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 inches
    2160 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 12.2 MP (Single camera)
    8 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
    4GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, not expandable
  • Battery 2915 mAh
  • OS Android 11

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