Last Updated on by Admin
Core fans of Pixel smartphones likely do not want to hear it, but for all the love that their beloved brand gets, it is plagued by one persistent issue. Pixel phones and heat are mostly inseparable. What is terrible about it is that the Google Pixel overheating problem happens very often when you are taking photos or recording videos with the camera. The very feature that Pixel smartphones are loved for is also its weakest point. If you are asking why your Google Pixel is getting hot, I have asked myself the same question.
It is an issue that plagues the brand across multiple models. At last count, the overheating problem has shown up on the Pixel 3, Pixel 4a, Pixel 5a 5G, Pixel 6, and Pixel 6 Pro. It has become so normal across multiple Pixel devices that it is almost scandalous. The Google Pixel overheating problem is so bad that many times, you have to shut down the camera, or turn off hotspot, or shut down the phone outright, to get it to cool down.
But these are temporary, and less than ideal, fixes. Why should you have to shut down the camera in the middle of taking photos at an important event? Or shut down the phone itself? I have used a few Pixel phones and the experience was the same. Above is a notification that I got used to seeing multiple times every single day on Pixel phones.
The above warning pops up when you are taking multiple photographs or recording videos. Sometimes, it would pop up while using the phone as a hotspot to get work done online on my laptop. Pixel smartphones just love to heat up, like the Human Torch of The Fantastic Four. It is a small miracle that we are not hearing stories of Google Pixel overheating AND combusting.
Table of Contents
Why is my Google Pixel getting hot?
I cannot say for sure why Google Pixel phones get hot. But having owned three models and experienced the same issues on all three, I have identified a few scenarios in which they do. Also, the camera seems to be a big culprit behind the overheating issue. I explain why I believe so below.
Google Pixel gets hot under the following circumstances
My Google Pixel phones got hot whenever I charged them, whenever I enabled the hotspot feature, when I record video for more than a few minutes, and when I used them to take more than a few photos. And then, in order to cool the phone down, the feature in use causing the overheating would be shut down by the phone. Many others have reported these same situations as what they are doing when their Google Pixel gets hot.
One of my observations is that the Pixel phones I have used would also overheat if I left the camera open but not in use. I found that disturbing: overheating from an idle camera? This was ridiculous, but it gave me a pointer to where the overheating was coming from (at least, some of it). The camera. So, I thought to change a few camera-related settings on one of my units. The result is that while the phone still warms up a little (and many phones do that now), the warming notice and automatic disabling of features and services did not happen as often as before any more.
The features I disabled to mitigate the Google Pixel overheating problem
I figured this has something to do with the camera, so I dived into the camera settings and fiddled around a while with settings that looked like could be behind this stressing of the phone. I won’t bore you with all the details. Here are the settings that I now have disabled in the Google camera:
- Google Lens suggestions
- Social share
- Frequent Faces
- Framing hints
- RAW+JPEG control (under Advanced)
- Social media depth features (under Advanced)
- Enable time lapse for Astrophotography (under Advanced)
I know these are a lot of features to disable, but I was desperate to have a stable and functional phone that I could actually use daily without being sabotaged in the middle of an important task. And it looks like I achieved just that. There is still some warmth when you use the phone for a while, but it doesn’t get severely warm or hot any more and those warmth/heat notifications don’t pop-up anymore.
Again, doing these did not solve the Google Pixel overheating problem completely for every model. A colleague implemented the above hacks in her Pixel 3, and the “overheating “Phone is getting warm” notification still pops up an error at random. But it is nowhere as bad as it used to be before applying the above modifications. Feel free to try out the above settings for yourself and see if it makes a difference. If it works for enough people, at least, we’d have given Google an idea of where to look to fix the underlying problem.
For now, it is a relief that I am able to use the Pixel 5a 5G without feeling like I am carrying a hot plate around. If there is anything you have done to mitigate or completely fix the Google Pixel overheating issue, do share. Lastly, if you are interested, please see my Google Pixel 5a 5G review.