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Google Support disowns Pixel 5 Display Gap Issue, terms it “normal part of the design”

Google’s latest flagship Pixel 5 was unveiled on September 30. Some of the fresh units have come back with issues related to hardware and assembly line. Pixel 5 owners are reporting a mechanical chink between the screen display and the aluminum frame. The minuscule gap between the plastic bumper of the screen and its frame which is a bioresin-coated aluminum is not bothering people much from a functioning pointing of view.

This is not one of an incident from Google with new launches. Flagship Pixel 4 users had faced a somewhat similar issue of rear glass peel off issues. Few early Pixel 5 owners have taken to Google’s Support Forum and XDA developers to report the assembly issue between the screen and the body. From the images shared, one can see right away the assembly issues.

The fissures are easily visible at the top left corner of the phone, close to the front camera slot, for some at the sides, or even near to the SIM tray. Mostly the images reported are for Just Black color devices and a few Sage Green color ones. Though the gap is difficult to notice in some cases, however, slight squinting can help you. Sharing some of these here for more clarity:

Not many complaints have been logged to date, maybe due to limited units of Pixel 5 sold. Or due to launch in limited regions of the world. Or maybe many would not have noticed or even bothered about the gap much. Some would have thought to use a case to cover it up as long as it was functioning the way it should.

For some who have raised the issue, they have genuine concerns about the poor build quality. They have raised their voice about the effects of the gap on the $699 Pixel 5 have down the line. The first thought coming to mind is the impact on the waterproofing feature.

Pixel 5 device is IP68 rating certified and the owners feel that the gap might cancel the water-resistance. Or it might subsequently lead to display defects or even battery bloat. They fear that the device will no longer be waterproof. Even if Google claims that the not-much-noticeable gap will hinder the functioning, it will still gather dust and certainly not look acceptable on a premium device. Though some have swapped with a new one but the new one also had similar issues.

Google has not come back with an explanation of the assembly flaw and its next course of action. But this has not stopped people from expressing that they will contemplate returning it and giving it a miss only if it hinders the functioning. They are ready to live with the cosmetic defect.

Updated as of October 29th

One of the complainants posted a reply he received on the issue from Google Support Team. The Support considered the gap “is part of the design and there’s no concern for waterproofing or dust”. The reply has angered Pixel 5 users who feel that the “normal part of the design” should be applicable for all the devices. Maybe the assurance of IP68 being unaffected is because the IP68 is not covered by the warranty. 

“Thank you for contacting Google Support! This is in regards to the chat conversation you had earlier. My name is Nick, one of the supervisor with Google Support. I’ve checked with my resources and it seems that you are enquiring about the enclosure gap in Pixel 5 device. The variation in the clearance between the body and the display is a normal part of the design of the Pixel 5 devices and has no effect on the waterproof and dustproof rating or functionality of these phones.I assure you that your device will work perfectly fine. If you have any other concern, please let us know. We will be happy to help! Thanks!
The Google Support Team”

The support staff straightaway lying about the existence of the defect certainly sets the alarm bells ringing. Earlier it had been brought to light that Google is in the process of investigating the Pixel 5 display issue. Users are waiting to hear from Google to confirms that it is not a manufacturing assembly defect else they will initiate a return. However, the reply does not bode well and reinstates the feeling that Google might not issue any sort of official statement. 

If you are planning to buy a Google Pixel 5, it is advisable to hold on till we get the official word from Google. Till then keep a tab on this news!

Crazy about technology, sports, cinema, my colleagues, and useless anecdotes. Far too connected and curious. When I'm not on my smartphone, you can find me tinkering anything tech!


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