Google explains the tradeoffs that led to Pixel 6’s slow charging complaints

From The Verge: Google has responded to allegations that the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro don’t charge as fast as some have expected, confirming that their charging speeds are a deliberate tradeoff for better battery life. It follows a report from Android Authority which found that the phones’ maximum power draw was around 22W, well short of the 30W that Google’s latest USB-C charging brick is technically capable of.

Writing in a community support post, a spokesperson for Google confirmed that the maximum power draw of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are 21W and 23W respectively when used with its 30W USB-C charging brick. They added that charging speeds also decrease as the phones’ batteries fill up to preserve their longevity.

In their post, they note that these figures are the inevitable results of battery tradeoffs. “A battery can be designed for high energy density, or for fast charging power capability, which requires trading off capacity to minimize battery degradation,” says the spokesperson. In other words, a phone can offer long battery life, or fast charging, but it can’t do both at the same time. So, Google prioritized a longer battery life and designed the phones to draw a more modest amount of power when charging.

Although Google’s support documents never explicitly state the charging speeds of the new phones, their compatibility with Google’s 30W charging brick (sold separately) was taken by many to mean that their real-world maximum charging speeds would approach the 30W level, and would be far faster than the 18W charging supported by the Pixel 5. But in reality, Android Authority’s report found that the actual power draw of both phones peaks at 22W and averages around 13W over the course of a full cycle.

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