Pixel 7, the latest smartphone with self-destructing cameras

Pixel 7, the latest smartphone with self-destructing cameras
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The Pixel 7’s biggest design change over the past year has been on the camera bar, which has changed from a single large sheet of glass covering each camera to a solid aluminum block with smaller glass cutouts on each camera lens. The thinking at the time was that less glass would lead to fewer lines of light on the camera, and maybe even lead to slightly better durability thanks to a smaller glass area. Ironically, this smaller glass seems more prone to breakage. Tons of reports started coming out reddit, Google support forumsand twitter claims that the camera glass shattered one day. Along with hundreds of responses on Reddit and support forums, #pixel7brokencamera It will give you an endless stream of scary pictures on Twitter.

We’ve seen this exact issue a few times before in the smartphone world. Samsung ran into this problem in 2016. Galaxy S7 and again in 2021 Galaxy S20, they both started class action lawsuits. In the Samsung and Google cases, the broken glass does not appear to have been broken from the impact; this typically shows a point of impact and an outward spider web. In such cases, a large, round hole appears in the glass; The phone looks like a bullet has been fired.

These special smartphone glass panels offer scratch resistance. create stress on the glass. We don’t know the maker of Google’s camera glass, but a Corning engineer explains the overall process here. scientific american The article states, “There’s a layer of compression stress, then a layer of central tension, where the glass wants to press out, then another layer of compression stress.” If you mix something up in your glass formula and those layers aren’t in perfect balance, one day the glass will “explode” and you’ll have these outward mini explosions.

A Galaxy S20 from a few years ago.  These are all very familiar.

A Galaxy S20 from a few years ago. These are all very familiar.

This sounds like people describe, some suspect Temperature changes from cold outdoor conditions to indoor temperatures are what activate the glass. To suggest that this came from a drop would be pretty hard to believe. The camera cover is a small glass circle surrounded by aluminum; Even if you try to lower the phone over the camera cover, it will be extremely difficult.

Despite the difficulty of imagining this as user exploitation, some users say that Google did not take care of the issue under warranty. Alex Hatzenbühler, one of the victims of Google’s exploding glass, posted a screenshot from Google device support claiming the issue is not under warranty. Some users are quoted about $200 for a repair.

Samsung’s class action lawsuits involving camera glass, Both deactivated Thanks to Samsung’s terms of use, which requires “mandatory individual arbitration clause and class action/jury waiver provision.” Google users a similar agreement this gives them almost no rights and you can give up mandatory arbitration, most people don’t do that, so a case is unlikely to go anywhere.

What arbitration cannot stop is online pressure and negative pressure from websites like this one. So, hey Google, cover your obviously defective hardware under warranty. Pixel hardware division is very small and wants to grow, but you’ll get nowhere if you start ruining your small customer base. A general statement that this is under warranty helps people deal with customer support. You got our e-mail.

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