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Google Pixel 6 wireless charging Pixel Stand
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
aa2020 recommended

Google Pixel Stand (2nd gen) review: Power with finesse

Much more than just fast wireless charging for the Pixel 6.
By
February 7, 2022
aa2020 recommended

Google Pixel Stand (2nd gen)

The Pixel Stand (2nd gen) is built to unlock your Pixel 6's Assistant capabilities while fast charging. It also wirelessly charges a wide range of other smartphones quickly too.

Retail price: $79.00

$79.00 at Amazon

What we like

23W Pixel 6 charging
15W Qi EPP support
Assistant and smart home features
Cool and quiet

What we don't like

Annoying setup process
Uninspired design
Expensive
aa2020 recommended

Google Pixel Stand (2nd gen)

The Pixel Stand (2nd gen) is built to unlock your Pixel 6's Assistant capabilities while fast charging. It also wirelessly charges a wide range of other smartphones quickly too.

Three years after the launch of its original wireless charger, Google has returned to the market with 2021’s Pixel Stand (2nd gen). Just like its predecessor, the latest Pixel Stand pairs with your Pixel smartphone, imbuing it with functional Google Assistant and other features while charging. It’s much more than your standard wireless charger.

While primarily built for fast charging the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, Google’s second-generation cradle aims to power a wide range of wireless charging smartphones too. Let’s see if that’s the case in Android Authority’s Pixel Stand (2nd gen) review.

Google Pixel Stand (2nd Gen)

What you need to know about the Google Pixel Stand (2nd gen)

Google Pixel Stand box contents on wooden table
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
  • Google Pixel Stand (2nd gen): $79/£69/€79

The Pixel Stand is, first and foremost, a fast wireless charger built for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. It provides 21W and 23W of wireless power to these smartphones, respectively. The stand also supports up to 15W for Qi Extended Power Profile (EPP) certified devices, including previous-generation Pixel smartphones.

The design of 2021’s Pixel Stand is bulkier than the previous model. Its dimensions are 113.9 x 71.6 x 82.0mm, accommodating the built-in fan, while the stand weighs 71g (2.8oz). It’s an all-plastic build here, with a mostly white coating and what can best be described as a mint green bottom to the stand — in keeping with Google’s colorful Pixel 6 series colorways. There’s a single USB-C port on the back to provide power to the stand.

Google includes a 1.5-meter USB-C to USB-C cable and its 30W PPS Fast Charger ($25 if bought separately) in the box. You don’t have to use this charger for the Pixel Stand, but an alternative must be compatible with USB Power Delivery PPS and provide 30W of power or more.

See also: The best chargers to correctly fast charge the Google Pixel 6

What’s good?

Google Pixel 6 wireless charging Assistant setup screen
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

2021’s Pixel Stand is a solid option to fast-charge your Pixel 6 series smartphone. It’s not as fast as wired charging but isn’t far off, at two hours seven minutes to fill the Pixel 6 Pro. The Stand also provides robust wireless charging speeds for a wide range of Qi EPP smartphones, making it a great choice if you have several different handsets in the household.

Power test at standGoogle Pixel 6 ProSamsung Galaxy S21 UltraApple iPhone 13 Pro MaxOnePlus 9 ProSony Xperia 1 III
Power test at stand
Pixel Stand (2nd Gen)
Google Pixel 6 Pro
28.2W
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
12.7W
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
6.6W
OnePlus 9 Pro
19.1W
Sony Xperia 1 III
19.6W
Power test at stand
Pixel Stand (1st Gen)
Google Pixel 6 Pro
11.8W
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
5.9W
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
6.2W
OnePlus 9 Pro
6.4W
Sony Xperia 1 III
6.0W

Based on the table above, we can estimate that the stand is about 80% efficient at sending power over the air. This gives us a maximum charging power of 23W transferred to the Pixel 6 Pro and 15W to a selection of other Qi EPP-compatible phones. I also tested phones with the original Pixel Stand, and there’s a clear and noticeable improvement compared to the basic Qi 5W option supported by the first-gen model and many third-party chargers.

15W Qi support makes the Pixel Stand great for more than just the Pixel 6 series.

