The earliest rumors since July 28 of this year suggested that Google is entering the wireless charging market with a power packed dock that does more than juicing up a phone. After the launch on October 9, 2018 we are convinced that the Pixel Stand could indeed be worth your time. This device in all its simplicity brings a power packed smartness to the world of wireless charging and has some genuinely helpful features. The capabilities of fast wireless charging with the added benefit of turning a Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL into an Assistant Powered Hub definitely piqued our interest.

This is everything you need to know about Pixel Stand and how it compares with other wireless charging stands in the market. Before that, here’s a quick list of pros and cons.

ProsCons
·         Qi 2.0 Wireless Charging Speed

·         Google Assistant

·         Smart Home Integration

·         Do not Disturb Trigger

·         Smart UI Display

·         Smart features are only compatible with Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL

·         Available only in White

 

Pixel Stand Specifications

The pixel stand is built of polycarbonate and silicone materials geared with a 10 watt charging dock. The ‘white’ color might match with all Pixel 3 colors; however, it does have a drawback of gathering lint and dust over time. The device has a grip bottom to prevent it from sliding over surface.

It comes with an 18-watt USB-PD (Power Delivery) wall adaptor where you can plug in the USB Type C cable. Google claims Pixel Stand is fast charging with Qi 2.0 wireless speeds.

The specifications allow for any Qi-capable phone to be oriented in both landscape and portrait mode with the dual charging coils stacked on top of each other. This means you can charge the newer iPhones as well.

Secure ‘Handshake’

On the face, Pixel Stand looks like any other wireless dock on the market. However, Pixel 3 comes alive when placed on this wireless charger showcasing some truly marvelous features. There is no Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or NFC involved in connecting the Pixel 3 to Pixel Stand.

A microprocessor inside the Pixel Stand automatically triggers a ‘hashing’ sequence with Pixel 3. The phone computes the unique ID number present in the Pixel Stand to acquire a matching number to make the screen come alive. This feature is pretty well-planned as it allows Pixel 3 to be connected to multiple ‘Pixel Stands’.

Individual Pixel Stands can be configured to behave differently with a Pixel 3. For instance, you could configure your night table Pixel Stand to go into a ‘Do not disturb’ feature while charging and your workstation Pixel Stand to turn into a Digital Photo Frame.

Google Assistant features

Charging on the Pixel Stand gives you a one-tap access to Google Assistant. Likewise, you can even say ‘Hey Google’ to bring up the Assistant. You will get suggestions to tap on depending on the time of the day.

For instance, smart feature ‘My Day’ suggestion is triggered early in the morning. This will automatically bring up weather reports, traffic alerts, calendar and reminders. It will also start playing a live feed of the day’s news or any pre-specified podcasts. You can tweak the settings in Assistant’s features to bring up your source preference.

Smart Home Tie-In

You can configure your Nest Hello video doorbell to the Pixel Stand to easily see who is at the front door when your Pixel is charging. This feature seems to be limited right now. However, there are talks of adding other product supports over time.

UI transformation

Pixel Stand transforms the Pixel 3’s UI to showcase multiple features. You can get the screen to light up to Assistant, show your favorite photos, enlarge playback controls or go blank. These settings can be accessed via the Pixel 3 phone’s Connected Device Settings.

Do Not Disturb Mode

This mode does not necessarily turn off the screen. However, it makes sure that the screen does not light up to show any notifications. This can be toggled on and off easily. The function might not seem much during the day.

Though, it is a blessing in the night when users desperately try to ignore their phones and go to sleep. This is the Google’s latest way to help you ‘curb’ phone time using the Pixel Stand.

No Visual Disturbance

The blank screen is another way to ensure zero distraction. The settings can be customized to turn off Pixel 3’s always-on display screen. This feature is very handy if you place your Pixel Stand next to the bed or your work table where you do not want distractions.

Digital Photo Frame

Another splendid feature in Pixel Stand that complements Pixel 3 is the Digital Photo Carousel. You can use the unmatched snapper on a Pixel 3 to click amazing shots which can be displayed while charging your phone using ‘Google Photos’. You control the album you want to show. This is a nice way of making use of a blank screen while your phone is charging.

Sunrise Alarm

This is among the most touted features. The pixel 3 will turn into a mini sunrise with ambient light 15 minutes before the alarm is set to go off. The light is tested to help people wake up easy. The effectiveness and usefulness of this feature will become clear when Pixel Stand is released next month.

Music Controls

Apart from these core features, the Pixel Stand also changes the UI interface completely to show large music controls. The always-on display of Pixel 3 makes it easier to tap and control playback. The screen will show a large album artwork which is again a nice aesthetic touch.

How does it Fare with Other Wireless Chargers?

Pixel Stand comes with some super-packed features. However, the fact that UI transformation takes place only with the Pixel 3 series is a major turn off. It still manages to juice up other Qi-standard compatible phones. However, there are other cheaper alternatives. Here is how Pixel Stand fares with other Wireless Charger ‘Kings’ in the market.

Anker PowerWave

Anker is among the best companies for Android support products because of their superior quality. Priced at $49.99 Anker PowerWave comes with a power brick that helps in cutting costs. Notable features include a little built in blue LED light that is convenient and dim enough to not bother with your sleep cycle. It is a fast wireless charger with Qi 2.0 speeds same as the Pixel Stand. It comes with a built in fan that keeps the device and charger cool which is not a part of the Pixel Stand.

Samsung Fast Wireless Charging Stand

There is no doubt that Samsung manufactures some of the best Android phones. The same is true for fast wireless stands as well. Samsung was the first to jump on the Fast Wireless Charging bandwagon. The charger is built well and comes in 3 sleek colors – black, blue and white. It charges up to 10w and completes the business at half the price of Pixel Stand.

What do We Think?

The Pixel Stand has some pretty awesome features when you factor in the UI transformation and Google Assistant Hub. However, a major drawback is that it will only light up a Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL even though it will charge all other Qi-wireless compatible phones.

Hence, in our opinion this is not the wireless charger for you, if you have an iPhone or Android and not planning to upgrade to a Pixel 3 series in the near future. There are other alternatives that are cheaper with the same functionality. Alternatively, we think Pixel Stand is definitely the perfect wireless charger if you are planning to buy a Pixel 3 or a Pixel 3 XL

The Pixel Stand will become available early next month for $79. Pre-order started on October 9 on Google Store.

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