A few months ago, right at the heart of the holiday shopping season, my brother– now officially listed as the family black sheep– dumped his iPhone and bought a Google Pixel. Why? Apple wouldn’t sell him a jet black iPhone 7 Plus.
Why not? Was it because of his status as the Miller family’s long lost sheep? No. It had to do with stock. Apple couldn’t sell what it didn’t have so he decided to go with the newly and highly acclaimed Google Pixel XL instead. Google wouldn’t sell him one, either. Once a black sheep, always a black sheep.
So far as we know, the other Miller from the same mother wasn’t on some list shared by Apple and Google. It was a supply thing. So we were told. The ever patient other Mr. Miller decided to wait and was overjoyed when Google under-promised on the delivery order, and over-promised on the actual delivery. As I told my brother, the Google Pixel XL is a great smartphone that compares favorably with Apple’s iPhone 6s Plus. From 2015.
Now it appears the Pixel XL– the only one in the St. Louis Miller Clan owned by the aforementioned brother from the same mother (we had him tested) is one of those lemons that Google is so famous for shipping to customers with money. After just a month or so of use, the Pixel XL’s microphone stopped working.
The Pixel’s camera is great. The screen is wonderful. The size is perfect. The apps are OK if you like lots of Google, and my brother seems capable of handling a new learning curve, but we’ll never know for sure because he can’t talk to anyone in the family thanks to the aforementioned Google Pixel microphone problem.
Google says that a small number of Pixel phones have broken microphones that need to be sent back for replacement.
The issue is seemingly not that widespread. Google claims the issue is present on less than 1 percent of devices — the company also announced that it would replace defective phones last month, and it went largely unnoticed until now.
Well, no. Not quite. Miller folks knew about the problem before now. And, 1-percent? Notice that Google never says how many phones it sells, while Apple’s numbers are public record, but let’s say our favorite family smartphone maker sold about 250-million iPhones last year. At a 1-percent failure rate, that comes to 2.5-million iPhones.
And that’s just the microphone issue. Looks like it hasn’t been smooth sailing for Pixel customers.
The Pixel has mostly enjoyed a smooth, successful launch, but it hasn’t been without its problems. First there was an audio issue that affected playback at high volumes. Then a Bluetooth problem caused random disabling of connected devices. However, while both of those issues were patched via a software update, it looks like a new problem might not have such an easy fix.
That’s the aforementioned microphone problem which prevents the aforementioned Miller brother from talking to anyone. Not that we’re complaining.
Where’s Google’s Store?
Look, things happen. We all know that. Electronic devices are not made to last forever. Or, even a few months. But when something goes wrong it’s good to know there’s someone or someplace at the Mall where repairs and technical support can be found.
Nobody does tech support on our gadgets better than Apple and though Google implemented a replacement program on the many hundreds of Pixels with problems– they did say 1-percent, so I made a guesstimate on the total sold– that also means no phone for awhile. My wife’s iPhone died a year ago. It just stopped doing anything. We stopped by the Apple Store, they looked at dark phone, enmasse actually, ran some unsuccessful tests, then the Genius left the counter for awhile and came back later with a new iPhone. Five stars for AppleCare.
Meanwhile, the Miller brother who must have come from another mother, is still waiting for his Google Pixel XL while scouring eBay and Gazelle to see what it’s worth before it’s too late.
It’s too late.
If it’s one thing the rest of the Miller Clan has learned, it’s this; buy from someone you can talk to face to face.