As per the reports by the Pixel 3 series users, their phones are either bricking or becoming unresponsive out of nowhere. Increasing number of Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL have been discussing about the issue on Google’s support forums as well as Reddit. They discovered that Phones placed on the bedside table are unusable in the morning. Many found their smartphones bricked after a random shutdown. Instead of booting into Android, the smartphones are booting into a recovery mode called the Qualcomm “Emergency Download Mode” (EDL), making the smartphones useless. It is technically a security mode of Qualcomm that calculates the actual boot of Android.
Some users are blaming the latest security update for the problem caused, while others say it came out of nowhere – without making any changes to the device. The only workaround to reboot a Pixlel 3 pone in EDL mode is to use a Qualcomm tool called the Qualcomm Product Support Tool. But it will not be available for the end user, so the option is ruled out! Users with Android 10 on their Pixel 3 phones are not complaining though. Maybe a temporary workaround is to downgrade from Android 11 to Android 10. Or one can wait for Android 12 to come out very soon!
Since the phones were launched in October 2018, most of them have crossed the warranty period or are about to lose support soon. Users have been trying desperately to contact tech support, even opted for forums but there has been permanent solution in sight. The only update we have is that issue is acknowldeged by Google. A bug "Pixel 3 bricked while charging overnight around 7am Pacific" has been raised in the issue tracker of Google. However, it has been more than 2 months and it continues to lie in Assigned state. There is no progress on it and that is worrisome. One of the reason could be the issue logs cannot be extracted because the device in itself is not booting up. Without starting the operating system no logs can be generated to send to Google devs to replicate it. A similar case had taken place earlier this year in the US on the Pixel 4 XL. Responding to that Google had announced to extend the warranty period at select regions to 3 years. It covered a few known issues majorly due to hardware problems and not related to use. It was causing the frequent shut down on some of the devices. The other problems included faster-than-expected battery loss, unexpected restarts, and inability to turn on the phone, prompting the firm to extend warranty for another year. If Google's investigation were to lead to the conclusion that the dreaded issue of "black screen of death" is more due to hardware and a non-flawless construction, the treatement to Pixel 4XL sets a precedence in this case. Google might take a decision for the Pixel 3 to increase warranty.
Update as of 23 September
Though Google has not officially acknowledged the EDL issue, there are some Reddit reports about Google offering replacement of affected Pixel 3 devices. Due to the lack of sufficient logs to reach the root cause, maybe the Google devs want to get to the bottom of bricking issue practically on the device.
Another Reddit Pixel 3 user has confirmed that the replacement was another Pixel 3. However, Google is charging a repair fee from device protection and want to put a hold of $799 until they receive the bricked phone. No one is ready to spare $799 for a Pixel 3 when the Pixel 6 series is on its way!
Maybe Google wants its loyal users to upgrade to its forthcoming Pixel 6 series! Bricking just in time for the Pixel 6 release. Coincidence? Maybe Google’s way to tell to upgrade.