Feature Friday: Wireless Charging

One feature of the Pixel 3 that I really like is the return of wireless charging, something earlier Google phones had but went away.

I bought a Pixel Stand and set it up where I charge my phone when I come home.

I just place my phone on the stand and it charges. No cords involved.

You can set up all sorts of cool things like a screensaver of your recent photos and photo albums, Google Assistant so you can ask your phone questions when it is charging, and a display of your upcoming appointments.

I am still playing around with the right choices for me but I think there is a lot of interesting things one can do with this charging stand

I quite like it and just got one for my office too.


Comments (Archived):

  1. William Mougayar

    This is good, but I’m more excited about a multi-device charging mat where you lay flat 2 or 3 devices on it.And I will be even more excited when we have true over-the-air wireless charging with nothing involved except using the Bluetooth or wifi connectivity. I’ve heard of prototypes, but waiting for this.

    1. kenberger

      agreed, power over wireless has been in the works a long time (I helped Intel look at it in early 2000s).Doesn’t actually go over BT or wifi, but can work alongside them and with protocols related to them.

    2. Lawrence Brass

      I’m waiting for nuclear powered phones. 🙂

    3. realroz

      Having my phone, watch or earbuds take charge while in my pocket does not appeal to me at all. I don’t want devices heating up while on my body. I don’t like the idea of resonant energy directed at me.At the same time, very low power resonant charge could be cool for small IOT style devices. Fixed sensors or buttons that could have a much smaller battery that way.

      1. William Mougayar

        what they charge while on the desk or table.

        1. realroz

          I was referring to the true over the air concept. The Qi-style table top charging raises no concerns to me. If over the air charging is engaged only on the table top, seems a lot like Qi. Benefit of over the air, to me, is that one wouldn’t have to think about charging again.

  2. kenberger

    (shrug)not too enthusiastic here for this one-device-oriented solution, as i generally just charge while sleeping, don’t want the phone in sight, so won’t use (and don’t even want) any of that at that time.Plus, I’d rather just use any Qi charger I already have; there are some great and cool ones for $20-30 online.

  3. jason wright

    I sense this is dumb question territory, but apart from wireless charging what can’t i already do with my Pixel without a Stand?What the Stand really needs is a pair of big plugin speaker ‘ears’.

  4. Justin Fyles

    I quite like the idea of physically docking the phone when you get home. I think that’s been the hardest part of my tech addiction to break, but I’d much prefer not using the phone in the house unless it’s needed – and a physical ritual of docking it seems like a great way to start.

  5. iggyfanlo

    FredHow close does the phone need to be to the stand or must it be docked in the stand?

    1. fredwilson

      Has to be on it

  6. Matt Zagaja

    The pixel stand looks nice and all, but I honestly cannot figure out what I am missing. Connecting to a wire to charge my iPhone 7 does not feel like a huge burden to me.

    1. PhilipSugar

      Matt I am with you on this. My wife LOVES hers. But for me what is much more convenient is having wall outlets with built in USB ports. You can get a retractible small cable https://www.amazon.com/Amaz… for $10.It is very small compared to phone. Your car has a USB port and they are homeowner easy to put where-ever you want. Again $10: https://www.amazon.com/Stan…Now no matter where you are your device can be charging not just at one port. No clutter.

      1. LE

        Fred falls more into the ‘gadgets’ are cool type of person. That is the way I size him up. I agree with you on this. Plus the iphone connector is actually pretty good. Compared to the connector on a set of Sony headphones which always feels as if I put it at the wrong angle it will break. And that is a Sony.I have an Apple watch which is wireless charging and for that device it makes sense. Plus you can put that on a stand. Which you need to do otherwise the adapter can fall off.I have dozens of USB cables all over the place. In all cars. Spares in bags. Multiple bags. Not sure the use case of wireless it would actually take up to much room on my desk at work.That said before I had keyless entry to my car I thought that was a gadget. But the truth is that is super helpful. Having the keys in your pocket and not having to take them out is great no question about that. And I carry a great deal of keys. I would never buy a car now w/o keyless entry.Counter to this is I always laugh when I see people working on small monitors or on small laptop screens. Not sure how you can be productive with a small screen. Ditto for typing on an iphone or ipad non qwerty.

        1. jason wright

          Is the Apple Watch at all useful?

          1. LE

            When I first got it it was.Then it wasn’t. I actually stopped wearing it.But now (for the past year) I am back to wearing it everyday. And I intend to buy the latest model (I have v1). Also probably the one where you can use it to make phone calls if you don’t have your iphone. For me that is a safety feature so it’s worth it just for that alone.

    2. fredwilson

      The lttle things are big

    3. jason wright

      It’s not a huge burden. Your feeling is true. USB C is an industry standard. Is the Pixel Stand an industry standard? It’s a Trojan horse.I could make a stand out of wood in 10 minutes flat, with a hole for the charging cable to pass through. It would do very nicely, and be compatible with any phone on the market.

