Have you seen the manufacturing quality of some of the chargers out there? I wouldn't be surprised if this wasn't an effort by Google to prevent a long series of "Google phones explode into flames!" clickbait headlines when ultra-cheap knock-off charging pads start showing up at flea markets.
If you can damage the phone that way, then the phone is defective.
Take for example https://gizmodo.com/a-google-engineer-is-publicly-shaming-cr...
OnePlus USB-C cables work fine with OnePlus devices but can damage any other USB-C device.
Another example where a USB-C cable destroyed his USB PD analyzer & his chromebook ports: https://www.amazon.com/review/R2XDBFUD9CTN2R
This was because the cable was completely miswired.
There's also numerous reports out there of how crappy charging blocks are fire hazards if driven at the full level they advertise.
It's not totally unreasonable for a responsible manufacturer to either outright ban charging from unknown blocks/cables or to fallback to a trickle charge that disabled the highest-speed charging.
Since there's so many the only way to do this is to maintain a whitelist of good chargers at the expense of fast charge not working with an arbitrary number of chargers. You could think "well, just warn the user & give them a choice." However, the majority of users would just learn that most of the time it's OK & just hit "OK" blindly even when connecting to new chargers they don't know about. Also the news reporting would still be the same & wouldn't capture the nuance of using a third-party charger since news cycles are more instant & don't allow the necessary amount of time for engineers to receive the unit & perform diagnostics to figure out what happened.
That's exactly what I thought of when reading the GP. There is some absolute garbage out there being sold.
For instance, the fitbit ionic battery plague is caused by shorted MLCCs -- but they still try to blame it on 3rd party chargers every time they get an RMA.
That sounds to me more like a shitty design on both of those.
Short of sending hundreds of volts and causing arcing, this should be preventable, should it not?
A simple diode is the easiest way, using various power MOSFETs can reduce the voltage drop induced and you can even build a circuit that allows charging the battery and supplying power on the same connectors while also protecting against reverse voltage.
It's neither hard nor expensive.
Are you saying that it's possible to protect against all kinds of shenanigans on the ground line even if the device has no other ground, or only against negative voltage?
Ground is basically your reference, if your ground has potential above your voltage input, you're in reverse voltage, if your ground is too far below your voltage input, then you're in over voltage.
Both can be detected and prevented from causing damage via various means on both sides of the usb plug.
Overvoltage can usually be solved by having a Zener diode within acceptable overvoltage short the thing to ground and blow out a fuse, this will cut the circuit and prevent further damage.
I recommend this video from GreatScott: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Tk5ghH_U2s
It also doesn't damage the device itself.
The backwards cable is worth noting but not relevant to a system that's fundamentally AC.
Outside of some kind of massive EMP, nothing a wireless charger does should be able to hurt your battery.
If that were the case, I think that they should include the stand with the phone.
Otherwise I think it's a bitter-tasting money grab.
And hey, look.
I'm sure you can find more examples. Just because we'd like the world to work a certain way doesn't mean it actually does in practice & the job of engineers sometimes is to deal with the reality of the world.
The Qi standard as of 1.1 has the receiver communicate back to the transmitter the amount of power it has received. The transmitter then calculates transmit efficiency based on the amount of power it is outputting. If the efficiency is too low the transmitter will fault with the assumption that it could be heating up a foreign object.
It's engineering laziness. Designing a phone robust against bad chargers is harder than designing a phone to work with one charger and putting DRM on it. It's the kind of thing markets can't do very much to solve which requires regulation, unfortunately, because there are too many bad actors.
given the small number of people that actually care and the possibly large cost of supporting full speed charging on a wider range of chargers, I'm not sure this is a problem at all, let alone one that merits new regulation.
> Rather than down-regulate the charging voltage in the device, Qi chargers meeting the A2 reference use a PID (proportional-integral-derivative) controller to modulate the delivered power according to the primary cell voltage.
So... a defective charger could plausibly damage the phone unless the phone contained a suitable protection circuit. Such a circuit could be quite simple - a transistor set up such that switching it would take the resonant receiver out of resonance would do the trick. The designer would need a bit of care to ensure that switching the transistor under wouldn’t fry it.
