Google Pixel 3a (XL) random shutdown or sleep bug has a workaround fix
Google unveiled Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL devices at this year’s developer conference last month. These two are basically the lighter and budget friendly variants of the company’s flagship Pixel 3 device.
With a camera similar to that of Pixel 3 and other toned down flagship specs, Pixel 3a and 3a XL are a steal. Powered by Snapdragon 670 chipset, the phones comes with Android 9.0 Pie out of the box. Despite same design details, the units vary in display/screen, size, battery and price of course.
But soon after these phones landed in hands of users, they started complaining about random shutdowns. Going by reports, after some time of inactivity, the phone’s screen refused to turn on until hard reset by pressing together the power and volume key for some seconds.
It made the users feel their phone is hit by a ‘sleep bug,’ where they aren’t able to wake the device without a hard reset. Imagine the plight of Pixel 3a/3a XL users for whom their newly bought units were (and still are) acting bonkers and not turning on (without hard reset) after not being used for a while.
Even troubleshooting steps like running the device in safe mode or factory reset didn’t help. And users failed to speculate what could be causing the issue, like a third party app or something. Consequently, many ended up replacing their units. Well, the issue was big enough to make it to headlines, and it did.
But users never stopped complaining about this problem. While many affected users settled for RMAs, those who got into debugging have now come up with an interesting observation. Reportedly, disabling Always on Display (AOD) feature somehow causes random shutdowns on Pixel 3a/3a XL.
Always on Display (AOD), as you may know, is an Android feature that debuted on Samsung phones. This feature displays pertinent information like time, date, battery status, notifications and more on the device’s screen in sleep mode. It does consume battery though.
Here’s what some of the users who report that disabling AOD created the random shutdown/sleep issue have to say:
This happens to my Pixel 3a every few minutes, but only when Ambient display is turned off. So in my case it’s related to this feature (settings > display > ambient display > always on slider ‘off’).
Ok, just to be clear. By default the ‘Always on’ feature is enabled. When I keep it enabled, the device is functioning normal. When I disable it I get the sleep bug described by OP after some time.
So those of you who continue to encounter the random shutdown or sleep bug, this user-shared workaround to enable Always on Display (under Ambient mode in Settings) is worth giving a try. And yes don’t forget to share with us how it goes by dropping a comment below.
NOTE: For more bugs/issues, news and stories related to Google Pixel phones, interested readers may head here.
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