The Google Pixel 3 has been riddled with bugs since it launched last month. Google has slowly come around to saying that it is working on a fix for virtually all of these issues, and the latest is the buzzing/distorted speaker bug that some users are seeing on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL (more on the Pixel 3 XL than the smaller model). Google is working on a fix for this issue, however, but there's no idea when the issue will actually be fixed. Many are hoping that the fix will roll out with the December security update, which is only a couple of weeks away, but we'll have to wait and see. Google has a number of bugs that it is planning on fixing rather soon, including the bug that is deleting text messages for Pixel 3 users.
This bug that some users are facing, happens when some alerts, or sounds are played on the speakers. It will give off a buzzing sound, it doesn't happen whenever there is audio playing, just specific volumes and sound. It appears to be happening on low and mid-range frequencies, so if you're listening to a bass-heavy song, you can probably hear it. It is also not happening to everyone, but judging by the number of complaints on Twitter and Reddit, there seems to be a large amount of people suffering from this issue, unfortunately. It's good to see that Google is planning on fixing this issue, though this shouldn't have been an issue in the first place, as this shows that Google's quality control leaves something to be desired – especially when you pair this with the long running list of other bugs that are happening with the Pixel 3.
Background: The Pixel 3 launched in mid-October, and while many were not too happy with the price and some of the specs of the phone, it has still been pretty popular. It comes in two sizes, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL and starts at $799, following the smartphone trend of raising prices. Since the phone launched, there has been an endless number of bugs and other issues happening with the Pixel 3. Whether it was pictures not being saved when you take them with the camera, text messages disappearing, the Pixel 3 XL growing a second notch on the right side of the display randomly, or the speaker having a buzzing or distorted sound coming out of it. And that's only naming a few of the many bugs. It really shows that Google's quality control is really not up to snuff. But then there is the flip side. With a high-profile phone like the Pixel 3, there are people that are going to be looking for every single little issue with the phone. It happens with all high-profile smartphones, and even with the iPhone XS that launched the month before that – one of the big bugs with the iPhone XS was the fact that it wouldn't charge if the display was off when you plugged it in.
As with any smartphone, though, Google is going to be pushing out a few bug fixing updates that are going to solve a number of these issues that users have been complaining about. Which is definitely a good thing for everyone, especially those waiting to buy a Google Pixel 3. But these are also issues that should have been fixed before the device was announced. It leads many to think that Google really did not even test out the device before launching it in October. Which is very unlikely, but that is what it looks like here. Hopefully there will be no more bugs and after the December Security Patch, everything will be rosey from here on out, though that is unlikely too. While these bugs are fixable, it does damage the reputation of the Pixel 3. For instance, those that might have been wanting to buy the Pixel 3, may have decided to get a different phone because the Pixel 3 has so many bugs. So they bought something like the Samsung Galaxy Note9 or the LG V40 ThinQ, both of which have great cameras and almost the same price tag. It means that Google could be losing out on sales, though as long as they are buying other Android smartphones, Google isn't losing out on users, so there's that at least.
Impact: This issue with the speaker is not affecting everyone, and that is at least a good thing. For example, we are not able to reproduce it here on the Pixel 3's that we have here at AndroidHeadlines. But that's not to say that others aren't experiencing this issue, they are. Unfortunately for Google, it seems to be affecting the vocal minority that bought the Pixel 3, and they are making sure that everyone knows about it. Some users have reported that the issue has actually gone away by itself on the Pixel 3, which is a bit refreshing, it is not going away for most users.
The quick resolution for this issue is to RMA your Pixel 3 with Google, which means that you'll be without a smartphone for a bit, and you could end up getting a new Pixel 3 that also has the same issue, which is going to be unfortunate. But at least Google believes it can be fixed with a software update. Which it should be able to, seeing as this is only happening with select Pixel 3's and not all of them, so it sounds more like a software issue rather than a hardware issue. But this is a bit like deja vu with the Pixel 2 XL last year, when the display had all sorts of issues – the main one being the blue tint that Google "fixed" with a software update by giving users an option to make the display more saturated. It was more of a band-aid than fixing the issue though. Hopefully Google is able to roll out this fix for the Pixel 3 XL pretty soon, and hopefully with the December Security update, but that has not been confirmed just yet, and won't be until it is out.