But IMO this design is a bit nutty. Phones already have voltage converters. Why not just use them?
The world has gotten this far with standards that allow equipment from different manufacturers to function together in a system. What a shame if marketing people and greed destroys that ecosystem.
AFAIK Qi is a standard which can communicate too, so things look stranger...
For the uninitiated, Nokia phones had a feature called net-monitor which acted as a global debug console and had 60-something pages. One of these pages were battery and charging status and data.
I would be surprised if there wasn't a single factory providing the same chargers with different stickers for at least a dozen of brands, including Google.
If a model/brand becomes known for catching on fire, that entire model/brand can be easily restricted from things like planes.
So bad chargers and replacement batteries are a potential threat to the reputation of a brand... that said, the problem with Samsung batteries catching on fire was all Samsung's fault.
A more reason comparison would be the Nintendo Switch and 3rd party docks. It turns out the Nintendo Switch does not implement USB-PD to spec, and a 3rd party dock fried the IC for the USB charger, bricking the device.
At a minimum, the Switch 1) enters the proprietary AltMode before even querying the attached charger/dock to see if it supports it
2) tries DR_SWAP even after the dock says that it doesn't have dual role capability
3) always requests 0.5A before requesting full amperage, causing problems with to-spec SRC_CAP readvertisements
4) does not properly use the CAP_MISMATCH flag required by the USB-PD spec,
5) the dock violates Power Rules compliance by not passing through the entire USB-PD advertisements from the attached charger,
6) the switch and dock both leave excess capacitance on Vbus, but the switch is a dual role power device, causing problems with safe and compliant hardware that correctly checks for 0V before swapping power,
7) far from being oversupplied by poor chargers, the switch hogs the entire 3.0A from the adapter when its maximum draw should be 2.6A
8) as noted in your twitter link, the switch PSU and dock hard-crash and require a power cycle to start working again, whereas correct, compliant behavior would be to negotiate a 5V/0.1A error signal, etc etc etc.
If the sketchy charger bricks the phone but the customer is dishonest about using the sketchy charger at time of RMA, do you expect Google to engage in he-said-phone-said arguments with customers? "Ah but your big-brother device says it was plugged into a toaster oven last week."
You could say that the phone should try to accept any charge and never break, but that's a nontrivial amount of electrical-engineering and expense involved in accepting basically any wattage/voltage that a sketchy charger may produce.
No you don't. What is induced is an electromotive force, e.m.f., that is voltage. If the coil is open circuit then no current will flow. It's slightly more complicated than that because wireless charging uses tuned circuits not simple iron cored transformer but the general principal is the same and the control circuit in the phone can simply disconnect the coil completely in order to not accept any power.
Maybe they're trying to keep their warranty repair costs in check. Maybe they would have allow it after your warranty expires and you're on the hook for the new battery instead of them.
Sure. But it's the manufacturer's prerogative to build a device they want to build. Also this design decision is not to enforce copyright protection or is based on some other anti-consumer design, but rather is done for quality reasons - and that's a fair choice for them to make.
>Shouldn’t providing a safe charging be a charger manufacturer’s responsibility?
'safe' is ambiguous in this context. The charger may be 'safe' in that it won't catch fire and kill anybody, but may still prematurely cut your batteries life.
A valid response is for consumers to say they don't want warranties any more. But if you do want a warranty, you need to use your device with approved devices...
There is no such responsibility if they are overseas and shipping directly to the consumer.
> it should be consumers call
You should run that line of reasoning by your local fire marshal, and then also your insurance agent.
The general standard, Qi, only supports charging at 5W. Pixels support this standard perfectly.
Google also made an adapted standard that charges at 10W. Chargers need to pass certain tests to prove they can implement this charging standard correctly. Once certified, then they can charge Pixels faster using this standard. There is plenty of evidence quoted by others of how shoddily implemented aftermarket chargers can damage phones.
I'm not an expert in wireless charging technologies so please correct me if I got something wrong.
This is false. Only the low power Qi standard is 5W. Medium power is up to 120W and there is talk of a high power mode up to 1kW.
The other standards are irrelevant to this discussion. Technically, you are correct, but still irrelevant.
