I recently purchased a refurbished Pixel 8 Pro which was supposed to be in "pristine, flawless condition and looks and functions 100% as new". I do have a window of opportunity to return the phone and don't know if this is warranted.

Unfortunately when I received the phone it would not start - and I needed to have it on a charger a while before it would actually turn on. After slowly fully charging the phone it appears to work OK, but I don't have an expectation /benchmark to test it against.

I did install Acubattery. In slow charging it from about 24-84% it reported a battery capacity of about 5524mAh - however the phone battery is only rated at 5050mAh. (The second charge from 84-100% showed a capacity of only 3312.8 mAh). Battery Guru shows similar result of 100% health. and 5507/5050mAh.

How worried should I be about receiving the phone with a battery that was fully depleted? - especially if I am planning for keeping it as long as possible. (This phone cost 3 times what should have had to/wanted to spend - but I purchased it because it had a few killer features not available on other phones - particularly the ability to run other ROMs like GrapheneOS and WIFI calling compatible with my carrier and a 7 year support guarantee and the Pixel 8 screen and battery is just too small.)

  • Although it would have been much better if the previous owner had stored the phone with some charge, note that the battery was most likely not fully depleted. IIRC, Li-Ion batteries that get fully depleted will no longer work. Even when a phone reports "0%", the battery still usually has some remaining charge. This is intentional so that the battery never becomes fully depleted, which would make its value only the sum of its constituent parts for recycling. Commented May 24 at 7:00
  • @EndAntisemiticHate Yeah, I know there is still charge once phone reports 0% - but even getting it down to turning off can't be good for the battery chemistry.
    – davidgo
    Commented May 24 at 10:37

1 Answer 1

  • Battery Cycle count is a more reliable yardstick compared to battery capacity in mAh see note at end. It is likely your phone shows this information under Settings → About phone → Battery information. A typical battery, given the battery technology improvements may be taken as 500 cycles (though the range is 300-500). Definition of charge cycle.

  • If this feature is not available on your phone download Dev Check and check under the battery section. This is from my Pixel 6a which is rooted, but with root access denied to this app also, it shows count

enter image description here

  • The information from the apps you mentioned appears accurate (approximately 5000mAh), given that it is a refurbished device. You never know how the previous owner used it and for how long. BTW, information from Battery Guru is generally considered to be authentic.

How worried should I be about receiving the phone with a battery that was fully depleted?

Not much. The previous user may not have bothered to charge it before selling and further it would have lost charge in the time it took to reach you. Even a new phone directly from OEM would be typically charged to 40%, given that it is the ideal charge level for long storage.

Bottom Line: If I were you, I wouldn't be worried about battery life but would corroborate with Cycle Count.

Note: The accuracy of battery capacity depends on the source whether it is drawn from system files or kernel. See this for more details Where are the battery capacity files located?

  • The second charge from 84-100% showed a capacity of only 3312.8 mAh I am not sure why it shows lesser value than expected
    – beeshyams
    Commented May 24 at 3:37
  • 1
    Thank you for pointing me in the direction of Dev Check. Very surprisingly to me (I would not have thought this information would have survived a factory reset) I see it says Charge Cycles 96. (Also Capacity (estimated) 5000mAh - not sure how that is derived though.
    – davidgo
    Commented May 24 at 10:30
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    I assume the 84-100% on Accubattery showed 3312.8mAh because the estimate seems fairly granular with fairly large jumps when the battery charge goes up by 1% - so the longer the charge, the better these inaccuracies can be averaged.
    – davidgo
    Commented May 24 at 10:33
  • Battery Guru does not seem to sho Cycle count.
    – davidgo
    Commented May 24 at 10:35
  • 1
    It would have survived a battery reset because factory-reset does not touch /system , only user data is wiped and as you can see from the screenshot, it clearly mentions battery capacity is as reported by system //Close to 100 cycles would probably mean they used it for 3 months assuming a cycle per day of heavy usage//AFAIK there is no way of knowing when the phone was purchased unless they gave the original bill// I tend to agree with your reasoning for Accubattery readings
    – beeshyams
    Commented May 24 at 13:11

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