Google’s Adaptive Charging feature improves the battery health of Pixel phones by limiting charging speeds at night. But many Pixel owners complain that the feature isn’t aggressive enough, a problem that Google seems intent to solve with Android 12.
Leaving a lithium-ion battery at 100% for extended periods can actually reduce its capacity and lifespan. Ideally, Google’s Adaptive Charging feature should leave your Pixel’s battery at around 80% through most of the night, topping it off just before you wake up.
Adaptive Charging actually taps into your phone’s alarm clock to check how long you’re sleeping. Still, for whatever reason, the feature tends to fill up Pixel phones after just 4 hours. Pixel users have complained about this short overnight charging cycle since Adaptive Charging was introduced late last year.
But Reddit user u/skyecolin22 found that Adaptive Charging works a lot better with the new Android 12 Beta 4. They claim that their phone stays at around 80% capacity until an hour and a half before they wake up—a clear improvement over the way that Adaptive Charging usually acts.
Several Reddit users have backed up u/skyecolin22’s claims, and some say that they encountered the same behavior with Android 12 Beta 3. Because Pixel phones give you Adaptive Charging info on their always-on display, it’s very easy to see how the tool is working without 3rd party battery apps (unless you’re sleeping).
Google may implement this upgraded form of Adaptive Charging in its official Android 12 release. Hopefully the company continues to develop battery health tools—maybe Pixel users should have the option to only charge up to 80%?