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Friday, January 20, 2023

Review: Pixel Stand 2

 I've had a few friends buy the Pixel 6a over the holidays using my Superfans code, which grants both them and I a $100 coupon from the Google Play Store. The coupons aren't stackable, so you can't stack 3 of them to get yourself a free phone or anything like that --- they pretty much either get you a Pixel Stand 2 or a Google Pixel Buds Series A for free (or a $100 discount off say, the Pixel Buds Pro).  Unfortunately, the coupon is a discount off the regular price, so sale prices, etc do not apply.

The Pixel Stand 2 comes with a 30W charger, and can charge your Pixel phone at either 21 or 23W depending on whether you have a Pixel 6/7 or Pixel 6/7 Pro. The reason to use wireless chargers over regular wires is that the USB-C port is the first thing to go on most phones, and if you get your phone wet, it's not a good idea to plug it in. The standard Qi charging standard is set at 10W, which means the Pixel Stand 2 charges twice as fast.

In practice, you don't get the fastest charging speed unless your phone is below 50%. But that's fine. Even above 50% it's still faster than my old Qi charger. There's a fan in the stand which spins up to cool the phone (or maybe it's the charger that needs cooling). If you're in an office (for those of us who still visit offices), the Pixel Stand is great --- you'll drop it in for the time between the meetings and your phone charges as fast as when you plug in a wire, but without the hassle.

As a bonus, the stand lets you pick Google Photo Albums to display as a screen saver. Using Google Photo's face recognition feature, you can pick members of the family you'd like to see displayed and you'll get a random selection of those photos. This is especially great for me since I stopped using Google Photos as a data sink a few years ago when Google started charging for photo storage, so my screensaver only shows me pictures of my kids back when they were tiny.

At full retail price of $80, the Pixel Stand 2 is too expensive for my taste. But if you're looking for a good use of the Superfans coupon, I think this one is awesome! Recommended.

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