As well as being a great wireless charger, the Pixel Stand offers extra features for your Pixel handset. When charging in the cradle, Pixel phones from the Pixel 3 onwards can become a Google Photos frame, smart home controller, Sunrise Alarm, can be set to do-not-disturb mode, and take all the usual commands via Google Assistant. The Pixel Stand transforms your phone into a tiny Google Nest Hub of sorts. When wireless charging, a prompt appears to guide you through setting up everything just how you like it. If you’re invested in Google’s ecosystem, these features are a nice touch and certainly add extra value over third-party wireless chargers.

However, if you’re running a Pixel 5 or older with Google’s first-generation cradle, you won’t gain anything by moving to the newer Pixel Stand (2021). The features are exactly the same as last time; the main upgrade is faster charging speeds for the Pixel 6 and other phones.

The Pixel 6 Pro on average took approximately two hours and seven minutes to charge on the Pixel Stand (2nd gen) in our testing.

Yes. The Pixel Stand (2nd gen) can fast-charge the Pixel 3, 4, and 5 series handsets wirelessly with up to 10W of power.

What’s not so good?

Google Pixel Stand Gen 2 vs Gen 1 back
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

There are a couple of small complaints with the Pixel Stand (2021), though. For starters, it wouldn’t fast-charge the Pixel 6 Pro above 10W without going through the aforementioned Pixel Stand onboarding process. As part of this process, the phone offers you the option to pick Optimized, Max, or Quiet charging preferences. It appears you need to visit this option at least once before fast charging is enabled, but it took several attempts before the setup process made it as far as this screen. This is beyond annoying, especially if you don’t intend to use the charger’s Assistant and other features. However, you can turn these off and retain fast wireless charging afterward.

If you find your Pixel 6 series slow to charge wirelessly, this is likely why. Also, check you’re running software version SQ1D.211205.016.A1 or newer. For full instructions on how to change the charging mode and complete the onboarding process check out Google’s guide.

You can't fast-charge the Pixel 6 Pro without first running through the Pixel Stand onboarding process.

I’m also not super hot on the design of the latest Stand. It’s a lot thicker and certainly not as elegant as the first model, owing to the inclusion of a fan that, fortunately, remains silent even during a full charge cycle. The USB-C cable also no longer neatly plugs in underneath the stand, so you’ll need a spare inch behind the Pixel Stand to accommodate the cable as well.

Related: The best phone charging accessories

Yes, the Pixel Stand (2nd gen) supports up to 15W wireless charging for Qi EPP-certified products and 5W for regular Qi gadgets.

The Pixel Stand (2nd gen) is capable of charging Google’s Pixel Buds (2020). The Pixel Buds A-series and Pixel Buds (2017) do not support wireless charging.

Google Pixel Stand review: Should I buy it?

Google Pixel Stand Gen 2 on desk
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Google’s second-generation Pixel Stand is built for the Pixel 6 series as it’s much more than a basic wireless charger. With Assistant, smart home, do-not-disturb, and photo frame capabilities, the Pixel Stand is an accessory built to help you make the most of Google’s broader ecosystem while charging your Pixel handsets.

The Pixel Stand (2nd Gen) is built to make the most of Google Assistant and your smart home while charging.

Swanky extras aside, the Pixel Stand (2021) is also an excellent wireless charger. Pixel 6 charging speeds are virtually as good as their wired specs, yet the cradle remains quiet and cool. Furthermore, 15W Qi EPP support means it will charge up a wide range of smartphones and other gadgets in a reasonably timely fashion too.

See also: The best wireless chargers — a buyer’s guide

The only drawback is Google’s steep $79 asking price. If you’re not primarily buying for a Pixel smartphone, you won’t benefit from those extra Google features that just about justify the high price. Instead, you should check out the much more affordable 15W Anker PowerWave II Stand ($39.99) that has you well covered for fast Qi wireless charging.

google pixel stand second gen
Google Pixel Stand (2nd Gen)
Build for Google's ecosystem
The Pixel Stand (2nd gen) isn't just a fast wireless charger for the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. It also allows you to control your smart home, talk to Google Assistant, and view your photos while your handset charges.