Having camera issues on the Pixel or Pixel XL? Try removing your case


It’d be natural to assume that any issue with the camera on your new smartphone is strictly related to hardware failure, but in the case of the Pixel and Pixel XL it may not even be its fault. Some Reddit users trying to track down autofocus problems have found that some cases may be screwing with the camera’s ability to focus accurately.

It seems the issues mostly affect users of the Spigen Rugged Armor case. It’s been found that the case’s clear-cut hole for the laser autofocus is almost too small, making it hard to clear dust off the sensor which would impact its ability to autofocus.


The quick fix? Take the case off, wipe the dust, and put it back on. Done.

It’s worth noting that some people with the same case don’t seem to be having this issue, but perhaps it’s because not enough dust has worked its way in yet. In any case, this sounds like a relatively minor issue that sits on the “annoyance” line of bothersome more than anything.

There does seem to be other concerns, though, such as there not being a black border for the camera ring on the white models of the case. This can cause the light from the camera’s flash to bounce off the case in lowlight shooting scenarios, something that causes an unpleasant glow effect in the image. Again, not the end of the world right now, but if you find yourself in that shooting scenario a lot and don’t want to have to take the case off every time you go to take a photo, it’s something worth thinking about.

We’re reaching out to Spigen to see if they have plans to revise their Rugged Armor cases for the Pixel line to mitigate these issues. In our quick look, it appears Spigen has long caught the issues with the white models as they’re no longer available from any source, so perhaps they’re looking to reintroduce them one they redesign the cutouts.

For those who don’t mind doing some dirty work themselves, find yourself an Exacto knife and make that hole bigger yourself.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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