No, Pixel 3 owners, your eyes are fine; it's the rear camera that is shaking



Complaints can be found on Google's forum called Pixel Phone Help, and on Reddit (via Android Police) from Pixel 3 owners complaining that the rear camera on their phones will shake or vibrate. One person writing on Google's support forum says that "when I open the camera app on my Pixel 3 to take a photo or record video, the image sent to the display is distorted as if the camera was shaking violently." He adds that opening and closing the app a number of times will eventually stop this from happening. But obviously, this prevents him from taking photos at the spur of the moment.

One response from a Google "Platinum Product Expert" suggests that the issue is with the "Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) component of the camera." Ironically, this feature keeps the camera still during video recording. He recommends that the phone be opened in safe mode and the camera tested to make sure that the issue wasn't being caused by a third-party app. If the problem persists in safe mode, he says to call Pixel support about having the device repaired or replaced under warranty. However, another Pixel 3 owner called support and was told to uninstall camera updates and launch the camera in safe mode. When those two attempts failed to fix the problem, Google support's last option included the two words that no one wants to hear; "factory reset." But that failed to stop the rear camera on the Pixel 3 from having the shakes, so this person is now awaiting a replacement unit.

The shaking or vibrating issue seems to only be found on the Pixel 3 rear camera, and the Pixel 3 XL does not appear to be affected. Shared video taken with an affected unit shows the image distorting and then "vibrating." It is obvious immediately that there is something wrong with the phone's camera. And if it is a hardware issue, as it seems to be, the only thing that Google can do is repair or replace units under warranty. The Pixel 3 was launched on October 18th, 2018 which means that all models should still be covered by the one-year limited warranty.

Google will need to tighten its manufacturing process for the upcoming Pixel 4 line


The Pixels have been known to have issues when first launched and software updates released by Google usually take care of these problems. Back in 2017, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL had so many issues when first released that a law firm recruited owners of the device to join a class action suit against Pixel manufacturers HTC, LG and Google. Some of the problems that Pixel users faced included a screen burn-in on the Pixel 2 XL, and the Pixel 2 suffered from clicking and whistling noises heard during phone calls.


Google is going to have to tighten up its manufacturing and quality control if it wants the much more ambitious Pixel 4 series to be seen as a challenger to the Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S models. First of all, the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL will sport multiple cameras on the back for the first time. Google has already revealed that the new Pixel models will sport a secure facial recognition system that will challenge Apple's Face ID, but the most important new feature appears to be called Motion Sense. This uses Google's own Soli technology to allow users to control certain aspects of the phone by using hand gestures. Since this technology involves the use of radar, it can be complex. Google says that users will be able to skip songs, snooze alarms and silence phone calls with a wave of their hand. But if Google wants the Pixel brand to compete in the upper echelon of the smartphone industry, the Pixel 4 line must come out of the box without any serious issues.

If Google sticks with its MO, we should see the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL greet the light of day sometime in October.

Related phones

Pixel 3
  • Display 5.5" 1080 x 2160 pixels
  • Camera 12.2 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, Octa-core, 2500 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 2915 mAh

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25 Comments

1. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1318; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

Could be a hardware calibration issue.

2. meanestgenius

Posts: 21778; Member since: May 28, 2014

"The Pixels have been known to have issues when first launched and software updates released by Google usually take care of these problems. Back in 2017, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL had so many issues when first released that a law firm recruited owners of the device to join a class action suit against Pixel manufacturers HTC, LG and Google. Some of the problems that Pixel users faced included a screen burn-in on the Pixel 2 XL, and the Pixel 2 suffered from clicking and whistling noises heard during phone calls." It's documented facts like these that I usually mention concerning Pixels. These aren't myths or exaggerated claims. Pixels really do suffer from a multitude of issues, both hardware and software. This article is just bringing to light another issue. "Google is going to have to tighten up its manufacturing and quality control if it wants the much more ambitious Pixel 4 series to be seen as a challenger to the Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S models." "But if Google wants the Pixel brand to compete in the upper echelon of the smartphone industry, the Pixel 4 line must come out of the box without any serious issues." Two more things that I've been saying about Pixels. These are not things that are being fabricated, and I've never once made a comment about Pixel issues that couldn't be verified. Google has got to get it together with the QC. If the Pixel 4 line continues the generation after generation issues of that the Pixels have been suffering from, they will have all but ended any chance of anyone taking them as serious competition in the high end smartphone category.

