Just as 2 years ago using a certain wallpaper image could lock Samsung and Google phones, another bug allows Pixel 7 and 7 Pro phones to spontaneously reboot by simply playing a YouTube clip.
Already confirmed by several Pixel 7 users, the bug is triggered when playing this YouTube clip containing a sequence from the movie Alien. It’s unclear whether the source of the problem is the recording format (4K HDR), or something else in the image. What is certain is that playing it using the YouTube app causes the phone to spontaneously reboot.
Predictably, some users are already using this clip for the purpose of committing pranks on Pixel 7 owners, taking advantage of the fact that the phones are set to bb opening links using the dedicated YouTube app. The issue also appears to be affecting some Pixel 6 and Pixel 6a users. But here. results vary depending on software configuration.
Somewhat alarmingly, some Pixel 7 owners who participated in this “experiment” were left without cellular connectivity after rebooting their phone. However, operation seems to return to normal with successive reboots.
Pending an official response from Google, we can speculate that the problem is related to decoding 4K HDR content, with something in the above clip causing a critical system driver to crash. It remains to be seen whether the issue can be fixed by updating the YouTube app, or will require firmware patches for affected devices.