Android 9 Pie continues to cause a variety of big problems for the USB Type-C ports on the Google Pixel 2 XL, based on an ongoing string of complaints spotted by AndroidHeadlines on Reddit. The majority of the reported issues center around the device either failing to charge rapidly following the update or failing to charge at all and are occurring under a plethora of use cases. Some users claim that it is only the USB-C to USB-C cable included with the handset that fails to work while others report that it doesn't really seem to matter which cable they're trying to use. In some cases, the charging cable is recognized momentarily before the failure happens and the cable still appears to work with other devices, indicating that this is likely a software bug in many instances.
For a smaller percentage of users, it seems as though charging itself works but rapid charging is no longer engaging. Others are stating that charging with the included cable causes the device to shut off entirely, adding some weight to speculations that the problem is predominantly on the software side. Additionally, a few users are reporting that the update has broken the ability to use Android Auto or headphones via USB-C and that similar uses of the port are now broken. That seems to imply that a hardware problem is responsible for at least a few reports of issues with the USB Type-C port on the Pixel 2 XL. Conversely, the entire debacle may be caused by a combination of the two.
Background: Google's hardware has historically been plagued by bugs since the first Pixel-branded handset hit the market. That's been true of the Pixel, Pixel 2, and Pixel 3 in almost equal measure, with reported problems ranging from audio playback issues to complete camera malfunctions. In the latter of those cases, it had even been reported that launching the camera under some circumstances could shut the device down unexpectedly after the software caused the system and hardware to kick into overdrive. Each of the problems noted by the above-mentioned reports has been known by the search giant for some time too. In fact, similar issues have affected the original Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones as well and were expected to be fixed back in September with an update. However, reports from owners of those devices on the new threads indicate that hasn't worked for all devices. Subsequent updates, the most recent of which was the December 2018 Android Security Patch, haven't done much to rectify the situation either.
Impact: By contrast to the number of reports pertaining to problems with Pixel-branded phone hardware, Google's responses have been comparatively lax. While the most recent update did improve performance, patch out some problems with camera hardware, and bring optimizations for Android Auto, the abovementioned problems apparently remain. That's not necessarily going to sit well with buyers who are spending a substantial sum of money for those devices only to have a core functionality like charging or rapid charging broken. The latter of those two issues has been ongoing since before the start of summer. Google is going to need to get out ahead of the problem if it hopes to convince consumers that its offerings are on par with those from the biggest competitors in the mobile space.