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Hands-on: This 3-in-1 Pixel Watch 2, phone, and Buds charging dock is better than the ‘official’ one

2 months ago 54

pixel watch charging dock

Google’s ecosystem of hardware in Pixel phones, Buds, and the Pixel Watch 2 is quite solid, but there’s a clear lack of accessories out there. While there is an official option for a 3-in-1 charging dock for Pixel Watch 2, Buds, and your phone, I found a third-party option that works quite well.

Charging up your Pixel trio isn’t all that difficult, really. Pixel phones have supported any Qi wireless charging for a few generations now, while Pixel Buds Pro can support those same Qi chargers, and both can use a simple USB-C cable. Meanwhile, Pixel Watch 2 has a magnetic pin-based charging puck that will require a second USB-C port to be available to charge up. But if you want to power up all three at night, you’ll be left needing three cables, or at least a couple of different chargers. While Google has sold dual wireless chargers for a while, there’s been nothing that also incorporates a smartwatch.

Meanwhile, over in Apple’s walled garden, there’s a plethora of official and third-party charging options that can power up an iPhone, AirPods, and an Apple Watch.

So what about Pixel?

Well, there’s nothing all that fancy. Most options you’ll find are third-party. The only “official” 3-in-1 charging dock for Pixel comes from Wasserstein, which sells a $50 dock that lets you plug in your Pixel phone and Buds, while putting your Watch 2 up top. It works well, but comes with one clear downside. The phone and Buds both use a physical USB-C connection which can be a little tedious.

I’ve been wanting to get one of these docks for my wife to make it easier for her to keep her watch and earbuds charged, but I knew the USB-C requirement of the Wasserstein dock wouldn’t cut it.

That’s why this $40 dock on Amazon caught my eye and ended up being ordered quickly after.

Sold by “Phelinta,” the dock has a wireless charging dock to house your Pixel phone (it works equally well for the standard and Pro sizes) with another Qi pad behind it for your Pixel Buds. Two lights at the front serve as indicators for charging status (they’re not bright enough to affect a dark room, at least in my opinion). Alignment, I’ve found, is pretty easy on both.

Then, up top, there’s a Pixel Watch 2 charging dock. This slots in perfectly to where it doesn’t touch the phone but also wastes no space. And since it’s floating, it works with any band style, including the elastic loop band that my wife picked out for her Pixel Watch 2.

She did mention that, with that particular band, the watch would occasionally not align fully just because the band was snug around the charging dock itself. But if you’re using an open band or a looser fit, you probably won’t run into the same problem. The magnet isn’t quite as strong as the official charger, but it still helps get the alignment right.

Charging performance seems perfectly fine too. The stand itself is capable of 15W, but since Pixels cap anything but the Pixel Stand at 10W, that’s all you’ll get here. For a dock so clearly focused at overnight charging, that’s a fine trade-off in my book. More important to me was the Pixel Watch 2 charging aspect of the dock, which is just as fast as the included charger.

To get full speed, you’ll need an 18W charging brick. To keep things simple, I used the same Google charging brick and cable that was previously in use with a Pixel Stand 2, and that worked just great.

Of course, this dock isn’t really without complaints. I wish the design was a little nicer – it’s not bad, but it’s nothing fancy like some of the premium options available for Apple products. The build quality also isn’t anything crazy, just being some fairly cheap black plastic. But, on the whole, it’s totally fine for the price and way better than just having a ton of cables all over the place.

You can pick up this dock over on Amazon for $42.99 (there’s a 10% off coupon on the page).

Are you using any 3-in-1 docks? Let’s discuss in the comments!

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