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Google 30W USB C Power Charger resting on Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
aa2020 recommended

Google 30W USB-C Power Charger review: One for the modern age

Need a power adapter for your new Pixel 6? Google's 30W USB-C Power Charger is a solid choice.
By
November 12, 2021
aa2020 recommended

Google 30W USB-C Power Charger

Google's 30W USB-C adapter supports the latest USB Power Delivery PPS specification to fast charge the Pixel 6 and other cutting-edge smartphones. By dropping legacy fast charging support, Google's charger is only suitable for the most modern gadgets, but it's priced very fairly and well-built to boot.

Retail price: $25.00

$25.00 at Google Store

What we like

Solid USB PD PPS charging speeds
Well-built
Affordable price

What we don't like

No legacy charging support
30W is not enough for laptops
aa2020 recommended

Google 30W USB-C Power Charger

Google's 30W USB-C adapter supports the latest USB Power Delivery PPS specification to fast charge the Pixel 6 and other cutting-edge smartphones. By dropping legacy fast charging support, Google's charger is only suitable for the most modern gadgets, but it's priced very fairly and well-built to boot.

Following the lead of Apple and Samsung, you won’t find a charger bundled with any new Google Pixel 6 series handset. Fortunately, depending on how you view the environmental arguments, Google has a new 30W USB-C Power Charger to sell you, should you be in need of a plug to charge your new smartphone.

When buying an adapter separately, it’s best to purchase a wall charger that can charge a variety of gadgets rather than just one specific smartphone. So check out our Google 30W USB-C Power Charger review to see just how nicely it plays with the new Pixels and a selection of other USB-C gadgets.

Google 30W USB-C Power Charger

What you need to know about the Google 30W USB-C Power Charger

Google 30W USB C Power Charger upright next to box
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
  • Google 30W USB-C Power Charger: $25/£25/€29
  • Google 30W USB-C Power Charger and Cable: $35/£35/€39

The Google 30W USB-C Power Charger is the company’s first adapter to support the USB Power Delivery 3.0 and PPS specification used to fast charge a growing selection of smartphones and other gadgets. As the name suggests, the maximum power output is 30W, making this product suitable for smartphone, tablet, and small laptop charging.

Google’s 30W adapter is a standard-sized smartphone plug, rather than an ultra-compact travel companion. Still, it’s reasonably sized at just 6.8 x 4.3 x 2.7cm and weighing in at a lightweight 71g. On the UK model, the top plastic grounding prong folds down for easier storage. Otherwise, the version we tested is identical to the US model.

See also: The best chargers to correctly fast charge the Google Pixel 6

In the box, you’ll find just the white charger marked with Google’s logo and a small piece of boilerplate paperwork. You’ll have to bring your own cable for this one, which phone manufacturers continue to supply even if they don’t include a power adapter in the box. Alternatively, you can purchase Google’s $35 package that bundles a one-meter USB-C to USB-C cable in with the charger.

What’s good?

Google 30W USB C Power Adapter held held in hand by window
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

With USB Power Delivery and Programmable Power Supply protocols onboard, the Google 30W USB-C Power Charger is built for modern gadgets. It has enough power and the right protocols to fast charge the Google Pixel 6 and Samsung Galaxy S21 series at maximum speed.

It's not just for the Pixel 6 — Google's adapter fast charges the Galaxy S21 and iPhone 13 too.

30W is also enough power to charge USB-C-powered tablets and some smaller laptops. It supports up to 20V 1.5A via USB Power Delivery and 3.3-21V via USB PD PPS, although that’s not quite enough power for more demanding USB-C laptops.

Google 30W USB-CGoogle Pixel 6Samsung Galaxy S21 UltraApple iPhone 12 Pro MaxMicrosoft Surface Book X
Google 30W USB-C
USB Power Test
Google Pixel 6
20.6W
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
27.5W
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
26.5W
Microsoft Surface Book X
26.5W
Google 30W USB-C
Voltage & Current
Google Pixel 6
9.07V, 2.257A
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
9.43V, 2.92A
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
9.03V, 2.99A
Microsoft Surface Book X
19.8V, 1.32A
Google 30W USB-C
Charging Standard
Google Pixel 6
USB PD PPS
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
USB PD PPS
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
USB PD 3.0
Microsoft Surface Book X
USB PD 3.0
Google 30W USB-C
Power from wall
Google Pixel 6
24.9W
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
33.9W
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
32.5W
Microsoft Surface Book X
31.1W
Google 30W USB-C
Energy Efficiency
Google Pixel 6
80.3%, OK.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
81.2%, good.
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
81.4%, good.
Microsoft Surface Book X
84.1%, good.

