Pixel 3 owners say their phones are bricking without warning

Users can't even recover their devices.

Chris Velazco/Engadget

More and more Pixel 3 owners are grappling with a problem that can render their phones useless. According to Ars Technica, growing numbers of Pixel 3 and 3 XL users on Google's IssueTracker, the company's support forums and Reddit say their phones are 'bricking' (that is, becoming completely unresponsive) with little to no warning. The devices enter a Qualcomm "Emergency Download mode" (EDL) that won't even let you recover by installing new firmware through regular methods — you can't get to the bootloader to try.

It's not certain what causes the issue, how common it is, or whether there's practical solution short of replacing a given phone. We've asked Google for comment. Ars speculates about the possibility of a hardware issue like LG's bootlooping, although there isn't enough evidence to definitively point to a physical flaw.

Either way, the reports of bricking aren't great news for Pixel 3 owners. Many of those phones are either out of warranty or close to losing coverage. You may have to pay for repairs or a new device through no fault of your own. Google did extend some Pixel 4 warranties to cover known issues with those handsets, though, so there's a chance the company might do the same here and provide free solutions.