Software update to Pixel 3a included a bug that makes the phone look ugly


Owners of the Google Pixel 3a are complaining in several places about a software issue that has changed the way the handset’s screen looks in the corners. Google, like other phone manufacturers, used software to make the square corners on the Pixel 3a look round. That gave the phone a more high-end look. However, the illusion came to an end in December when a software update disabled the software masking used to create the rounded corners. The result was an unflattering look that at least one Pixel 3a user called “cheap.”
Pixel 3a users left messages on the Pixel Phone Help Forum and on Reddit. For example, on the latter a subscriber named ch4oswe4ver explained the issue from his point of view. He wrote, “So I’ve recently noticed an issue on my Pixel 3a where the normally perfectly round screen corners are not nearly as round, and if I angle the phone to where any given corner is facing down and away from me, I can see up under the bezel and almost see the square corner of the actual panel, breaking the illusion. As I understand, there is normally a software overlay applied that virtually cuts out a curve in the corner and assists the curved bezel in creating the effect. I believe that on my phone that overlay is missing or glitched and is no longer working. Does anyone know how to fix this besides a full factory reset? Multiple hard resets have not solved it. I noticed it after the most recent feature drop update or perhaps the Dec. 5 Security update, but I’m not sure if either are the culprit or not. I’m on Android 11 build # RQ1A.201205.003.”

Googlehas yet to disseminate a fix for the issue. Hopefully the upcoming March security update will include a fix for the software masking bug allowing the Pixel 3a’s corners to return to their rounded glory. Just three days ago, Pixel Forum subscriber Nikko Mercado confirmed that the problem is still around by posting this missive: “Google doesn’t care. Do they? Maybe. But they’re not showing it. I’m having doubts this will ever get fixed. This has been talked about quite a number of times on different forums and Google support pages. Google engineers/moderators just reply with “try sending this report this way, try sending your buh report here” while acting like it’s not a known bug at all. They treat it as if only 3 people on earth experience it. Welp.”

Looking at the before and after photos might have you wondering what the big deal is. But the different look on the corners of the screen apparently make Pixel 3a owners around the world upset. One owner of the handset call the current look “super weird.” We should point out that from what we can see from the complaints made public, there is no sign that this issue also has affected the Pixel 3a XL.
The Pixel 3a was released in May 2019 equipped with a 5.6-inch AMOLED display with a 1080 x 2220 resolution. The aspect ratio works out to 18.5:9. Under the hood is a Snapdragon 670 chipset paired with 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 64GB of storage. Google’s well regarded image processing works with a single 12.2MP camera on the back and in the front is an 8MP selfie snapper. A 3000mAh battery keeps the lights on and when the handset first shipped, it came with Android 9 installed. While it currently runs on Android 11, the model will receive the Android 12 update later this year. But that will be the end of the line for the Pixel 3a. So if you’re interested in a low priced Pixel, the combination of the model’s display bug, Google’s seeming indifference towards it, and the end of Android support this year leads us to suggest that you shell out the extra cash needed to purchase the Pixel 4a or Pixel 4a 5G.


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