Google Pixel 4 XL back panel on slight angle 18

Update: July 21 2020 (2:25AM ET): Some Pixel 4 XL users have reported that the glass rear cover is peeling off over time, with one mooted cause being battery swelling. Google has now got back to us regarding the matter, giving us a link to their response on Reddit. And it looks like we can rule out the battery being the problem.

“We’ve investigated the issue and concluded that this is not related to the Pixel battery. If you’re experiencing back glass lift on your Pixel 4/4XL, we recommend reaching out to 1:1 support to explore warranty options. We’re here to help and want to make sure your Pixel 4/4XL is operating properly,” reads the official response.

So what could be the cause of the issue if it’s not related to the battery? We’ve asked Google for more information in this regard and will update the article accordingly.

Original article: July 17 2020 (6:22AM ET): The Pixel 4 XL is the best Google phone you can buy right now, but it’s not without its problems. A new issue with the phone has caught our attention thanks to several complaint threads on Reddit and Google’s support forum. Strangely enough, the glass back panel of the Pixel 4 XL is peeling off for several users over time.

The glass back on the phone usually starts peeling from one corner of the phone. The adhesive comes apart and users are unable to stick it back to the body of the device.

“It’s like the glue is weakening and the parts are slowly separating,” a concerned Pixel 4 XL user recently wrote on Reddit. Another Pixel 4 XL user is apparently on their fourth replacement device in the last 10 months because of the glass back peeling issue. Reports about the issue range back several months and the consensus on the cause seems to be a battery swelling problem. Check out some images showing affected Pixel 4 XL units below.

A Reddit user who claims to be a general manager of a uBreakiFix store — an authorized Google repair partner — suggested the issue could be caused by faulty battery connectors on the Pixel 4 XL. However, it should be made clear this Reddit user is not an official spokesperson for the company. According to the user, the battery connectors are brittle and break apart even with normal use. “That leads to battery swelling. It is a major issue with the 4 XL series and I don’t understand why Google is not supporting it properly,” he writes.

We don’t know if battery swelling is the actual problem, but it’s a distinct possibility. Other causes could be fabrication defects or the failure of the adhesive used to secure the back panel in place.

What’s the fix?

While some users have received replacement Pixel 4 XL units after reporting the issue to Google, others haven’t been so lucky. Product experts on Google’s support forum advise users to contact Pixel support, but the company hasn’t acknowledged the issue officially.

Battery swelling could be a dangerous problem and potentially fire hazard.

We’ve reached out to Google to understand the true nature of the problem and if the issue is as widespread as it seems. We’ll update this article as and when we get a response from the company. Meanwhile, if you’re a Pixel 4 XL user, let us know in the comments if you’re also facing a similar problem.


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