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 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.
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Adam Ismail is a staff writer at Jalopnik and previously worked on Tom's Guide covering smartphones, car tech and gaming. His love for all things mobile began with the original Motorola Droid; since then he’s owned a variety of Android and iOS-powered handsets, refusing to stay loyal to one platform. His work has also appeared on Digital Trends and GTPlanet. When he’s not fiddling with the latest devices, he’s at an indie pop show, recording a podcast or playing Sega Dreamcast.