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Days before the new Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro hit the streets, older Pixels got a little love with the release of Android 14. And for Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 users, it may have fixed some pretty big issues.
Pixel phones have long been the subject of complaints over short battery life and overheating under normal use, especially the Pixel 6. Google did attempt to fix some of those issues in the Pixel 7, but complaints still lingered -- especially after software updates. Utilizing an adaptive connectivity feature did offer a little help, but not to the degree that users needed.
Android 14 seems to have done the opposite though, with Pixel 6 and 7 users actually reporting longer battery life and fewer overheating issues after upgrading. The Pixel Reddit community was awash with glowing reports, with one user even posting "Android 14 did a miracle for Pixel 6 heating issue."
So what changed? Well, we're not entirely sure.
Google didn't offer up an explanation, which is a bit surprising given the results people are seeing. Release notes for Android 14 don't mention anything specifically related to battery life or to overheating, but it's likely the company did some tinkering with CPU core usage, which would affect both issues. The Tensor chip, which Pixel phones run on, has had known heating issues for a while, especially when pushed to focus on performance over efficiency.
The notes on Android 14 do mention improvements to Battery Saver, where users can now see exactly what is being restricted and select essential apps to continue running, plus the ability to turn on Extreme Battery Saver at 20% instead of 10%, but that's not the battery increase that's being widely reported.
I don't have hard evidence, but I'm a Pixel 6 user myself, and I can attest to these reports being true. While I usually started getting 20% battery notifications around 2 to 4 p.m. after updating to Android 14, those didn't come until after 6 p.m. with generally the same usage.
If you're a Pixel user and you've been having these issues, it's worth giving Android 14 a shot to see if it helps. It's available to all Pixel phones from the 4A on. To find it, head to settings, then system, then system update.