May 17, 2022

Pixel Stand (2nd Gen) charger review

Google’s “smart” wireless Pixel charger gets a refresh but still has a crazy price tag.

By Jerry Hildenbrand published March 04, 2022

Pixel Stand (2nd Gen)

(Image: © Jerry Hildenbrand / Android Central)

OUR VERDICT

Google’s Pixel Stand (2nd Generation) is one of those products that does very little beyond its main purpose. It works really well when it comes to charging your Pixel and the extra features like photo frame mode are nice, but it’s hard to justify the high price.

FOR

  • Fast wireless charging for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro
  • Extra smart features that work as intended
  • An easy to use vertical design

AGAINST

  • The price
  • Did I mention the price?

Jump to:

There’s not a lot to say about a wireless charger. They’re simple devices usually designed to do one thing: charge your phone. The hardest thing about them is picking out the best wireless charger to buy.

Some charge faster than others and you’ll find them in different shapes. Like OnePlus’ Warp Charge Wireless, some are proprietary and work best (and fastest) when paired with the right product. But in the end, they all only do one thing.

Google is trying to be different with its Pixel Stand (2nd Gen) wireless charging stand and do what Google does best — add some Google services to accompany the product’s main purpose. Sponsored LinksWhy Are Dubai Houses So Cheap? (Take A Look)Villas In Dubai | Search Ads

Not much has changed with the 2nd Generation Pixel Stand. It has a few smart features and can show off your Google Photos library which is nice. It also still has a price that is a lot more than most other wireless chargers.RECOMMENDED VIDEOS FOR YOU…CLOSEhttps://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.516.0_en.html#goog_13259266400 seconds of 59 secondsVolume 0% PLAY SOUND

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY

Pixel Stand (2nd Gen)
(Image credit: Jerry Hildenbrand / Android Central)

The best place to buy the Pixel Stand (2nd Generation) is directly from Google, though you will find it listed on Amazon or eBay from time to time. Google tells me it plans to sell it through its Amazon storefront, but that’s not happened yet at the time of this writing. One plus of buying from Google is the free standard shipping, so it’s not a bad option in any case.

The price is $79 US. You might see it go on sale and that price may (hopefully) drop over time. While this is a lot of money for a charger, it is the same price as the original Pixel Stand when Google first sold it. 

PIXEL STAND (2ND GEN): WHAT’S GOOD

Pixel Stand (2nd Gen)
(Image credit: Jerry Hildenbrand / Android Central)

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The best feature of the 2nd Gen Pixel Stand is that it allows the Pixel 6 to charge wirelessly at 23 watts. You’ll need to update your Pixel to the latest update, use the wall plug and cable with the charger (or something equivalent), and have the rapid charging protocol enabled. Then just drop the phone onto the stand and it works.

There’s a fan built into the charger itself but it’s really quiet even when running full blast. You can hear it if you get close and are listening for it, but for all intents and purposes, it is a silent fan that keeps things cool so you can fast charge longer. It’s a good addition.

Google made it specifically for the Pixel, but it will charge any Qi-compatible phone as long as the coils line up. Most do, and everything I’ve tried so far has worked.

Finally, smart features are built into the software on your Pixel that works with the Pixel Stand. Once you enable the necessary Pixel settings, your phone and the charger will communicate so you can control your smart home devices or view folders you have stored in Google Photos while your phone continues to charge.

There are also features designed for bedside use, like a sunrise setting that slowly brightens the screen and a dark mode that keep the display blackened to help you sleep and wake up easier.

For the most part, these features work great. Of course, you have to be using a Pixel phone to access them and not all features are available on every model. But if you want your phone to do a little more while it’s charging on your desk, you’ll appreciate them.

