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Finally, the Google Pixel 8 series charges fast(er)

It's only taken two years, but finally Google is making the most of that 30W charger for the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro.

Published onOctober 15, 2023

Google Pixel 8 USB C charging test
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

We haven’t had many complaints about Google’s recent Pixel smartphones, but one consistent pain the rump has been catatonic charging speeds. One hundred agonizing minutes to fill the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro certainly takes the shine off last year’s models. Thankfully, Google has remedied the situation for the new Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. At least somewhat.

Using Google’s official 30W charger, we clocked the Pixel 8 from empty to full in 77 minutes and the 8 Pro to full in 79 minutes, versus 100 and 101 minutes last generation respectively. That’s still snail-paced compared to the fastest in the industry, but shaving over 20 minutes off the charge time still deserves a pat on the back. Importantly, the Pixel 8, in particular, hits the key 50% and 75% milestones a few minutes faster, so you’re back on your feet when you need it most. See for yourself below.

The Pixel 8 charges to full in about 77 minutes, while our Pixel 8 Pro hits full in 79 minutes. Both are notably faster to charge than the Pixel 7 series.

Part of the reason behind faster charging with the Pixel 8 series is their higher peak power levels. The Pixel 8 now supports up to 27W of power, while the Pixel 8 Pro peaks at 30W, according to Google. We didn’t record levels quite that high at the phone’s USB-C port (Google could be reporting power from the plug), but the amount of power is certainly higher than last year by 2W or so in the Pro and up to 5W in the regular Pixel 8.

But that’s just part of the picture; the Pixel 8 series also charges more efficiently too, particularly the smaller model. Peak power levels are sustained for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on temperature, whereas the Pixel 7 saw a pretty much flat power level for the bulk of its cycle. High power levels early in the charge cycle enable the phones to hit about a third of their capacity quicker than before, and there don’t appear to be any aggressive temperature spikes.

You'll want a 30W USB PPS charger this year to charge the Pixel 8 as quickly as possible.

Google says that the Pixel 8 requires 27W and the 8 Pro 30W from a compatible USB Power Delivery PPS plug. We tested the phones and recorded peak power of 24.5W and 26.5W, respectively.

The bulk of the charging cycle still occurs at around 19W for the regular Pixel 8, but this power level is also sustained a little longer on the new models. Pixel 8 charging rates start declining once the cell hits about 80%, while power rates begin to fall at about 72% on the Pixel 7, which explains why the older model takes an age to finish charging. It’s a similar situation with the Pro, but the handset isn’t as good at sustaining power in the middle of the cycle, which varies between 22W and 18W.

The trade-off for faster charging is slightly higher temperatures. While the Pixel 7 Pro peaked at 36.5°, we clocked the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro hovering consistently at 38°c, which coincides with a reduction in charging power once this temperature is reached. With that in mind, the Pixel 8 series will likely charge fastest when cool and may take longer when used or when charging after demanding sessions. Still, Google ensures a sufficient buffer below 40°C, so we have no concerns about overly high battery temperatures or longevity here.

In a nutshell, not only do the new models charge at slightly higher power levels early in the charging cycle, but they also wait for longer before reducing power to finish powering up the battery safely. The net result is a decent improvement in overall Pixel 8 battery charge times. Nice job, Google. Unlike previous years, this means you’ll want to pick out a charger capable of supplying 30W to maximize the phones’ charging speeds. To save you time, we have plucked out a selection of the best Pixel 8 chargers right here.

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