working, Pixel 3 camera shake, Pixel 3 XL video stuttering and many more.

Users reported rear-facing cameras failing to open and ultimately crashing. Also, they found an unending loading screen before it opened, followed by an error message, “Something went wrong. Try again.” The issue persisted in many other models and extended to the front camera as well. Some users in their reviews claimed that the sensor was dead.

The camera app on my Pixel 2 is constantly crashing, it boots up, shows a black screen for about 3 seconds, then crashes. I’ve tried the usual troubleshooting options offered and still nothing. The same crash happens when trying to use the camera with WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook. I downloaded a third-party camera app and still the same issue. The phone is out of warranty, but from reading other posts this seems to be a software problem specific to Pixel 2, any help is appreciated.

Liam Gooley, (Source)

Frustrated users tried all possible means to fix the camera issue by uninstalling updates, deleting cache memory, force-stopping the app, and following fixes suggested by Google. Contacting Google support also did not solve the problem. They even tried using 3rd party camera apps instead of the default Google Camera app, however, it didn’t work.

The camera issues in Pixel 2, Pixel 3, and Pixel 4a variants have been on a rise with maximum issues reported by Pixel 2 XL owners.

For the uninitiated let us recap the possible workaround Google support is offering!

Possible Solutions for failing Pixel camera

The most common solution would be to stop using the camera app altogether. It would be better to temporarily rely on the stock camera app to get the job done.

There haven’t been too many complaints concerning the use of the stock camera app and the lack of responsiveness. Even so, there are issues where apps excluding Google Camera also fail to work. As we mentioned earlier, the dead camera sensor might appear like a possible hardware issue than software. Complaints stating that Snapchat and other social media such as Google Duo and Instagram are unable to access the camera, even when it is in stock configuration.

If you have a hardware issue, then you may be pretty screwed. On the bright side, the Google support forum does have some options though.

Firstly, force close the camera app.  To do this, go to Settings, Apps, and Notifications, select the camera, Tap Force Stop.

Secondly, install any app updates on the camera app.  To do this, go to the Play store, tap the menu icon, My apps and games, if the camera app has an update, select and update this.

Finally, as you have done before, I want to you to clear the cache AND clear the data.  

Wes Warner, Google support page (source)

The suggested remedies of full factory and software resets have also not worked. Probably, it also hints more at a hardware failure rather than a software fault.

Are the next-gen Pixels safe?

It was originally believed to be an issue that persisted only with older models like the Pixel 2 and 2XL. Later on, the issue spread to Pixel 3 and Pixel 4 as well. The earlier models could be justified by wear and tear, not so for the more recent ones. With Pixel 4a being released in India on 20th August last year, it raises questions on the product stability.

Google has released several software patches for the camera app issues. As for the hardware problems, they can be serviced if they’re still covered under the warranty. Do check on Google’s Support Page and file a warranty claim. While failing Pixel cameras are certainly an issue, it is annoying when you have to shell out as much cash to cover up the manufacturer’s mistakes.

Getting to the manufacturer might be difficult than it looks though…

The Verdict

As it stands, getting a Pixel Phone isn’t your best bet. It has severe issues with both hardware and software. Until those kinks are ironed out, better keep away. It would seem the lackluster nature of the Stadia has infected its mobile counterparts.

If you liked our coverage of the Pixel lapse do consider leaving a comment below. For more info like this, visit our website.

Achyuth Nambiar
Being a tech enthusiast and someone who loves to read, I try to combine the two into my latest attempt... blogging. A gaming PC though a Far Cry (pun intended) remains a distant dream.

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