New Pixel 3 Bug Renders Best Feature Useless

One of the most interesting phones of the year can't seem to get out of its own way.

The new Google Pixel 3 XL displayed at an event on October 9, 2018 in New York City.
Drew Angerer / Getty Images

One of the most interesting phones of the year can't seem to get out of its own way.

The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL from Google have been hailed by many as the most innovated smartphones of the year. It is an amazing achievement to get such public support given that they are competing in the same category as the iPhone and Galaxy S line of phones.

Unfortunately, the launch of the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL have been marred by one fatal bug after another, proving that Google has not improved quality control since the launch of the first Pixel two years ago. It is fair to say the launch has been plagued with issues. Engadget reports on the latest bug, one that disables the phone’s camera.

“Pixel 3 owners are dealing with another software glitch, and this one could prove to be a showstopper for some. Owners on Google’s forums, Reddit and elsewhere (including an Engadget staff family member) report a flaw that prevents them from using the Pixel 3’s official camera app. Some get a ‘fatal error’ message when they use the camera app, while others will get a ‘can’t connect to camera’ message in a third-party app and lose access from then onward. Rebooting only temporarily fixes the issue, and it can occur even if you’ve factory-reset the phone or are using Safe Mode.”

To modify an old saying, the best smartphone camera in the world is one that actually works. Despite the numerous accolades, the Pixel 3 isn’t without its flaws. Google is no doubt working on the problem round the clock, until it demonstrably fixed. But this is the type of bug which users may not be so quick to forgive. A premium smartphone without a working camera is likely to be returned, and likely to elicit aggravated reviews.

The last time that a smartphone had a problem this prominent was the case of the Galaxy Note 7, notable for some iterations of the handset randomly catching on fire — injuring people and destroying property. Samsung was forced to recall the phone, per CNET.

This bug may not be equivalent in consumer impact to a flaming Note 7. But it is just the latest in a long line of bugs for the Pixel 3.

In late October, Tech2 reported on a number of bugs pertaining to the newest Pixel product soon after launch. There was a RAM issue, making it impossible for anything to stay in memory. There were also audio and microphone issues, and now — serious image capture issues.

Will Google be able to tamp down this recent rash of serious bugs for their premiere smartphone products? Time will tell.