Pixels are getting Adaptive Charging improvements with Android 12
Google introduced Adaptive Charging with its Pixel Feature Drop in December of last year, and it works much like similar utilities on iPhones and other Android phones. If you plug in overnight, like most people, it’s supposed to fast charge your Pixel up to 80% and then slows things down so it doesn’t reach 100% until just before you wake up. Up to now, the feature has been a little too conservative, but it looks like Google is rectifying this with Android 12.
The point of Adaptive Charging is to prolong the lifespan of your battery since modern lithium-ion batteries remain healthy for longer if they don’t spend too long fully charged. In order to ensure your phone is at 100% when you start using it in the morning, Google has set it up to complete charging at least a couple of hours before your usual waking time, and sometimes up to five hours early. It also doesn’t really adapt to the night owls among us, so if you usually set an alarm for later than 10am, your Pixel won’t use this feature.
Seeing the obvious room for improvement, it seems that Google has set about fine-tuning how Adaptive Charging works throughout the Android 12 beta program. According to anecdotal reports on Reddit, Pixels will now take a little extra risk with their charging cycles. One Redditor said their Pixel now doesn’t reach 100% until 90 mins before the alarm is due to go off, with it topping up to 80% rapidly, as before, and then waiting several hours before initiating the final charging phases. Another says their Pixel is waiting until 30 mins before wakeup to hit full capacity.
Both reports have come since Android 12 Beta 4 was released, but it may be that this updated Adaptive Charging behavior came earlier than that. Either way, we’re glad to see the improvements, and our Pixel phones will likely see the benefits with somewhat enhanced battery longevity.