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The Pixel 5 could offer reverse wireless charging − but is that really good news?

We criticised the Pixel 4 for its disappointing battery life, so is this new development a change for the better or a potentially retrograde step?

According to some buried code in Android 11 software, it’s likely that the Pixel 5 will gain the ability to perform reverse wireless charging. This method of charging other devices wirelessly by using your smartphone has been a feature of several other high-end handsets for over a year, but the feature hasn’t yet reached Google’s line-up.

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XDA Developers has found a software option named ‘Battery Share’ hidden in the settings menu of the Android 11 system dump, and seeing as this activity was prefaced by “com.google.android” rather than simply “com.android”, it’s likely that it’s lying there in wait for Google’s next flagship smartphone.

But when it comes to battery there was a more pressing problem that we encountered with the Google Pixel 4 − simple endurance.

We felt that the 2800mAh capacity wasn’t adequate for a flagship in the current generation and badly let down an otherwise high-performing device, so we hope that this specification will be drastically improved in the next entry if it’s to be relied upon to charge other devices in this manner.

Otherwise, there’s a danger that the new feature will just accentuate the smartphone’s shortcomings.

But while the Pixel 4’s endurance failed to live up to expectations, we were certainly impressed by the camera − especially for its class-leading low-light performance. We hope that the Pixel 5 can live up to that shining reputation along with burnishing its battery credentials, if it’s to compete with other top-end smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S20 or the iPhone 11.

Related: Best Android phones

However, long before the Pixel 5’s expected release date (around October 2020), we expect to see a different phone from the tech giant to make its debut: the Pixel 4a. This will be a more budget-friendly version of the flagship that nonetheless is expected to boast a highly impressive camera, and it’s currently anticipated to launch around May 2020.

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