Google explains the trade-offs that led to the Pixel 6’s slow charging complaints

Google has responded to claims that the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro do not charge as fast as some have expected, confirming that their charging speeds are a deliberate trade-off for better battery life. A report follows from Android Authority who found that the phones’ maximum power consumption was around 22W, well below the 30W that Google’s latest USB-C charging pad is technically capable of.

A spokesman for Google wrote in a community support post that the maximum power consumption of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro is 21W and 23W, respectively, when used with its 30W USB-C charging pad. They added that charging speeds also decrease as the phones’ batteries are charged to preserve their longevity.

In their post, they note that these numbers are the inevitable results of battery balances. “A battery can be designed for high energy density or for fast charging, which requires replacement of capacity to minimize battery degradation,” the spokesman said. In other words, a phone can offer long battery life or fast charging, but it cannot do both at the same time. So Google prioritized a longer battery life and designed the phones to draw a more modest amount of power when charging.

This follows what we observed in our review of the two phones:

“Even if you use a powerful enough charger, none of the phone charges very quickly. Google aggressively lowers the charge when it is above 80 percent, to preserve the life of the battery cells, and since these batteries are so large, it can take a long time to get a full charge. Fortunately, thanks to the long battery life, you will probably only need to charge when you sleep anyway. “

Although Google’s support documents never explicitly state the charging speeds of the new phones, their compatibility with Google’s 30W charging pad (sold separately) was perceived by many as meaning that their true maximum charging speeds would approach the 30W level and would be long. faster than the 18W charge supported by Pixel 5. But in reality, Android Authority‘s report found that the actual power consumption of both phones peaks at 22W and averages around 13W over an entire cycle.

The effect of this is that the phones charge much slower than one might expect Android Authority discovers that the Pixel 6 Pro takes almost two hours to reach a full charge. It’s 49 minutes slower than Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra, which has a battery of the same size but only advertised with 25W fast charging speeds. In fact, Google’s power consumption is so conservative that its 30W charger only fully charges a Pixel 6 Pro 10 minutes faster than its old 18W charger.

Google has never claimed that phones charge at 30W. Instead, it announced how long it takes to get from 0 to 50 and 80 percent when charged using its 30W charger – 30 minutes and about an hour, respectively. This is in line with what Android Authority found in his tests.

In addition to charging speeds, Google has also recently clarified that the seemingly sluggish performance of the phones’ fingerprint scanners is due to their “improved security algorithms.” It later released an update containing “some improvements to the performance of the fingerprint sensor”, although the improvements it provided appeared to be minimal in practice.

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