It looks like several people are having issues with the batteries swelling in their Pixel 3 and 3 XL devices.
As spotted by Android Police, a lengthy thread with over 60 responses popped up on Google’s support website about the issue. It’s full of people with broken Pixel 3 devices, most with a battery swollen enough to separate the back panel from the edge of the phone. In fact, the ‘Platinum Product Expert’ responding to people in the thread also had the swelling issue.
This is a pretty significant problem considering swollen batteries could potentially catch fire or explode. The swelling causes other potential issues too, such as compromising a device’s water resistance.
Even Android Police‘s Artem Russakovskii encountered the problem, tweeting back in August that wireless charging stopped working on his Pixel 3 XL because of the swelling.
Oh wow… just found out why the wireless charging stopped working on the Pixel 3… check out the battery bloat that pushed the back cover out.
— Artem Russakovskii (@ArtemR) August 9, 2020
Russakovskii isn’t alone — several of the support thread reports note that people noticed the problem after wireless charging stopped working. In many cases, people took the cases off their Pixels and found the battery swelling. Some speculate the issue could be related to wireless charging, noting that perhaps using a Pixel Stand or other wireless charger could be overheating the battery and causing the problem.
On that note, I almost exclusively wirelessly charge the Pixel 3 available to me and haven’t noticed any such issues. Granted, I’m a small sample size and we don’t know how far-reaching the issue is.
Thankfully for those affected, Google appears to be helping. The company offered complimentary device replacements to several people, including to some who were out of warranty. That said, the company also told customers it was a one-time thing, so if the replacement phone ends up swelling as well, people may be out of luck.