Google Pixel 5 will get new charging powers to help fight the iPhone 12

(Image credit: Pigtou/xleaks7)

The Google Pixel 5 is not only about to launch, but we've just learned of a cool new feature that Google's equipped it with.

Digging deeper into Google's latest FCC filings, we not only get the hint that the Pixel 5 is imminent but that it'll have reverse wireless charging. 

While the Pixel 5 isn't explicitly mentioned by name in the listing, the phones here are definitely made by Google, but are obscured by codenames: A4R GD1YQ, GTT9Q, G6QU3 and G5NZ6. It isn't a leap in logic to figure out what kind of phone Google would be getting tested by the FCC given the rumors we've heard so far though.

And the FCC listing details wireless power transfer, or reverse wireless charging as it's more commonly known, for the phones. 

A listing for one of the Pixel 5 models.

A listing for one of the Pixel 5 models. (Image credit: 9to5Google)

While previous Pixel phones have come with interesting features such as squeezable sides and radar sensors, this new charging feature could actually be a quiet killer feature for the Pixel 5. Such charging is handy if you have a pair of wireless earbuds, such as Google's own Pixel Buds 2, that come with wireless charging and you need to juice them up mid-commute.

Reverse wireless charging isn't a new feature for Android smartphones as It can be found on the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 series or Galaxy S20 series, for example.

But the Pixel 5 is set to launch around the same time as the iPhone 12, which is not rumored to have reverse wireless charging, nor are the more premium iPhone 12 Pro models set to have such a feature. Since Apple also sells wirelessly charging accessories like the Apple Watch 5 and the AirPods, it's now at a noticeable hardware disadvantage compared to Google.

Other rumored key specs are the Pixel 5's 8GB RAM, 4,000 mAh battery and a 6-inch display with a 90Hz refresh rate. As for 5G, two versions only support sub-6GHz, but another two support both this and mmWave, meaning it'll be compatible with any 5G network around the world.

Also present within Google's new filings were model numbers for what must be the Pixel 4a 5G, based on its similarity to the Pixel 4a. Where it differs is with a better, 5G ready processor in the form of the Snapdragon 765G, and a second rear camera for ultrawide photography. 

Unfortunately for some users, the Pixel 4a 5G will only support sub-6GHz 5G, rather than the mmWave standard that carriers like Verizon use.

The only official indication from Google of the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G's launch date is that it would be this fall. Usually we see new Pixel phones appear in September at a Made by Google event, but with all the disruption we've seen this year due to lockdowns, this could end up being pushed back. But if the FCC's got its hands on the final handsets, it's certainly happening soon.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.