Pixel 7 is the latest smartphone with snappy cameras

The Pixel 7’s biggest design change compared to last year was in the camera bar, which changed from a large sheet of glass covering each camera to a solid aluminum block with smaller glass cutouts on each camera lens. It was thought at the time that less glass would lead to fewer light streaks in the camera and perhaps slightly better durability thanks to the smaller glass area. Ironically, this smaller glass seems to be more prone to breakage. Lots of reports are starting to pop up on Reddit, the Google Support Forums, and Twitter It is being claimed that the glass of the camera got shattered one day. In addition to the hundreds of responses on Reddit and support forums, hitting #pixel7broken camera You’ll find an endless stream of horrifying photos on Twitter.

We have seen this problem many times before in the world of smartphones. Samsung was hit by the issue on the Galaxy S7 in 2016 and again in 2021 on the Galaxy S20, both of which kicked off class-action lawsuits. In the cases of Samsung and Google, the broken glass doesn’t seem to have been shattered by impact, usually showing an impact point and outer spiderwebbing. In these cases, a large, round hole is visible in the glass—it looks like the phone was shot.

These special smartphone glass panels enhance the scratch resistance by creating stress in the glass. We don’t know the maker of Google’s camera glasses, but a Corning engineer explains the general process in this Scientific American article, saying, “There’s a layer of compressive stress, then a layer of central stress, where the glass wants to compress.” is, then another layer of compressive stress.” If you do something wrong with your glass formula and these layers aren’t in the right balance, one day the glass will “pop” and you get these outer mini explosions.

The Galaxy S20 from a few years back.  How familiar it all is.

The Galaxy S20 from a few years ago. How familiar it all is.

seems to match what people are describing, with some doubts The change in temperature from the cold weather outside to the heat inside the house is what causes the glass to flake off. To suggest that it is from a drop would be hard enough to believe. The camera cover is a small sphere of glass surrounded by aluminum – even if you tried to drop the phone on the camera cover, it would be extremely difficult.

Despite the difficulty in imagining that this is user abuse, some users say that Google is not dealing with the problem under warranty. Alex Hatzenbuhler, one of the victims of Google’s shattered glass, posted a screenshot Calling Google Device Support claiming that the issue is not covered under warranty. Some users are being quoted around $200 for the repair.

Samsung’s class-action lawsuits over Camera Glass were sparked thanks to Samsung’s terms of use, which require a “mandatory individual arbitration provision and class action/jury trial waiver provision”. Google defaults users to a similar agreement that gives them almost no rights, and while you can opt out of mandatory arbitration, most people don’t, so the lawsuit is unlikely to go anywhere.

What arbitration cannot stop is online pressure and negative press from websites like this one. So, hey, Google, cover your obviously faulty hardware under warranty. The Pixel hardware division is very small and wants to grow, but you’ll get nowhere if you start screwing over your small customer base. A public statement saying that it is covered under warranty will help people deal with customer support. You have received our email.

Listing image by blazer_n_booties

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