Google has been working on improving the battery health of Pixel phones by default. A new revelation has uncovered how the company is making changes under the radar to improve battery life further. The feature is somewhat similar to Google’s ‘Adaptive Charging’ feature seen on Pixel smartphones, though with some distinctions as we’ll find out.
This new feature sets Pixel phones to only charge up to 80% before the cap is placed. Users can find the changes on Google’s support page thanks to some digging by the folks at XDA Developers.
The update carrying this feature was sent out to Pixel 3 and newer models in April 2021. The new addition reportedly works on Pixel 3/4 models running Android 11 and Android 12.
But triggering this feature is not that simple. Google lists out two scenarios to trigger this feature. The device needs to be draining too quickly or be hooked onto a charger for an extended period of time. The feature is enabled in the latter scenario when the phone has been charging for at least four days.
When enabled, users will see a notification that reads “Optimizing for battery health”
The bad news here is that users can’t manually cap the battery charging to 80%. This means it will take either of the two scenarios listed above to trigger it. A notification that reads “Optimizing for battery health” will be visible on the always-on display when this feature is activated. Users can also head over to the ‘Battery’ section under Settings to find this alert. Perhaps Google could allow users to have this feature triggered from the settings in the near future.
While the newly discovered feature may seem similar to Adaptive Charging, there are some differences. Simply put, they serve the same purpose of maintaining battery health but achieve it in different ways. Another key differentiator is that Adaptive Charging only works with Pixel 4 and later phones, while the newer update has also made its way to the Pixel 3.
It is a well-established fact that charging your phone up to 80% can significantly enhance battery health. This is perhaps why Google brought Adaptive Charging to Pixel phones late last year. Adaptive Charging controls the speed at which a Pixel phone is charged. It works in tandem with the default alarm clock on the Pixel to ensure the phone is fully charged by the time the user wakes up.
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