This seems similar to my Nexus 6 phone. It shipped with a Google high-speed charger (wired) which offers a 15 minute "fast charge" mode. However, if I plug it into an Apple charger (which will work just fine) it doesn't use fast charge mode and reverts to standard charge mode. I'm perfectly OK with this situation.
It's a rock solid phone, runs stock android (Android One), no notch, decent enough camera, plenty of storage (for me).
I was planning on getting the Pixel 3 and keep the Nokia as a spare but I have no need to spend a grand on a phone which ostensibly doen't do anything more for me.
I've ruled out Android out of personal preference. Not an endorsement of iOS or a condemnation of Android. Just preference.
The s8, iphone x, etc where great jumps ahead (or at least they seemed to be, due to the different form factor and all). It is understandable that the year after that feels underwhelming, but it's weird that they chose this specific moment to increase prices.
Perhaps there's a big jump coming in the following years and they're trying to make the price increase for those features more palatable through gradual increases?
I imagine many Pixel 3 owners will experience the same thing. A wireless charging pad is pretty naturally a "leave it sitting there overnight" spot. Doesn't really matter that it doesn't do the fast one.
All you really need to know is if the phone supports "wireless charging", and if it does it will charge on a Qi pad.
Yes there are variances in compatibility with different charging rates but the same was true of USB and it was never so universal across devices.
I know some Tesla models include a phone dock but the actual cable is interchangeable and just goes back to a normal USB-A port in the console.
Anyway, point is, it has one of each, so if you have 2 phones of the same type, you'll find an active community of folks trading one for the other.
This wasn’t the first regulation to have an effect, but it had the largest impact iirc (2009):
- HP Touchpad
- Samsung Galaxy SII
- HTC One (M7)
- Nexus 7 (2013)
- HTC One M9
Some had quick charge, some didn't, some could be charged wirelessly via proprietary or Qi standards, but they all could fall back on Micro-USB when they needed to.
Now I'm on a GS8, which means I need a USB-C cable and a micro-USB to keep my phone and tablet charged, but luckily they both support Qi charging, so I can usually get away with just tossing the wireless charger pad into my bag and be good for the day.
GS II -> HTC One M7 -> HTC One M9 -> GS8
HP Touchpad -> Nexus 7
If I had been able to unlock the bootloader on either of my HTC devices, I'd probably still be using them with a custom ROM of some kind. But that's Verizon for you...
thanks to the EU regulation which enforced it when proliferation of custom chargers became unbearable.
I wonder how that Google's charger lock-up will work in EU given the regulation. Or may be Google does this only in US?
I have a mess of black and white USB-C cables and every time I try to hook up a random USB-C accessory or plug in my USB-C laptop to its 85watt charger I have to check to check if it's charging or transferring data at full-speed. I've resorted to adding a bit of white nail-polish to the cables that I know transfer at full speed and power.
And good luck finding a quality USB-C hub that actually fulfills any of the promises of "only need to plug in one cable to run everything on your laptop at full-tilt."
I wrote this up at https://superuser.com/a/1200112/41259
The closest I've mananged to find is https://www.belkin.com/us/p/P-F4U090/ which has a whopping two whole ports on it.
They’re not cheap, but in my experience they do everything: Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1 10Gbps, and up to 100W power delivery. Now I don’t have to worry about whether the cable supports what I want to do.
So USB-C is nice if all you're doing is charging low-wattage devices. But whenever you're doing anything else, all bets are off as to whether your particular (device-a, cable, device-b) combination will work as you'd expect or not.
Google says it is "certifying" chargers for the Pixel 3 via the "Made for Google" program...
Isn't this almost a textbook example of "embrace, extend, extinguish"?
Let's see how this plays out.
Poorly implemented fast charging can ruin your phone's battery quicker than most anything else, so really the issue here is would you rather have google try and help protect your hardware or are you ok with taking the risk that all of the cheap chinese chargers you come across aren't going to damage your phone.
But isn't the charger basically just a power supply for the phone ? i.e. the actual charging is done by the phone itself, not the charger.
If I'd hazard a guess - assuming it's not only greed - they are either offloading part of that work to the charger for a smaller bill of materials for the phone, or the charger is part of the thermal design.
