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Google Pixel: "Hidden" feature blocks 80% charging to conserve battery

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Google limits the charge of its Pixel smartphones to 80% to preserve their battery health. The "Optimizing for battery health" feature spotted this Thursday would have been deployed discreetly several months ago.

  • This feature only concerns the Pixel 3 and later.
  • Its activation is automatic and it does not appear in the settings.
  • It prevents you from charging your Pixel smartphone to 100% in certain cases only.

The "Optimizing for battery health" feature was spotted by our colleagues at XDA Developers. Wellmy NextPit colleague Rahul also assured me that he noticed the feature months ago on his Pixel 3, but he doesn't have a screenshot to prove it, so it doesn't count.

Specifically, this feature automatically limits the maximum battery life you can achieve by charging your Pixel smartphone to 80%. The option is not visible in the settings or the battery utility and is only activated in specific scenarios:

  • Continuous charge under high battery drain conditions, like game play.
  • Continuous charge for 4 days or more.

The charge of your Pixel smartphone limited to 80% whether you want it or not

This Google support page explains in detail how this feature works. But basically, when the above conditions are met, the charge is automatically limited to 80%, and a notification saying "optimizing battery health" appears on the Always on display of your smartphone as well as in the battery utility.

So this feature has nothing to do with Google's adaptive charging, which relies on your clock to fully charge your smartphone just before you wake up (only on the Pixel 4 and later). The "Optimize for battery health" feature is available on the Pixel 3 and later.

Another detail that matters is that there is no "button" to disable this feature. If the conditions are met, it will automatically activate whether you want it to or not. The only way to "disable" it is to unplug your smartphone or reboot it.

Unlike the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro's battery optimization, this feature from Google doesn't affect the performance of your Pixel smartphone (I know, I'm teasing).

What do you think about this option? Have you noticed it on your Pixel yet? Should Google give users the choice to enable it or not?

Via: XDA Developers Source: Google

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Antoine Engels

Antoine Engels
Senior Editor

Black belt in specs sheet analysis. OnePlus fanboy in (slow) remission. Average estimated reading time of my articles: 48 minutes. Tech deals fact-checker in my spare time. Hates talking about himself in the 3rd person. Dreams he was a gaming journalist in another life. Doesn't get the concept of irony. Head of editorial for NextPit France.

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