Google has issued a recall for several Google Pixel smartphones reported to have faulty microphones.
Google stated that the issue is not widespread, but as it is a hardware issue it cannot be fixed via a software update.
Last month the company announced that it would be replacing the defective units, which are believed to have been caused by a hairline crack in the solder connection on the audio codec. The ensuing malfunction can cause all three of the devices microphones to cease operating correctly.
Brian Rakowski, Vice President of Product Management at Google, replied to one customer on the Google forums saying: “We do believe this is a hardware issue. You are correct that software updates will not fix it. We are taking additional steps to qualify refurbished phones to make sure they don’t have this mic problem. It’s possible that some replacement phones were not properly qualified before we understood this issue, but that’s no longer the case.”
Google will replace phones affected by the problem but customers who purchased their devices via a third party retailer may be without a phone until a replacement can be found or ordered in.
The Google Pixel launched in 2016 to critical acclaim, but this isn’t the first time the device has suffered from technical issues. In October, the smartphone suffered from possible lens flares caused by the shape of the camera lens, something which software could only partially fix. The device has also experienced several software bugs including calls, alarms, and music, not working as intended.
Whilst not as widespread as exploding Samsung phones and faulty iPhone batteries, the phone is currently in short supply. Numerous potential customers have been unable to find the handset at retail and a recall may exacerbate this problem.
However, Google recently announced the Pixel 2 which is expected to ship sometime this year.