Tech

Mysterious bug is turning Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL into bricks

A hot potato: Although buttery smooth stock Android and top-notch camera performance make Google’s Pixel phones stand out from the competition, the devices have also had their fair share of hardware and software problems across several generations. The latest issue appears to be a major one, targeting Pixel 3 and 3 XL owners, and is causing the phones to randomly shutdown, boot into a special recovery mode and remain stuck in that state.

The Pixel 3 and 3 XL only have another month to go before Google retires them from its officially supported list. However, it won’t be smooth sailing until October 2021 (or later), given that a number of Pixel 3/3 XL owners running the latest Android 11 build have run into an issue — some as far back as December last year — that’s causing their devices to turn into bricks.

Android Police reports an increasing number of affected users having their devices bricked overnight, booting and getting stuck into EDL Mode, or becoming completely unresponsive after a random shutdown. The mysterious bug is apparently linked to a security update, according to some users, although Google, who is aware of the issue, is yet to offer a solution.

Interestingly, these bricked Pixels are accepting wired/wireless charging in some cases and come up as “QUSB_BULK_CID:xxxx_SN:xxxxxxxx” when connected to a PC, indicating that the device is running in a special recovery mode called Emergency Download (EDL). While Android power users can likely unbrick devices from this special boot mode by flashing firmware, there’s currently no user-friendly way to get around the problem.

Frustratingly, pretty much all Pixel 3/3XLs have run out of warranty at this point, leaving owners little choice other than trying their luck with a factory reset or having their device checked/fixed at an authorized repair center.

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