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Pixel 6 will not ship with a charger in the box

Updated Aug 24th, 2021 11:02AM EDT
Pixel 6 Charger
Image: Google

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After several leaks saying the Pixel 5a will start selling in August, Google unveiled the mid-range phone on Tuesday. The Pixel 5a offers a few upgrades over the Pixel 4a 5G that aren’t good enough to warrant a purchase. The Pixel 6 will be more expensive, but it’ll deliver several notable specs that make the flagship a much better investment. The high-end specs, camera upgrades, and design will allow the Pixel 6 to remain relevant for multiple years. But those deciding on a new Pixel purchase this year should know that Google is ready to copy Apple’s iPhone decisions once again. Starting with the Pixel 6 phones, Google will not include a charger in the box.

The iPhone started it all

Apple confirmed last year rumors that said its iPhones will not ship with free chargers and earphones. The company explained that most buyers already own chargers and headphones. Removing the accessories from the iPhone box would help Apple reduce waste. First of all, Apple will produce fewer chargers. Secondly, all iPhone retail boxes are smaller. As a result, Apple can pack more units in the same transport than before.

Samsung was quick to follow Apple’s move, as were other smartphone vendors. In time, most handset makers will probably remove the free chargers from the box. Hearing that Google is planning to remove the charger from the Pixel 6 phones isn’t a shocking surprise.

All you need is a charging cable, which will work with most chargers. It’s even easier for Android than iPhone, as most devices feature USB-C ports and chargers. However, all iPhones ship with Lightning-to-USB-C chargers, which require dongles or a brand new USB-C charger.

Pixel 6 charger not in the box

Google already confirmed the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro design and best features. It wasn’t a regular launch event, as Google will hold a press conference at some point in early October to unveil the new Pixels in full.Initially, Google only showed off the new design, confirming recent leaks. The company also announced the custom Tensor CPU that will power the two Pixels and their main specs.

The company did not say anything about the iPhone 6 charger until this week. Per The Verge, Google said that it expects the Pixel 5a to be the last phone to include a charger in the box.

Google said that most people already own a USB-C charging brick, which is a valid argument. Only people who have never owned a smartphone or other devices that recharge via USB-C will be impacted. They’ll need to purchase a USB-C charger separately.

The move will help Google save costs overall. Hopefully, some of those savings will be passed on to buyers. But the Pixel 6 and especially the Pixel 6 Pro will be expensive devices, both featuring premium hardware, and features.

Most phones these days support wireless charging too, especially high-end ones like the Pixel 6 series. But the feature requires a separate wireless charger purchase. The wireless charger also hooks up to a standard charging brick.

Pixel fans deciding between the Pixel 5a and Pixel 6 should also factor in the charger cost if they don’t already have a spare one around.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.