New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…

Original story (published on August 19, 2021) follows:

Google Pixel phones are known to many across the globe for the vanilla Android experience and the camera quality they offer.

However, an annoying issue with video streaming quality has been spoiling the user experience for many Pixel owners since at least February 2021.

Google Pixel 5

As per a Google Support community thread, Google Pixel users have been facing the issue where the Widevine level on their device has downgraded to L3.

The support community thread has hundreds of user reports and upvotes indicating that the issue is widespread.

It is unclear what the exact cause of the problem is as Google has not provided any clarity on the matter.


Now, recent reports from Reddit suggest that the issue with Widevine L3 is still troubling Google Pixel owners after the August security update.

While the August security update broke the SIM card detection for some Google Pixel 4a 5G owners, many others are still worried about the Widevine level.

This has been inconveniencing Google Pixel owners for quite some time now and there is no workaround to fix it.


A Google Support community Product Expert has said that Google is aware of this issue and is working to resolve it.

However, it has been months since user reports about this problem started piling up and nothing substantial has been done it so far.

Hopefully, Google fixes this Widevine L3 issue with the Pixel devices soon so that users can enjoy HD media content without any hassle.


That said, we will report back with more details as and when new information becomes available so stay tuned.

Update (September 08)

11:32 am (IST): Google is pushing out the September patch to its Pixel devices. However, users who have installed this update report that the Widevine issue still persists.

Update (January 08)

06:44 pm (IST): Some Pixel users are still unable to stream videos on Netflix and some other streaming services in high definition due to Widevine CDM/CRM issue.

The issue is said to bother Pixel users since Android 12. And while it was expected to be fixed after a few security updates, one of our readers confirms that this issue still persists even after the January patch.

Thanks for the tip: Bill Starr!

Update (February 11)

03:36 pm (IST): According to some users, the issue with Widevine is fixed in the latest Android 12L Beta 3. Users say that Widevine is reverted back to L1 after being stuck at L3 for quite some time.

Update (March 08)

04:37 pm (IST): Users now report that the Widevine L3 issue has been fixed after the March 2022 update.

Update (March 11)

03:11 pm (IST): According to a report from Android Police, Google has confirmed that they have fixed the Widevine L1 issue on Pixel devices with the latest Android 12L update.

NOTE: There are more such stories in our dedicated Google section so be sure to go through it.

PiunikaWeb started as purely an investigative tech journalism website with main focus on ‘breaking’ or ‘exclusive’ news. In no time, our stories got picked up by the likes of Forbes, Foxnews, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, The Verge, Macrumors, and many others. Want to know more about us? Head here.

Deveshwar Bhardwaj
901 Posts

I'm a techy who is particularly fond of Android smartphones. A writer who usually finds himself on the other side of the spectrum. An artist who likes to sing and play the guitar. Also a photographer when in the mood.

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