How to fix Google Pixel 3 XL random restart issue due to bad battery

Given that Pixel 3 and 3 XL devices are the latest flagship phones from Google, it’s a bit early for some users to experience random reboot issues. One of the main causes of this type of problem is a bad battery that is often the result of usage over a long time. In other words, we can only expect randomly rebooting Pixel 3s and 3 XLs about a year from now. In this post, we include three particular cases of this problem. If you are in a similar situation, learn what to do about it.

Problems: Google Pixel 3 XL turns off randomly, keeps freezing, disconnecting when charging

Case 1: Pixel 3 XL Issues: Had this phone for over a year and suddenly it has started to freeze on lock screen, become unresponsive and power off. Not able to power back on for some time and usually requires charging for 15-30 minutes to show battery icon/become responsive.

I have performed factory reset, soft resets and currently testing in safe mode but am unable to diagnose the problem. I think I have eliminated third party apps as the issue, but I am unsure about software issues.

After spending quite some time on this it also seems that when the phone reaches an approximate battery level (70-80%) the issue begins its cycle.  It might be possible that my battery is not functioning correctly which is causing the issue? I’ve certainly noticed a drop in battery performance over the last few updates. I will be getting help from my carrier eventually but thought I’d exhaust every avenue. Thanks for your time and help.

Case 2: Since the last update, while using the fast charger that came with the phone, the phone would give the audible tone that it was hooked up, then every several seconds would disconnect and then reconnect making that tone and the little animation at the bottom where the cable is plugged in.  If using a non-fast charging power block, or using the computer or car charger, no problem but obviously takes a little longer. If I either restart or power off and restart, the phone will fast charge normally. It never used to do this. I verified that the fast charging block and cable are in perfect working order.  I have seen other people (with samsung) saying the same problem, but have not seen a solution. I’m hoping this is just a software glitch and will remedy itself with the pie upgrade. Thanks for any assistance you may offer.

Case 3: My phone spontaneously restarted today and after doing that it will not stay on. It does recharge and hold the charge (according to the battery indicator when the phone is plugged in). I can turn the phone on using the power/home/volume up button combination, and the phone will stay on for a variable amount of time ranging from a few seconds to about a minute. I did manage to keep it on long enough to recover photos from it via my computer – I called my voicemail and the phone stayed on and maintained the connection with my computer (via USB) as long as the call was active. Once I hung up the call, the phone shut off immediately. Just wondering if it is worth taking this to someone to attempt to repair, or best to give up the ghost and get a new phone. Thank you!

Solution: Based on the symptoms mentioned in each and every case here, bad battery is most likely the cause of the issue. There are many factors that come into play when we talk about smartphone battery health. Checking for third party apps and factory are some of the important troubleshooting that you can do in this case but they can only do so much.

For Cases 2 & 3, we suggest that before observing the phone on safe mode or wiping it with factory reset, a battery calibration must be tried first. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Drain the battery completely. This means using your device until it powers down by its own and the battery level reads 0%.
  2. Charge the phone until it reaches 100%. Be sure to use original charging equipment for your device and let it charge up completely. Do not unplug your device for at least two more hours and also don’t use it while charging.
  3. After the elapsed time, unplug your device.
  4. Restart the device.
  5. Use your phone until it completely runs out of power again.
  6. Repeat steps 1-5.

If all three (battery calibration, check for third party app issue on safe mode, and factory reset) won’t change anything, you should consider consulting Google so the devices can be sent in. A technician must examine the state of the battery before truth of the matter will be known. In general though, battery replacement is the least that can be done for all of these cases. That means that either the battery has died or nearly so, or there are other hardware malfunction that causes the device to bleed power.

Lithium-based batteries can last over several years if properly used but given how much power a Google Pixel 3 XL needs, a typical battery for it may start showing degradation at the start of its second year. This is hardly surprising since a normal Pixel user usually charges their device at least once per day. Since all of the mentioned cases above are showing signs consistent with poor battery performance, repair is the most likely solution for each.