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Google rejects complaints of poor Pixel 3 audio in video recordings

UPDATE: Google has issued a statement in response to the reports, claiming the audio recording experience has been specifically tuned to reduce background noise, while optimising the spoken word. In essence, Google says this isn’t a problem. It is by design.  

The statement is as follows:

We made several advances in the audio recording capabilities of Pixel 3, including enabling stereo recording in landscape mode. When recording outdoors, our tuning is specifically designed to reduce background noise like wind and road noise and overly loud sounds and optimize for audible speech. To achieve this, we selectively de-emphasize some frequencies, which minimizes disruptive noises and optimizes the resulting audio. We do extensive user testing of our products to ensure they are tuned for real world usage, and we’re always looking at additional tuning opportunities based on user feedback

Original story continues below…

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL handsets are reportedly suffering from an audio quality issue when recording video – a problem that also plagued one of the pair’s predecessors.

The issue has been picked-up in early tests by a pair of YouTubers’ video reviews of the device (via AndroidPolice), suggesting Google is still lagging behind some of its rivals in this department.

In his video comparison with the iPhone Xs Max, the reviewer SuperSaf TV negatively compared the Pixel 3 XL’s recorded audio quality with Apple’s largest and latest smartphone. Meanwhile, another tech vlogger Jerome Ortega also noted the tinny and distant quality when recording video, while using the front facing camera. You can see the comparison directly in Ortega’s video below.

These videos back-up complaints from early Pixel 3 buyers, who’ve complained about the audio quality when recording video using their new smartphone.

Related: Google Pixel 3 vs Pixel 2

Last year Google addressed the problem with a software update, so it’s likely the company will do so once again this time around. However, given the issues in 2017, it’s concerning that nailing this feature wasn’t a priority for the Pixel 3 launch.

The issue also appears to be slightly different this time around. The Pixel 2 XL audio recording in video mode appeared to be high pitched and distorted, until it was fixed by a Google software update. It’s also strange that the Google phones are being plagued by such an issue given the quality of the cameras is one of the Pixel range’s main selling points.

Ortega points out: “If Google doesn’t get this audio/microphone recording fixed, this is going to be a problem. If you’re big into video and it’s a priority, I’d hold off on the Pixel 3 until we get an update.”

Have you noticed any issues with the Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL since you picked up the handsets? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter and we’ll try and get to the bottom of them.

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