Some Pixel 4 XL units have a potentially dangerous condition

Some Pixel 4 XL units have a potentially dangerous condition
UPDATE: Google has responded on Reddit by noting that the peeling of the rear cover has nothing to do with the Pixel 4 battery. The statement reads, "We’ve investigated the issue and concluded that this is not related to the Pixel battery. If you’re experiencing back glass lift on your Pixel 4/4XL, we recommend reaching out to 1:1 support to explore warranty options. We’re here to help and want to make sure your Pixel 4/4XL is operating properly."

It's funny how in the English language the same word can have several different meanings depending on the context. For example, we can say that the battery on the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max is swell since it can deliver long-lasting battery life. Now stick with us here. Recently some Reddit subscribers also used the word swell when discussing the battery on their Pixel 4 XL. But this time the word swell has a completely different connotation.

Pixel 4 XL battery problem leads to other issues


These Pixel 4 XL users have noticed that the back panel of their phone is beginning to "peel off." And the reason for this is that the battery inside these units is beginning to swell. And that folks, is not swell. According to a Reddit post, the rear peeling is due to battery failure. One phone doc writes that "This is caused by battery failure due to faulty connectors. That leads to battery swelling. It is a MAJOR issue with the 4xl series and I don't understand why Google is not supporting it properly. The battery connectors on many 4xl phones are brittle and break apart with even normal use. I've gotten multiple on the job trainings about it, which also say I should NEVER tell customers that it is a 'known issue'! They're an absolute nightmare to work on in any way, and my store actually loses money if one is checked in for a repair. Given how much time it takes me as the most senior technician present to do the work costs more than Google pays."


Obviously, this is not a good thing and the original thread came from a Pixel 4 XL user who says that he never abused the phone (perhaps he only took it to Church every Sunday) and his interactions with Google have not been what you might call positive. The company actually told multiple Pixel 4 XL owners to take their phones to a third-party repair center and Pixel users are getting restless. One post read, "Yes I think it's ridiculous for a supposed flagship phone to have adhesive coming off less than a year and Google won't stand by the product. Don't get me wrong I'm a huge fan of Android and of the Pixel camera but so far this has been a really disappointing response to an obvious quality control issue."

There is a simple low-tech workaround according to one Redditor who is missing the point here. He suggests using Gorilla Glue to get the peeling cover to stick together, but that doesn't address the root of the problem which is the swelling battery. And while we always get attacked for bringing it up, the explosive nature of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is proof that you don't want to go anywhere near a swollen battery.

One Pixel 4 XL user with the same issue did receive a replacement unit from Google but it quickly started to suffer from the same exact problem as this consumer's original unit did. Not only does this look bad for Google, but a look through the thread also reveals that Google's customer service seems to be unable to help the majority of Redditors who wrote about the problem. Google told one Pixel 4 XL owner that his Pixel's IMEI (unique ID number) belonged to an unknown third-party email address and wouldn't reveal it for security purposes. As a result, he couldn't obtain a replacement as Google keeps asking for the email associated with the device.

Google needs to address all of the issues that are uncovered here: The swelling batteries, the peeling of the rear panel, and the problems with customer service. If Google can fix all of these problems, it would be swell.

Related phones

Pixel 4 XL
  • Display 6.3 inches
    3040 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 12.2 MP (Dual camera)
    8 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
    6GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, not expandable
  • Battery 3700 mAh
  • OS Android 10

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