Smartphones with next day repair/replace warranty (AKA my fourth Pixel gen1)

I just listened to the latest episode (2x29) where @jonobacon mentions he’s onto his third Pixel 1st generation, I can beat that. I’m onto my fourth. Here is my story of woe and a request for information of phones with a better warranty, for anyone who can be bothered to read the whole thing!

I bought the high-capacity Pixel XL 1st Gen in November 2016. It was the most expensive phone I had ever bought. Because Google were essentially permanently out of stock of this model in the UK, in the end I bought it online through Carphone Warehouse, which has physical branches around the country.

My first model died suddenly in May 2017. It had plenty of charge remaining, I was using it, and it suddenly went black and never came back on. I took it into Carphone Warehouse and they sent the phone off for repair. Frustratingly they said it could take up to 4 weeks, and I was getting married and going on honeymoon 2 weeks later. In fact they sent me a refurbished replacement within about 10 days, so all was fine except the worry and disruption.

Then this second unit died while plugged into a charger in November 2017. Hilariously this was 2 weeks before a wedding at which I was an usher, so I began to see a pattern. Again Carphone Warehouse sent the unit for repair, saying it could take up to 4 weeks. This time it arrived back the day before the wedding.

This third unit was way less than satisfactory. I keep my phones in a protective case, but this used replacement was extremely badly scuffed and scratched. It had not been factory reset and the system was in a foreign language. After I had factory reset the phone, it tried to install a beta version of Android - it turned out that it had been enrolled on the Android Beta program, which is tied to the phone hardware and persists across resets. So I had to unenroll and reset again.

But far worse was missing calls while the phone was on vibrate (not great when you’re an usher). It turned out that the vibration motor was faulty, and it could not vibrate at all.

I went to Carphone Warehouse to get them to sort it. They said that although they technically are supposed to handle warranty requests, they were out of replacements so there wasn’t anything they could do. They suggested I get in touch with Google Support directly and explain the situation.

So I contacted Google support and explained, and to their credit they said I could send the phone back for an immediate replacement. I posted back the third unit and received my fourth in less than a week. This was more convincingly refurbished, factory reset and covered in protective film.

And the fourth has been working fine for months, until the last few weeks it has started to randomly reboot at inopportune moments, and I’ve not even got any weddings coming up. I’m starting to plan for my fifth unit if it doesn’t sort itself out.

But I’m also thinking ahead. I’m not (that) mad that the phone has been faulty, that is maybe just bad luck on my part. What is frustrating is the disruption caused by sending my phone off for weeks each time, switching to a shitty backup, then switching back to the new unit. I look enviously at iPhone users who can apparently just wander into an Apple store with their faulty phone and walk right out with a working one. The Pixel cost as much as an iPhone but it clearly doesn’t have the same level of support.

My ideal would be a Thinkpad phone. When I bought my Thinkpad laptop, I paid for extended next-day on site repair warranty, including accidental damage. I’m self employed and I’m more than happy to pay for the reduced disruption. Obviously a phone is harder to repair on site, but a service like Apple’s where they would swap it would be ideal.

Does anyone have any recommendations, other than buy an iPhone?

Neal Peacock should help you out, pal

Uh, should he, why? What? :confused:

Get yourself a good Motorola!


1 Like

Well, I suppose it would be easier to repair, if you could get the parts.

1 Like

I got an iPhone 6s new at launch.


I still have it. It still works absolutely great (maybe even insanely great). And I :heart: it to bits.


@TheGuyWhoLovesChill I have to admit, I’m with @justyn here. Huh?

So that’s about two and half years old?

For me it would be a big deal to move to iPhone. To see why, here is a partial list of phones I have bought in the past:

  • Openmoko Neo1973 (open source/hardware phone)
  • Nokia N900 Maemo Linux phone (I used this for years, it was a great piece of kit)
  • Samsung Galaxy S3
  • Google Nexus 5
  • Pixel XL

You could say from the list I’m progressing away from open source phones (and I haven’t backed the Purism one) so perhaps iPhone is the eventual destination! Certainly my Pixel repair experience has made me seriously consider it for the first time.

Right now I’m less concerned about the phone hardware itself than my ability to get it repaired very quickly, like you can with an iPhone. Surely there must be an Android phone with something similar to Applecare available? Is iPhone really the only option?


and nothing… I get confused with iPhone model names!

:angry: What you looking at? :grinning:

1 Like

I took it that @justyn was acknowledging that a 2 1/2 year old phone is still useful. I have a iPhone 5s. Still works for me! Can’t say I am emotionally attached though, until I leave it at home. :smile:

@oldgeek my Nexus 5 is probably about the same age as your iPhone 5s, but it is slooooooooow

I imagine if I had a new phone, this 5s would seem painful. I had an old flip phone before this, so I guess it’s all relative. :slight_smile:

I guess I have no need for proprietary phone/computer/hardware in any way.

You would not want a ThinkPad phone. I have a few Lenovo Android devices kicking around. Whilst the hardware is great they are one of the worst for software. Most models are already using old versions on launch and are lucky to get security updates let along whole OS updates.

I suppose poor software is another reason why no one with a ThinkPad keeps Windows on them :slight_smile:

@LinuxJedi I’m sure you’re right, probably the reality of a Thinkpad phone would not be as appealing as the concept!

Here is a little update/conclusion for this thread, since I’ve already bored everyone with my Pixel backstory, you ought to hear what is hopefully the last chapter.

Last week I got my fifth Pixel. Yeah. My fourth kept randomly restarting, a new bug for me.

However this time I contacted Google straight away, rather than the shop I originally bought the Pixel from, since Google already gave me my most recent replacement (see above). After making me test it in safe mode for a bit to see that the bug still occurred, they agreed to send a replacement.

They got this replacement to me within 48 hours of me posting the old one back. They actually sent the new phone before they received the old one (but after I had dropped off the parcel). They didn’t do that last time. I don’t know if that is a change in policy or they just felt that I had been screwed around enough already.

Anyway, from my point of view that is pretty close to having a next day warranty, and I’d be pretty happy if that was standard. I’ve no idea if it is. Apparently in the US and Canada Google have a paid “Preferred Care” warranty - I’d go for that if they had it here in the UK.

It was less painful for me moving to a backup phone for a few days this time. As someone who has had to do this a lot over the last 18 month, here are some tips:

  • Have a decent backup phone (this time I borrowed a better backup than my old Nexus 5, it made a big difference)
  • Use a two factor authentication app that supports backups, like Authy (not Google Authenticator). I have a lot of accounts with 2FA, and each has a different process for moving to a new 2FA app, so it is a major pain. Using Authy this time saved me a lot of hassle!

Anyway, thanks for reading, and to any other Pixel owners out there: hold them close!