Wireless charging is one of the Google Pixel 3‘s best features, but there’s a serious limitation in place on it that risks spoiling the party if you don’t want to pay for a very expensive accessory.
An Android Police report has revealed that in fact only the official Google Pixel Stand accessory supports fast 10W wireless charging, while third-party products are stuck on slower 5W charging speeds – even if they are 10W capable.
The discovery came to light after a reader (‘Alex’) contacted the blog to inform them that a recently purchased 10W charger from popular accessory maker Anker was only clocking 5W speeds. Anker confirmed the bad news to Alex, saying that their testing attributed the downgraded capabilities to a restriction put in place by Google.
“Google’s official wireless charger can provide 10W for the newly-released Pixel 3 and Pixel XL 3, however, according to our quality engineer, Pixel sets a limitation for a third-party charging accessories and we are afraid that even our fast wireless charger can only provide 5W for these 2x devices. Our quality team is to purchase this new models to have a try, once we get a test answer, we will keep the product page updated,” Anker reportedly told the Android Police reader.
Google representatives subsequently confirmed this, telling the site that a “secure handshake” was necessary to charge the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL at 10W – and that only the Pixel Stand knew this particular golf club ritual.
Related: Pixel 3 vs Pixel 3 XL
Subsequent clarifications from Google are being sought – including by Trusted Reviews – as the device also appears to register “Charging rapidly” on its screen regardless of whether it’s supping 10W or 5W juice – which is confusing at best, and downright misleading if you’re being less charitable.
The Pixel Stand sure isn’t cheap at £69 – by way of comparison, a 10W Anker wireless charging pad costs just £18 on Amazon, albeit with no additional functionality – so this is a pretty nasty secret if Google let it, ahem…stand.
What do you make of the Pixel 3’s apparent wireless charging restrictions? Let us know on Twitter @TrustedReviews.