Pixel 5 teardown shows how a metal phone supports wireless charging

Jon Fingas
·Associate Editor
·1 min read

Want to know how Google’s Pixel 5 supports wireless charging despite a predominantly metal body? Google explained the essence of how it works, but a video teardown at PBKReviews (via 9to5Google) has eliminated the mystery altogether. There’s a large cutout in the middle of the otherwise aluminum shell that lets the wireless charging coil work its wonders — the bio-resin plastic you see on the outside merely gives the illusion of an uninterrupted surface.

The design is more familiar beyond that, with a few twists. Google has tucked millimeter wave 5G antennas near the volume rocker and top edge, and clips keep the screen firmly attached to prevent a repeat of issues with some Pixel 4 units. There may be further room for improvement, though. iFixit noted that Google is using a mainboard much like that on the Pixel 4, limiting the amount of room for a larger battery and other components.

The teardown reflects Google’s play-it-safe approach to the Pixel 5. While it’s willing to use a clever trick to add a staple feature like wireless charging, this isn’t a radical reinvention. The company is focused on delivering the fundamentals at a competitive price, and that apparently involves a conservative design.