Google 18W USB-C Power Adapter Review

Google 18W USB-C
Google 18W USB-C

Google 18W USB-C

Google 18W USB-C Power Adapter – Among the longest recommended USB-C chargers still on the market

Summary

The Google 18W USB-C Power Adapter has been around for years. In the early days of USB-C it was considered one of the best build quality chargers available.

Overall
4.6
  • Performance
    (5)
  • Design
    (5)
  • Safety
    (4.5)
  • Portability
    (4)
Comments Rating 0 (0 reviews)

Pros

  • Fast charges iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel
  • Charges Switch while you play
  • Fits in most Switch carrying cases
  • Built by Google to high standards, if showing its age a bit
  • Includes a USB-C to USB-C cable
  • Works worldwide with 100-240V power input (may need a plug adapter)

Cons

  • Lots of cheap clones sold on Amazon, limited sources for the real thing
  • Won’t fast charge Quick Charge 3.0 enabled phones; but does normal charging
  • Prongs don’t fold

Disclosure: As a Best Buy affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases. I purchased the product in this review.

Available at

Buy from Best Buy

Model: TC G1000-US
Google 18W USB-C specs

Google 18W USB-C specs

Tech Specs:
  • Ports: USB-C
  • Output: 18W USB-C Power Delivery 2.0 (5V/3A, 9V/2A)
  • Input: 100V–240V, 0.5A, 50/60Hz
  • Size: 2 x 1.1 x 1 inches | 52 x 40 x 25 mm
  • Weight: 2.1 oz | 60 grams

Learn more about Fast Charging.

Included In Box:
  • Google 18W USB-C Power Adapter
  • USB-C to USB-C 2.0 cable, 3.25 feet/1 meter
Google 18W USB-C box and contents

Google 18W USB-C box and contents

Good For:
  • Additional charger for home or work
  • Travel
  • iPhone
  • Android
  • Nintendo Switch (handheld)
  • iPad Pro (pre-2018)

First Impression

The Google 18W USB-C Power Adapter feels as solid as its reputation suggests. I also recently saw a tear down of the charger. Which showed the internals were as solid as the enclosure. The charger can be tossed in a bag, banged around, and slapped into a wall outlet. Aside from scuffing the white exterior you don’t feel like the charger needs to be pampered. The included USB-C cable is also solid. And has a clip to help keep it neat when wrapped.

Unlike most chargers there is no Google branding anywhere on the charger or cable. Even the printed specs and certifications don’t mention Google.

 

Compared To Similar Chargers

ChargerGoogle 18W USB-C Power AdapterApple 18W USB-C Power AdapterAnker PowerPort PD 1AUKEY PA-Y18 18W PD

Review
Price$34.99$23.00$19.99$19.99
Output18W USB-C PD18W USB-C PD18W USB-C PD18W USB-C PD
FeaturesUSB-IF Certified

Folding prongs
Folding prongs
CableUSB-C to USB-C cableNo cableNo cableNo cable
Dimensions2.1 x 1.6 x 1 in
2 oz
2 × 1.7 × 1.1 in
2.1 oz
1.4 x 1.4 x 1.3 in
1.5 oz

Prices are from Amazon Product Advertising API, last updated on 2019-09-18.

 

You can see more USB-C chargers here.

Device Testing

Check with your device’s manufacturer to verify which charging standards it supports.

USB Power Delivery & Quick Charge 4+ Phones

  • Apple iPhone 8/X/XR/XS
  • Essential Phone
  • Google Pixel
  • LG ThinQ series
  • Razer
  • Samsung Galaxy S8/S9/S10
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 8/9
  • Xiaomi Mi 8/9
  • ZTE Axon Pro 9/10

 

Using an iPhone 8 for testing we find USB PD phones will fast charge over the USB-C port. iPhones will need to use a USB-C to Lightning cable, not included. And Android phones will need a USB-C to USB-C cable, which is included.

