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October Android security update will hopefully save my Pixel 3 from going into the trash

By Nadeem Sarwar October 6, 2020, 11:27 am

Google has begun the rollout of the October Android security update for its line-up of Pixel smartphones. The update is available for the Pixel 2/2 XL, Pixel 3/3 XL. Pixel 3a/ 3a XL, Pixel 4/ 4 XL, and the Pixel 4a. As expected, it brings a host of bug fixes and resolves a few device-specific issues as well. One of the improvements listed in the changelog that hits a bit close to home for me was a fix for the Pixel 3/ 3 XL’s bootloop issue. “Fix for some devices stuck during boot”, says the official support page. You can check the whole changelog below:

Now, I’ve been testing Android 11 ever since the first beta was released, after which my Pixel 3 got the stable update. However, the stable Android 11 update didn’t prove to be particularly stable for my Pixel 3, as the device started randomly rebooting on its own. On a few occasions, the phone got stuck in a bootloop cycle and won’t even let me reset it or enter the recovery mode, as it automatically shut down while I was navigating the menu. A few times, the phone made it past the Google logo screen and made it to the lock screen, but again went into the reboot cycle as soon as I swiped up. 

The error message I saw while trying to enter the recovery mode on my Pixel 3, as the power button stopped responding to the long-press gesture at this point.

Surprisingly, the Pixel 3 started working normally once the bootloop cycle fully exhausted the battery and I charged it again. However, it started boot-looping soon after, with the periods of normal functionality lasting between a few hours to a few days. Now, I love my Pixel 3 for reasons more than one (good cameras, clean interface and compact size) and also abhor it for its glaring failures that include an awful battery life and aggressive background app management. But or the most part, I enjoy using it – WITHOUT THE BOOTLOOPING, that is!

However, it appears that I am not the only one experiencing bootloop issues on my phone after, and neither is Pixel 3 the only Google smartphone experiencing the problem after updating to Android 11. A quick look at the official Google Support forum (1, 2, 3, 4), Reddit, XDA-Developers forum, and Twitter reveals a plethora of complaints from Pixel 2, Pixel 3a, as well as Pixel 3 users. Take for example this Twitter user’s complaint:

And this:

And this one too: 

I’ve just finished installing the October security update on my Pixel 3, and I am sincerely hoping that the bootloop issue gets fixed. While I’ve got a few smartphones lying around that I could use while my Pixel 3 was paying a visit to the bootloop-verse, not many users have access to a spare device that they can use as their daily driver. And the fact that the Pixel 3 didn’t come cheap and the customer support service does not always provide a satisfactory solution for a two-generation old device, the stakes for the October Android security update to fulfill its role are a notch higher.


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