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Google’s Pixel doesn’t charge as fast as first claimed

There’s no doubt Google’s Pixel phone is set to be one of the best handsets of 2016, with top-end specs and a stellar camera.

But when it comes to the handset’s battery, it seems the cell isn’t capable of charging quite as quickly as Google once claimed.

Product tester Nathan K carried out a full test on the phone and found that the Pixel is “functionally capped at 15W charging”, as opposed to the previously advertised 18W (watts).

Related: Pixel review

Nathan detailed his findings in a Google+ post (via Android Authority) where he notes that the larger Pixel XL is likely capable of charging at the full 18W.

Google has since amended its tech specs page for the phones to read ’15W – 18W charging’ rather than just 18W, suggesting the larger model is capable of the increased wattage.

Google Pixel XLThe Pixel XL

What does the discrepancy mean in practice? Well, firstly, Nathan notes: “The charger and phone are safe. This decision was intentional and apparently made based on thermal concerns.”

Related: Pixel XL

The 3W difference between handsets won’t make a major difference to charge times, though Android Authority notes the extra 3W could theoretically “represent an additional 20 percent charge being injected into the handset”.

What’s more, the 18W cap does not represent a consistent charge rate, and would only be reached in certain circumstances, so the difference would hardly be noticeable in day to day usage.

However, Nathan adds the Pixel “will see no benefit from PD-capable chargers in most instances,” and “It is plain as day the battery is not making the best of the 18W at its disposal. Maybe this is a limitation of the battery technology, or a safety issue.”

WATCH: Pixel phone

Let us know your thoughts on Nathan’s discovery in the comments.

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