Big fall launches are stressful, but Pixel helps its friend stay cool as a cucumber. #BestPhonesForever— Made by Google (@madebygoogle) August 30, 2023
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I recently came across a post on X where Google aims a dig at Apple for the upcoming switch to USB-C on the iPhone 15.
The two “buddies” are hanging out on Spa Day. And it looks like a perfect treatment ahead of the iPhone 15 and Google Pixel 8 launch events in September and October, respectively.
Smartly concealing the usually conspicuous rear camera, the two go on to talk about the iPhone’s launch 16 years ago. Of course, this is Google giving hints of how long it has taken Apple to debut the USB-C port.
In typical fashion, Google wasted no chance to remind Apple fans about Pixel-exclusive perks like unblurring photos and Call Assist that the iPhone lacks.
But even as Google rightfully makes fun of Apple for the late switch to Type-C (I mean, it’s 2023!), one category the latest iPhone completely annihilates the latest Pixel is battery life.
Ever since its launch, Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro owners have been struggling with persistent battery drain issues. Of course, it’s not every unit. But for those affected, there are various factors that trigger the drain.
Pixel 7 battery drain issue persists after multiple fixes
The Pixel 7 will be a year old in a month. Having consistently received monthly security updates, at times with lengthy delays, the phone has so far been patched nearly a dozen times.
The first update arrived in November 2022. While there was nothing related for the Pixel 7, the patch included battery drain fixes for the Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro and Pixel 6a.
However, this was because reports about poor battery life issues on the Pixel 7 started after the December 2022 security update. This was also the first Pixel Drop for the phone.
Ironically, this update was meant to introduce several battery-related fixes for the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro. Below is a section of the changelog:
Specifically, the update addressed higher battery usage during media playback with some apps, improved battery consumption and thermal performance in certain conditions. But instead, it made things even worse.
The January 2023 update that followed did little to address these new battery drain concerns. In fact, it had no battery-related fixes for any of the eligible Pixels.
Mixed reports kept coming in after the January and February updates. Some people recorded improvements in battery life on their Pixel 7 units. But others simply couldn’t see any notable change.
Has anyone else noticed an improvement with battery life after the January improvement? I’ve had a Pixel 7 since October. It was okay until the December update where I was getting around 15% drainage overnight with my phone on airplane mode. After the January update the overnight drain is around a 5% with airplane mode and I feel like I get home with more battery than before. I think patch notes didn’t mention any battery improvements but I’ve certainly had a better battery performance.
After this new update battery on idle and usage on the P7 is worse then it was on the december update. The december update did magic to the battery
Like the January patch, the February patch didn’t include any battery-related fixes. This was starting to get concerning for those affected, especially given the amount spent.
The Pixel 7 bagged its second Pixel Drop in March. As expected, many thought this would be the update that finally fixes their battery drain woes. Indeed, there were a couple of fixes for Pixel 7 and 7 Pro, as seen below.
Regrettably, only one fix specifically addressed the battery drain issue, but at a generic level. And things got even more disappointing with the April and May security patches, which had no mention of battery drain fixes.
Still no fix after the June Pixel 7 feature drop
There was a sigh of relief when the June patch arrived with some battery improvements for Pixel 7 and 7 Pro owners. But similar to others before, this was only good on paper.
– General improvements for charging, battery usage or thermal performance in certain conditions
– Improvements for battery usage while using the front camera in certain apps or conditions
Despite the alleged improvements, even more reports kept coming in. This was another major blow to those who had been hoping a software update would fix the battery life problem.
A new month is upon is, and so will a new security update — the phone’s eleventh patch since launch. But it remains to be seen if Google will include some Pixel 7 battery improvements.
Nonetheless, Google needs to go back to the drawing board. For such an expensive phone, it is inexcusable to have this annoying issue for so long without a proper fix.
Still, is there any reason to believe eleven is the lucky number for Pixel 7 owners? Having seen the device bag five fixes specifically meant to address battery drain issues but still failed, I am heavy on pessimism.
In fact, Google might be dealing with a hardware problem. After all, by now, after ten software updates, there wouldn’t be persistent cases of people still experiencing battery life issues.
Some fingers have been pointed at the Tensor chipset for these battery woes. But we’ll only be sure if Google does make the alleged switch to TSMC for its future chipsets.
That said, do let us know your thoughts in the comments and poll below.
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