Google’s new Pixel phones come in two sizes, 5-inch and 5.5-inch. Aside from the size, there aren’t many differences between the two phones. The Pixel has a 1080p display, the XL has QHD. The Pixel has a 2,770 mAh battery, the XL has a 3,450 mAh battery. However, it seems like there’s one other difference which Google neglected to tell anyone about…
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Nathan K, a well-known tester in the Android community for detailing USB/charging specs, reported that in his testing of the smaller 5-inch Pixel with the included fast charger, he couldn’t get the phone to pull the full 18W charging speeds which Google advertised. Instead of peaking at 18W, the Pixel was limited to 15W, like last year’s Nexus smartphones. While that won’t have too much of an effect on the speed of fast charging, especially considering the smaller battery in the standard Pixel, it doesn’t match up with what Google was advertising.
In his post, Nathan presents the idea that Google has this limit in place due to thermal concerns. The smaller size of the 5-inch Pixel may present barriers for that faster speed in terms of heat. Further, the Pixel’s smaller battery capacity means that this difference in charging speed basically matches the charging speeds found on the XL and it’s larger battery.
Android Police later reached out to Google for confirmation, and that’s exact what the company provided. Google confirmed that Pixel did indeed cap out at 15W and changed the marketing material accordingly. The XL still does max out at 18W, and it’s even possible that the Pixel once did as well, the marketing team just may have made a typo. Again, the lower peak speed really won’t make a difference in real-world use. Smartphones don’t charge at peak speeds the entire time anyway.