Our friends at Android Authority recently found that the Pixel 6 charges at just 21 watts, much slower than the “advertised” 30-watt speed (Pixel 6 Pro owners get 23 watts, for what it’s worth). And now, Google says that its new phones charge slower than expected to increase battery life—what the heck is going on?
First, let’s clarify something. Google never said that the Pixel 6 charges at 30 watts. In fact, the company never published the phone’s charging speed in its press materials, spec sheets, or instruction manuals. Fans of the company and press outlets (including Review Geek) simply assumed that the Pixel 6 would meet the maximum charging speed of its 30-watt power brick.
You know what they say about assumptions—they make an ass out of you and me! But Google’s decision to withhold the Pixel 6’s actual charging speed (until getting called out by Android Authority) is incredibly frustrating. Google fans open celebrated the massive leap from their Pixel 5’s pithy 18-watt charging, and customers trying to find the Pixel 6’s charging speed were met with a big “30 watts” when checking Google Search or GSM Arena.
Whether it was intentional or not, Google misled customers. But one good thing came out of this mess—Google got to explain why fast charging isn’t always a good thing.
According to a statement from Google, the Pixel 6 charges at 21 watts (instead of 30 watts) to reduce battery degradation. Faster charging speeds add wear and tear to a battery, shortening its lifespan and decreasing daily battery life. From this perspective, it makes sense to charge the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro at 21 watts and 23 watts, respectively.
Some customers would prefer the option to charge their phone at 30 watts, which is understandable. But the average person doesn’t need 30-watt charging, especially if they only charge their phone at night.
Still, this news is very annoying. Google should have provided this information before launching the Pixel 6, or before getting called out, at the very least. It reminds me of when OnePlus got caught reducing the performance of its 9-series flagships without telling customers—a lack of transparency is never good!
Source: Google via The Verge