Enlarge / The Pixel 6 Pro.
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 65W proprietary fast charging, and Qualcomm’s latest charging solution can reach 100W. According to Google, the Pixel 6 can charge at 30W, which is slower than the best Android phones in its price range.
Our review of the phone found the Pixel 6 felt slow to charge, 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 the spec sheet. In tests, Triggs could only get the phone to peak at 22W – and even then not for very long. In his tests, it took 111 minutes to charge the Pixel 6 Pro’s 5000 mAh battery from zero to 100 percent, even with the official “30W” Google adapter (which is not included).
Samsung is a great counterexample. The 5000 mAh Galaxy S21 Ultra can be charged from 0 to 100 in 62 minutes – 49 minutes faster than the “30 W” Pixel 6 – although Samsung only advertises “25 W” fast charging. Triggs says the Galaxy S21 Ultra actually hits 28W when charged – faster than advertised.
Google isn’t exactly lying when it comes to the Pixel 6’s loading speed, but the company has misleading language on their website. According to the official data sheet, the phone can be charged up to 50% in about 30 minutes – with Google’s 30W USB-C charger. So the charger recommended by Google can charge 30W, not necessarily the phone which technically didn’t give a wattage. The fine print at the bottom of the page also indicates that “the actual loading speed may be slower,” but that doesn’t mean that Google’s marketing is completely honest. Triggs’ tests show that the phone actually charged 50 percent in 30 minutes, but there’s no reason to expect the Pixel 6 to take 81 minutes to go from 50 percent to 100.
Google charges a 5000 mAh battery much more slowly than Samsung.
Fast charging is by far the most effective innovation for smartphones in recent years. While most phones get small spec bumps every year, fast charging on devices like the 65W OnePlus 9 Pro is actually changing the way people use a smartphone. You don’t have to charge your phone every night when you can get the battery from zero to full in half an hour. The OnePlus 9 Pro charges so quickly that you can just plug it in for a few minutes if it is running low before heading out. You probably won’t charge from zero, so it won’t even take you 30 minutes – if you get an average battery charge of 1 percent every 18 seconds, just plugging the phone in for a few minutes is enough.
There is some concern that the extra heat from fast charging may degrade the battery faster, but we haven’t seen much clear evidence of this. Fast charging is optional, however; If you are concerned about long-term battery degradation, you can always just use a slower charger. The ability to fast-charge when things go really fast has proven to be a game changer.
We asked Google for a comment and will update this article if we hear something.