Google may have misled consumers about Pixel 6 charging speed

Google may have misled consumers about Pixel 6 charging speeds
Starting with the Pixel 6 duo, Google has stopped bundling in free chargers with its phones. The company has introduced a 30W brick for the new devices that sells for $25, giving the impression that the handsets support this charging speed. Turns out, that isn't the case. 

The Pixel 6 is kitted with a 4,614mAh battery, and the Pro has an even bigger 5,003mAh battery. On the Pixel 6 support page, Google claims that the 30W charger can juice up the devices by 50 percent in 30 minutes, which is technically true, but that page conveniently leaves out an important detail.

Pixel 6 actually charges at 22W

Noticing that the phone displays a "two hours to full" message after being plugged in, Android Authority took it upon itself to get to the bottom of the matter and after extensive testing, which also included other third-party USB Power Delivery PPS chargers such as Anker Nano II and Samsung 45W Travel Adapter, it came to the conclusion that the Pixel 6 duo charges a little faster than previous phones.

To be exact, the Pixel 6 range doesn't seem to go further than 22W, which is just a paltry 4w faster than the company's older phones. That sounds unacceptable, given that 30W, the implied supported wired charging speed, wasn't the fastest, to begin with, and also because the latest generation has much bigger batteries than previous models. The Pixel 5, for instance, packs a 4080mAh battery.

On top of that, Google has adopted the new USB Power Delivery PPS charging standard and the 30W charger is PPS compliant, so it's hard to fathom why the company would embrace a new protocol to provide just a smidgen more power.

Google is being ultra-conservative

The Pixel 6 and 6 Pro averaged at 13W over the full charging cycle and they didn't hit 30W even once. The test was conducted with Adaptive Charging and Adaptive Battery switched off. The Pixel 6 Pro needed nearly 111 minutes for a full charge. 

In comparison, the Pixel 5, which supports 18W charging, requires around 87 minutes and the Galaxy S21 Ultra, which features a 5,000mAh battery and supports 25W charging, takes a little more than an hour to get replenished. 

Google is apparently being super cautious. Fast charging usually uses more power initially and then reduces it to maintain a safe temperature. The Pixel 6 apparently maintains the 22W speed until half of the battery is filled up, which takes 31 minutes. 

After reaching 61 percent, which takes around 40 minutes, the phone drops to 15W. Once the battery is charged to 75 percent capacity, the power falls to 12W. After nearly 63 minutes, when the phone reaches 85 percent, the power slowly drops to 2.5W. 

With the same Google charger, the Galaxy S21 Ultra gets done in just 62 minutes. In our battery test we found that the S21 Ultra lasts longer than the Pixel 6 Pro. Double bummer.

To hand it to Google, AA notes that the Pixel 6 Pro didn't touch 35°C, which wasn't the case with the S21 Ultra. It could be that Google is being conservative to prolong battery life. As a reminder, the phones get five years of security support.

The Pixel 6 Pro was also charged using the older 18W charger, and with it, the phone only took ten more minutes (121 minutes) for a full charge and nine minutes longer (40 minutes) for a half charge. 

Regardless of the reasoning behind Google's approach, the findings are bound to disappoint fans, not just because Google had sort of implied that the Pixel 6 supported 30W charging, but also because 22W is not fitting for a flagship phone, one that many were hoping would topple other best smartphones of 2021

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