Google is now silently replacing Pixel 2 units with sensitive proximity sensors to avoid any bad publicity, including Pixel/Pixel 2 units which are ridden with microphone issues. Second-generation Pixel users who are facing fatal camera errors are no exception either.
As of mid-November last year, there had been complaints from Pixel 2 users regarding random camera crashes, with an error which stated “The camera device encountered a fatal error”, upon accessing the application, thereby rendering it incapable of further operations.
Google’s inquiries and investigations with Orrin (Google employee and also the Community Manager at Pixel User Community) asking for bug reports, the Pixel 2 replacement which they are offering necessarily imply that a software to fix the problem, has not been developed yet and fall under issues of hardware glitches.
One of the complaints, who is also an Android developer, confirmed this after looking at debug logs:
I would recommend everyone get a replacement because it seems like a hardware or power issue. I am an Android developer myself and all the debug logs indicate a hardware problem
Following is what the same user got to hear from Google Support:
The Response was to get an RMA for the issue and support said there tracking the problem and issuing replacement devices for that effected wince there is no known fix.
Relevant forum threads reveal that Google has been surreptitiously replacing affected units.
Unfortunately, there have also been reports that say that the replacements were of no help because the problem is recurring and showed up again after a while
With miscellaneous reports from several users, it is difficult to come to a conclusion about whether or not a replacement of units is the best solution to these recurring problems. However, one thing is for certain. This is the only option at hand as of now, and as a user had previously stated in one of the comments listed above, there is no harm in opting for an RMA.