• After 15+ years, we've made a big change: Android Forums is now Early Bird Club. Learn more here.

Pixel 2 XL Camera App Intermittent Operation


Aug 15, 2020
Specs: OS: Android ver. 10 Build: QQ3A.200705.002, 128GB mem.
I'm a noob to this forum so Hello All! Looks like a great board!
So there may be a more appropriate location for this question but being new I'm hoping for a little grace if I'm posting in the wrong place...
I purchased a Pixel 2 XL about 2 months ago. I love the phone with a single exception... After getting acclimated to the new features I had been reading about I set about trying different apps to see how they performed. I was dismayed to discover that the camera app didn't work! Technically it didn't work consistently.
The App I'm using is Goggle's Camera App and the version I have been trying to use is I've since then tried a few other camera apps from the play store but keep getting the same performance issues. Subsequent attempts to troubleshoot the problem have gotten me the following tidbits of data...
1. The camera app does try to open whenever I tap the icon.
2. Usually when the app opens, it will show me a black viewfinder view for 2 to 4 seconds then crashes. If I check open apps it shows to still be open. When I try to "activate" it again it comes up for 2-3 seconds then crashes again.
3. Tantalizingly once out of every 15-20 attempts the app will actually run and I'll get a regular viewfinder display and am able to take photos normally.
4. Sometimes before it crashes, I can tap the "rotate" button and the app does go to selfie mode with a regular viewfinder displayed, and I am able to take selfies normally. Other times, it appears that it has rotated to selfie mode but the display remains black.

Now... After discovering this problem I "assumed" there was a problem with the hardware of some kind on that particular phone. I contacted the seller and requested assistance. Ultimately, I returned that phone to exchange it for another Google Pixel 2 XL. When the second phone arrived I immediately tested the camera app and was pissed that it demonstrated the same exact symptoms...

I've been limping along re-trying the app over and over again in hopes that I'll stumble onto the one time it works out of 20 before I lose the shot I'm trying to take. This is a very frustrating and distressing way to operate and I've searched for the answer high and low. So far I've not found anyone who could provide a tip/trick/fix that would address/fix this problem. When I contacted the seller again all they could offer me was another exchange or a refund.

I love this phone with the exception of this issue. I've found references to this problem being more widespread than just my two phones but as I said, no one seems to have a fix. I've suspected it might have been something to do with the most recent Android update but that's just a guess and I don't know how to "roll-back" (if that's even an option) to a previous version of the OS.

I'm hoping that someone here will be able to give me some hope that this is a fixable issue... I really hate the idea of having to abandon this phone because I think that otherwise, it is a pretty cool phone!
So... Please forgive me if I've posted all this in the wrong location or omitted some vital spec or piece of info. I'll gladly provide any other info that might be helpful. Thanks again for listening to this long-winded explanation! Intermittent issues are the worst!!!
Thank You!
  • Like
Reactions: ocnbrze
Upvote 0
is it fully updated? have you tried to clear cache and data for the camera app? maybe try a factory reset.
Thank you for responding! Yes, I have tried a factory reset more than once. And I just tried clearing cache and storage... no luck... Hopefully Google will respond and fix this because it's one of the reasons I bought their product. The camera got rave reviews and when it has worked it's a gem. But it has to work. Otherwise I'll have to move to a different mfg. Thanks again for replying and sharing you experience and advice!
Upvote 0
Unfortunately we've seen a lot of similar complaints over at the Pixel Help Community over the past few months:

I'll admit I haven't been following the topic terribly closely, but it might be worth skimming through to see if you can learn anything. The best advice I can offer right now would be to contact support:
Hi codesplice!
Thank you SO Much for responding as well! As bizarre as it is, I did find a work-around among the many resources you or the other user sent... This link (https://support.google.com/pixelphone/thread/3317373?hl=en&msgid=36182209) suggested using a small magnet over the camera's sensor and it works! WTF?!?!? That's a real head scratcher for me but hey! If it allows me to take pics/vids of my kids and pets I'll take it over having to switch phones again. At least for the time being... It baffles me that a company like Google would leave so many of their customers hanging out to dry like this! Whoever their executive team is on this issue needs to be given an opportunity to seek gainful employment elsewhere (IMHO). People don't have money just lying around to spend on phones, they work for a living. The value proposition of "give us a ton of your hard-earned money for a phone that kinda works sometimes" just isn't what I'd expect from a corporate marketing board room. Yet, here we are! And it is a real issue. Does anyone know the extent of this problem? How many customers are being effected?
Thanks again for taking time to respond to my original post! This is a board I think I will definitely bookmark and return to often!
Be Well!
  • Like
Reactions: codesplice
Upvote 0
is it fully updated? have you tried to clear cache and data for the camera app? maybe try a factory reset.
Hey Lurker!
Just wanted to update you about what I found. At this link, (https://support.google.com/pixelphone/thread/3317373?hl=en&msgid=36182209) I found a suggestion that actually works! Of all the bizarre things, placing a small magnet over the camera's sensor seems to solve the issue. Or at least it gets the camera to work. Who'd a thunk it huh? Can't believe that Google allows an issue like this to go unattended to and is choosing to hang their customers out to dry on it... Guess forcing customers to buy their "latest and greatest" has become part of their marketing calculus. Huge mistake! (IMHO)
Anyway just wanted to share what I found out. Thanks again for responding to original post!
Upvote 0


We've been tracking upcoming products and ranking the best tech since 2007. Thanks for trusting our opinion: we get rewarded through affiliate links that earn us a commission and we invite you to learn more about us.