Pixel 6 Charging
The pixel 6 is providing a good experience all round but when it comes to charging the smartphone things are not quite as they seem. Google’s official specs state that the Pixel 6 will charge up to 50% in 30 minuites using Googles 30Watt USB-C charger and its pretty much implied that the fast charge is 30Watts
Now googles claims here are not actually false, but they are very misleading to the consumer as it does not charger at 30 Watts, and while you may think if it chargers to 50% in 30 minutes that it can charge to 100% in 60 but that is very far from the truth.
Wired testing of the google pixel 6 by Android Authority has confirmed charging speeds are no where near that advised by Google themselves. The charging tests have revealed that the maximum power output delivered by the Pixel 6 was actually just 22 watts and the average power over the whole charging cycle was just 13watts. The test was also carried out with third party chargers from the likes of Anker & Samsung and again the results were exactly the same.
Why is the pixel 6 not 30 Watts?
Now google never actualy stated that the pixel 6 supported 30 watt fast charging but instead opted to give details on charging times. As we advised these charging times are not actually false, but they don’t give the full picture. What is happening with the Pixel 6 is that it charges much faster at the beggining of the charge cycle and the continues to drop off more and more as the charging cycle goes on.
You can see from the graph below that the pixel 6 charges at around 22 Watts for the first 30 minutes on a fully discharged battery, after that things drop off quite significantly. By 40 minutes the charging power has dropped down to 15 Watts and by the time we reach 52 minutes its just under 12 watts. The few % of battery also take a lot longer than the rest charging at just over 2 Watts of power.
The Pixel 6 total charge time was 112 minutes which is considerably longer than you would expect after reading all of the advertising about fast charging. The Pixel 5 supports 18Watt fast charge and can charge its 4,080 mAh battery in just 87 minutes, although the pixel 6 does initially charge at a higher power than the 5, before the same thing happens.
Is this a problem for the Pixel 6?
Overall its no issue as the phone does in fact charge to Googles quoted time but we cant help feel its incredibly misleading. Reading over the specs you feel its on par with its competitors but in fact its far from it. It is clever marketing from Google and makes us thing it’s better than the offerings from Samsung and Apple but in actual fact its slower than both of their latest smartphones.
Its unsure why the pixel 6 is doing this and tests reveal that the pixel 5 is no different. Its most likely for temperature safety and protection of the battery but they could be more transparent about it. There seemed to be a lot of battery issues developing later on from the Pixel 4 so this could be a precaution of that.
The other side to the argument is that high fast charging speeds and effect the total life of the battery, so to charge at full power when needed (below 50%) and then ramp down as charging continues could potentially prolong the life of the battery.
While there are pro’s and cons to each the bottom line is that it is a little disappointing that many people have been mislead and i’m happy that this has been discovered. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below though, Is this a good thing ? or a bad one?