Monday, July 22, 2024

Ditch the wires with these Pixel 4 charging pads

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Wireless charging on Pixel phones has only been around for a year now, and while I sincerely wish that Google had worked harder with more manufacturers to make more “Made for Google Pixel” stands, at least we have more options than we did when the Pixel 3 debuted. For your Pixel 4, you have options for 10W and standard 5W charging in both form factors: vertical stands that you can use with Motion Sense’s swift face unlocking and flat pads you can drop your Pixel 4 on as you head off to dreamland.

Top speed

Google Pixel Stand

Staff pick

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$80 at Amazon

Since the Pixel 4 is a special snowflake concerning its maximum charging speed, if you want to wireless charge your Pixel 4 at top speed, you need to buy the Pixel Stand. It will charge the Pixel 4 at 10W and it can kick your phone into a special photo slideshow mode.

10W charging speeds

Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad 10W for Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL

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This is one of the only third-party chargers to charge the Pixel 3 and Pixel 4 at 10W — other pads in the Boost Up line only charge Pixel phones at 5W — and if you prefer a fast wireless charger that’s flat for your nightstand or office desk, this one’s for you.

$57 at Amazon

Plush look for home

iOttie iON Wireless Plus v2 Charging Pad

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$40 at Amazon

iOttie’s newer version of the iON charging pad can charge through thicker cases better than before, but it also has a luscious fabric exterior that will look great on an office desk, nightstand, or coffee table. It also has a USB-A port on the back for charging a second device at the same time.

Affordable stand

Anker PowerWave Stand

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$16 at Amazon

This stand will only charge the Pixel 4 at 5W, but it’s only a fraction of the price of the Pixel Stand. That’s a compromise I’m willing to make for a subdued looking stand that won’t show dust and dirt as quickly and is more stable to use your phone on as it charges.

Pint-sized puck

AUKEY Ultra-Compact USB-C Wireless Charger

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$16 at Amazon

There are lower-priced Qi chargers out there, but most of those run on outdated micro-USB. This model from Aukey is powered by USB-C, meaning you can charge wirelessly when you have the time or unplug it when you’re in a crunch and charge the Pixel 4 wired instead.

Soft stand

ESR Lounge Stand Wireless Charger

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$22 at Amazon

Ditching boring plastics for soft fabric and shiny metals, this stand looks more premium than the Pixel Stand for less than half the price. There are two finishes for the metal frame, a softer gray or a sharp silver, and the soft fabric covered two large coils that support landscape or portrait charging.

At home and on the go

Samsung Wireless Charger Portable Battery

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When it’s at home, this phone-sized charging pad works just like any other, but when you unplug it, it turns into a 10,000mAh power bank that you can use to charge your Pixel 4 wirelessly or with a standard USB-C cable. It’s two wireless chargers in one, and really, does it get much better than that?

$37 at Amazon

Go overboard

OtterBox OtterSpot Wireless Charging System

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This kit includes two wireless chargers: the OtterSpot Wireless Charging Base and one OtterSport Wireless Charging Portable Battery, which you can use to recharge your Pixel 4 wirelessly while out and about in the world. You can stack up to three OtterSpot batteries on the base to charge while you Qi charge your phone.

$130 at OtterBox

Wireless adaptability

While a couple of third-party chargers are out there, your most reliable bet for 10W Qi charging on the Pixel 4 remains the Google Pixel Stand, which is a solid stand, but you’re going to want to keep a Swifter cloth around to keep dust and grime off the charger. I wish that Google has started to offer the Pixel Stand in some other colors — or at least a Charcoal Gray — but White looks great so long as you keep it clean.

If you prefer a pad over a stand — and for the nightstand, that’s exactly what I prefer myself — then you can ditch the added cost of 10W and get something far more affordable, like the Aukey USB-C Wireless Charging Pad and its wonderfully compact footprint. For a more refined look at home, the iOttie iON has a beautiful look and some bold options than grey or black like that vibrant ruby red.

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