If you just got that brand new “Phone by Google” and slipped it in a case, and found out later that the camera had a problem focusing, it’d be quite usual to assume you got a defective unit. But as it turns out, if that’s you, try removing that case you slapped onto the back first. 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.
As you can see in the video below posted by redditor HeshoMike, the camera refuses to settle in on an object and constantly tries to refocus. You’d have to be a pretty quick hand gymnast to capture a clear shot.
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.
What can you do? Well, take the case off, clean the dust off, put it back on.
This is more of an annoyance than an issue I’d say. Not every Pixel owner with a Spigen case is experiencing this issue though, could be because the dust hasn’t accumulated yet. If you’re the kind of person who keeps wiping your phone on your shirt, you’re probably less likely to encounter this.
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.
Spigen hasn’t yet addressed the issue yet, and hopefully they will. Until then, it’s better to know what you’re slipping your new Pixel into. Or if you don’t mind getting your hands and the case dirty, you can get an X-acto Knife and shove it in, see if you can make the hole bigger and thereby destroy the nice feel to the edges.
However, it’s definitely worth noting that Spigen has an excellent customer service track record, so if you’re suffering from these auto-focus issues, you may want to contact their support team.