Reviewing the Pixel Stand 2

Sure, some of you may say - "that's the most expensive Qi charger I've ever seen".  Most Qi chargers are usually fairly inexpensive, but there are several reasons that I find this device to be worth the money; but this primarily focuses on the fact that you HAVE a Pixel already to want to work with it.  If you don't have a Pixel, then you may be wanting to opt for something else.

You've seen my unboxing of the Pixel Stand 2 but let's see how I felt after a week or so of using it.

Now, if you remember the original Pixel Stand, I did say I liked it but it wasn't for me.  It was just a fancier looking Qi charger.  Sure, it has some Pixel specific features, but I can't say I used them to warrant the price.

This new model, definitely warrants the price.

First up, as you see the device it's no longer just some thin stand with Qi built in... it's chonkier.

And there's a reason, it not only upped the Qi charging speed (23W vs. the previous at a now seemingly slow 10W), but because even normal Qi charging could get warm, the bigger housing is so that it can hold a little fan to keep things cool.

You can just notice the gap around the housing and the base - that's so that it's drawing in some air and then directing it just behind the device while it charges.

It's a small thing that I think with those 2 upgrades puts it in the realm of it being worth its price.

Sure, you could buy a cheaper charger, but to have one as a 'stand', have it at th efast charging and then have a little fan to keep it from overheating.

But then it adds in some Pixel specific features that you can see.

The idea is that it 'pairs' with the stand, so that it knows it's connected.  The software then lets it know while charging and paired, it'll know then to do some neat things.

Similar to the original, it has a Sunrise Alarm feature.  Meaning that as your morning alarm is about to go off it'll slowly raise the brightness on the phone to give you a more subtle awakening.

Then there's also the option from last time to have a Photo frame from your Google Photos.

But, they now have a feature where you can have the your smart home items tiles shown - similar to how we have 'device controls' panel with Pixels.

The downside is it's limited to just 4 devices, and unfortunately I can't set to have 'grouped' items (i.e. office lights, vs. just the individual lights from the office).  

Really limits that feature, unfortunately.  Here's hoping that it'll be a software update shortly.

The other Pixel specific feature is to have the 23W charging, and there's controls for that, where you can have it CHARGE TO THE MAX (meaning it'll have the fan a-blowin'), charge quietly (meaning slower charging) or 'optimised' where it's a nice balance of the 2.

You can see (via a really greasy screen of mine) that the lights can only be 'swiped' and not clicked on/off tho'.  (you can also just hear the whisper of the fan as I play with that setting)

Now, in using it there's a couple points that I do have to make.

First up, I don't know if I REALLY noticed a difference in the speeds of the charger.  You can hear the fan going, but it is so very quiet, definitely wouldn't be keeping me up at night.

Secondly, once the photo frame kicks in it can be a little difficult to bring it out of it to start the 'unlock' feature.  Like, if I had the photos going and then wanted to open the phone, tapping it brings it to the smart home item screen, so it's a bit of a 'swipe back' to have a bit of the blank lock screen to get the fingerprint option.  Not a terrible thing, but it's just a slight inconvenience.

Lastly, in order to get the speedier charge, the charging block to charge the charger (say that 10x times fast) needs to be something that is more than just a simple wall plug - it has to be specifically theirs, and the plug is fairly big, so sometimes where you put it you can be fairly limited.

They do give ~5' cord so you can find the right spot to plug in.  For me, I'd love to have it on my bedside, but where I need to plug it in I'd have to move the night stand away from the wall plug a fair bit as the plug isn't teeny tiny... or I'd have to get an extension cord to route it differently.

So, I've put it on my office space as a nice little addon for my workspace while I write these articles here.  It's a nice mini addition with the photoframe.

So, you could buy some 15W charger for about $50USD, but for just a bit more, you'll get something that CAN go to 23, has a mini fan, and even holds it upright.

To me, worth the price.

Now - I have to mention.  This delayed me getting the full review as it was a real perplexer.

I would put my Pixel 6 on there and it would work for a bit but then flash red on the LED, and it wouldn't charge. 

It'd charge all my other Pixels... it'd charge my iPhone... but not my Pixel 6.  Hrmm

It took me a time to figure out that maybe the case had something to do with it.  That's when I noticed I had a little magnetic plate from the IMStick so I could use it on a magnetic stand.  But when I took it off it worked just fine.  So the little metal plate caused interference.

Weird that it would still work with my iPhone that had the same plate.  Weird.

So, I'm living without that little plate now, which is definitely worth it to make this work.