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November 8, 2021
👰 Good morning! Back from a fun little wedding in the city of Essen, which is a word that means food in German, which Germans think is just as funny as we do. (Also, my dog had some ups and downs since Friday, but she’s doing better now!)
Google’s charging problem
pixel 6 test results
Tristan Rayner / Android Authority

Something weird is going on with the Google Pixel 6 series: Android Authority’s testing revealed that it’s not charging at 30W, despite what Google has in its marketing detail.

The problem:

  • It’s simple enough: the Pixel 6 promises 30W fast charging.
  • But actual testing says the Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro don’t charge faster than 22W, which isn’t a lot better than 18W charging on the Pixel 5.
  • And leaves Google’s adoption of the USB Power Delivery PPS charging protocol (specifically, PD 3.0), which is a few years old anyway, some ways behind competitors.
  • These are flagship-level phones! There’s a 30W charger! And still, not up to spec.

The actual problem: 

  • At best, Google is misleading. At worst, its marketing is an outright lie.
  • Google says the Pixel 6 series has 30W Wired Fast Charge, with the optional 30W wired charging brick not in the box. Google has been spotted saying “fast charging” comes with the 30W adapter.
  • That said, the only figure given is that either phone will charge from 1% to 50% in around 30 minutes.
  • So, Google didn’t explicitly say the phones charge at 30W. It’s just heavily implied. 
  • An optional 30W charger not charging at 30W? Great stuff.
  • Overall: it just undoes some of Google’s good work with the Pixel 6. Why spec something that isn’t accurate?

How Rob found out — in his words:

pixel 6 test rig
Tristan Rayner / Android Authority
  • “We’re always curious when companies adopt new technology and our team had been discussing slow charging with the Pixel 6. Two hours to full is obviously a long charge time these days, so I was keen to investigate what was really going on.
  • “We’ve been testing smartphone and laptop chargers as part of our accessories reviews as we hunt down the best of the best, and have all the testing gear. Our setup captures current, voltage, power, and charging protocol information between a plug and phone or laptop in real-time, which is fed into PC software that records the charging cycle.
  • “It’s then simply a case of charging up a device and sorting through the data points. Obviously, the Pixel 6 drawing just 22W of power was surprising, so we ran multiple tests with multiple chargers to verify the results. It’s time-consuming but has offered us some unique insight into the phone’s inner workings.

Bonus: Google says “enhanced security algorithms” may be the reason Pixel 6 fingerprint scans are so slow. In other words, Google says it’s a feature, not a bug.

Roundup

👻 OnePlus announced a Nord 2 Pac-Man Edition, though it weirdly didn’t even show off a photo of the device, just saying it’s a smartphone that glows in the dark. I’ve seen a pic though, and it does look surprisingly cool! (Android Authority).

👉 First real-life photos of alleged Galaxy S22 Ultra emerge (Android Authority).

📱 Moto Edge X: This could be the first smartphone with a Snapdragon 898 processor (Android Authority).

📺 Get your first month of Disney Plus for just $1.99 thanks to this promo, for new and returning users (Android Authority).

📉 Erm, I think this is right: Tesla shares have fallen as much as 7% in the pre-market after, erm, the results of the Twitter poll conducted by Elon Musk asking if he should sell some stock. (“I was prepared to accept either outcome,” Musk said in a tweet after the poll closed.)

🚁 1.8TB of police helicopter surveillance footage leaks online (Wired).

🚗 Some new BMWs won’t have touchscreens thanks to chip shortage (The Verge).

😷 “Review: I wore Razer’s Zephyr N95 mask for two weeks so you don’t have to” (“Currently, the mask’s lack of usability in everyday life screams ‘first-generation product.’”) (Ars Technica).

🔎 What’s harder to find than microchips? The equipment that makes them. Also: “In the second quarter of 2021, the latest for which data are available, the semiconductor industry sold more chips than at any point in history” (WSJ, $).

🧊 Mathematicians finally prove that melting ice stays smooth: it has taken 130 years to prove the melting equations (Wired).

Electricity conducting glass tables seem like the next Interior Design fad (Gizmodo).

Crypto taxation passes with the House infrastructure bill, time to sort those Shiba Inu coin gains (Notebookcheck.net)

🍃 The US Department of Energy has big, new plans to pull CO2 out of the air (The Verge).

🚀 SpaceX Crew-3 launch delayed again, this time to November 10 (NASA).

💊 “Why hasn’t bacteriophage therapy become commonplace yet?” (r/askscience). Also, a background on phage therapy on Wikipedia. Wouldn’t say this is my bag but it is fascinating!

Monday Meme

Here’s Success Junior eating a pastry (a Haitian patès) and it describes just about any flaky pastry baked treat, and gets into Nature Bar Valley territory:

crumbs

Cheers, 

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor

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