Google Explains the Tradeoffs That Led to Pixel 6’s Slow Charging Complaints. Google has responded to the allegations about the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro don’t charge as fast as some may have expected, confirming that the charging speeds are a deliberate tradeoff for better battery life.
Following the report from Android Authority which found that the phones’ maximum power draw was around 22W, well short of the 30W which Google’s latest USB-C charging brick is actually technically capable of.
In writing of a community support post, a spokesperson for Google confirmed that the maximum power draw of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are 21W and 23W respectively when they are used with the 30W USB-C charging brick.
They also added that the charging speeds also decrease as the phones’ batteries fill up to preserve their longevity.
Google Explains the Tradeoffs That Led to Pixel 6’s Slow Charging Complaints
According to the verge, in their post, they noted that these figures are the inevitable results of battery tradeoffs. “A battery can be designed for high energy density, or for fast charging power capability, which requires trading off capacity to minimize battery degradation,” says the spokesperson.
In other words, the phone can offer a long battery life or fast charging, but it won’t be able to do both at the same time. So, Google prioritized the longer battery life and designed the phones to draw a more modest amount of power when it’s charging.
This tracks with what we observed in our review of the two phones:
”Even if you do use a powerful enough charger, neither phone charges particularly quickly. Google aggressively slows down charging once it’s past 80 percent to preserve the battery cells’ longevity.
And since the batteries are so large, getting it to a full charge can take a long time. Fortunately, there’s a good side to it, thanks to the long battery life, you will likely only have to charge when you’re sleeping anyway.”
Google’s Support Documents
Although Google’s support documents never explicitly state the charging speeds of the new phones, their compatibility with the Google’s 30W charging brick (sold separately) was taken by many.
This means that their real-world maximum charging speeds would approach the 30W level, and would be far faster than the 18W charging that is been supported by the Pixel 5.
But in reality, Android Authority’s report found that the actual power draw of both phones peaks at 22W, and the average is around 13W over the course of a full cycle.
The effect of this is that the phones charge far slower than you might have expected, with Android Authority finding that the Pixel 6 Pro takes almost two hours for it to fully charge.
That’s 49 minutes slower than the Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra, which has a similarly-sized battery but is only advertised with 25W fast charging speeds. In fact, Google’s power draw is very conservative that its 30W charger only fully charges a Pixel 6 Pro 10 minutes faster than its old 18W charger.
Google Denies Claims on Phone Charge
Google said they never claimed that the phones charge at 30W. Instead, it advertised the amount of time it takes to get it om 0 to 50 and 80 percent when charged using its 30W charger 30 minutes and around an hour, respectively. This is in line with what Android Authority found in its tests.
As well as charging speeds, Google also recently clarified that the seemingly sluggish performance of the phones’ fingerprint scanner is because of their “enhanced security algorithms.”
It later released an update containing “some fingerprint sensor performance improvements,” although the improvements it delivered appeared to be minimal in practice.