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 is Android Central's resident expert on fitness tech and wearables, with an enthusiast's love of VR tech on the side. After years freelancing for Techradar, Wareable, Windows Central, Digital Trends, and other sites on a variety of tech topics, AC has given him the chance to really dive into the topics he's passionate about. He's also a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves D&D, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings.

For wearables, Michael has tested dozens of smartwatches from Garmin, Fitbit, Samsung, Apple, COROS, Polar, Amazfit, and other brands, and will always focus on recommending the best product over the best brand. He's also completed marathons like NYC, SF, Marine Corps, Big Sur, and California International — though he's still trying to break that 4-hour barrier.