Wireless charging on the Pixel 5 is a confirmed feature of the phone. But, how does Google get it to work? The answer is a seemingly elegant one. Considering the phone uses an aluminum back.
Because of the way wireless charging works, it was suspected that the Pixel 5 may not have it. Wireless charging doesn't transmit through metal. Which is a reason why the Pixel 4 came with a glass back.
It can transmit through plastic, but many manufacturers won't use polycarbonate or other types of plastic materials if they plan to incorporate wireless charging. Due to heat issues.
That doesn't mean there aren't plastic phones that offer it. Samsung's Galaxy S20 FE is made from a plastic/glass hybrid. It also offers wireless charging. Google wanted the more premium feel and durability of metal though. So it came up with a solution to make wireless charging work.
The Pixel 5 supports wireless charging through a Bio-resin cutout
Android Authority's David Imel (spotted by 9To5Google) explains how Google got wireless charging to work.
Instead of using glass, plastic, or a hybrid of the two, it made a physical cutout of the metal where the wireless charging coil sits. It then layered a Bio-resin material on top that matches the look and color of the metal. So it all appears like one cohesive piece of hardware.
The wireless charging coil can conduct the energy through the Bio-resin. And what's more is that this also allowed Google to implement reverse wireless charging for other devices. Like the new Pixel Buds it released earlier this year.
Google is using a Bio-resin on top of the aluminum of the Pixel 5's body to achieve wireless charging. Basically, there is a physical cutout in the aluminum where the coil lives, and this plastic bio-resin sits on top.
— David ImeI (@DurvidImel) September 30, 2020Advertisement
The Bio-resin helped Google keep the device thin
Whether Google knew it or not when it came up with this solution to the wireless charging problem, the Bio-resin does more for the Pixel 5 than you might think.
It also apparently helped Google keep the device thin. It measures at just 8mm. So it'll have no problem feeling less weighty than other devices.
For comparison, the Pixel 4 is 8.2mm thin. So the Pixel 5 is just barely thinner. But still thinner. Overall this speaks to the creativity of Google's engineers and design team. As it's a solution that many were seemingly unaware of.