Google’s 2017 Pixel smartphones are the best in the market right now. They are priced well and offer industry leading smartphone camera but they are definitely not short of problems. However, it now seems that the problems are not just limited to this year’s model.
Google Pixel XL from 2016 seems to have been affected with a new problem with the release of Android 8.1 update in January. According to Android Police, the original Pixel XL attempts to pull up to 40 percent more current than possible from the charger, setting a dangerous precedent. The smartphone repeatedly enters and leaves a charging state as the charger shuts off due to over current protection.
If you have noticed your Pixel XL flashing “charging rapidly” multiple times recently after plugging into the default charger then it might be caused by this bug. All that you need to trigger the problem is a USB Type-C PD compliant charger of the correct wattage like the stock charger and a sufficiently drained battery. When the Pixel XL is plugged in, the smartphone tries to pull up to 18W with the stock 9V/2A charger but in reality, it seems to be pulling up to 25W at peak current of 2.8A.
The stock charger with its over current protection manages to cut off the excess power surge but it seems to stuck in an endless loop with the smartphone alternating between demand for more power and being shut off due to over current protection. This happens around 3-4 times before the Pixel XL returns to normal operation. If the USB Type-C PD charger does not have over current protection then it could be fatal for the consumer.
The bug was initially reported to Google’s Issue Tracker back in January and does not seem to have received a fix with consecutive software updates. Earlier, the Pixel 2 XL was found to be charging slowly in cold temperatures and the issues around Pixel smartphones don’t seen to be ending. If you own an original Pixel XL then it is recommended to use the stock charger or a good one with over current protection.