Taking all this into consideration, Google has priced this charger very competitively, at least in the US and UK — it’s a fraction more expensive in the rest of the EU. Other first-party products can set you back notably more but Google’s 30W plug is more in-line with the competitive pricing we’ve come to expect from third-party products. It’s good to see that Google doesn’t price gouge its customers after taking the power adapter out of the Pixel 6’s box.

What’s not so good?

Google 30W USB C Power Charger resting on Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Part of our testing suite involves checking what charging standards a plug works with. While the Google 30W USB-C Power Charger supports the latest USB standards, it doesn’t work with popular legacy fast charge protocols. If you’re looking to fast charge older Quick Charge 3.0 or Apple 2.4A gadgets, you’re out of luck here. They’re stuck with USB-C’s default slow charging speeds.

Related: The best phone charging accessories

A more minor annoyance is the speed you’ll obtain when charging the Google Pixel 6. Based on Google’s marketing with this plug, you may have thought the phone supports 30W charging, but our own testing revealed the phone is actually capped at 22W. That said, the Google 30W USB-C Power Charger still charges the Pixel 6 as fast as any other charger on the market. The 22W power draw is capped by the phone, not the plug, so treat this as a criticism of Google’s marketing rather than the quality of this adapter. However, if you’re planning to buy the phone and adapter bundle for their fast charging speed, you may want to rethink the entire purchase.

As a result of the above, 30W of power feels like a bit of an odd choice for this charger. It’s a little bit more than you currently need for USB PD PPS smartphones, such as the Pixel 6, but it’s not quite enough to charge more powerful laptops in a speedy manner. 45W may have been better, but Google already sells a 45W USB Power Delivery charger (sans PPS) for charging devices like its Pixelbook Go.

Google 30W USB-C Power Charger review: Should I buy it?

Google 30W USB-C Power Adapter standing upright on wooden beam
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

There’s very little to quibble about with Google’s 30W charger. It offers solid charging specifications, enough power for phones and tablets, and is well-built to boot. It’s a particularly solid choice for Google Pixel 6 and Samsung Galaxy S21 owners, thanks to USB PD PPS.

The only situations in which I don’t recommend this adapter are if you need to fast charge a laptop or power Quick Charge and other legacy gadgets. Google has abandoned those old standards to the trashcan of history, which isn’t great for broader compatibility.

Google's 30W charger is perfect for modern gadgets and won't break the bank either.

At $25, it’s priced very fairly. The closest alternatives in terms of cost, power, and specs are the 30 to 65W Anker Nano II series ($33.99) and Anker PowerPort III ($19.99). Although the latter only sports 25W, that’s still enough for your Google Pixel 6, and both support USB PD PPS and a host of legacy charging standards too.

Google 30W USB C Power Charger Widget Image
Google 30W USB-C Power Charger
A power adapter for the modern age
Google's 30W USB-C adapter supports the latest USB Power Delivery PPS specification to fast-charge the Google Pixel 6, Samsung Galaxy S21, and other cutting-edge smartphones.

Top Google 30W USB-C Power Charger questions and answers

Q: Does the Google 30W USB-C Power Charger fast charge the Google Pixel 6?

A: Yes, this adapter is specifically designed to fast charge Google’s Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro smartphones as quickly as possible — just don’t expect 30W speeds, as the Pixel 6 series isn’t capable of that (it maxes at 22W), despite what Google’s marketing appears to suggest.

Q: Does the Google 30W USB-C Power Charger fast charge the Samsung Galaxy S21?

A: Yes. With support for USB Power Delivery PPS, Google’s 30W plug will charge up the Galaxy S21 series at full speed.

Q: Will this new plug charge my older Pixel smartphones?

A: Yes. With USB Power Delivery 3.0 onboard, Google’s 30W adapter will charge the Pixel 5 and older models at 18W.

Q: Do I need to buy the Google 30W USB-C Power Charger with a cable if I buy the Pixel 6?

A: No, the Google Pixel 6 comes bundled with a cable in its box so you’ll just need to buy the charger.