  7. Chimpwithcans

    I like the conversion to a Home assistant – privacy issues aside – the phone as a hub for IOT is cool – I could see this dock almost changing the role of the phone in your home vs everywhere else.

  8. Sam Parker

    To me, wireless charging isn’t wireless if we’re putting our device on a device that’s wired.

  9. David A. Frankel

    More important question: did you miss yoga?

    1. fredwilson

      I went to a 6:45 class at a different studio

      1. Pointsandfigures

        Which type of yoga practice are you doing? Vinyasa, Iyengar, Hatha, Hot?

  10. scottythebody

    I guess you didn’t make it to yoga on time. 🙂

    1. fredwilson

      Hehe .I went to a different yoga class this morning !

      1. Pointsandfigures


  11. Pointsandfigures

    Wireless charging/power is going to be a lot bigger than this. A few years ago, I angel invested in a company based in Chicago, NuCurrent.com They are the industry standard for both types of antennae in wireless charging.Want to think about where it could go? What if it was embedded in drywall and you didn’t need conduit to run power to switches and plugs.The technology came out of research being done at Northwestern University. Flyover country deal.

    1. William Mougayar

      So is their tech inside other products, or they have the end-user product? When will it become available ?

      1. Pointsandfigures

        Their tech is inside other products. They are a going concern and as far as I know will continue to pursue that path. I am just a passive angel investor so I don’t have inside dope-but they have very cool technology and when you think about where it could go it’s pretty disruptive.

  12. Adam Parish

    iMessage for Android.

    1. fredwilson

      That would solve a lot of problems for me but I kind of like opting out of apple’s walled gardenAll of my important convos are on Signal including my family members

  13. Sondre Skaug Bjørnebekk

    Works really well with a cheap flat one from IKEA for the iPhone XS as well. I am smiling every night when just placing the phone on the surface on the nightstand instead of fumbling with cables (yeah, I am both a geek and like to enjoy the small things!).

  14. todd

    We have Samsung Qi wireless chargers, that come with their fast wall chargers for only about 25 dollars, all over the house. Not only can you forget about plugging in to charge, but you have a place to put the phone, so it makes losing the phone much less frequent. Plugging in the phone is a thing of the past except in cars… https://tinyurl.com/ydxdz4ya

  15. george

    The key point you illustrate, the utility is changing between the charging stand and the phone software (google assistant), which collectively, is ow capable of doing more. That’s a possible breakthrough, not having to own another hardware device like an echo.

  16. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Google would be even cooler if they would invest in some serious, passionate user experience design leaders. Almost every single UX with them is not necessarily terrible, but definitely not great, usually utilitarian. This stand looks like more of that custom.

    1. LE

      Flows from the top. The guys who started it have no clue about this they are engineers. As such the entire organization takes on that identity. Does not take formal training either. If you need formal training you are probably not going to seat of the pants get it right.You don’t have to wonder why Apple makes and designs great products. It’s because of Jobs obsession with all of the minutia. Remember when he didn’t (as the story goes) like the paint on the factory walls?Details matter. Maybe if you are google they don’t matter (because you are just so super good in what you do) or Microsoft (monopoly their image and marketing down to the colors sucks) but for the rest of the business world it does. And for sure it mattered pre-internet.Example – I can appreciate your disqus photo icon and the placement of your head and the angle of your head in the photo. It is framed very well.

  17. LE

    Marketing wise, I don’t agree with their strategy of not having a logo on the stand or some type of identifier. Doesn’t have to be the google logo it can be a logo and some new mark to represent a class of products. Wasted space. I know they think they are right and people think I am wrong but I am not.How many people here are old enough to remember the fuss over the SONY logo on the CRT at the OJ trial?From 1995:https://adage.com/article/n

    1. realroz

      I wouldn’t allow a brand like that on my desk, no way.

  18. LE

    You gotta scrub the photos first prior to posting. (Security..)

  19. maxniederhofer

    What are you doing home, you’re supposed to be at yoga!?

  20. daryn

    There’s still a cord, it’s just plugged into the stand :)The wireless charging stands and pucks don’t excite me much, but the idea of wireless charging built into furniture and other surfaces does. And I ordered this for my Model 3, which is a pretty awesome use-case.https://hellonomad.com/prod

  21. John Risner

    I got off the hot new phone carousel after my experience with the Nexus 6p. 14 months in and the battery is shot. Google offers nothing more than to transfer my call to Huawei. who offers a $160 battery replacement. I am not falling for the Pixel 3. After 14 months. I would rather have a $160 Moto 6 and replace it every two years.I with Mougayar – wireless charging gets interesting when the pad gets perfected and you can just toss multiple devices on it.But thanks early adopter Fred for the writeup. Will be good to hear of how it works out in the medium term.