Here's an odd bit of behavior I'm seeing from my refurbished Pixel:

When I plug it in using the rapid charger that came with it, it at first immediately shows as charging. Then stops less than a second later. Then starts less than a second after that. Stops. (This may repeat five or six times.) Then finally goes to "Charging Rapidly".

It never fails to start charging, nor do I see this from other chargers which, admittedly, don't have the same amperage and so don't kick things up to rapid charging.

Normal? A minor quirk? Or have I got a defective model1?


  • I did not see this with my original Pixel; only with the refurb
  • This is the charger and cable that came with the original
  • None of the other chargers I have have enough wattage to kick the Pixel into "Charge Rapidly" mode
  • It doesn't always do it, but I saw it stop-and-start a dozen times, once

1 Again! I'm on my second unit because the first suddenly stopped recognizing the headphone jack and the microphone stopped working.


Normal? A minor quirk? Or have I got a defective model?

  • Not normal - it's not the expected behaviour

  • It is more likely a quirk , being a one time occurrence , not noticed since nor on your previous device

What may have caused it?

Firstly, being a one off occurrence, it is non – reproducible ruling out further investigations to establish the reason. My best guess is this :

  • From Andrew's answer , to a related question, the charging speed indication is

....based on power (in milliWatt) it receives. As shown on the commit log, "Charging speed based on voltage", from the same config.xml file,

<!-- Threshold in micro watts below which a charger is rated as "slow"; 1A @ 5V -->
<integer name="config_chargingSlowlyThreshold">5000000</integer>
<!-- Threshold in micro watts above which a charger is rated as "fast"; 1.5A @ 5V  -->
<integer name="config_chargingFastThreshold">7500000</integer>
  • Charging slowly: < 5W
  • Charging: 5W - 7.5W
  • Charging rapidly: > 7.5W
  • In your case, the hesitation you refer to , indicates that power received by the device varied casuing it to fluctuate between Charging -stop- charging rapidly . This may have been caused by loose contact of the USB (on either end ), pocket lint or dirt preventing proper contact or power fluctuations at source ( voltage fluctuations ).

Edit: Note that that difference between Charging upper limit ( = 7.5 W ) and Charging rapidly ( > 7.5 W ) is borderline (unlike Charging slowly < 5 W), so intermittent poor connection or marginal fluctuation in input power is enough to have caused this

Next steps

  • You would need to pay attention to see if it happens again, which then would be a cause for concern as reported in Google forums - Pixel and Charging Problem and elsewhere on Internet. Solutions offered there have mixed results

  • If these solutions, don't help, my suggestion would be to change the cable and charger (see related question at bottom ) - simply because , they are more likely to fail rather than the device itself being the culprit ( probability wise , from experience and information on Internet)

Should this behaviour be a cause for worry? - No. Since it has not been observed since. If I were in your place, I would anyway buy, spare accessories , just to have peace of mind and use the current ones as back up (doesn't hurt to have spares) , especially it being a top end device.

Related How to select a Non OEM USB Type C charger or cable for my device?


Disclaimer I've owned a Nexus 6p for a year and had it replaced once due to charging/WiFi issue. I experienced a similar situation to what you're describing here with the "flicker charge"(It can be really annoying when the power save notification flickers).

What appeared to resolve my issue was when I uninstalled some recently downloaded apps. Mind you they were some silly games/ utility apps(Twilight). Regardless I suggest speaking with a representative. They were very understanding and accommodating when I interacted with them for my issue.

Good luck ale

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