The lead-up to the Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro reveal was one of the highlights in the Android phones calendar, that's for sure, and I was pleased as punch to be covering the pre-launch, through to the Made by Google event itself, and the excitement that has continued in the week following.
Upon receiving my Pixel 7 Pro, which I've been using for almost a full week now, I quickly settled in and, as you can read in my Pixel 7 Pro review here, I'm so here for this 2022 Pixel flagship. It's great.
Except it's been giving me sleepless nights. Well, it hasn't, but another Google product that I thought was going to be a must-have has been...
I'm talking about the Pixel Stand (2nd Gen), which was duly boxed up together with my Pixel 7 Pro. I thought it'd be an obvious accessory to use: after all, it activates wireless charging with ease, it looks neat and tidy, and as a bedstand addition it can plug into some of those Android extras like bedtime routines, gentle wake-up alarms and more.
But there's a problem: the Pixel Stand has a fan built into it. And I live in the country – which is so quiet at night that you could basically hear a mouse fart somewhere off in the unknown distance.
When the Pixel 7 Pro sits atop the Pixel Stand things are louder than said imaginary rodent woes, because there's fan noise. Actual noise, like someone has left a miniature laptop plugged in a little bit too near to your head. I don't have a decibel meter to tell you how much. All I can measure right now, it seems, is how much of a delicate flower I have become.
I never used to be a sensitive sleeper. My past life living on the Harringay Ladder in London meant sirens on repeat and dogs barking at all hours was commonplace. I wouldn't even notice bloomin' fan noise. But times have changed, clearly.
In Google's defence there are three settings for the 2nd Gen Pixel Stand directly through a connected Pixel phone, so you can choose between Max (loudest threat), Optimised (unpredictable threat), or Quiet (is it a threat?). But there's no 'Off'. And I would very much like such an option.
So it's back to the usual USB-C charging cable for me (not included in the Pixel 7 Pro's box, mind you), which with 30W power delivery on the Pixel 7 Pro charges plenty fast enough. Or, indeed, I could fish out one of umpteen Qi-compatible charging mats and that'd do the job without, um, unwanted fanfare...
Still, I'm just glad I can continue to love my Pixel 7 Pro without the need to use the Stand. Good as it sounds in principle, it's not the accessory for me.