Google’s Pixel 3 has proven to be an excellent phone for me, save for the small battery and the occasional restart issues I’ve been facing with it lately. However, it appears that many Pixel 3 users have been plagued with swollen batteries that are damaging the phone’s rear panel and prying it apart from the surrounding frame. First spotted by the folks over at AndroidPolice, there’s a lengthy thread on Google’s official support forum where affected Pixel 3 users have documented the worrying issue that can also turn out to be a potential safety hazard. To make it clear early on, both Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL owners have reported the aforementioned issue.
In a majority of cases, wireless charging stopped working on the Pixel 3 units with a swollen battery, likely because the battery’s bloated shape misaligned the Qi charging above it or severed the connection point. In some cases, the fingerprint sensor and the speaker started to malfunction on affected units. Some users are reporting that their phone started overheating, while one post mentioned that the unit exploded at a repair shop. As per user reports, Google has issued replacement unit to some users, while those with an out-of-warranty Pixel 3 device had to get a battery replacement.
The extent of damage also varies from user to user. In some cases, the rear panel only got curved in the middle and separated from the surrounding frame on one side, while in extreme cases, the glass shattered. Google is yet to release an official statement regarding the issue. But if your Pixel 3’s battery has bloated and showing signs of swelling, stop using it for your safety and contact the support channel of the retailer from where you purchased it. Right now, it is too early to say if the issue can escalate into a class action lawsuit, but it would be interesting to see how Google handles it.