Both the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL can charge wirelessly, with both phones capable of delivering fast wireless charging. That's good. But right now, it looks like the only accessory capable of delivering fast wireless charging to Google's new phones also comes from Google. That's not so good, at least if you prefer a choice in accessories.
That's according to an Android Police report based on a reader's experience trying to take advantage of the fast wireless charging capabilities promised by the Pixel 3. The reader bought a 10W charger from Anker, only to find that wireless charging appeared to be capped at 5W. Adding insult to injury, Anker told the reader that its engineering team concluded that the Pixel set a limit on third-party charging accessories.
Google disputes that point, telling Tom's Guide in a statement that "we don't limit third-party devices." However, a spokesperson did confirm that if you want fast wireless charging right now, you're limited to Google's $79 Pixel Stand.
"Pixel Stand and Pixel 3 work together through the protocol we've developed for fast charging," the spokesperson said. "Everything else charges at the industry standard Qi 5W."
There's some relief on the way. Google confirmed that it's working with third-party accessories makers involved in its Made For Google program so that they can create third-party chargers that bring 10W wireless charging to the new Pixel phones. Belkin has already announced a 10W Pixel 3 Boost Up charger; the $60 accessory will ship in the coming weeks, according to Google's spokesperson.
So the good news is that Pixel 3 users will one day have a choice of wireless chargers. The bummer is today is not yet that day. If you've got a Pixel 3 and are looking for a wireless charging accessory that supports 10W, table that purchase for now to see if third-parties can come up with something more compelling than the Pixel Stand.