Google might have an angry mob at its doorsteps if this latest revelation about the Google Pixel will be confirmed to be the final word about the smartphone. Already riddled by bugs or hardware issues, the first “made by Google” smartphone might end up looking like a rushed disaster, though to a lesser extent than the Galaxy Note 7. That’s because the cracking audio problems reported by some users are, according to a “top-tier” Googgle Support specialist, is actually caused by hardware and, therefore, can’t be fixed through software alone.
Last month, the Google Pixel’s list of defects was increased by one when users started noticing static or cracking sounds under certain circumstances. Those circumstances mostly revolve around playing music or videos at max volumes. It was initially speculated to be simply an audio issue and, indeed, installing some third party ROM with a “fix” seems to have banished the cracking away.
“Not so fast!”, says the unnamed Google Support rep. According to him/her, the issue is actually caused by hardware on a select “few” devices. This went contrary to a previous Google Tech Support promise that a software update will be coming to fix the problem. Apparently, what the earlier fix simply did was really limit the maximum volume that the speakers could reach, thereby preventing the issue from being triggered in the first place.
Perhaps more worrying is that the support rep claims that Google isn’t offering any refund for affected devices. It will only honor the warranty service, which could mean replacing the device with a new one. But as the original report indicated, even replacement units were similarly affected. And since Google isn’t saying exactly which select builds are known to exhibit the issue, current and future owners are left in the dark.
The Google Pixel should be the company’s crowning glory in the Android smartphone market. For the most part, it still is. But it has started to show its warts and might also be revealing Google’s style of customer service in the process.