Users on Google's official support pages are now beginning to fill up with users reporting battery swelling in the Pixel 3 series. Specifically, that's both the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. In fact, the swelling is so bad, in some cases, that the rear panel has separated completely. That's led to some concerns amid commenters that the problem is much bigger than it may seem.
Most newly-reported cases are claimed to trace back to devices bought shortly after the devices launched. The implication is that the battery isn't being damaged right away. That would be closer to what happened with Samsung's Note series fiasco several years back. Instead, the batteries seem to be slowly overheating or are otherwise being damaged over time.
Is this tied to overheating caused by protective cases?
Now, it's not readily apparent what's underlying the battery issue at hand. But one common thread among commenters reporting the issue is a protective case. In most cases, users don't appear to have noticed the issue immediately.
Instead, the problem was noted when the physical hardware keys on protective cases stopped working. Or when the phone would no longer fit in a wireless charging cradle with the case installed.
Summarily, the majority of users appear to have had a case installed. And only noticed the swelling when the case stopped functioning properly or stopped key features failed to work properly. After removing the case, users noticed gaps between the rear panel and the frame of the device. In some cases, that gap was several millimeters wide.
How is Google addressing Pixel 3 battery swelling?
As of this writing, Google has not released any statements on the apparent issue. So it isn't possible to ascertain exactly what the source of the problem is. Or whether or not, or how, the search giant plans to address the issue. The company has reportedly told its customers this should be a one-time issue and shipped out replacement devices.
Additionally, Google is sending replacement phones to users who are already out of warranty. So, unless immediate repair is possible through an official channel, the best course of action will be to contact Google.