Skip to main content

Poll: Does it matter if your smartphone doesn't come with a charger in the box?

Google Pixel 4a With Chargers Hero
Google Pixel 4a With Chargers Hero (Image credit: Ara Wagoner / Android Central)

Great phone chargers are everywhere, and there's a good chance you've got some lying around. However, smartphone OEMs are slowly starting to move away from shipping charging adapters with their smartphones, a move that hasn't been popular with many people. Google is the latest to follow this trend, announcing that the upcoming Google Pixel 6 won't ship with a charging adapter. We want to know if you're okay with this new trend or if you think companies are shortchanging us.

The subject of removing charging adapters is a trend that started with Apple and the iPhone 12, and it caused quite an uproar. But despite that, Samsung followed suit with the Galaxy S21 series, and now the new Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 don't ship with them either.

Back when phones used a variety of proprietary standards alongside Qualcomm QuickCharge, it made sense for your phone to come with a compatible charger in the box, but then USB-C Power Delivery came along. Power Delivery allowed manufacturers to make chargers that provided a selection of wattages up to 100W, allowing it to standardize not just phone charging, but laptop and accessory charging, as well. This means if you buy a good Power Delivery charger, you can use it to charge everything you own.

However, that's not enough for some people, who think that companies should continue to include charging adapters with their smartphones, especially given how much we pay for some of the best Android phones. On the other hand, companies argue that it's better for the environment and reduces e-waste since many people have chargers lying around from previous smartphones.

Like the headphone jack, removing accessories from the box seems to be a trend that may eventually trickle to other smartphone OEMs, especially as major companies lead the charge. Let us know below if you think OEMs are onto something or if Android manufacturers should just stop following Apple's example.

Anker Nano II 45w Charger

Anker Nano II 45W GaN charger

The Anker Nano II 45W GaN charger is a small but capable charging adapter that can top up every modern smartphone and even most laptops at rapid speeds. Thanks to the GaN technology, it doesn't take up very much space, and the folding prongs make it easy to slip into a backpack or purse.

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.

