Pixel fail

I got my Pixel 5A in March of last year. So, fortunately, it is still in its warranty period.

This is the weirdest failure I have heard of. Yesterday, I took my phone out of my pocket, woke it up, and was greeted by a flashing screen. What it was flashing was a screen full of "snow", like what you get on a TV that's tuned to a station that's not broadcasting, but static -- the whole screen was flashing but the snow wasn't moving around. Hmm, very odd. As I tried to shut it down gracefully I could see that the "underlying" image was responding to me -- there were the usual buttons for "restart", "shut down", and whatever else -- but so fleeting that I couldn't catch them with my finger or read them. On to the hard reboot via the power button.

I Googled this but did not find answers.

I hoped it was a one-time glitch, but I wouldn't be writing this post if it were. Almost every time, but not every single time, since then, recovering from "sleep" mode gets me not the usual desktop but this flashing thing from which I can only hard-reboot. Rebooted about 20 times yesterday.

After the first reboot I had a new notification of a pending OS update, so I applied that. No change. I uninstalled the app I most recently installed, which should have been safe but it's basic troubleshooting. No change. I had, I think on Friday, gotten a batch of miscellaneous app updates, but I don't see a way to review exactly what now. But also, it wasn't right before this behavior. None of that was; that app (from my bank) was sometime last week.

Off to chat support I went. The agent I spoke with told me both that it's a software problem and that I would need to take it to their designated repair place for a hardware repair (for which you must first do a system reset); I asked her to reconcile those two things but she didn't. I pushed back on the repair place, noting that earlier in the warranty period I'd had a problem for which they said that was the solution, but the place couldn't help me and was kind of rude about it and it never got fixed. I asked if the software problem was something I could fix but her script didn't have any info about that. I said in that case, since it's under warranty, I want to exchange it, and I know they have a scheme where they send you the new phone (with a hold on your credit card), you migrate to it and send back the old one, and they release the hold. After I sent her a video of the behavior (an adventure of its own, as she was assuming I could do that from my phone and share it and I was like "uh, this is a video taken with my partner's iPhone and no it's not in my photo gallery and I need to upload or email it to you"), she collected some information from me and came back a few minutes later to say something like "good news, it's under warranty" (I knew that), and then gave me instructions for mailing back the phone and then they'd send me a new one, "or if you like, we could do" (exactly what I'd just asked for). Yeah that, I said.

Meanwhile, I installed Authy on my tablet lest the phone become completely unusable, because I wouldn't want to be locked out of anything that requires two-factor authentication. Today I noticed a seeming pattern where the phone would be fine so long as it was active, and if I set it on the desk next to me I could then wake it up but if I put it in my pocket we'd be back to the snow. This is, uh, the same pocket position I always use. But then the snow thing happened while I was using the phone, so apparently it's not that either. I am mystified.

It's going to be an aggravating several days, methinks.