Quick Charge 3.0 Phones

  • HTC
  • LG
  • Motorola
  • Nokia
  • Samsung Galaxy S7
  • Sony
  • Xiaomi Mi 5/6
  • ZTE

 

Using a Moto G6 for testing we get normal charging rates. As no Quick Charge or compatible fast charging standard is supported that’s as fast as it goes. Still, 10W is a decent charge rate.

Nintendo Switch

 

The original Switch (2017) also charges while you play. But that model Switch draws less current from 9V chargers. So it isn’t as fast of a charge as with the newer model Switch.

The new Nintendo Switch (2019) charges at its max rate, up to 18W. It’ll fast charge while you play. Its charge rate while sleeping is also normal.

Learn more about charging the Switch.

Avoid Buying On Amazon

If you do a search on Amazon you’ll find listings for the Google 18W USB-C. And at cheaper prices than Google’s $34.95 MSRP. As of this posting there’s a two pack for $10! Chances are every listing you see if a fake. They may say “by Google” but Google doesn’t sell their USB-C chargers on Amazon.

Amazon and Google have had a long running feud. Some of their businesses compete with one another. And both companies have opted to deny services to each other. Rather than work together. So Amazon apps don’t works with Google hardware. And a lot of Google hardware doesn’t get sold on Amazon.

Among that hardware is Google’s USB-C power adapters. That leaves two options for the listings you see on Amazon. Either it is a third party reseller with a Google charger. Or it is a look-a-like charger and not genuine Google.

The biggest selling point for this charger is Google’s reputation behind it. So a fake may offer the same specs. And may even perform as well without problems. But if you were looking for Google it was for peace of mind. And an unknown quality copy won’t give that to you.

Summary

The Google Pixel was an early entry into USB PD supporting phones. Its charger provided a much better option for the then new Nintendo Switch. Apple and Samsung chargers under powered the Switch. But Google’s charged it while you played in handheld mode. And was a trusted brand.

Google 18W USB-C with cable

Google 18W USB-C with cable

For phones it fast charges iPhone 8/X/XR/XS, Samsung Galaxy, and Google Pixel. Android phones supporting Quick Charge will charge at their normal rate. Keep in mind this was build for the Google Pixel. Which supports USB PD.

For the Nintendo Switch it charges in handheld mode as fast as any other option. But it cannot power a docked Switch.

Recent tear downs show high quality components used. And the same good build quality inside as we see outside. But those same components are a bit dated today. It only supports 18W USB PD 2.0. It is larger than newer chargers, and without folding prongs. And when the Pixel gains PPS support it won’t be as efficient of a charger for the newer phones.

Finding a genuine charger is also a challenge. Google doesn’t sell their hardware on Amazon. So while you’ll find lots of “Google 18W USB-C” chargers there they are likely fakes. Your best local option is Best Buy. You can also buy online from Best Buy or from Google’s online store.

Given the options available today the Google charger may not be worth the extra cost and effort. But for a USB PD phone, handheld Switch, or 18W USB-C power bank it still performs as well as the latest options.

About Google

Google has U.S. based support. But it is largely web based, with no direct contact information given. If you have an immediate problem consider a store return. Otherwise Google does warranty and support their products. You just have to get through their online forms, first.

Bottom Line

The Google 18W USB-C Power Adapter is a solid USB-C PD charger. While designed for the Google Pixel it followed USB-C specs. So it works great with an iPhone, Nintendo Switch, or other small USB-C device. Its high price isn’t too bad when you account for the cost of a USB-C cable. But today there are a lot of other options also worth looking at.

Buy if you:
  • Want a genuine Google charger for your Pixel; just don’t buy from Amazon
  • Need a single travel charger for your Pixel and Nintendo Switch
  • Are looking for a great build quality
Don’t buy if you:
  • Need to order through Amazon only
  • Want to also charge a USB-C laptop
  • Are looking for a cheap second charger for your Pixel; plenty of other 18W USB-C PD chargers will do the trick for less

Available at

Buy from Best Buy

 

Be sure to check the Deals page to see if this or a similar charger is on sale.