The launch of Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL smartphone were a lengthy and much-anticipated process, but like a few other hardware innovations from the company, this one may be falling a little short of the hype. Namely, a number of users have indicated an audio problem with the phone’s speakers which distorts the sound to static at higher volumes.
Conflicting user reports dating back as far as late October indicate that the speaker issue seems to run across multiple apps – some claim that their sound is distorted no matter what app they use, while others state key apps like Spotify and YouTube play just fine. The matter also seems to be limited to sound played through the phone’s external speaker, but doesn’t present a problem when the user engages headphones.
While the first assumption might be that the hardware itself is flawed, some sources have pointed to its software, given that someone has already released an unofficial patch for the phones; this patch basically strips away Pixel’s installed audio driver and replaces it with one that a third party created, which may not sound ideal to some owners of a brand-new Pixel. Also, sources at Mashable reached out to Google for comment on the issue, and were only told that the company is aware of the problem and working on a fix. Short of a product recall for hardware issues, any fix Google could easily issue leans towards a software problem.
Of course, any new hardware is bound to have some issues getting out of the gate, and Pixel has been no exception. While it’s still being hailed as the one of the best Android phones on the market, numerous articles have appeared since its launch, listing its major problem areas. With any innovation, there’s always a risk of not only falling short of the industry’s expectations for the product, but also the risk of comparison to other successes the company may have had.