Google is once again on the defensive as it tries to explain why early adopters are reporting slower-than-expected charging speeds for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.
Google’s Pixel 6 launch has been anything but smooth. We were pleasantly surprised to see a modern flagship smartphone when leaks first revealed the phone’s design. Then Google jobs revealed that the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro would be powered by their own custom Tensor chip. The anticipation for the arrival of the new phones was palpable. But then the phone started working.
Almost every story about the Pixel 6 in the last few weeks has focused on the phone’s flaws. The fingerprint sensor is inconsistent, the phone ghost-dials contacts at random, the display flickers when the phone is turned off — the list goes on and on. Google is slowly but steadily addressing these issues, as evidenced by a post on its support forums this week.
Android Jobs Authority tested the charging capabilities of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro in early November. As the site reported at the time, Google’s official Pixel 6 support page states : Fast charging: With Google 30W USB-C, you can charge up to 50% in 30 minutes. The Google 30W USB-C Charger plugged into a wall outlet is used to provide fast wired charging rates. USB PD 3.0 PPS adapters are supported. Many factors influence charging speed, including usage while charging, battery age, and ambient temperature. The actual charging speed could be slower.
Needless to say, it’s unclear just how fast the fast charging is. Android Authority decided to test the charging speed of the Pixel 6 and discovered that no matter what charger they used, they couldn’t go above 22W of power. Google has now issued an official response to clarify the situation.
On Wednesday, Google’s Camille Vogl posted a lengthy explanation about how charging works on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. As she explains, Google designed the high energy density cells in the Pixel 6 “to strike a balance between battery life, longevity and fast charging.” Regardless of the power coming in from the plug, the actual power delivered to the Pixel 6 will vary while charging.
When the battery level on the Pixel 6/Pro is low, Google optimized the battery to charge faster. Using Google’s 30W charger, the Pixel 6 battery can charge to 50% in about 30 minutes and to 80% in about an hour. Vogl also revealed that the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro draw 21W and 23W of peak power from the wired charger, respectively. Over the course of a charging session, the average speeds are even slower.
It’s worth noting that Google hasn’t previously confirmed the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro charging speeds. Of course, customers assumed that the phones would fully utilize Google’s own 30W charger. That is no longer the case, as evidenced by this forum post.
During the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro launches, Google has repeatedly tripped over itself. All of these drama jobs and intrigue could have been avoided if Google had simply been upfront about the new phone’s charging capabilities. Consumers must instead wait for forum posts in response to blog posts. We can only hope that Google is learning from this experience.