Thursday, July 25, 2024

Charging is better than ever on the Pixel 5 with these wireless chargers


Google’s history of wireless charging on its Pixels is somewhat rocky, but the Google Pixel 5 should work with a wider variety of wireless chargers. Yes, the Pixel 5 might actually end the insanity of wonky compatibility and bizarre charging speeds we saw with the Pixel 3 and Pixel 4, thanks to the 15W Extended Power Profile used in the Pixel 5. There are many, many great chargers out there that support this wireless spec, but your Pixel deserves only the best. These are the best Pixel 5 wireless chargers, including pads and stands.

For you and your buds

iOttie iON Wireless Duo

Staff pick


This two-pad charger has a 15W EPP wireless charging stand for topping off your Pixel 5 at top speed, and you also get a 5W flat charging pad for your Pixel Buds, smartwatch, or another phone. As a note, only the Dark Grey model is 15W!

$49 at Amazon

Grippy, low profile

Belkin Boost Charge 15W Wireless Charging Pad


Belkin has long been a wireless charging partner for Google’s Pixel line. This 15W pad comes with an AC wall adapter to ensure that you get the promised speeds with your Pixel 5.

$40 at Amazon
$40 at Best Buy

Adjustable back

Moshi Lounge Q

I’m a huge fan of Moshi’s look for its wireless chargers, but this sliding style also has a purpose! This allows you to reposition the charging coil so that it perfectly aligns with your Pixel 5. There’s also a compact pad version.

From $40 at Amazon $54 at Office Depot

QC and PD support

Anker PowerWave Alloy Pad


This is one of the few wireless charging pads that will work well with either Qualcomm QuickCharge or Power Delivery, so you can use whatever’s handy. The LED indicator is a bit bright for a nightstand, though.

$30 at Amazon
$36 at Walmart

Google’s own

Google Pixel Stand


The Pixel Stand debuted with the Pixel 3, so it’ll only charge the Pixel 5 at 10W, but it’s cleanly designed and matches the Pixel aesthetic perfectly. It comes with an 18W Power Delivery wall charger.

$80 at Amazon
$80 at Best Biuy

Ready for the road

iOttie Easy One Touch Wireless 2


This will only charge at 10W, not 15W, but iOttie’s car mounts are the best for longevity and stability, and that matters more for a charger that’ll have to survive harsh winters and harsher summers in your car.

$50 at Amazon $50 at Best Buy $50 at B&H

These are the best Pixel 5 wireless charging pads and stands

Wireless charging gets better with every generation of Pixel phones, and the Pixel 5 seems to have made things easier than ever by using the same 15W EPP (Extended Power Profile) Qi standard that other manufacturers like LG have been using for years. Of the EPP wireless chargers on the market today, I’m especially fond of the Belkin Boost Charge 15W Charging Pad because it’s sturdy, non-slip, and available in both black and white. It uses an AC adapter rather than USB-C, but that means that you don’t have to worry about getting slow speeds because you plugged into the wrong type of wall charger.

If you want to go vertical with a wireless charging stand, though, the iOttie iON Wireless Duo is perfect for wireless earbud owners and tailor-made for the Google Pixel 5 and Pixel Buds. You get a top-speed stand for your Pixel 5 and a small, flat pad for wirelessly charging your Pixel Buds, Galaxy Buds, or whatever awesome wireless earbuds you wear every day. If you don’t have wirelessly charging earbuds, that second pad is also a standard 5W wireless charger for charging a smartwatch or a second phone.

While the Google Pixel Stand is guaranteed to charge the Pixel 5, it’ll only charge at 10W, so it won’t give you the full speed a 15W charger like the Belkin Boost Charge or the darling and well-designed Moshi Lounge Q would. The adjustable height on the Moshi also makes it easy to ensure that your phone lines up on the coil properly, which is why it’s more deserving of its price tag than the Pixel Stand

Troubleshooting wireless charging on your Google Pixel 5


Wireless charging is supposed to be this super-easy thing — just drop it down and walk away easy — but on a Google Pixel phone it’s been anything but that in previous years and I do not expect that streak to change with the Pixel 5. So if a wireless charger isn’t charging your Pixel 5 fast — or worst, not charging at all — then let’s kick all the tires before we start crowing about dud products or false advertising.

What is powering your wireless charger?

Most Qi chargers are still designed to run on Qualcomm QuickCharge 2.0/3.0, but some newer models are made for Power Delivery power. If your wireless charger didn’t come with an AC adapter — also known as a wall plug or USB charger — check the box or manual that came with your charger.

  • If your charger is plugged into a Power Delivery (PD) charger and isn’t turning on at all, then it’s designed only for QC chargers. Hunt down one of your spares or buy a new one.
  • If your charging pad is charging slow, check that the wall charger you’re using is powerful enough. 15W wireless charging usually needs 18W input at least, so check the box for what input profiles your charger accepts.

Is your charging pad slow/spotty but you’re using the right wall charger?

If things are slow or inconsistent but you know that it’s getting the right amount of power, you could still have issues with alignment and case thickness. Here’s how to check them all.

  • Take your case off and see if the Pixel 5 gets a more consistent charge. Most charging pads have a maximum case thickness that they can charge through, and if your case is too bulky or has a metal plate in it for a car mount, wireless charging won’t work. If the charging pad works when your case is off, you may need to buy yourself a thinner case.
  • Try a friend or family member’s phone on the charger and see if they’ll get the full speed where the Pixel 5 doesn’t. This isn’t a foolproof method — the EPP profile that the Pixel uses differs from Samsung and Apple’s fast wireless charging profiles — but it can help you rule out if the coil in your charger is misaligned or quirky.
  • Rotate your phone around on a flat wireless charging pad to check and see if your new Qi charging pad has a specific point of alignment for activating Qi charging. Usually, coils are centered exactly on a pad, but multi-coil charging pads sometimes have dead spots between each of the coils.
  • For charging stands, rotate the phone 90 degrees and see if your phone has better speeds or more consistent charging. Because phones vary more widely in height than in width, if your phone hits a dead spot vertically, chances are it’ll still hit the lower coil in landscape.

If you’re getting good speeds/consistency with other phones but not with the Pixel 5, that charging might have issues with the unique way the Pixel 5 does wireless charging. The Pixel 5 has an aluminum back with a cutout through which the wireless charging isn’t blocked.

While this is a solution that so far seems to work pretty well, it does mean that the Pixel 5 might be more particular about placement on a wireless charger than most phones. The chargers listed in the collection above are all rated to support the EPP charging profile the Pixel 5 does, but we haven’t been able to test every single Qi charger with it yet.

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