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Google paying original Pixel owners up to $500 because they got crappy phones

*raises hand* Yep, me included (probably)

google pixel and pixel xl
Image: Flickr / Maurizio Pesce

If you’ve been following my Google device issues, it’s been a long road with no end in sight. Still, it’s good to know that I wasn’t alone with my string of issues. Users of the original Pixel started complaining about microphone issues after the launch in 2016. That lead to a class action suit, filed in February 2018, which Google has decided to settle this year.

The defect mentioned in the class action is a manufacturing issue with the device’s microphone circuitry. Google knew about this and kept on selling the devices anyway. In March 2017, the company admitted the fault, traced back to a “hairline crack in the solder connection on the audio codec,” and said that it affected roughly 1-percent of the original Pixel range.

At the time, Brian Rakowski, a VP of Product Management at Google, said on Google’s support forums that the microphone issues plaguing users was hardware based, and couldn’t be fixed with software updates. He also mentions issues with the Pixel 2’s microphones, which is part of another class action suit.

Based on temperature changes or the way you hold the phone, the connection may be temporarily restored, and the problems may go away

Those users with affected devices got warranty replacement devices with the same issue, which the suit alleges that Google didn’t take definitive action to rectify. While I did have the microphone issues on my Pixel XL multiple times, most of my devices were replaced due to issues with charging.

Google will pay up to $500 to class action members who experienced multiple device failures (original device plus replacements)

If only one device was faulty, they’re still in line for a $350 payout or $20 for anyone who owned a Pixel but didn’t report the issue. If you were out of warranty and had a third-party repair your device, your share of the $7,250,000 settlement will be decided on an individual basis. Contact the law firm handling the suit if you owned a Pixel so you can get added.

With class action suits against the Nexus 6P (ongoing), Nexus 5X (and every LG phone from that year), multiple suits to do with the OG Pixel, and the Pixel 2, is the Pixel line doomed? I couldn’t find any to do with the Pixel 3 at this time, but with the issues I’ve experienced and seen online – it’s only a matter of time.

Hopefully, now that Google has full control of the hardware and software of its Pixel line, the quality control issues can be brought under control. The latest Pixels, the 3a and 3a XL, were designed and built in-house, in the Taiwanese device division that Google purchased from HTC last year. Prior to this, LG and Huawei were the manufacturing partners and Asus or HTC for some phones back when the Nexus line was still active.

What do you think? Will you be getting any money from Google? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r and unabashed geek. Hardware guy here at KnowTechie, if it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't) I probably have one around here somewhere. My hobbies include photography, animation and hoarding Reddit gold.

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