The higher current for fast charging might generate more heat than the body of the phone can get rid of on its own, and the stand could be engineered to cool down the phone. Almost all cordless power tool chargers have some kind of fan that connects to battery pack cooling ducts to prevent it from overheating during changing.
Google may well be doing this because they can't guarantee cooling on the third-party stands, and would have to throttle the charge rate when the phone started to overheat. Guess they might be pre-empting it.
The problem is in saying you can only use theirs, even if you have another perfectly spec-compliant source.
This is straight out of the Apple playbook of vendor lock-in and overpriced accessories.
You couldn't take any old higher wattage Qi charger and get the increased charging rate.
This would be the modern tech equivalent of keeping your fingers crossed.
(You could say you're paying to have your implementation certified, I don't know how they will do that. I think that Google won't want to be permanently in the business of making their own exclusive brand/line of wireless phone chargers.)
Standard Qi chargers don't put out enough power/heat to cause lasting issues, but a fast charger could. Similarly, Google's already seen major issues first-hand from an off-spec USB-C cable .
HP had a similar charging DRM scheme on their first few models with USB-C charging but seems to have dropped it.
Apple has been doing this with non-MFi chargers since iOS 7. A lot of people were mad when the OS update made their perfectly good chargers stop working. Of course now there are clones of the MFi authentication chip and even with a new chip revision Apple can't reject them without also breaking all of the old legitimate chargers. So it completely failed to actually solve the problem anyway.
On-device protection is way more effective anyway.
Whether it was always intended to be incompatible,or they had to put the hacky handshake in late in the process to prevent the device being 'a bit fiery' I don't know.
There are tons of conventional chargers out in the world (card, hotels and airports, power banks, etc.) and it's stupid to deprecate them, especially given that the Snapdragon inside actually supports those.
The amount of angry tweets and 10+ minute long YouTube rants (for the monetization) would break the internet.
I'm using a Pixel 2 currently, and the back is heavily cracked because I am clumsy and drop it often. Who puts glass on the back of the phone and why?
Can we please go back to plastic? It was lighter and far more impact resistant.
Also, can I just have a rectangular screen? I don't need it to be curved or have rounded edges. I'm ok with a chin and/or forehead bezel. No notch, though.
Not to mention headphone jacks, removable batteries, and physical buttons.
As of at least 1.2.2 (April 2016) the Qi spec has supported 15 W through an Extended Power Profile
A Baseline Power Profile supporting transfer of up to about 5 W and an Extended Power Profile supporting transfer of up to about 15 W of power using an appropriate Secondary Coil (having a typical outer dimension of around 40 mm).
Bunk - Apple doesn’t certify chargers, just the lightning cables that connect to them.
seems more likely that they wanted to see how far they could push the wattage and in doing so they found some pretty tight tolerances with respect to safety and reliability so they took care to ensure that it would only work in the tested configuration.
at the end of the day, it still supports the standard. would be nice to see them try to push the standard forward, which they still very well may do.
- Qi has always been a slow charge thing in my books. If that's changed, the specifications for the Qi charger required could very clearly be listed, and the Pixel could track the specs of the power coming in at some level I'd hope.
- If sub-par quality QI chargers are a potential hazard, I would say sub-par AC chargers are a far larger hazard from installed footprint. That lock-in would have happened a long time ago if it would have been tolerated by Apple and Google.
Someone will likely find a workaround.
There are dubious chargers out there that are outright unsafe. It is in no way hard to imagine the argument that don't want to pull 10W through some no-name made-in-China piece of crap you got from Amazon that will burn your house down, because it wasn't even tested at 5W.
9 month off product cycle from other android manufacturer means a cpu that will be a generation behind in 3 months when the next samsung, etc release though. As well as other drawbacks.
Google bosses tremble in their boots whenever they see blue stockings.
Buy the LG v35 or v40. These phones have a headphone jack, has an OLED screen, is waterproof, has an SD card slot, works on Project Fi, and if you've ever dealt with LG customer support, they're great. The v35 has a 'normal' lens and a 'wide angle' camera, and the v40 has both of those plus a telephoto. The Pixel2's portrait mode was abysmal compared to the offerings from Apple, but LG's portrait mode absolutely stomps both the pixel and iphone. There's no reason to buy a pixel.