Pixel 6, Pixel 7 users switching to iPhone, Galaxy due to serious bugs: Google is sabotaging itself!

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
Pixel 6, Pixel 7 users switching to iPhone, Galaxy due to serious bugs: Google is sabotaging itself!
I started my tenure here at PhoneArena back in the spring of 2021 - right about the same time when Google began its own journey of reinventing the Pixel flagship. The Pixel 6 series was released in the fall of 2021 when I pre-ordered my $900 Pixel 6 Pro, and the rest is history… A history of bugs for about ten months straight.

Fast forward two years later, who would’ve thought that between me and Google, the one still settling into their new role would be… Google. Needless to say, unfortunately, I had to part ways with my Pixel 6 Pro. I switched to an iPhone 13 (mini) about a year ago, which despite being far less attractive and somewhat boring, gave me the reliability, which I look for when I simply need to get things done.

Well, as it turns out, I’m not the only one who’s done or soon-to-be-done with Google’s buggy Pixel experience. That’s indicated by two recent news stories about Google’s Pixel devices - I believe the titles speak for themselves…

Whether that’s a result of Google being relatively new to the smartphone game, or the limited availability of Pixels (which sell in less than 15 countries), the majority of people around the world don’t seem to be interested in buying Pixel phones (or buying another Pixel phone). In fact, according to Statista, Google’s largest market share seems to be in Australia - a whopping 5.4%. For comparison, Apple takes up almost 50% of the smartphone market in Aussieland.

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But hold on! How come aren’t people flocking to buy a new Pixel 7a, Pixel 7, or a Pixel 7 Pro? They are quite literally some of the best value smartphones on the market right now, so… what’s going on? Well, similar to the Pixel 6 series, new Pixel phones are still somewhat buggy. And frankly, I don’t know how many attempts Google will need to get it right, but it seems like people (like me and you) are running out of patience…

Can Google ever get it right?

Google’s anti-record continues; various bugs make Pixel 7 Pro basically unusable (now fixed); green screen issues persist for some users

Whether it comes as a surprise or not, Pixel 7 phones continue experiencing bizarre bugs, just like the 2021 Pixel 6 series of phones did for almost a whole year into their existence.

You might’ve heard about the battery drain bug, which took social media by storm. Apparently, the reason behind the unusual battery drain issue was Google’s own Google App, which comes pre-installed on Pixel phones. Two things about how Google handled the situation stand out:

  • The bug was addressed pretty much instantaneously after it was discovered and reported by several Pixel users

  • Google issues a short statement saying: “A recent Google App backend change unintentionally resulted in a subset of Android devices experiencing accelerated battery drain. We rolled out a fix shortly after becoming aware of the issue…”

Of course, although bugs seem to be bothering Pixel phones a bit too often, they are something that no phone is immune to, so Google’s timely response was great to see. However, saying that “a subset of Android devices” were experiencing the battery drain issue, when we didn’t necessarily see reports of other Android phones with the same bug, does seem a bit… bizarre.

But hey… Perhaps I’m overthinking it. Maybe Google wanted to get ahead of things, making sure all Android users who might’ve experienced the battery drain bug were addressed in this message - you know, just in case they were affected by the same problems. Who knows…

Unacceptable home button bug made my Pixel 7 Pro almost impossible to use; Google took a while to fix the issue (attach video)

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But here’s another one, which (unlike the battery drain issue) affected my very own Pixel 7 Pro unit for what felt like a couple of months. Note that the bug seems to be gone after I installed the May update. Regardless, I guess it’s a good time to share my bad experience.

As you can see in the video I’ve attached, for no apparent reason, my Pixel 7 Pro’s virtual home button would become completely unresponsive, leaving me with no way to “go back home”. The only option to “get around it” would be to use the back button instead, which completely kills the app you were in, or put the phone to sleep and wake it up. This might very well be the most annoying bug I’ve experienced on Pixel since the days of the Pixel 6 Pro.

I have to note that the Pixel 7 Pro isn’t my primary phone, which means I didn’t really have to put up with the bugs, but this particular issue persisted for what feels like a couple of months, almost every time I tried using the phone. But what if the Pixel 7 Pro was my only phone?

Anyway… I can only assume what I call the “home button freeze” bug was ignored by Google because this is no longer the default system navigation method on Pixel/Android. That being said, this isn’t an excuse. The fact that I prefer using my Pixel 7 Pro with on-screen navigation buttons instead of swipe gestures shouldn’t make my experience of using the phone (dramatically) worse, or nearly impossible.

Some Pixel 7 Pro units continue having display issues eight months after original launch, affected Pixel users complain online; is it a software or a hardware problem?

While I haven’t experienced this problem on my Pixel 7 Pro (again, I don’t use the phone as my primary device), several users have taken it on Reddit to complain about a persisting display issue where Pixel 7 Pro screens would start flickering in various colors of the rainbow (mostly green).

According to forum posts and comments, the Pixel 7 Pro’s screen issues date back to late 2022. In other words, it seems like Google hasn’t been able to fix the Pixel 7’s display issues in over six months now. Users say that the company is helpful in terms of arranging replacements, which have solved the display issue. However, on several occasions, the replacement phones would continue experiencing similar display problems.

It’s speculated that the Pixel 7 Pro’s display problems might be an isolated case, affecting a handful of users. People were hoping a software update would be able to address the display issues but this is becoming unlikely, considering the issue might be related to the hardware of the Pixel 7 Pro. Some have found that disabled the Always-on display helps. Another speculation is that the Tensor G2 chip inside the phone overheats causing the display to start flickering and flashing.

Pixel 7 Pro users seem ready to switch to iPhone/Galaxy

Pixel 8 and Android 14: How many attempts does Google need to get it right before Pixel users switch to iPhone or Galaxy?

Google Pixel phones in 2023 show us that Google has changed in a few different ways...

For example, the big selling point of the Pixel 7 is no longer the industry-leading camera performance. Of course, that’s because the Pixel 7 Pro doesn’t have the best smartphone camera - in my view, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra does. Instead, the biggest standout “feature” about Google’s phones is their awesome prices compared to the iPhones and Galaxies.

But Google’s phones have changed in another way too. Instead of the mediocre performance of a “flagship” like the Pixel 5, the primary issue with Pixel phones today is their software reliability. This is extra ironic, considering Google makes the Android, which all other Android phone-makers use. Forget processors and camera sensors, why would a Samsung phone be more reliable than a Google phone?

The facts are facts. Pixels are now known as buggy, unreliable Android phones, which also happen to cost less money. But that begs the question… What is a good value phone? A good set of specs for the money you pay, or a reliable phone? The new Pixel 7a, Pixel 7, and Pixel 7 Pro might be the best value Android phones on the market but is that only on paper now?

In other words, are Pixel phones a good deal only until you start using them and discover how unreliable they can be? Again, this isn’t everyone’s experience but I’m saying this as someone who used the Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and Pixel 7 Pro for extended periods of time.

  • How many attempts does Google need to get it right before Pixel users switch to iPhone or Galaxy?
  • Considering the issues with previous and current Google phones, how is Google expecting people to pay $1,800 for a Pixel Fold, which might turn out to be buggy too?

Plenty of food for thought here. One thing is for sure, I certainly wouldn’t pre-order a Google phone ever again, let alone one that costs $1,800. Can Google ever get it right, and when? Is it going to be too late?

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