Google Pixel phones have been plagued with a strange bug that is causing them to reboot instantly after watching a specific video clip. According to a user on the Google Pixel subreddit named ‘OGPixel5’, watching a clip of the 1979 movie Alien on a Google Pixel 6, 6a, or Pixel 7 will result in the phone crashing before it can even load a frame. Some users have reported that the phone’s cell service would stop working after the reboot, requiring another reboot to fix the issue.
The reason for this issue is still unclear, but some experts have suggested that it could be due to the format of the video. The clip is in 4K HDR format, which might be causing the phone to crash. This is not the first time that a bug like this has been reported for Android phones. In 2020, a wallpaper with a color space bug caused some Android phones to crash when it was set as the background.
It’s worth noting that the affected phones all use Google’s Exynos-derived Tensor SoC, which is why non-Google phones are not affected by this issue. Samsung Exynos phones could be the next most likely to be affected, but no reports have been made yet.
The bug was first reported over the weekend and appears to be getting fixed. Our Pixel 7 Pro crashed instantly yesterday, but today it can play the clip without any issues. It’s unclear what changes Google made to fix the issue, but it’s possible that they used their remote control capabilities to disable or enable code paths without pushing an update.
Several users on the Pixel subreddit have confirmed that the video is now working fine on their phones as well. While the cause of the issue is still unclear, it’s good to see that Google has taken swift action to fix the problem. If you own a Google Pixel phone, it’s worth checking if the video clip works on your device. If it doesn’t, try updating your phone’s software or contacting Google support for help.