The Pixel 6 series might not actually charge at 30W
The Google Pixel 6 series was recently launched, and it features a refreshed design, upgraded camera hardware, Google’s in-house Tensor SoC, the latest version of Android, and much more. It’s likely the best Pixel device in a long, long time, but it’s also been plagued with issues. There are a number of Material You problems, along with reports of a slow fingerprint scanner too and ghost-dialing problems. However, now there’s yet another issue — the Pixel 6 series might not even charge at 30W, despite Google selling a 30W charger that launched alongside the phone.
Reports on the XDA forums along with an investigation by Android Authority seem to confirm that the Pixel 6 Pro is incapable of charging at 30W. The problem is that Google has never actually said that the Pixel 6 series charges at 30W, instead, it sells a separate 30W charger and doesn’t include a charger in the box. Reviewers didn’t get a 30W charger from Google, but I charged my device with the OnePlus 9 Pro’s in-box 65W charger, as it’s USB PD compliant. It charged up to 50% in half an hour which meant that it had reached what Google considered peak charging speed, but it seems that from Android Authority’s investigation, peak speed isn’t actually 30W.
Here’s the thing though — Google never actually said that the Pixel 6 series will charge at 30W. Instead, the company launched a charger with the Pixel 6 series that can charge at 30W, and then said the following at the bottom of the store page:
Fast wired charging rates are based upon use of the Google 30 W USB-C® Charger plugged into an electrical socket. Compatible with USB-PD 3.0 PPS adaptors. Actual results may be slower. Adaptors sold separately. Charging speed based upon testing with device batteries drained to 1% and charged with Google 30 W USB-C® Charger; sold separately. Charging testing conducted by Google in mid-2021 on pre-production hardware and software using default settings with the device powered on. Charging speed depends upon many factors, including usage during charging, battery age and ambient temperature. Actual charging speed may be slower.
In fact, Android Authority’s investigation found that it maxes out at 22W up until 50%, but maintains a 13W average over the entire charging cycle. The Google Pixel 6 series seems to charge in just under 2 hours to 100%, yet it takes half an hour to charge to 50%. In other words, it takes nearly three times as long to get from 50% to 100% than from 1% to 50%. After 50%, the phone seems to hit 15W at around 62% battery capacity. After that, it falls to 12W at 75% capacity. Finally, it then reaches 85% charge and the power falls as low as 2.5W by the time the battery is full.
The slow charging speed of the Pixel 6 series is a tough pill to swallow. While I generally respect the dedication to a single standard in the support of USB Power Delivery, it’s a bit of a difficult switch. It’s usable, but don’t be expecting to toss this on the charger for 10 or 15 minutes and get a whole day’s use of battery out of it. It does get a little bit warm when it’s charging, but it’s not uncomfortably hot. The problem as well is that especially at a higher battery percentage, there’s clearly a lot of room for it to have a higher charging speed without impact on thermals. There likely isn’t a whole that Google can actually do about the situation, but releasing a 30W charger for a phone that can’t even reach 30W is a bit weird and might give users the wrong impression that it charges faster than it actually does.