Google also revealed a new wireless charger that is compatible with the Pixel 6 range of smartphones. The Pixel Stand 2nd Gen didn’t become available until one month after the debut of the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro due to a delayed launch.

We don’t yet know why the rollout was postponed, but it’s crucial to understand that many Pixel owners will continue have issues with the charger at least until the postponed January update arrives.

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BEAUTY, FEEL, AND DESIGN

The Pixel Stand 2nd Gen seems more like a Nest product than any other Google Pixel attachment, and that is the best compliment I can give it. While the utility of a charger should always come first, design shouldn’t come second. It closely resembles the Nest Wi-Fi router and, like that device, fits in with the decor of your home rather than sticking out and screaming “tech product.” A subtle color combination of pastel green and chalk-white, which I thought to be the perfect match for the Pixel 6 in Sorta Seafoam and the Pixel 5 in Sorta Sage.

Although you might not immediately notice it, the curved shape has some added utility and has a soft-touch rubberized texture that somehow feels superior. The Pixel Stand, which has curved shoulders and a rounded rump, is ideal for resting your hand on while holding your smartphone close to your body and using your thumb to control the display. I like to imagine this as being similar to embracing my Pixel 6, but it has been a strange yet delightful way to interact that, although appearing to be inadvertent, really feels right.

Now, this presents its own issue since with time, the cream or chalk color absorbs oil and dirt from your hands, but as long as you regularly wipe it down, it shouldn’t accumulate much. In fact, I discovered that the Pixel Stand 2nd Gen accumulates dust more quickly. You may be engaging heavily with the stand itself or a combination of static and texturing may be to blame.

The Pixel Stand doesn’t slide or slip even on flat surfaces because to the rubberized feel. Even before you set your phone on the angled plinth, which is gently curved and slanted upward from the base, it feels sturdy and steady. The weight of a phone or a set of headphones won’t cause the Pixel Stand to tip over, even if you violently bounce it forward.

Your smartphone will be secure and sturdy when you place it on the Pixel Stand because of the way the texture securely holds your phone in place. You’ll see a small vent and a slightly concave part; these features are there to let the internal fan’s airflow through. I tried to shake the charger to hear if the fans within could be heard when it was not in use, but it is a solid, well-made piece of plastic.

When a phone is placed on this wireless charger, it is almost perfectly angled so that you can view everything while seated at a desk without having to modify your position. I’ve discovered that this angle is somewhat more aesthetically pleasant than the OnePlus Warp Wireless charger because your phone is slightly more upright.

The Pixel Stand 2nd Gen’s three independent components are one of the main advantages. The Pixel Stand itself, a 1.5-meter USB-C to USB-C connection, and the identical 30W power brick for your Pixel 6 smartphone are included. Adding the cable costs around $20 and the charger $25 to the $79 package’s separate costs. The Pixel Stand is now priced at roughly $34, which isn’t too outrageous for a first-party accessory that adds a lot of useful features in addition to serving as a charger. It’s crucial to keep in mind that you can purchase the wired fast charger with a cable for $35 , which slightly distorts this price breakdown.

ASSISTANT, CHARGING, ANDAMP; MORE

Pixel Stand 2nd Gen Photo Frame feature
Pixel Stand 2nd Gen setup screen

You don’t spend $79 on a wireless charger without having higher expectations than just quick top-up speeds. Fortunately, the Pixel Stand 2nd Gen comes with a ton of features that you can’t buy or use with third-party competitors. Google Pixel owners obviously benefit the most from this since their phone can change into something akin to a miniature Nest Hub smart display while retaining all smartphone functions.

Anyone with a brand-new Pixel 6 or 6 Pro will be quite frustrated to learn that the Pixel Stand 2nd Gen cannot be used to its full extent unless the recently removed December 2021 update has been sideloaded. Additionally, charging appears to be capped at a lesser rate than the full throughput at 21W for the Pixel 6 and 23W for the Pixel 6 Pro if the on-screen setup process is not completed.

This means that only a small percentage of Pixel 6 series customers can even benefit from the new Pixel Stand, at least as of the time this article was written. While you could momentarily be unable to access some new features, your phone will continue charge, which is as frustrating as it is puzzling. You won’t be able to charge at these quicker rates on the Pixel 3 through the Pixel 5, but you will have access to the additional capabilities.

