A number of Pixel 7 owners are reporting a serious hardware issue with their smartphones’ rear cameras, with varying levels of success in Google’s support.
According to this thread on Google’s official support forum, as well as several reports on Reddit, some Pixel 7 rear camera lenses are spontaneously breaking, apparently without any user-inflicted damage.
One owner discovered, while removing the smartphone from a padded jacket, that “the rear camera glass has a puncture right in the middle of the phone and is shattered, rendering the wide-angle lens unusable.” Others later shared similar experiences, saying “Same problem here, never dropped or bumped and in its protective case.” and “Same problem here with the pause in the exact same place!”
Perhaps the most startling account comes from an unlucky user on Google’s support forum who says, “Same here! The phone was on the table, the camera up, and just… popped! »
Elsewhere, Twitter user Heydon Faber reports the same problem, along with a photo as proof, attributing the problem to a manufacturing defect. Others then responded that they were suffering from similar issues, further claiming that Google had been unwilling to fix the problem, which would cost hundreds of dollars to fix.
The official’s subsequent responses Made by Google suggest that Google is taking the issue seriously, but with no suggestion at this point of a free replacement or repair. The most common answer so far seems to be that Google is not prepared to cover this defect under warranty. However, at least one Pixel 7 Pro owner in this Reddit thread appears to have managed to secure a free replacement directly from Google.
It’s unclear at this point what could be causing the problem, although there is speculation that it could be related to rapid changes in temperature. In any case, with the number of reports continuing to grow, I hope Google will issue an official statement on this, as responses to date appear to be limited to direct responses to individuals.
If you have experienced the problem yourself, I recommend that you contact Google or your reseller and explain the problem. I would refrain from paying for expensive repairs for now, until we know if the issue will be officially acknowledged and a free repair path offered.
This isn’t the first time smartphone lenses that spontaneously break have become a problem. Similar issues hit Samsung in 2016 with the Galaxy S7, then again in 2020 with the Galaxy S20 Ultra. Fortunately, unfortunate edge cases like these are very rare compared to the total number of smartphones sold, but this can make it difficult for the manufacturer to identify the causes of the problem and delay any resolution.
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