As the saying goes, you get what you paid for, and whilst I wouldn’t entirely attribute that to the Pixel Stand, it’s no secret that it is perhaps a few tenners too much in price. Having said that, we’ve a lot of pros to state since using the Pixel Stand, alongside multiple Smartphones, but naturally with a Pixel 3 for the full experience, and this is what we’ve found.
Clean and elegant
From a sea of Wireless Chargers that seem to have Neon flashing lights, with dark and out-there colours, it’s a breath of fresh air to see a Wireless Charger that just moulds in to wherever its placed. Don’t know about you, but the idea of a Charger attempting to be the centre of attention, to us, is just stupid, and that’s one thing we have to give the Pixel Stand, thanks to its unobtrusive design.
Though, despite the welcoming unobtrusive design, it’s hard to argue it’s ugly either, it just looks the part and does it well.
It’s functional as well, with a decent Charging speed of 10watt with a Pixel device, or fellow Qi certified device supporting of Fast Wireless Charging, and will even charge an iPhone (8, X, XS, XR) faster than its included measly 5watt charger.
The Pixel gimmick
Of course the biggest differentiator between the Pixel Stand, and any other Wireless Charger comes when you pair it with a Pixel 3, or Pixel 3 XL, though that’s where our first hurdle comes in to play as well.
If you have a Google Home device, whether that’s the regular, Mini, or you’re one of the three people who bought the Max, you’ll be fairly familiar with its main goals, to allow you to use the Virtual Assistant, from afar, using its hot-word. You’ll also know, that, unless you have a plethora of Smart accessories, you pretty much never use these devices after the honeymoon period, this goes for Echo devices as well, as you quickly realise, you’d be quicker just checking your phone, and that’s really where our problem lies here.
The Pixel Stand, paired with a 3 or 3 XL, essentially becomes a Home Mini with a screen, though it is nice you can just tap the Assistant icon to prevent the need for an “OK/Hey Google” command. Which, for us, is worthless after an hour of just seeing that it works, but, if that’s your thing, it works … fairly well, you do still get the odd blank moments when it doesn’t hear you.
Google did throw in more features for the Pixel Stand, to help it stand out, all of which are available to be re-toggled through the Settings, shown above.
This is pointless, you never see it. What’s meant to happen, is your Smartphone will gradually raise the display brightness to the max point to mimic a sunrise, this would be great if the already sunrise didn’t over-shadow it. Look, unless you wake up regularly at 1am, and even then we couldn’t tell whilst sleeping, it’s pretty pointless and useless.
This works exactly as you’d expect. You can set an Album from your, or just us all, photos from your Google Photos library, and your device will cycle through them. This could be useful if you decide on placing this in a living room, though we imagine it to get rather distracting, plus, let’s not forget how well those digital photo-frames did in sales.
DO NOT DISTURB WHILE DOCKED
If you’ve toggled all the exceptions, work arounds etc, with Do Not Disturb, this might be useful for you, otherwise it’s fairly risky for us. If you typically use Do Not Disturb over night, it’s actually incredibly useful, as the feature will literally be enabled when placed on the Charger, and instantly disabled when taken off, so for that it’s probably one of the biggest conveniences to some. To us, well, we’ve missed a few unexpected important Calls due to this, so, it really depends on your life whether this is a great convenience or the opposite.
It gets the basics right, and that’s what’s important
One feature we didn’t talk about, from the list of Pixel Stand Settings was the “Screen off when dark”, essentially because we want to cover this in more detail, which is one of the few things that make the Pixel Stand our favourite Wireless Charger to date.
One of the biggest problems with Wireless Chargers, as we mentioned at the start, is their me-me attention grabbing they seem to do, whether that’s through insane design, or the abundance of unnecessary lights that just can’t be turned off, this is where the Pixel Stand get’s everything right!
Like all Wireless Chargers, the Pixel Stand, does, indeed, have an LED to indicate that the device placed has begun Charging, it even turns an Orange colour if there’s an issue, but you know what it does after a couple of seconds, it turns off! Something so simple, yet somehow unheard of in the competition. You don’t have this piercing LED light constantly lit throughout the night letting you know, whilst preventing you sleeping, that that phone you’ve got, yeah, it’s still charging.
Then comes the “Screen off when dark” feature. As you’d imagine there’s a ton of information on the Pixel’s Ambient display as it is, without the addition of the Assistant stuff, well, put simply, with this toggled, it will turn the Screen completely off whenever it detects darkness, then back on again when it detects light. It’s simple, it’s obvious, and just adds to the just right additions to the Pixel Stand for us, and makes it easily our favourite Wireless Charger to date, and, means you can still have a Charger docking your phone conveniently upright without that being a hindrance over night.
Is it a bit pricy, yes it is, does it include features you probably won’t use to their full potential, yes it does, but it gets so much of the basics right, versus all other Wireless Chargers, it’s hard not to recommend the Pixel Stand, and for that reason we’re giving it a solid 5/5.
Pixel Stand is available at Carphone Warehouse and the Google Store, for £69.