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How Does Google Pixel 5 Wireless Charging Work?

March 09, 2021

When Google announced that Pixel 5 will be a budget-friendly phone, many were concerned about its quality. Several months have passed and we can confirm that Pixel 5, being the latest smartphone from Google, is definitely a great phone and has many cool features. Some of those cool features are wireless and reverse wireless charging. What are those?

What is wireless charging?

Charging your mobile directly without the need for any external peripherals is a utopia today, but wireless charging at the moment always requires a base compatible with it. Normally it is not included in the pack with the mobiles that have this technology, so you have to buy it separately.

This base acts as a transformer. The energy reaches it through a conventional cable to later be transferred through an electromagnetic field in the form of waves. The key piece of all this is the induction coil that is present both in the base and in the mobile - it is where the energy is really transferred and transformed.

The downside of wireless charging performance is speed. The fact of having to transform the energy twice causes it to lose potency, reducing the charging speed of your smartphone. That is why it is always better to use the cable if you are in a hurry, especially if your mobile supports some type of fast charge.

How does Google Pixel 5 wireless charging work?

At the official reveal, Google has presented several devices, including the new Pixel 5 that impressed us with its slim aluminum design, and it also has wireless charging support. But how can this device have wireless charging with aluminum back?

Well, it was the question that many asked themselves when they met the Pixel 5 since the rest of the manufacturers generally use the glass to offer wireless charging because the metal blocks this type of charge. As commented by Android Authority, the people from Google have confirmed that the Pixel 5 has another layer that has been applied above the equipment to be able to have wireless charging.

Google practically cut a hole in the Pixel 5's aluminum casing to fit the wireless charging coil. It is in that part where Google used a material called "bio-resin" which is a fancy way of calling a type of super-thin plastic. This way, the Google giant has achieved that the Pixel 5 has a wireless charging system when it has an aluminum cover, all in order to favor the thinness of the device itself.

Not only that, but Pixel 5 has reverse wireless charging as well.

What is reverse wireless charging?

The electromagnetic coil is the one in charge of converting the current into an electromagnetic field and, in turn, converting said field into a classical electric current. In the case of normal wireless charging systems, the charger is the active one and the terminal cell phone is the passive one. The charger generates this field with the electricity it receives from the plug and the cell phone is the one that receives the energy to charge, but this does not usually work the other way around.

Unless, of course, that we have a cell phone with reverse wireless or electromagnetic charging. When this happens, the terminal cell phone is also capable of generating active electromagnetic fields and emitting energy, not just receiving it. Thus, to the equivalent that happens with smartphones capable of delivering energy through USB, these smartphones also become portable batteries.

So, if your cell phone has reverse wireless charging, it means that it not only receives energy by contact but also generates it. Hence, we can place wireless headphones next to the coil and they charge, although, since generating these electromagnetic fields is costly at the energy level, power is always lost. That is why reverse wireless charging, although very useful, always, or almost always, is less robust than normal wireless charging.

How does reverse wireless charging work on Pixel 5?

The reverse wireless charging function that allows its energy to be shared through Pixel 5’s charging coil is located on the back and that way you can charge other devices with wireless charging - simply by placing them on the back of the phone.

However, as the people from Google have discovered, the company has decided to take this function even further, which makes the reverse wireless charging activate automatically when the device is connected to the charger through its USB-C port. This way, simply connect the mobile to the charger to transform the Pixel 5 into a wireless charging base with "infinite" energy. A fairly expensive base, yes.

In most devices, to use reverse charging it is necessary to access the phone's settings and activate this option manually, something that can become tedious when we need to quickly resort to a charger. That's why Google's decision to enable this option automatically seems like a good idea to us. In addition, as specified by the company itself on the device's support page, this function is not permanently activated, but is enabled for a short period of time, and is automatically disabled in case the phone does not detect any other compatible device in its rear.

It is true that the reverse charging system of the Pixel 5 - and of most phones that include similar functions - does not offer great charging power. However, it can be a function that will be useful to more than one on certain occasions, and that owners of the Pixel 5 will undoubtedly enjoy.

Another cool way to wirelessly charge your Pixel 5

There are many power banks that you can buy if you need a quick battery refill while on the move. Some are bulky, some are not that good, and some are fantastic. We came across a fantastic product from the i-Blades company that makes protective cases but with integrated technology inside, and they call it “the smart case”.

This smart case from i-Blades will protect your Pixel 5 from damage, plus add more storage memory, charge your Pixel 5 up to 20 hours at once, plus provide cool environmental features as well. The way this wireless charging works is that the SmartBlade tech, a small chip, can be attached to the case. Once attached, it serves as both a power bank and external storage.

In other words, getting more battery juice, more storage memory, and more cool features to your not flagship Pixel 5 is fantastic. For more information, check out this product.