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Google confirms our findings: Pixel 6 Pro charging capped at 23W

Google has now acknowledged that the Pixel 6 series has a maximum charging speed way lower than 30W.

Published onNovember 18, 2021

Google 30W USB C Power Charger resting on Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
  • Google has given its take on how the Pixel 6 series charging works.
  • It says the phones can reach 80% in an hour before power is reduced due to battery health concerns.
  • Google also said that the Pixel 6 and Pro variant offer wired speeds of 21W and 23W respectively.

Our own testing of the Google Pixel 6 series revealed that the phone doesn’t actually charge at anywhere close to 30W, despite the company tacitly suggesting that this was the case. In fact, resident tester Rob Triggs found that the phones drew a maximum of 22W and an average of 13W for a charging cycle.

Now, Google has posted a thread on its Pixel community forum (h/t: 9to5Google), explaining how charging works on the Pixel 6 series. For starters, the company claimed that the phones’ batteries are meant to balance battery life, fast charging, and longevity.

Google’s take on Pixel 6 series charging

The company also explained that the power delivered to the phone during a single charge changes due to several variables, such as battery cell and system design, temperature, system usage, and “state of charge.”

“We’ve optimized Pixel’s lithium-ion battery for high charge rates when the battery level is low,” read an excerpt of the post, specifically noting that the phones can reach 50% capacity in 30 minutes when using the official 30W charger. The post adds that the phones can reach 80% juice in an hour “depending on device usage and temperature,” which seems broadly in line with our testing.

More Pixel coverage: Google Pixel 6 Pro review — Google’s most compelling Pixel yet

But it’s the time to reach 100% that had us suspicious, with our tests showing that it took ~111 minutes to hit a full charge. Google’s post confirms that charging power is “gradually” reduced to improve battery health as it inches closer to full capacity. It adds that the phones could also be affected by Adaptive Charging and the Charging Temporarily Limited features.

The post also lists actual charging speeds for the Pixel 6 series — something that the company didn’t include in its original promotional material.

The peak power that Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro draw from the wired charger is 21W and 23W, respectively

Those are also the quoted wireless charging speeds for the phones respectively when using the new Pixel Stand. It’s also more or less in line with our testing, which found that both phones charged at a maximum of 22W.

In any event, it seems like this controversy could’ve been largely averted if Google listed actual peak charging speeds for the phones in the first place. After all, other Android OEMs like Xiaomi and vivo list their phones’ charging speeds while still offering a bundled charger with a higher wattage. For example, the vivo X70 Pro Plus supports 55W charging speeds but comes with a 66W charger.

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