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The Pixel 7a's wireless charging is restricted in more ways than one

You can't expect all the high-end features to come to the midrange phone, can you?
By

Published onMay 10, 2023

TL;DR
  • The Pixel 7a is the first A series Pixel device to support wireless charging.
  • We knew the feature would be limited in speed because it only charges at 7.5W.
  • Now we also know it doesn’t support reverse wireless charging.

The Pixel 7a has just been launched and among the features I’m most excited about is the addition of wireless charging — a first on the Pixel A series. I spent a whole year plopping the Pixel 6a on a Qi charger out of habit only to discover the battery was empty an hour later, so I am all in on this new addition. But, with this being a lower-end device, Google has skimped a little and restricted the feature in two ways compared to the higher-end Pixel 7 and 7 Pro.

First, we’ve known from previous leaks that the Pixel 7a will only wirelessly charge at 7.5W, less than the 10W of its more expensive siblings. Two, the option for reverse wireless charging, which Google calls “Battery Share” is missing from the Pixel 7a’s Battery menu. This means you can’t use the 7a as a make-do portable battery and fill up a pair of wireless earbuds or another Qi-compatible gadget.

Like many of you, Android Authority readers, I’d never touched the reverse wireless charging option on my phones, despite having devices that support it since 2020. But a few weeks ago, I was caught with a dying phone battery and an empty power bank. I was ready to spend the next four hours offline enjoying real life (ha!) until I realized my husband’s Pixel 7 Pro can charge my phone. We turned on the Battery Share option and lo-and-behold, my own Pixel 7 Pro started sipping some juice from his phone and I didn’t have to look at people or smell the flowers.

All jokes aside, this obviously isn’t the most energy-efficient way to charge anything, but it worked in a pinch and that’s all there is to it. You likely won’t need reverse wireless charging every day, but when you do, you’d be glad to have it, and it’s a (very minor) bit of a shame that the Pixel 7a won’t have it.

For more details about Google’s new mid-ranger, check out our Google Pixel 7a review.

Google Pixel 7aGoogle Pixel 7a
AA Editors Choice
Google Pixel 7a
The best sub-$500 camera phone • Solid performance and plenty of RAM • Improved 90Hz display
MSRP: $499.00
The essential Pixel experience
The Pixel 7a delivers more premium features than ever for under $500, such as wireless charging support, a 90Hz refresh rate display, and a 64MP camera.