The smaller model maxes out at 15W charging speeds, coming up short of the promised 18W originally listed in Google’s marketing materials. Android Police reached out to Google, which confirmed that indeed the Pixel charges at 15W. The tech specs have been updated on the official Pixel page.
It sounds like nothing was intentional or malicious here. Most likely the Pixel team dropped down the spec from 18W to 15W for the Pixel and that detail was omitted in the official marketing materials.
Nonetheless, our review of the Pixel and Pixel XL still finds them to be excellent phones, particularly if you crave the most Googley experience possible.
The impact on you: In practice this means yes, there’s a charging difference in capability between the two phones. Given the difference in battery size, and the reduced charging speed as the battery fills up, it’s not likely to make a noticeable difference.