Battery technology today generally means that a phone will last a couple of years before longevity problems begin to come in. However, a well-known trick to expand battery health is to stop charging around 80% capacity, and this is something Google has quietly done on Pixel phones in some situations.
In late 2020, Google introduced a new feature for Pixel phones known as “Adaptive Charging”, which has the ability to change the charging speed of your Pixel device to improve battery health. The function works by using the phone’s alarm to ensure that you wake up with 100% charge, but the phone does not reach this point faster than it needs to. Lower charging speeds help ease the load on the batteries.
It now appears that Google has quietly rolled out a similar but not directly related feature for Pixel phones. Detailed on a support page, this new behavior sets Pixel devices to charge only to 80% before they cover the battery charge. The feature has been rolled out to Pixel 3 and newer devices and appears to have been made available around April this year, according to user reports discovered by XDA. It seems to work on both Android 1
The temporary function is automatically switched off when the phone no longer meets the conditions listed above. You know that the function is no longer active when the phone starts charging 100%.
When this feature is turned on, a notification saying “Battery health optimization” appears in “Always on screen” and in the Settings app under “Battery.”
There are only two scenarios that Google lists to trigger the 80% battery charge limit on Pixels. The first is charging during a scenario where the battery is also quickly drained. A good example of this can be intensive play. The second place where this limit can be imposed is if you leave the phone connected for a long time. In particular, it triggers after the phone has been charged for at least four days.
There is no user-facing switch to keep this 80% behavior in place at all times, unfortunately, but these two measures should help in some niche scenarios to extend the battery health of Pixel devices. When the limit is imposed, Google displays a constant alert at all times on the screen and in the settings under “Battery”.
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