We see emails about this topic from time to time and wanted something to reference going forward, so let’s talk about that rattle in your phone’s camera, like the one you might hear in a Pixel 7 or Pixel 7 Pro. Yes, your phone does indeed have a rattling noise coming from it, but no, you shouldn’t be worried about random broken pieces floating around inside of it that are causing it. You also don’t need to contact whoever made your phone for a return, as it’s perfectly normal.
If you shake any high-end phone with even a touch of a bit of force, you are likely to hear a rattling noise from the minute you pull it out of the box. That sound is the optical image stabilization (OIS) at work, trying its best to stabilize your phone’s camera sensor with your violent action. You can stop shaking it now.
With OIS in a phone, there are components that try to adjust the angle of the camera sensor as it senses movement. It’s trying to counteract your non-steady hand or body in order to give you good results, no matter the situation. By adjusting as your hand shakes or you pan around for that next shot, your phone uses OIS. In order to stabilize your camera lens, there really are moving parts involved, which you are hearing move as your phone shakes.
As I was writing up this note for those worried, I grabbed a Galaxy S23+, iPhone 14 Pro, Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro, and OnePlus 11. I gave them all a little shake and they all gave me that rattling feedback on some level.
The most subtle rattle came from the iPhone 14 Pro, while the Pixel 7 Pro was the loudest and easiest to produce. Seriously, the tiniest wiggle brings out the Pixel 7 Pro’s rattle, and my guess is that it’s from the telephoto lens.
If you shook a Galaxy S21 Ultra or an iPhone 13 Pro or a Pixel 6 Pro or a Galaxy Z Flip 4, you’d hear a rattle. I even shook my old Pixel 2 XL, and because it has OIS, gave me a rattle back.
So there you have it – the rattling noise coming from your expensive phone, is fine. I mean, unless the volume button is rattling before it falls off of your Pixel 7 Pro, it could be something to worry about. But for the rest of you, it’s the OIS in your camera.