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Snippet: When is Inductive Charging Not Qi? ☇

Shared on October 23, 2018

Ron Amadeo for Ars Technica:

Google’s Pixel 3 smartphone is shipping out to the masses, and people hoping to take advantage of the new Qi wireless charging capabilities have run into a big surprise. For some unexplained reason, Google is locking out third-party Qi chargers from reaching the highest charging speeds on the Pixel 3. Third-party chargers are capped to a pokey 5W charging speed. If you want 10 watts of wireless charging, Google hopes you will invest in its outrageously priced Pixel Stand, which is $79.[…]

Google got back to us. The Pixel 3 does not support 10W Qi charging at all. It supports 10W wireless charging, and it supports the Qi wireless charging standard, but these are two different things. Qi is capped at 5W, and for 10W wireless charging, you need a charger with what Belkin calls “Google’s 10W proprietary wireless charging technology.”
Google says it is “certifying” chargers for the Pixel 3 via the “Made for Google” program and pointed us to one such device, a Belkin charger called the “Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad 10W for Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.” Belkin’s description is very enlightening, saying “Made with the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL in mind, this wireless charging pad uses Google’s 10W proprietary wireless charging technology. It’s certified for Pixel, so you know that the BOOST ↑UP Wireless Charging pad has been made specifically for your Pixel 3 and meets Google’s high product standards.”

If you replace “Google” and “Pixel” with “Apple” and “iPhone,” that would probably have most comment sections up in arms that Apple took a standard and ruined it by adding their own layer of stuff. There’d also be comments about the price of the official charger and how “everything Apple is so expensive.” Since it’s the Pixel and sells in much lower numbers, I doubt as many will even notice or care. Considering Google is later to the game with inductive charging, I suspect the real reason isn’t a money-grab, but being extra careful about fast-charging.

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