Like the Pixel 3, Google's new Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL can charge wirelessly. But unlike last year's phone, you won't need to shell out $79 on one of Google's overpriced Pixel Stands to achieve the fastest wireless charging speeds.
That's because the Pixel 4 can charge wirelessly at full, 11-watt power using third-party Qi chargers that support the Extended Power Profile standard (or EPP, for short).
The feature was discovered by Mishaal Rahman of XDA Developers, and confirmed via a listing on the Wireless Power Consortium website. Whereas the Pixel 3 only charged at a 10-watt maximum on the Pixel Stand and wireless pads certified by Google, the Pixel 4 can reach its 11-watt peak on a range of Qi chargers, so long as they're provisioned for EPP.
Well, I'll be damned. Turns out the Pixel 4 supports 11W Qi wireless charging. Pixel 3 only supported 5W Qi wireless charging. Not sure why Google never mentioned this.Sources: https://t.co/H9NesUxxkHhttps://t.co/tLl5qqgf4Z pic.twitter.com/1rC94MR0kQOctober 21, 2019
Strangely, Google didn't address the Pixel 4's expanded charging situation at all during its Oct. 15 Made By Google hardware event. That's really a shame, because a cursory search across Amazon and other online retailers reveals it's unfortunately very difficult to determine which Qi chargers actually support EPP. A little bit of transparency of Google — and perhaps third-party partner recommendations — would have gone a long way.
Instead, we're presented with a situation where Google's done right by its users and lifted the shackles off the Pixel's wireless charging capabilities — which is great — but actually finding a charger to enable those faster speeds is a frustrating pursuit. For what it's worth, Xiaomi's $35 20-watt Qi charger (opens in new tab) specifically lists EPP support, though many of Amazon's top sellers don't appear to.
If nothing else, prospective Pixel 4 owners can live with the peace of mind that their new phone should be able to charge quickly on a multitude of wireless pads. Whether or not you'll actually be able to track one down though — that's another story.