[Updated] Android 9 Pie left some Pixel phones bootlooping or bricked

Update (September 27):

An affected user had shared a video showing the bootloop problem, but the video got deleted for unknown reasons. What’s good is the same user has now re-uploaded another video showing the issue.

Update (September 11):

FWIW, a user who was facing random reboots since Oreo, and continued to face the issue after Android Pie, brought the problem to Google’s notice. The company replied last week saying they should go for RMA/replacement.

Here’s what Google exactly said:

Received feedback from the engineering team:

>> it mostly CPU/DDR problem and may cause random KP. So suggest they RMA the device.

The suggestion is that you get a replacement device via the RMA process

More info here.

Update (August 25):

Looks like the user has removed the video for unknown reasons.

Update (August 21):

Reports about Android Pie induced bootloops and device bricking are proliferating. Here’s a video shared by one of our readers clearly showing the continuous reboot problem.

https://youtu.be/gK685JpV9Ac

Original story follows:

Many issues have already been reported with Android 9 Pie, including fast charging problems on Pixel phones. And now, more serious concerns are coming to light – bootloops and device bricking.

Some of the OG Pixel/Pixel XL device owners who installed the Android Pie haven’t reportedly had a gratifying experience. Reason being, the update has created turbulence on their units by triggering repeated reboots.

Though not much of an explanation is needed as the word bootloop itself explains everything, a quick rush through the following selection of user comments will give you a better hold of what the complainants have to say.

My phone was working fine until I accepted an update to Android 9. I tried a factory reset/wipe but its still constantly rebooting.

Please stop making excuses for this terrible update and support… My phone was working perfectly before the upgrade rebooted it. If I do a factory reset it won’t reboot or have any issues until I get to the searching for WiFi screen. As soon as the Wifi driver loads it starts the reboot cycle. Before I did the factory wipe I could get the phone to stop rebooting if I quickly put the phone in airplane mode on the initial boot. Its not a hardware issue its an OS issue that you don’t want to take the time to troubleshoot. If it was a hardware issue there would be no way to stop the reboot.

I have the Pixel XL (1) (stock) – updated to Android Pie yesterday, worked fine for a couple hours…then continued to restart until it drained my battery. Once I charged it again, I was able to factory reset (2x once through System Settings, and then through recovery mode). Appeared to work again this morning for approximately 2 hours, and now back to bootloop. Helppppp.

Also as an FYI – rebooting in safe mode didn’t help, so it appears that its not a 3rd party app causing the issue, but the update itself.

Mine too! It’s stuck on a white screen with a letter G for 8 hours now and every time I power it off, it gets stuck at this same point!

The same happened to me, too. In the beginning I just re-started the system in normal mode (by choosing Restart option after pushing the power button). Since then, continuous reboots. I just see the Google logo, then it turns off. After a minute it turns on again and the same. Again and again. When I try to boot into recovery mode, the same happens. Unable to do factory reset.

I got the notification to update to Android 9.0 this morning after accepting it and letting it sit there to download and install, I noticed the phone rebooted and then went into a boot loop at the google splash screen. I can get into the bootloader fine but I can’t continue into recovery as it boot loops that as well. My phone has been stock since the day I got it, its unrooted and the boot loader is still locked so I cant use fastboot to flash an image or a rom. I can’t use adb either since i can’t get in to recovery or the rom.

After having the Pie System Update pushed to my phone, my Google Pixel continues to freeze and reset and has zero functionality.

Going by user reports, even factory resetting or running the device in safe mode are not helping the device to stabilize.

The bootloop problem appears to be affecting a significant number of first gen Pixel users. Apart from Pixel User Community (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8), multiple threads can be seen posted across online discussion platform Reddit as well.

https://www.reddit.com/r/GooglePixel/comments/97vw99/pie_update_bricked_my_pixel/
https://www.reddit.com/r/GooglePixel/comments/970mqa/og_pixel_on_continuous_restart_loop_with_pie/
https://www.reddit.com/r/GooglePixel/comments/97lq49/fixing_pixel_xl_bootloop/
https://www.reddit.com/r/ProjectFi/comments/96597u/upgraded_pixel_to_pie_now_stuck_in_bootloop/

Even micro-blogging site Twitter has a couple of reports.

https://twitter.com/Experiment626ix/status/1028042155871199233
https://twitter.com/JustManuel/status/1027251064993705984

Some of the affected users shared the following after having a word with Google support.

I just got off the phone with Google support. They are trying to blame this on a hardware issue. They refuse to do anything about it because the phone is out of warranty.

Support has now stopped responding to me, after successfully sideloading as instructed – the issue persists. This is ridiculous how Google can release such buggy software as an official update and then expect owners to pay to fix or replace the phone.

I talked with a Google support person, and we were not able to resolve the issue. We did a factory reset, which did not resolve the problem. They said they were going to escalate the case and get back to me. Sounds like this is an unexpected snag with the update and that many Pixel users are affected.

pixel-first-gen

That’s not all

Making the matter worse, some Pixel phones reportedly even died (1,2,3, 4) after installing Pie.

Tried to update my pixel XL to Android Pie. The phone downloaded the files. Then restarted but the phone did not come back on. Now the phone is totally unresponsive.

Yes, I also have a Pixel XL and updated to Android Pie and had the same issue. My phone is completely dead and fully unresponsive! Uggh! Same thing happened to me last night. Got a notification to update, pressed said notification, and after a bit… nothing. Did a soft reboot since nothing else worked, and it seemed okay. Until this morning. Now it is completely bricked. I have no idea how a Google phone, using a Google plan (project Fi), and a Google OS update can be this messed up.

The same thing happened to me yesterday. The phone just went dead, I’ve tried everything and I can’t reboot it or get it on. No idea what to do.

https://twitter.com/donnalittleinky/status/1027584153829761025
https://twitter.com/dannerclaflin/status/1029460356861779968
https://twitter.com/rrjr010/status/1027769300696743936

While those encountering bootloops or device bricking have different expressions, the only common link to their problems is 9 Pie apparently. Looking at the seriousness of the matter, we hope Google sheds some light and addresses those affected soon.

Are you facing bootloops on your Pixel unit (or was it bricked) after installing the latest OS? If so, do share with us your experience in the comments section below.

Note: We have also compiled a (continuously updated) list of issues/problems/bugs reported with (or triggered by) Android 9 Pie ever since it got live. Take a look to catch hold of all Pie-related issues.

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Dr. Aparajita Sharma

A budding entrepreneur by profession, and a psychologist by education. As a founding member of PiunikaWeb, I am nurturing this firstborn with my sharp-eyed expertise and even journalistic writing when needed.