The Pixel 6 is Google’s most competitive hardware release in a long time, but the company is still behind the curve when it comes to fast charging. OnePlus offers its own 65W fast charging and Qualcomm’s latest charging solution can reach 100W. Google says the Pixel 6 can charge at 30W, which is slower than the best Android phones in its price range.
Our review of the phone noticed that the Pixel 6 felt sluggish in charging, but a report by Robert Triggs of Android Authority says the Pixel 6 doesn’t even live up to the modest 30W claims it makes on its spec sheet. During testing, Triggs was only able to get the phone to peak at 22W – and even then not for very long. In its testing, it took 111 minutes to fully charge the Pixel 6 Pro’s 5000mAh battery from zero to 100 percent, even with the official “30W” Google adapter (which isn’t included in the box).
Samsung is a great counterexample. The 5000mAh Galaxy S21 Ultra can charge from 0 to 100 in 62 minutes – that’s 49 minutes faster than the “30W” Pixel 6 – despite Samsung only advertising “25W” fast charging. Triggs says the Galaxy S21 Ultra even peaks at 28W when charging, faster than advertised.
Google doesn’t lie when it comes to the Pixel 6’s charging speeds, but the company has some misleading language on its website. The official spec sheet says the phone can be charged “up to 50% in about 30 minutes – with Google 30W USB-C charger”. So recommended by Google Charger can charge 30W, not necessarily the phone, which technically has no wattage. The fine print at the bottom of the page also states that “actual loading speed may be slower,” but that doesn’t mean Google’s marketing is completely fair. Triggs’ tests show that the phone actually charges to 50 percent in 30 minutes, but there’s no reason to expect the Pixel 6 to take another 81 minutes to go from 50 percent to 100.
Fast charging is easily the most impactful innovation to hit smartphones in recent years. While most phones get minor bumps every year, fast charging on devices like the 65W OnePlus 9 Pro is changing the way people use a smartphone. There’s no urgent need to charge your phone every night if you can run the battery from zero to full in half an hour. The OnePlus 9 Pro charges so fast that you can just plug it in for a few minutes if it’s running low before going anywhere. You probably won’t be charging from scratch, so you won’t even need 30 minutes – if you’re using a 1 percent battery boost every 18 seconds on average, it’s fine to plug the phone in for a few minutes.
There’s some concern that the extra heat from fast charging could degrade the battery more quickly, but we haven’t seen much hard evidence that that happens. However, fast charging is optional; if you’re concerned about long-term battery degradation, you can always use a slower charger. The ability to charge quickly, when it’s really fast, has proven to be a game changer.
We’ve asked Google for a response and will update this article if we hear anything.