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.
It is an issue that plagues the brand across many 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. Below 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 Pixel phones combusting.
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 disabling of features and services did not happen as often as before any more.
The features I disabled to fix 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 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 uses a Pixel 3, and it 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 successful get your Pixel smartphone to not warm up so badly, do share. Lastly, if you are interested, please see my Google Pixel 5a 5G review.
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Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.