Google still needs 'more information' to resolve the battery drain on Pixel after Android Pie update

Another major upgrade, another set of bugs. Among all such complains, issues with battery backup are usually more frequent. Despite being part of the premium tier, Google’s older flashships are not the exceptions.

Team PiunikaWeb in fact highlighted the issue before, where we cited a lot of individuals from all around the globe and their feedbacks to the Google Issue Tracker and Pixel Community. Almost five months later, the issue is still at large.

Abrupt battery drain (Image source: Google Issue Tracker)

This is just one of the examples – you can find many such screenshots inside the linked threads and reports.

It’s a known fact that Lithium-based batteries wear out with time. Original Pixel and Pixel XL were announced in the last quarter of 2016, so the aging factor is a considerable variable. But given the same phone on Oreo can perform longer than Pie must indicates the lack of software based optimizations.

I am having serious battery drain problem since I upgraded to Android P few days ago. None of the apps are showing any excessive battery usage.

I restricted many apps (chrome, linkedin, whatsapp…), still the problem persists.

Tried restarting the phone. Didnt help.

I even did a factory reset. Installed only few of the apps and put them on restricted battery mode. After completing all the backups, I charged my phone to 100% and left it idle. 30mins later, 6% battery already gone! Adaptive brightness is on. But before factory reset, I had tried with adaptive brightness off as well. I didnt notice any difference

This was never the case with Android O. The battery would easily last for more than 18hrs for my usage and I didn’t even have to put the apps on restricted battery mode.

Does anyone have any idea what I can do to resolve this problem?


On r/GooglePixel, they even maintain a monthly megathread on the same topic. The shortage of battery life after upgrading to Android Pie with older Pixels are exponentially growing.

Trying to find the actual culprit often leads to fuzzy conclusion. For some users, a wakelock related to WiFi is preventing the phone to go to deep sleep. Example:

For some people, it’s the RCS service:

I have this weird issue. It appeared around Christmas.
I tend to leave my phone with wifi and data off during the night.
Since about a month ago I get a huge drain when I do this. About 3% or even more per hour. I may lose 20-30% when I sleep.
No Ambient Display on, no data, not anything else.
Phone signal is excellent and moreover this drain does not happen when I leave the phone with 4G on. I lose about 1% or less. It’s only when I disable data-wifi. I also tried with airplane mode on and drain was minimal. With wifi on, I get some drain but it’s acceptable (my router is a bit far).

I used both BBS and GSam and I cannot find the culprit.
It doesn’t have anything to do with any 3rd party apps and wakelocks are minimal.
I get RCS Phone as the top drain. I know that this replaces the Android System in some cases, but I’m wondering that maybe it’s the RCS Service or something (because it got an update during December and the problem appeared around then).
January update did not change anything. Drain during normal use and the rest of the day is pretty normal.

Any ideas? Anyone else that may have experienced something similar?


Google’s own issue tracker is filling up (example: here, here, here) with similar but new reports. Sadly none of them could make their way to the top priorities for Google. Official responses are stereotypical as always:

We have passed this to the development team and will update this issue with more information as it becomes available.


A search inside Pixel User Community indicates how vast the issue is, and Google’s reluctancy and other proofs are directly pointing towards an unpolished software.

Perhaps we need more dogfooding from Google. ?

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Kingshuk De

I came from a mixed background of Statistics and Computer Science. My research domains included embedded computer systems, mobile computing and delay tolerant networks in post-disaster scenarios. Apart from tinkering with gadgets or building hackintosh, I like to hop on various subreddits and forums like MyDigitalLife and XDA.