3. VariableCheapskate

Posts: 103; Member since: May 29, 2019

funny how all the overpriced flagships and "mid-rangers" (a phone without memory expansion is hardly a mid ranger for the lesser specs let's be honest here) have all these QC issues but none of the sub $300 phones do. Interesting. Interesting...

4. DolmioMan

Posts: 314; Member since: Jan 08, 2018

Nobody cares enough to report them on a sub $300 phone.

5. VariableCheapskate

Posts: 103; Member since: May 29, 2019

At least you can repair them without having to spend the equivalent of a new phone.

9. Venom

Posts: 3410; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

Oh they do. I've seen a multitude of complaints about the Nokia phones that have been having issues with the charging port going out. One only has to look at Amazon to see for yourself. I had to return my 6.1 because I kept having problems with lag and stuttering along with it heating up.

16. AlienKiss

Posts: 137; Member since: May 21, 2019

Were you expecting 3310 quality? Now it's just another cheap china brand with a known logo on it. Same goes for Blackberry, Sharp, Motorola. Always leave from the premise that if something is too cheap, there's something wrong with it. Those 100-200$ saved by not buying a better product will eventually go on service centers, not to mention the stress and annoying waiting. I'd rather pay more and never hustle with service centers and bad customer service. The Pixels never interested me because they don't have the SD card slot. Better go for Samsung, Sony next time.

7. User123456789

Posts: 830; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

True .. Also low ends made few years ago did not even screen protection. They could easily resist many accidents without having broken screen. Flagships break much easier.

11. meanestgenius

Posts: 21778; Member since: May 28, 2014

@VariableCheapskate Isn't it, though? While there are some low end smartphones that have issues, it's the high end ones that you see with the most issues, and it's the Pixels with the most issues out of all Android smartphones. There are those that will deflect from this here and bring up other smartphones in an effort to try and take the light off Google and it's Pixel line, bit only needs to do a cursory Google search (pun intended) to see the plethora of issues that the Pixel line faces.

18. Venom

Posts: 3410; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

You have some people who incorrectly state that the Pixel phones have the most issues which is not the case. They have about as much issues as the other OEMs do. Lord knows how many bloody issues LG has. Bootloops anyone? Huawei, don't even get me started. The hypocrisy of some people is never ending. That being said, like I said before, people have had issues with QC on midrange devices. Case in point, Nokia has been having issues with the charging port of their phones and the list of complaints continue to grow.

23. meanestgenius

Posts: 21778; Member since: May 28, 2014

As you can see, some people insist on deflecting from the fact that Pixels are the most problem prone Android smartphones to date. Pixels have also suffered from boot loops, and the deflection and hypocrisy from some are never ending. Instead of Pixel users running interference for Google, they should be complaining the loudest. It’s only a short matter of time before another issue pops up for Pixels.

6. duffnbrew

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 05, 2019

It also affects Pixel 3 XL. My replacement is coming tomorrow.

8. Venom

Posts: 3410; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

Google should acknowledge and fix this issue. Glad to hear from someone that actually "owns" a Pixel and isn't talking out of their backside talking about documented facts and utter bs.

12. meanestgenius

Posts: 21778; Member since: May 28, 2014

This is what I'm talking about. It's great to hear from those that actually own Pixel smartphones that aren't going to deflect from the plethora of ssues that Google is facing with it's Pixel line, and that know about these issues through experience and documented facts, as opposed to trying to deflect and say it's utter BS.

