What you need to know
- The Pixel Watch has been found charging wirelessly on some occasions, although the experience is not consistent.
- While many instances proved it to be working, Google has confirmed it doesn't officially support Qi wireless charging.
- Users will have to stick with the proprietary charger that comes with the Pixel Watch.
Google's Pixel Watch started getting shipped to consumers who preordered it during the launch. People who got their hands on it began to test the Pixel Watch's ability to charge wirelessly on the Pixel and on other phones with reverse wireless charging enabled, which seemed to have worked for a few.
According to The Verge, some Redditors tested on a power bank that supports Qi-compatible wireless charging, and the experience caused a lot of dismay among users. That's because the experience has been hit or miss, and Pixel Watch apparently doesn't support Qi.
Victoria Song, the wearable tech reviewer at The Verge, has also tried the same with her Pixel Watch, accompanied by the Pixel 7 Pro. She used the battery-sharing feature on her Android device and placed the Pixel Watch on the back for a charge. Apparently, it only worked for ten seconds.
Song mentions the Pixel Watch shows that the device is charging, but the connection and charge stability doesn't appear consistent. The result appeared the same with a third-party Belkin charging dock as well.
Nils Ahrensmeier also tried it and snapped a picture to show the device charging wirelessly on their phone.
They told us it won't work, well....#madebygoogle pic.twitter.com/GsrcD7NDPCOctober 6, 2022
A similar instance with the Pixel Watch has also been experienced with the folks at 9to5Google. Even though the Pixel Watch does display that it's charging when placed on Qi-compatible charging pads and devices with reverse wireless charging, 9to5 concludes that the watch is actually discharging.
After this, Google provided a statement to 9to5Google, confirming the Pixel Watch doesn't officially support Qi wireless charging:
The statement provided to 9to5 reads, "Qi charging is not supported on the Google Pixel Watch. There may be some charging configurations where reverse wireless or Qi charging appears to work. This will be very device and charger specific and is not guaranteed to provide a consistent, steady, or strong charge. Note that in some cases, this could cause the device to discharge while on charger. Pixel Watch only supports charging with the inbox charger provided."
This also reminds us of another recent experience with the Pixel 6a, which shipped with a 60Hz display. However, a developer created a new mod that unofficially enables the Pixel 6a to run at a 90Hz refresh rate since the device apparently sports a similar display panel to the Pixel 6.
Nevertheless, the charging situation with the Pixel Watch might look fascinating to many, but wireless charging is apparently not an ideal way to charge the watch, even if it appears you can. Android Central's Andrew Myrick laments the omission of Qi wireless charging in his Pixel Watch review:
"What is a bit disappointing is that Google opted to use a proprietary wireless charger. It's a drum that I'll keep beating until it becomes the norm, but I really wish Google would've opted for standard Qi wireless charging."
Unfortunately, we must continue relying on proprietary chargers for smartwatches and other wearables until we can figure out some standard for these devices.
Pixel Watch is the first smartwatch from Google that features incredible hardware. It ships with Wear OS 3.5 out of the box and includes Fitbit integration for the first time
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Vishnu works as a freelance News Writer for Android Central. For the past four years, he's been writing about consumer technology, primarily involving smartphones, laptops, and every other gizmo connected to the Internet. When he is away from keyboard, you can see him going on a long drive or chilling on a couch binge-watching some crime series.