42 Comments
  • If you are not going to supply a charger then why add the cable?
  • Maybe they don't have a USBC cable if they're upgrading from an earlier non USBC phone.
  • I think it should be an option. However, if the phone is increasing it's supported charging speeds then it should be giving the faster charger as an option at checkout so you don't miss out on that benefit.
  • If advertising faster charging times and new then it needs to be added to the box. Cables are no longer needed.
  • No.
    Lower the price of the phone so that if you need a charger and buy one it would be the same price as if included in the box. Then only those who need it, get one.
    Less waste when not needed and extra savings as well.
  • I would suggest they already did that. Can you say the new phones that are not coming with chargers wouldn't have been more expensive had they included it? It's not just the cost of the charger itself, but packaging and shipping. The box is bigger and you can fit fewer in the transport mechanism (boat/airplane). That winds up costing more. Some might suggest having versions with and without chargers at different price points, but that costs money in inventory. What might be reasonable is to discount the charger at the time of device purchase. Make it clear to the consumer none is included, and they can decide to use one they have, get a new on at a discounted price from the OEM, or buy one somewhere else.
  • I personally dont' care, but everyone I know that's bought a phone in the last year that isn't a tech enthusiast has thought that not having a charger in the box was stupid. Especially iPhone users coming from those crappy little 5W chargers. I also just deployed 25 phones at work, and we had to buy separate chargers for them all, which is an additional cost. It should be an option. There are a few of the chinese OEM's that make it an option at checkout. The charger is free, but you specifically have to ask for it when you buy. I think that's a good middle ground.
  • It depends...
    If you're stuck with an iphone, a normal 5-10w charger works great. OnePlus uses their own charger and even their own cable. I do believe you need both of them for Warpcharge to work.
    I reckon the same goes for Xiaomi mobiles. Most people don't have a 40-120w charger laying around.
  • If there using the same power cables and adapters then no but if there going to change it at least the first product should have it
  • One certain company unfortunately saw this move, to save the environment, as an opportunity to make around 50 bucks more per sold phone. That has obviously tainted the whole idea with removing the charger. It's a sound move, as we really need to start reducing electronics waste.
  • Bleh, don't really care either way. My wife and I bought wireless chargers that support our phones and watches several years ago so we haven't used the included chargers in a while. We charge our phones and watches overnight so it doesn't really matter how long it takes to charge. We usually sell our old phones privately so we include the boxed charger with the phone.
  • There should always be a new charger included with every new phone. It's a package deal. It's an even bigger deal if the phones are expensive.
  • Quick question...
    Would you buy a car at full price if it came with rims with no tires?
  • A better analogy to me is a new car with NO BATTERY. You have to pay extra if you want the car to start!
  • It matters. The charger that comes in the box with a phone is the best the maker of that phone has made to conform with the phone's specifications.
  • It doesn't matter to me personally, because I already have a bunch of chargers and cables that are probably better than what comes with most phones. But if my friends and family are any indication, the average person loses/destroys charging accessories pretty regularly. So a phone not coming with a charger is crappy. And, you know, you probably shouldn't ship an item without a way to charge it if it does
  • I do NOT want to hear about electronic clutter or landfills ... I sell all my "old" phones and everything that comes with them. I do NOT have 37 chargers lying around like many people do. For what these pieces of junk cost there should be a case, a screen protector, a charger and cable in EVERY box!!!
    Did they not learn anything from Samsmug's S21 debacle? Part of the reason for low sales of the S21's (besides being overpriced) is that they keep removing NECESSARY FEATURES THAT CUSTOMERS DEMAND! So go ahead Goof Ball Google...follow Samsmug right down the drain!
  • They make surge protectors with usb ports and clock radios with ports and blah blah blah and I have a clock wireless charging pad with extra ports on it....
  • Clock radios? Is it 1985 already?
  • The phones should come with an option "bundle/discount" if you want/buy the charger with the phone. Not everyone has a charger and how many are good/powerful enough for today's phones. One's BlackBerry or Pixel1 chargers will not provide the wattage needed and will leave many consumers with not fully charged/rapid charged phones. So why sell a $1000 phone with xyz features to be disappointed by an old charger. Like buying a new car and putting your 4+ yr old tires on them.
  • If the phone uses off the shelf cable & lowest spec AC brick then both can be skipped.
    But if you're playing for a flagship level phone with all the requisite high-end features ie proprietary cable and/or proprietary watt output AC brick then absolutely 100% include both. The oft used lie tossed about is e-waste reduction. But we all know OEMs using some kind of proprietary charging tech AND NOT including matched accessories are ONLY looking to further gouge at checkout. Base cost for just box sans everything else HAS NOT decreased. Add in the additional cost to purchase proprietary cable/brick and OEMs are simply greedily lining their pockets. In general, I think if there's any genuine e-waste, it is at the low and mid tier level phones that use stock cable/basic AC bricks. Get rid of that. But in $1000+ phones and shudder $1800 Fold 3 ship sans AC brick is disgusting.