PIXEL STAND (2ND GEN): WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD

Pixel Stand (2nd Gen)
(Image credit: Jerry Hildenbrand / Android Central)

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Functionally, there isn’t much to complain about when it comes to the Pixel Stand 2nd Generation. It charges the Pixel 6 relatively fast (as fast as 23 watts will charge anything) and the device itself is built nice and sturdy. Even the fan is efficient and quiet.

One issue with the feature set I’ve come across is the dark mode “switch” which in my experience is a little janky. Sometimes it works as intended — darkens during nighttime and stays dark unless someone with a Do-Not-Disturb rule calls or sends a message — while other times it allows the phone’s ambient mode to flicker on. And you can guess what happens if you say “OK Google” to another device like a Nest Hub. 

The rest, well, it just works. And it’s actually good, as long as you spend all day at a desk. That’s the rub with wireless chargers in general — you need to spend time close to a surface that you can charge your phone on. In this case, to benefit from the features, you’ll need to be right beside your phone most of the time. That won’t apply to everyone.

And then there is the price. $79 is a lot of money for a wireless charger. The Pixel Stand does things other chargers can’t if you own a Pixel phone, so you have to decide if the price is too high. 

I can’t help but think Google would sell many more of these if the special features worked with all Android phones, so Google isn’t focused on selling Pixel Stands. Instead, it wants to build a product ecosystem around the Pixel and this is a good place to start.

PIXEL STAND (2ND GEN): THE COMPETITION

Wireless chargers
(Image credit: Ara Wagoner / Android Central)

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There are hundreds of high-quality wireless chargers you can buy online or in-store. Almost all of them do just one thing and do it well, and it’s the thing that matters: they charge your phone.

Only the Pixel Stand can turn your Pixel into a device that acts as a small Nest Hub though, so that makes comparing to anything else a little difficult. I think you should decide if the Pixel Stand is something you need or want and then look at what else is available.

If you decide that the Pixel Stand isn’t for you, Android Central recommends wireless chargers from well-known and trustworthy brands like Anker, Mophie, or Samsung. You’ll find excellent chargers in the $30 – $50 price range as well as cheaper chargers from other brands.

Just make sure the charger is Qi-compatible (almost every charger will be) and that you use a wall plug and cable that meet the recommended specifications, and your phone will charge. 

PIXEL STAND (2ND GEN): SHOULD YOU BUY IT?

Pixel Stand (2nd Gen)
(Image credit: Jerry Hildenbrand / Android Central)

You should buy this if…

  • You use a Pixel phone
  • You spend time at a desk
  • You’re interested in the extra features Google has added

You shouldn’t buy this if…

  • You don’t use a Pixel phone
  • You never stay close to your phone while it’s charging
  • You just can’t justify the price

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I can’t tell you if the price is too high because the Pixel Stand does things other chargers can’t. You have to decide that for yourself. I can tell you what my decision is, though, and I think it’s just not worth it.

I actually get some use out of the extra features from Google because I work at a desk and have my Pixel 6 in the stand beside me all day. Seeing photos is nice. Being able to control smart devices in my home is great. But to me, neither is worth $79 when a $30 charger will charge my phone just as quickly.

I’m not saying the price isn’t justified — the device is well made and the features work as promised. I’m just saying I’d spend my money differently even though I use a Pixel 6 Pro.

Feature rich but pricey
The second generation Pixel Stand does everything it's supposed to do, including charge your Pixel 6 as fast as it can. But that price tag can be hard to swallow.

