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Google Pixel Stand (2nd gen) review: nice but not a must-have

The newest Google Pixel Stand is much less of a “must-have” accent should you’re a Pixel telephone proprietor and extra of a “nice to have.” For $79, its main job is quick wi-fi charging, and it does that effectively. But until you’re a Pixel 6 or 6 Professional proprietor and also you’re actually offered on one of many stand’s handful of additional options supported by your telephone, you then’d be higher off saving your cash and getting a cheap third-party charger.

Good Stuff

  • Quicker than typical wi-fi charging speeds
  • Fan retains telephone cool
  • Picture body function is nice

Unhealthy Stuff

  • Costly
  • Additional Pixel 6 options are of restricted usefulness
  • Some points with Google Assistant voice instructions 

The aptly named Pixel Stand (2nd gen) is Google’s second tackle a quick wi-fi charger constructed to enhance its Pixel telephones. You don’t must personal a Pixel telephone to make use of it since it really works with Qi-compatible devices, but you will want a 6 or a 6 Professional to get the quickest charging speeds. You’ll additionally want the January 2022 safety replace or later, which, should you’re a Pixel 6 proprietor, you’ll need to obtain for a complete bunch of causes anyway.

Like the unique Pixel Stand, it does some multi-tasking whereas charging your telephone. Whereas your Pixel telephone is docked on the stand, it may possibly show pictures out of your Google Photographs albums to behave as a form of digital image body. Throughout setup the primary time you place your telephone on the charger, you’ll be able to specify which albums you’d prefer it to drag pictures from, and pictures are displayed in batches of 5 to 10 at a time, slideshow model.

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The Pixel Stand setup allows extras like a digital image body function.

Picture by Allison Johnson / The Verge

Different options are geared towards bedside use. There’s an choice to routinely activate “do not disturb” when the telephone is positioned on the charger, and you may have the show routinely flip off in a darkish room. There’s additionally a “dawn” alarm that regularly brightens your show within the quarter-hour earlier than your alarm goes off. You possibly can specify a window of time for this function, so it isn’t utilized to different alarms all through the day — simply your wake-up name.

As for its important job — charging your telephone — it does this successfully. I seen some false begins right here and there after I’d set the telephone on the stand, and it could begin charging, solely to cease momentarily earlier than selecting it up once more. This didn’t trigger any issues; it simply gave me a few moments of concern as I attempted to determine if it was mounted on the stand appropriately.

The Pixel Stand 2 provides 23W charging with the Pixel 6 Professional and 21W for the Pixel 6 — fairly speedy for wi-fi charging on a telephone that isn’t made by OnePlus. It took a completely depleted Pixel 6 Professional battery from zero to 100% in nearly precisely two hours, which is spectacular. My extra typical day-to-day use case was topping off the battery on a Pixel 6, taking it from 70–80 p.c again to 100%, which took round half-hour utilizing the quickest charging mode. The Stand provides a barely slower 15W charging for different Qi-compatible telephones and units.

The Stand shows pictures from the Google Photographs albums that you simply specify.

Picture by Allison Johnson / The Verge

As for the extras, I just like the photograph body function greater than I believed I might. I’m not positive I need to decide to proudly owning and curating pictures for a devoted digital image body, but I do occur to have dozens (okay, lots of) of pictures of my four-month-old on Google Photographs that I like wanting via. Having them displayed at my desk on my telephone is form of a nice center floor — I get to truly see and recognize the numerous, many pictures I take with out hassling with one other gadget. I’m positive that my colleagues who evaluate good house tech may direct me to a variety of good shows that do this sort of factor already, but I digress.

If I’ve one grievance about this function, it’s that it tends to choose favorites and present these time and again. This could be as a result of it favors portrait orientation pictures, and I are inclined to shoot extra panorama. In any case, you’ll be able to faucet the display to finish the present slideshow and swipe the lock display to shuffle the choice and begin a new one.

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Options like the choice to routinely allow “do not disturb” when the telephone is docked make the Stand a good bedside companion.

The Stand’s nightstand-oriented options work effectively, too. The dawn alarm is a nice approach to get up, and the power to detect a darkish room and switch off the display accordingly makes it a good bedside companion. But these options really feel a little at odds with the Stand’s important draw: quick wi-fi charging. If I’m charging my telephone in a single day, then I don’t want absolutely the quickest speeds. I wouldn’t see the photograph body function a lot both since my telephone doesn’t spend a lot time on the bedside dock in the course of the day.

I additionally encountered a couple of issues with Google Assistant whereas utilizing the stand. After I faucet the Assistant icon on the lock display whereas docked, the telephone will register my voice instructions but will unhelpfully ignore every little thing it simply heard me say and show “How can I assist?” textual content on the display. Accessing the assistant by saying, “Hey Google,” on the lock display works simply nice, although, and that’s not a Stand function — simply one thing you’ll be able to allow on any Pixel telephone.

The second-gen Stand consists of a built-in fan.

Then there’s the built-in fan; it’s pretty quiet, but if the fan is operating at full pace, the assistant struggles to listen to me in any respect. You possibly can select a quiet charging mode to keep away from this, but you then’re lacking out on these super-fast charging speeds.

The Pixel Stand 2 isn’t cheap: at $79, it’s effectively greater than the $30-ish customary Qi charging stands you could find on Amazon. If you happen to personal a Pixel 6 or 6 Professional, actually need quick wi-fi charging, and assume you’d significantly like several of the extras that the Stand (2nd gen) provides, you then’ll most likely discover its 80 bucks effectively spent. But should you’re solely mildly within the bedside or photograph body options and quick wi-fi charging isn’t important, save your self some cash and go for a customary Qi charger. You could possibly even add a digital image body to your cart for a similar value, too.

Pictures by Allison Johnson / The Verge

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