19. Venom

Posts: 3410; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

I hope your issue gets resolved. At least you actually have the device and isn't just someone parking in Pixel articles and getting a full course meal.

24. meanestgenius

Posts: 21778; Member since: May 28, 2014

Hopefully, your replacement Pixel 3XL comes with no issues attached to it out the gate. Always glad to hear from actual users of the devices that aren’t afraid to speak up about the real issues, as opposed to those that park in Pixel articles to run more interceptions than a football player, while attacking other OEM’s knowing full well Googles Pixels are full of issues.

10. KingSam

Posts: 1425; Member since: Mar 13, 2016

Now as an international buyer... Why would I buy a pixel? I sideload gcam with night mode. If that happens in my country I'm screwed.

13. meanestgenius

Posts: 21778; Member since: May 28, 2014

Exactly. So many scenarios concerning these issues that will keep potential buyers away.

20. Venom

Posts: 3410; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

Well I kinda felt the same way when I bought the 7.1, but it was a phone I really wanted at the time. I use my CC on my phone purchases just for the extra protection offered as a benefit. At least you're not like some people who choose to just sit around and spew bs over and over.

25. meanestgenius

Posts: 21778; Member since: May 28, 2014

Glad that you are actually bringing up actual scenarios that could take place and sticking to the topic, as opposed to bringing up other smartphones trying to deflect from the issues that Pixels are having, spewing BS in the process constantly.

17. soy77

Posts: 2; Member since: May 23, 2019

This is the kind of nonsense that made me give up on google products. I used to say that it's a crying shame cuz i love stock android so much. But now that a lot of other more reliable phones are adopting stock or very near stock os, i can gladly say good riddance to my google phones. A bunch of nexus, and an og pixel has made me an expert phone service technician. Which should never be the case for normal people who just want a phone that works. I mean, look at samsung's galaxy or apple's iphone. They're already have solid products on their third iterations. Google on the other hand, after SEVEN generations of nexus, and THREE generations of pixels, are still struggling with the same self-inflicted errors. Same bootloops, same auto shutdowns, same camera errors. I'm convinced that google are not interested in fixing any of them issues, and will continue delivering half baked phones with no quality control to their loyal fanbase. Thankfully I'm not one anymore.

21. Venom

Posts: 3410; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

You think Apple iPhones don't have issues? Lol, have you been under a rock or something? Whenever a new version of ios is released, you have to pray that it's actually a stable version and not something that's going to break your phone like it has done to others in the past. Samsung also has their fair share of issues such as the whole Note 7 fiasco. And some stock Android phones on Android One have a multitude of issues as well. Take this for instance down below: https://nokiamob.net/2019/07/21/nokia-mobile-is-aware-of-the-charging-port-issue-willing-to-address-it/

26. meanestgenius

Posts: 21778; Member since: May 28, 2014

Absolutely agree with your comment. Google has had so many smartphones put out under its brand name, and the same issues persist to this day. I’m not going to attack you like some overzealous fans are doing simply because you made a comment that they don’t agree with, nor will I deflect from the issues that Googles line of smartphones have faced since the beginning by bringing up other smartphones that have less issues than Pixels do. This article right here touches base on the many issues that Pixels have and continue to face, so no need to supply links.

22. ev0trix

Posts: 15; Member since: Sep 08, 2015

I Really, Really, REALLY want a pixel phone and believe in Google as a front runner for Android. However its QC issues like these that keeps me with OnePlus or Samsung. Sure they also have their share of problems but not like the Pixel line...

27. meanestgenius

Posts: 21778; Member since: May 28, 2014

Exactly. Googles has a serious QC issue with its smartphones. OnePlus is an OEM whose products I’m looking to purchase in the near future, as they put out a less-prone-to-issues-product than Google does with its Pixels.

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