Google has revealed a new approach to reverse charging on the flagship Pixel 5, which could make it a little less fiddly to use. Reverse Charging has become an increasingly popular feature in recent years, after first coming to mainstream attention with the Huawei P30 Pro. As the name suggests, it reverses the Qi charging unit in the device, allowing you to charge other wireless products from the handset battery.
The problem in the past has been that, in order to protect the phone’s battery, the feature needs to be turned on manually each time it’s used, and the toggle switch is usually buried deep in the settings pages.
The Pixel 5 does it differently – reverse charging is automatically turned on whenever the phone is plugged into a power source via USB-C. You’ll be told the first time you use it, but after that, it’ll happen silently in the background. The feature, referred to by Google as ‘Battery Share’ only stays on for a short time before disabling if it doesn’t detect anything that needs charging, so there’s no need to worry about your phone overheating for no good reason.
If you’re running off battery power, you can still trigger Battery Share from the settings menu. This should only really be used if you find yourself in a fix, however, as it drains the battery significantly, but a lot of juice is lost in transfer so it can only really offer you a ‘jump start’ for another device unless you don’t mind your phone being dead.
On the other hand, whilst it’s plugged in, using your Pixel 5 as a Qi charging pad gives it a nice extra string to its bow while it’s sitting on the table, on charge. At the very least, it’s one less messy USB cable cluttering up the place.