Pixel 3 Phones Only Support 10W Wireless Fast Charging With Google Approved Accessories

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL smartphones launched earlier this month and we covered them both extensively in our full review. The Pixel 3 devices have already encountered some issues already including a software bug that causes images to fail to save as expected. Another tidbit has surfaced that has to do with wireless charging on the Pixel 3 smartphones and using third-party accessories.

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The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL will only wirelessly charge at 10W on the Pixel Stand; if you use a third-party wireless charger, the smartphones will charge at just 5W. Half power wireless charging isn't an issue with third-party chargers and the Pixel 3; rather it's by design from Google. The the charging issue was discovered by a Pixel 3 user who purchased a 10W Anker wireless charger and found that the max charge rate was 500mA.

Anker confirmed that the Pixel 3 devices set a limitation for third-party charging accessories and that its fast charger could therefore only offer 5W to Pixel 3 devices. Anker also noted that its quality team would purchase the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL to perform testing and update the product page as needed. Google later confirmed the third-party limitation stating that the Pixel 3 devices only charge at 10W on the Pixel Stand because a "secure handshake" must happen for faster charging to occur.

Some are seeing this as a ploy to get Pixel 3 owners to shell out the $79 purchase price for a Pixel Stand. Adding insult to injury, when the Pixel 3 is placed on a third-party wireless charger, its always-on screen still reads "Charging Rapidly" even though it's limited to 5W. Google issued a statement that says 10W charging is exclusive to its Pixel Stand only for now; a certification process is underway via the Made for Google program that will allow third-party chargers to charge at 10W. Belkin reportedly has a certified charger in the works, but its launch date is currently unknown.