Google has admitted what independent tests already proved: the Pixel 6 Pro doesn’t really charge all that quickly. But as suspected, that’s by design.
“Google has designed the high energy density cells in Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro to strike a balance between battery life, longevity, and fast charging,” a new Google support document explains. “We’ve optimized Pixel’s lithium-ion battery for high charge rates when the battery level is low. Pixel 6 can get up to 50 percent in around 30 minutes (with Google’s 30W USB-C Power Charger), and quickly reaches up to 80 percent in about an hour, depending on device usage and temperature.”
I wrote about my early issues with Pixel 6 Pro charging in Google Pixel 6 Pro: Problems in Paradise?, and I have a more detailed description in my coming review.
Google also confirmed that the Pixel 6 Pro tops out at 23-watts of power during charging and notes that the smaller Pixel 6 tops out at 21-watts. And it confirmed our belief that the Pixel’s weird slow charging after hitting 50 percent is for battery longevity. “As the battery gets closer to full, charging power is gradually reduced in order to improve battery longevity,” the firm writes.
The Pixels may also pause charging above 80 percent under certain conditions, which is interesting. And if the user enables Adaptive Charging, the handsets will optimize charge rates for gradual overnight charging, which isn’t new.
The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will work with any USB Power Delivery (PD) and Battery Charging (BC) 1.2 wall chargers, but it is most efficiently used with chargers that support the new USB PD 3.0 Programmable Power Supply (PPS) standard like the Google 30-Watt USB-C Power Adapter which the firm released alongside the new phones.
What Google doesn’t address explicitly is how slowly the Pixel 6 Pro charges past 50 percent. The first 50 percent of charge may take only 30 minutes, but the final 50 percent has taken almost 90 minutes in my testing.