The Pixel Stand app will enter into a setup process with the option to join your Google Photos account, smart home, and Assistant controls if you have updated or the January 2021 patch has arrived. The vast majority of consumers should decide here whether the Pixel Stand 2nd Gen is worthwhile purchasing.

Some essential functions won’t be available to those without Assistant-powered smart home equipment or accessories. When the display is activated, you may rapidly access a tiny list of up to four devices using this feature, which Google calls Quick controls. Thermostats, lighting, and a variety of other gadgets—including, in my case, robot vacuum cleaners—can be added to this list.

You’ll also have access to media controls when you turn on the display while your Pixel is charging wirelessly, which is particularly helpful. Additionally, you may instantly change the charging rate and activate a specific silent mode for bedtime.

Pixel Stand 2nd Gen charging speed toggles
Pixel Stand 2nd Gen charging settings

Only when you tap the display to activate it are these choices available. I’ve personally found the Photo frame feature, which is also included on the original Pixel Stand, to be very enjoyable. This slideshow mode is only activated with a swipe to the right, and it is an extra feature that offers a little more functionality than a Smart Display alone.

For a very essential reason, I haven’t personally used the Sunrise Alarm feature that gradually brightens your screen up to 15 minutes before your alarm is scheduled to go off, but it is available. For those concerned about how the Pixel Stand 2nd Gen will influence adaptive charging, it appears to function perfectly here as well.

Despite not owning a Pixel Stand 1st Gen, I am aware that the charge speeds are noticeably faster than those of the 2nd Gen. With the latest generation, charging times will be cut in half, and it also functions better with a number of other Made by Google goods, including the Pixel Buds due out in 2020.

There are three available settings that you may switch between at any moment, and each one has an impact on the built-in cooling fan. Depending on how you use your device, Optimized will change the charging and fan speeds. Simply put, Max speeds up the fans and charges your Pixel as quickly as possible. The quiet charging method slows down the fan speed so you can’t hear them spinning while it charges.

Pixel Stand 2nd Gen charge time remaing message

The charging time indicators on the screen were generally accurate, but not always. On my Pixel 6, for example, it would quote longer charge times than it actually took to reach the 100% battery level. But while using the Max charging speed, it took almost two hours and ten minutes to go from less than 10% to 100%. I leave the Pixel Stand’s default Optimized setting and only add a little extra energy as I need it throughout the day because I prefer to charge frequently rather than all at once.

This brings me to my biggest blatant complaint with the new Pixel Stand. an additional fan. On the one hand, it’s important to avoid having your Pixel overheat. On the other hand, in quiet settings, it is incredibly loud and immediately audible. The OnePlus Wireless Warp charger, which also features noisy, rattling fans when in full flow, gave me the same issues.

The fan may not actively cool a phone enough to even make a difference, which is my main worry. The heat will likely cause your smartphone battery to deteriorate more quickly, thus some cooling will undoubtedly be preferable to none (that doesnt mean Im not personally concerned about just how this will affect the longevity of my own Pixel 6 device ). Even with the fans set to their highest level, your phone will continue to feel warm to the touch after spending a lot of time on the Pixel Stand 2nd Gen.

It’s noteworthy to note that fans will function with non-Pixel phones as well, but the settings won’t be adjustable. As the charging speeds reach their maximum of 15W, you’ll hear the fans turn on and shut off. This does make it a cool add-on for other smartphones besides a Pixel.

FINAL CONCLUSIONS

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The Pixel Stand 2nd Gen is not a game-changing gadget. It is a reliable charger that works well with compatible Made by Google smartphones and has a straightforward, understated style. It is the ideal partner for a brand-new Pixel 6 or 6 Pro if you don’t mind loud fans. If you still have the previous model, you might want to hold off on upgrading as there aren’t many differences here—unless you really must have the new Pixel Stand hub.

In my opinion, the Pixel Stand 2nd Gen is the best replacement for a Nest Hub in the appropriate setting. It probably isn’t the best bedside companion for most people because, even in dedicated quiet modes, the fan noise could be too loud to tolerate while attempting to sleep. The new Pixel Stand is an appealing item when used as a workplace accessory.

It’s hard to dispute that you should choose the new wireless charger over the single fast charge brick, but only if you possess a Pixel. The price difference is not too significant because it’s a modular system. For those who are uncomfortable with the thought of paying $79 for a charger , you might want to consider the more appealing and quick 15W Belkin BoostCharge priced at $40 or the more reasonably priced 10W Anker 313 wireless charger stand at under $20 .

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