Road trip II – Pixel 7 Pro overheat boogaloo

As I mentioned before I’ve been having some overheating issues with the Pixel 7 Pro on road trips. I followed up trying to recreate the overheating issues but never really got more than the unit was getting warm in a charging cradle while driving around Nashville. Until this Saturday.

TL;DR – highly suspect my overheating and battery drain due to bad signal conditions.

2023 06 17 14.14.47 - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here

There’s a thing called the RC Cola and Moon Pie festival in Bell Buckle, TN and it was decided to load up the family for a 50 minute drive, hit the festival, watch the parade, and just get out a bit. I thought about doing a temperature test on the phone but we were sort of in a rush to get out the door because we had to drive an hour, find parking, and get a spot, and the clock was ticking.

So we headed there, I had the phone screen off and in the charger. I didn’t need Google Maps running because getting to Bell Buckle involves getting on the interstate, missing Manchester, and making a couple of right turns.

We pulled into Bell Buckle, started the walk, I checked my phone which was now at 100% and the temp was normal. Using 3C’s Battery Manager and just watching the battery temperature it has been relatively fine. Shut the screen off and just wandered in a town that goes from a population of 399 to 30,000 for about six hours.

We watched a parade, I took no pictures, there was signal but no internet to speak of. Non-festival days there is signal and bandwidth, but nobody brought in boosting equipment for the festival so whatever.

Taken with the Pixel 7 Pro, saying it was overheating, in Bell Buckle TN at the RC Cola and Moon Pie festival
It was a show about bees with plenty of parodies but not one B-52s song, nor Bee Gees. A criminal mistake.

Oh yeah quick side note to the people who think I’m attacking them personally by talking about issues with a phone (the Pixel 7 Pro). I am not. The phone is not you. That last article’s auto-declined commentary was kind of insane. I don’t hate Google. This is my experience with a device. Anyway.

Went to a show, sat and took a couple of pictures and had a warning that the flash had been disabled because the phone was too hot. I had done nothing with the phone. It was 80F out, not terrible. The phone had been in my pocket the entire time and when I was sitting at the show it was not in the sun. The phone was hot to the touch. Battery Manager claimed the battery was at 121F.

This with no use, no screen on time, and nearly an hour since it was on a charger. I turned the phone off for about ten minutes because I was doing absolutely nothing with it. Temperature down a bit to the touch and with no warnings I took five more photos in Bell Buckle.

Phone in pocket we meandered back to the car. There was internet on that side of the town and I popped open Google Maps to navigate to a nearby town. Popped the phone on the wireless cradle, and night mode kicked in about one minute in with the message that the phone was too hot.

Drove out of there to Shelbyville and when we arrived the phone, with Google Maps in day mode (which is is in when the phone isn’t hot,) was a reasonable temperature and had been positively charging for the past ten minutes.

I suspected something like a bad battery, but my next navigation to Uncle Nearest Distillery also was fine and the phone did not overheat. It also charged positively. Huh.

Call me old fashioned but...
Call me old fashioned but…

Took some pictures, no overheat, set up Google Maps to navigate to Nashville even though I didn’t need it, no overheating, and when I arrived at my house my phone was nearly full. Positively charging in the dash in the sun.

I now highly suspect my overheating issues at least in part come from the issue of internet connectivity, or lack thereof. My first run in with this was in the mountains of Gatlinburg where the phone overheated and drained in a fast charger, and attempts to reproduce the overheating in Nashville were unsuccessful. Bell Buckle has internet, but when 30,000 people descend in a very tiny little town it does not have internet. Mountains of Gatlinburg were mostly 1 bar areas that I was wandering around in.

So my current idea is lack of cell signal, or at least insanely degraded, are what is causing this particular Pixel 7 Pro to overheat.

There is a June patch and feature upgrade that lists a fix for a situation causing phones to overheat, but it hasn’t made its way to my phone yet so I don’t know if it is a fix for what I’m experiencing.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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