Google’s mid-range Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL smartphones have only been on the market a couple of weeks and some users are already complaining of random shutdowns.
Those affected have been posting details of the issue on a number of online forums, though at this stage the precise cause is far from clear. It’s also impossible to determine how many of the new handsets are suffering with the problem.
Reports suggest that after the phone shuts down, users have to perform a hard reset by holding down the power button for up to 30 seconds to get it working again, though it doesn’t necessarily prevent further shutdowns from occurring.
In a Reddit post, one owner described it as a “weird issue” that may be linked to Wi-Fi.
“Whenever I connect to my work Wi-Fi and let the phone sit for ~10 minutes it will require a reboot,” the owner wrote in the post. “It will do the normal lock and then after some time just shutdown, requiring me to hold the power button for ~30 seconds to restart it.”
The owner continued: “For the most part when I’m connected to my home Wi-Fi it will not duplicate this although it has crashed once or twice now at home in the 5 days I have had it. Leaving the phone with Wi-Fi off seems to prevent the crashing all together.”
Someone else suspected the issue might be caused by a third-party app, but after running the device in safe mode, a seemingly random shutdown still occurred.
Another forum poster said three shutdowns happened in a single day, while someone experienced two shutdowns in the space of five days.
Google is yet to publicly acknowledge the issue. We’ve reached out to the company to find out what it has to say and will update if we hear back.
This isn’t the first time Google has experienced problems with its Pixel handsets. Just last week, the company agreed to settle a class action lawsuit brought against it over an issue that affected the original Pixel phone, which launched in 2016. The fault affected the device’s microphone, and while Google acknowledged the problem at the time, it continued to sell the handset and even handed out replacements with exactly the same fault. The settlement means some owners could receive a payout of $ 500.