While Google’s Pixel 2 family currently has the spotlight, last year’s original Pixel devices aren’t out for the count just yet. Both devices have held up very well over time, but a new bug threatens some users…
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Update: Google has confirmed on its product forums that this bug is not dangerous and that a fix is coming soon.
Some users of the original Pixel XL have been reporting for the past several weeks (via Android Police) that their devices are affected by a charging bug. Seemingly caused by the Android 8.1 update, this bug causes the phone to subject itself to potentially dangerous charging states.
In short what’s happening is that the Pixel XL will, in some circumstances, attempt to pull up to 40% more current from the charger than the charger allows. On most chargers, such as the official one that ships from Google or any other USB-C PD compliant charger of the correct wattage, this causes the phone to constantly leave and restart a charging state as overcurrent protection kicks in and stops charging.
When using a charger with overcurrent protection, this is more an annoyance than a problem, as, after 3 or 4 cycles of this, the phone simply charges at a slower rate. However, if a charger doesn’t have this protection, the Pixel trying to draw this extra power can damage the phone. Until Google fixes this bug, it’s probably a good idea to stick to the USB-C charger that came in the box with your phone.
Users started reporting this issue back in January of this year, and Google has yet to resolve the problem. Thankfully, it doesn’t seem to affect all Pixel XL devices, but hopefully, future updates can solve it.