  • That featured Anker charger is 10 bucks more than AC is claiming in their "ad".
  • Yes, your new device should come with a charger.
  • Gotta love the spin now that Google is following in Apple and Samsung's footsteps. I'm sorry but any $700+ priced phone should come with a charger and brick in the box. 
  • My Xiaomi Note 10 Pro, purchased two weeks ago came with 30W charger and cable in the box. And rightly so.
  • Put a charger in the box. I am not a reviewer; I buy phones every couple of years. The chargers I have are out of date to newer phones and/or have a proprietary tech mismatch so they fall back to an even older power mode. My laptops (personal & work) still uses a barrel socket not USB C. (The work one has USBC only at the docking station, not the brick)
    My SO has a Surface with pogo pins.
  • $1800 fold 3....include the charger. Chargers wear out, connections get loose, they get stepped on, they get lost, I spill my drink and they are not IPX rated the list goes on. My "free" AT&T phones that were sent to me to ask me to stop using my Blackerry Key 2 even came with a charger.
  • Easy solution. Have a box people can check if they need a charger. Otherwise, they already have one ready to go. The End
  • Right. Might as well have that box pre-checked by default.
  • Manufacturers tout how fast their new phones charge up. But this requires a new charger to do it, the 5 watt charger for the old phone won't do it. Having to purchase a new brick to get the stated speeds is BS.
  • Like with many things in the tech world, as the years go by, things get damaged, warn and eventually stop working. This applies to batteries, cables, cases, screen protectors ect. If a company decides to not include a charger in the box, I'm very happy with that as it does help the environment out by not producing excess equipment. HOWEVER, if I want a charger in the box because my current one isn't working, there needs to be a box I can tick that includes a charger with my purchase free of charge.
  • You know if that check box existed, everyone would check that box. It's 'free' after all. I'm not naïve enough to think they reduced the price of all cell phones by $5 because they left out the charger, but I'm cynical enough to believe they'd add that $5 back to every sale if they had to supply chargers to those that clicked the 'free' box.
  • Not like I would ever pay $1000 - $1300 for a device, but at that price? It should come with a free wireless charger! Minimum = Wall Charger (preferably a fast charger!) + USB Type C Cable, or the device manufacturer is going to be called out!
  • Yes, when you buy a new car you get a battery. So why shouldn't you get a charger with your new phone? Just makes sense to me.
  • Seriously? When I buy a phone I get a battery too. Didn't get a charger with my car either, and it's electric. Did get a cable, just like with my phone. Lets try an analogy that makes some sense.
  • I personally don't mind. Anytime you preorder these new devices with samsung they give you promo credits. Use that and get your fast charger free if you need one or more.
  • If I was choosing between two phones like I am this fall (Pixel 6 or Xperia 5III) I may very well go with the one that includes the charger if I'm really otherwise undecided. Other than having another choice of phone that includes a charger we might not have much choice in the future. Companies get greedier over time when they don't have a reason to compete. The whole environment thing is a bunch of crap though. You do not ever see working chargers being thrown in the trash. People keep them as extra or give them away or donate them. The only chargers ending up in landfills are chargers that are no longer working properly. This won't change that. This is entirely about money.
  • IMHO if the manufacturer does not supply the correct charger and cable with the product, they cannot claim that the product was damaged by an unapproved cable or charger.
    I know that I would make sure that the cable/charger is compatible (and everyone reading this would), but really how about the rest of the population?
  • They should absolutely provide a charger, especially if that phone has a new proprietary charging system. Also having to buy a separate charger is more wasteful. If you need to go out and buy a new charger, there is now extra packaging and extra shipping/transportation of that item, which requires more resources than if they just placed in the box in the first place. If they don't place the charger in the box, at least give the option as to whether or not you want one. Not giving you a charger is just another cheap ass, cost cutting measure done at our expense.
  • Yes it does if nothing else of value is included in the box or the price of the device isn't lowered as an alternative. If instead of a charger let's say you get a case and pre-installed screen protector or at least a pair of headphones then that mitigates the omission of a charger. That is especially true for flagship devices that come accompanied with flagship prices. This whole idea of removing what used to included with every device is just a cash grab. Especially when it comes under the guise of "environmental responsibility" or "green alternatives".
  • I remember when phones came with a full charger, headphones, and a free case. The companies just want to nickel and dime us in every way they can. 😡💵📱
  • First they took away the free earphones. Then next up to go was the free case and screen protector. Now it's the charger. Yet the prices so drastically exceed the rate of inflation that it has become a double price increase. What next? Phones without cameras? Oh crap! I better shut up now...