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Using a third-party wireless charger for the Pixel 3? Be ready for very slow charging (Updated: Google responds)

Even though the Pixel Stand reliably charges the Pixel 3 at 10W, third-party wireless chargers look to be capped at 5W charging speeds.

Published onOctober 23, 2018

Google Pixel 3 on Pixel Stand

Update, October 23, 2018 (4:51PM EST): In its response for our request for comment, Google said it is working with third-party manufacturers to release third-party chargers that support 10W charging speeds for the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.

These chargers will be released through the Made for Google program, with Belkin set to release its own 10W Pixel 3 charger in the coming weeks. Google did not say which other partners will also release 10W chargers.

Google also said the Pixel Stand and Pixel 3 “work together through a protocol that we’ve developed for fast charging,” but did not say what that protocol looks like.

Finally, the company said it does not “limit third-party devices.” You can read the original article below.

Original article: Even though we thought the Pixel Stand for the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL is the best accessory Google ever made, its $79 price tag will understandably cause others to pause and purchase more affordable third-party wireless chargers. You might want to think twice before you jump to the cheaper side, however.

According to an Android Police reader, they purchased a 10W Anker wireless charge for their Pixel 3. Using the Ampere charging app, they later found that the phone only charged at a maximum of 5W. That compares to the Pixel Stand, which charges the Pixel 3 phones at 10W.

The reader reached out to Anker, which told them that the Pixel 3 “sets a limitation for a third-party charging accessories and we are afraid that even our fast wireless charger can only provide 5W for these 2x devices.”

Android Police then reached out to Google, which confirmed that the Pixel Stand charges the Pixel 3 at 10W due to a “secure handshake” between the two devices. Because of that, however, third-party wireless chargers would be capped at 5W.

Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL review: The Android iPhone (Update: On sale for $600!)
Google Pixel 3 XL vs Pixel 3 screen

We tested the claims with our Pixel 3 XL and used a Samsung Fast Charge wireless stand. Using the Ampere app, we found that the maximum to be a middling 480mA (4.8W).

It is hard to see this as anything but ridiculous. Qi wireless charging is an open standard, which makes it weird for Google to purposely cap how fast its phones wirelessly charges.

This also forces people to pay the hefty $79 that Google asks for the Pixel Stand. Not everyone is okay with spending that much money on a wireless charger, but that is the price to pay if they want faster charging.

There is even a quirk when it comes to what the Pixel 3 displays. When placed on our Samsung Fast Charge wireless stand, the Pixel 3 displays “Charging rapidly” at the bottom. That is strange, since the phone charges at 5W on the charger and displays the same thing when connected to its included 18W wired charger.

We reached out to Google regarding the charging speeds when using a third-party wireless charger and will update this article if we get a response.

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