Pixel 6 wired charging seems to fall short of implied 30W speeds

Google Pixel 6 Hero In Hand
Google Pixel 6 Hero In Hand (Image credit: Alex Dobie / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • A charging test showed that Google's 30W charger hit just 22W at maximum with the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.
  • Other third-party 30W+ or 45W chargers hit the same 22W max output.
  • Android Authority found that the average charging speed was just 13W, with dramatically reduced speeds after reaching 50% charge.

When Google announced it was selling a 30W Fast Charger for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro that could juice up your phone to 50% capacity in just 30 minutes, you might naturally assume the Pixel 6 can actually charge at 30W speeds, or that it would fill up the remaining 50% capacity almost as fast. In both cases, you would be mistaken.

Android Authority got their hands on Google's official 30W charger — which it didn't provide for our review — and tested its maximum power output. It found that both phones could only reach 22W, never taking full advantage of Google's official charger.

Overall, it took the site 111 minutes to charge the Pixel 6 Pro's 5,000mAh battery from empty, with a 13W power average. After the first 30 minutes, charging speeds quickly dipped to the teens, then single-digit wattage once the phone hit 85% full. The final 20% of charging took nearly an hour to complete.

Most new phones throttle charging speeds the closer you get to full power to preserve battery life, though this slow speed seems especially egregious. The real issue is that the 30W charger only hits 50% capacity about 10 minutes faster than the 18W charger that shipped with older Pixels; for the final 50% of charging, both chargers take about 80 minutes to finish.

The Pixel 6 tech specs don't actually mention a 30W charging capacity, only that the phone supports "Fast charging – up to 50% charge in about 30 minutes – with Google 30W USB-C® Charger with USB-PD 3.0 (PPS) sold separately."

If the Pixel 6 truly can't hit more than 22W charging, and Google is pushing people to buy a second charger for just 4 watts of improvement over what they already have, this is a bad look for Google. It's nudging people to get a charger that barely justifies the upgrade, which goes against the reason why the Pixel 6 didn't have a charger in the box in the first place: to reduce e-waste.

We've reached out to Google for comment and will update this post if the company responds. We are also currently testing charging speeds with our own Pixel 6 units and will provide our own findings when we can.

Michael L Hicks
Senior Editor, VR/AR and fitness

Michael spent years freelancing on every tech topic under the sun before settling down on the real exciting stuff: virtual reality, fitness wearables, gaming, and how tech intersects with our world. He's a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves running, D&D, and Star Wars. Find him on Twitter at @Michael_L_Hicks.

  • Let's see...phone barely released into the hands of end users and so far: screen/power button issues, fingerprint reader issues, phantom calling during the middle of the night? OMG - AND now, false advertising about the speed of charging - from a charger you have to PAY EXTRA for in order to even get one? ROTFLMAO!
    And yet these are "the best phones you can buy so far this year" and for all those who flamed me for saying I told you so...well, I told you so! For some unknown reason Google continues to struggle (notice I didn't say fail) with making a phone...that is they cannot make hardware any better than Microsoft. I think they both need to stick with what they know...software. This asbestos clothing is getting itchy.
  • "It's nudging people to get a charger that barely justifies the upgrade, which goes against the reason why the Pixel 6 didn't have a charger in the box in the first place: to reduce e-waste." If the 30W charger did charge at 30W that would accelerate battery degradation which would mean the phone would have to be replaced more often. That increases e-waste.
  • Oh wow, this is bad if true...really bad.
  • They need to discount the phone $100
  • Early adopters to new phone/google designed chips... No surprise you got burned. Never, ever, ever preorder new tech..... Lol, never buy the Android Central hype.
  • Well the charging speed doesn't sound all that bad and slower charging is better for the life span of the battery. Also the phones have pretty big batteries. All could be forgiven if they would just include the damn charger for free.
  • I'm guessing this charger would work fine w older pixel phones. I need a replacement for the 18 watt charger that came w pixel 3a XL but can't find authentic Google brand. The one listed on amz is fake.