Google unveiled the new Pixel 6 phones, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, with much fanfare back in October. But as with most other releases early into launch, the two phones suffer from a host of issues, which many users are now reporting about online.
If you plan to buy a Pixel 6 phone or already own one, it’s, of course, important to be aware of these issues. So here’s a rundown of some of the more irritating and problematic ones and potential fixes for them, if any.
There have been numerous reports that recently surfaced online about how the Pixel 6 was ghost-dialling contacts randomly. The issue is said to come from a bug in the hotword detection of Google Assistant. Users said that the artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistant would dial different contacts during different times of the day even when it’s not commanded to do so.
Some reports have also suggested that this issue might not be limited to the Pixel 6, with some Pixel 3A and Pixel 4A users saying they had similar experiences.
Google has reportedly already rolled out a patch to resolve the issue. In case the update has not reached your device yet, you can always disable hotword detection for your Google Assistant to stop it from ghost-dialling contacts. You can also clear the Google app’s cache and reset its settings, which will temporarily fix the issue.
Fingerprint Scanner Problems
Many users have pointed to the fingerprint scanner as being slow, unresponsive or even downright broken.
One of the more common complaints is that the under-display scanner isn’t very good at reading fingerprints. Google has since addressed this, saying that you have to press your fingers firmly on the screen when scanning. You also have to regularly wipe your screen, ensuring that it’s free of any dirt or smudges that might interfere with the readings.
Google said there’s no definite solution for the slowness yet, blaming the issue on "enhanced security algorithms", according to TechRadar. But the site says the tech giant can just as easily optimise this security process in the future if it wants to.
A number of users have also said the fingerprint scanner stops functioning entirely if you let the battery run out completely. The only solution, for now, is to factory reset your phone. Obviously, it’s a hassle having to redownload all your apps and files again. So if you want to avoid having to go through with this, make sure to never let your battery run completely flat.
If it’s any consolation, the problem doesn’t affect all Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro units. Additionally, it seems to be a software issue that Google can eventually patch, rather than a hardware issue.
Users have noted that lightly tapping the power button on the Pixel 6 phones while they’re off can cause the screen to flicker.
Google has already acknowledged this issue, noting that it’s working on a fix which it plans to release in December. For now, it recommends that you avoid cycling the power button while the device is off. When pressing the power button, you also want to hold it long enough until you see your Pixel 6 turn on.
Missing Magic Eraser
A recent update to Google Photos has reportedly removed the Magic Eraser tool for some Pixel 6 users. The Magic Eraser is a tool on Google’s photo-sharing service that lets you easily remove unwanted objects or people from your photos. It’s a feature that’s exclusive to the Pixel 6 lineup and is one of the more advertised advantages of using Google Photos on the new phones.
The Verge claims that Google has already pulled the latest Google Photos update from the Play Store. If you’ve already downloaded the update, however, you could be affected by this issue. But don’t worry; Google is already working on a fix, which it says will come out shortly. Those who weren’t able to update should be able to continue to use the Magic Eraser tool as normal.
No 30W Charging
Google touted that the Pixel 6 was getting a bump in charging speeds, upping it from the 18W of the previous models to 30W. Upon testing, though, Android Authority found that the new Pixels top out at 22W instead of the promised 30W, even if you’re using the appropriate charger.
Google has yet to comment on this discovery, so, as of right now, there’s really no saying whether this is an issue or an intentional design decision. If it’s the latter, users could say that the company falsely advertised their product. It’s also not known whether this is a software or hardware issue. All we can do for this one is to wait.
Overheating and Battery Drain
Several users on a Reddit thread have also reported that their Pixel 6 phones would heat up randomly. It's still unclear what's causing temperatures to rise, with cases varying from user to user.
Some, for instance, said they noticed it get warm during the initial setup process and when updating apps. Others, meanwhile, said they felt it heat up when browsing on social media platforms like TikTok or streaming videos. Temperatures on his Pixel 6 Pro could go up to as high as 39°C (102.2°F), according to one user.
There are also some users who said they observed their phone's batteries draining a lot faster than usual. One said that he saw the battery drain 1% per minute with the battery saver mode turned on. A couple of others shared similar issues with their battery. Whether this issue is connected to the overheating problem is not yet known.
Because Google has yet to acknowledge these issues directly, there are no definite fixes as of yet. However, one user pointed out that turning off 5G helped the phone maintain a normal temperature. Another said doing a factory reset helped solve the problem. These are worth trying if you need an immediate fix. If none of them proves effective, maybe it's best to just wait for Google to continue optimising the device in the coming months.