Feature rich but pricey

The second generation Pixel Stand does everything it’s supposed to do, including charge your Pixel 6 as fast as it can. But that price tag can be hard to swallow.VIEW DEAL

Jerry Hildenbrand

Jerry Hildenbrand 

Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There’s nothing he can’t take apart, but many things he can’t reassemble. You’ll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.MORE ABOUT…Apex Legends Mobile for Android review: The game you love with a few concessionsMecool KD3 Android TV streaming stick review: A worthy contenderLATESTCreative Outlier Pro review: Affordable buds worth paying forSEE MORE LATESTAdvertisementBest Sony WH-1000XM5 prices and deals: May 2022Sony’s WH-1000XM5 headphones may sound great, but they aren’t exactly cheap. Here are the best prices we could find.AndroidcentralWhy Are Dubai Houses So Cheap? (Take A Look)Villas In Dubai | Search Ads|SponsoredFinding a Warehouse Job in The USA Might Be Easier than You ThinkWarehouse Jobs in the USA | Search Ads|SponsoredThe Cost to Study in Germany in 2022 Might Surprise YouStudy In Germany | Search Ads|SponsoredThe Cost of Apartments for Sale in Dubai Might Totally Surprise YouApartments for Sale in Dubai | Search Ads|SponsoredPixel Watch leak suggests it could outmatch the Galaxy Watch 4 in one key areaThe Google Pixel Watch and Pixel 6a have reportedly appeared in an inventory system of a U.S. carrier, revealing their colorways and storage capacities.AndroidcentralApartments in Dubai Might Be Cheaper Than You ThinkApartments for Sale in Dubai | Search Ads|SponsoredGarmin Venu 2 Plus vs. Apple Watch Series 7: Which should you buy?The Garmin Venu 2 Plus is a superb fitness device with useful phone features most Garmins lack. But can it really compare to the Apple Watch? We’ll help you decide.AndroidcentralCanal Rest Hosue: Free government funding for your small business may be availableYou can set up a campaign to raise money to launch you businessDonations | Search Ads|SponsoredAndroid TV: What is it, and should you buy a TV or a box with it?AndroidcentralGoogle unveils big Android updates for Photos, Gboard, live transcription, and moreAndroidcentralOnline Job in USA from Pakistan. Salaries Might surprise youUSA Job from Home | Search Ads|SponsoredRussia wants Google to stop running ‘false’ ads about Ukraine war on YouTubeRussia has ordered Google to take down “false” video ads about the Ukraine war from YouTube.AndroidcentralDo You Speak English? Work a USA Job From Home in PakistanUSA Work | Search Ads|SponsoredGoogle Home is making some changes that will make the app much more helpfulThe Google Home app is set to receive a few new updates, including changes to the UI that should make controlling and monitoring your home much easier.AndroidcentralVillas For Sale in Dubai Might Totally Surprise YouVillas for Sale in Dubai | Search Ads|SponsoredNew image of the Google Pixel Watch shows what could be its final designA new leak reveals what appears to be the final design of Google’s upcoming Pixel Watch, highlighting its curved design and Fitbit integration.AndroidcentralLuxury Apartments in Mumbai Might Surprise YouLuxury Apartments in Mumbai | Search Ads|SponsoredAmong Us VR trailer shows the crewmates’ frightening realityThe Among Us VR trailer proves that its “The Thing” scenario is much more scary when you’re standing in The Skeld, surrounded by potential killers. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait awhile to play it.AndroidcentralWorking in the USA Might be Easier Than You ThinkUSA job from home | Search|SponsoredGoogle sees a bright future for Android tablets, expects a wave of ‘tablet-first’ appsGoogle is very optimistic about the growth of tablets and wants developers to create new “tablet-first” apps.AndroidcentralLuxury Apartments in Dubai Might be Cheaper Than You ThinkLuxury Apartments in Dubai | Search Ads|SponsoredGoogle Assistant Snapshot starts disappearing for many Android usersGoogle has begun warning users that it is retiring the Snapshot feature in Assistant.AndroidcentralTruck Driving Salaries In USA May Surprise You!Truck Driving Jobs USA | Search Ads|SponsoredHow to access Google Recorder from the Android Quick Settings menuThe Google Recorder app is already pretty handy, but its latest update makes it even easier to access.AndroidcentralThe Pixel camera is the reason why I never bought oneGoogle’s Pixel smartphones are great because they do the work for you. But that’s not what I want.Androidcentral

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