Google Pixel 5 will steal one of the Galaxy S20's best features

Google Pixel 4
The Google Pixel 4. (Image credit: Future)

While wireless charging is becoming more and more common on the best phones, something that’s still quite rare is the ability to reverse wireless charge. This allows you to use your device’s battery to transfer some juice to another gadget, whether it's another phone or wireless earbuds.

Samsung offers reverse wireless charging on its Galaxy S20 and Galaxy Note 10 series, and Huawei does the same on the Huawei P30 Pro and Mate 30 Pro handsets. But now we look to be getting a third set of smartphones with this feature in the near future.

XDA Developers, as part of its examination of the developer beta of Android 11, found new strings of code relating to a feature called “Battery Share.” There isn’t an official logo yet, since it reuses an existing battery image, but the code doesn’t lie.

In all likelihood, this will be a feature that will appear on the Pixel 5, building on the wireless charging found on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 4

The Pixel 4a, the next mid-range Google phone, will be arriving first, but this model may not have this feature since the Pixel 3a lacked wireless charging. There's only so much tech you should expect for under $400.

This discovery has ramifications beyond Google’s own hardware, too. With support built directly into the operating system used by basically every smartphone maker in the world apart from Apple (which has iOS), Google has made it much easier for smaller manufacturers to add reverse wireless charging to their own phones without needing to spend the time or money developing it for themselves.

That said, the tags surrounding the code makes XDA Developers believe that this feature is for Google only, although it wouldn’t take much to change that.

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.