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Pixel Stand: 5 things to know about Google's wireless charger

Not only does the Pixel Stand charge your phone, but it unlocks magical powers.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Alongside the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL ($1,320 at Amazon Marketplace), Google announced a wireless charging stand. Actually, the Pixel Stand does more than just charge your phone.

The Stand converts your phone into a digital photo frame and can even mimic the sunrise using your phone's display. Here are five things you need to know about the Pixel Stand.

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Compatibility

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First and foremost, the Pixel Stand is a wireless charger. It will charge any device that's compatible with Qi technology at up to 10W. The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL charge at 10W, while any iPhone compatible with wireless charging chargers at 7.5W.

However, the Pixel Stand is more than just a wireless charger for the Pixel 3 lineup. Whenever you place a Pixel 3 on the stand, a few extra features are activated.

Setup

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The first time you place a Pixel 3 on the Pixel Stand, your phone will prompt you to set up the Pixel Stand. Tap Next and then follow the prompts.

You'll be asked if you want Pixel Stand to activate Google Assistant, enable Do Not Disturb, if you want your personal photos to be shown on the screen while docked, or if you want your phone to slowly light up in the morning, filling your bedroom with sun-like light just before your alarm.

Digital photo frame

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If you opted to have the Pixel Stand turn your phone into a digital photo frame, you'll need to select a photo album (or albums) from your Google Photos account. Google also gives you the option to use recent highlights as determined by Google Photos.

If you get tired of seeing the same photos over and over, you can always change it up in the Pixel Stand settings.

Google Assistant features

pixel-stand-google-assistant
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If you opted to have the Pixel Stand activate Google Assistant, when using the Stand, Assistant will place small bubbles containing suggestions along the bottom of the screen.

For example, in the morning you might see "Good morning," "Play news" or "What's the weather?" You can tap a bubble to trigger Google Assistant with that prompt, or use the standard wake phrases of "OK, Google" or "Hey, Google."

Settings

pixel-stand-settings
Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

The settings page for the Pixel Stand isn't the easiest to find. In fact, it's kind of buried. To get to it, open the Settings app and then go to Connected Devices > Previously connected devices > Pixel Stand. Then you have to select the gear icon to, finally, open the Pixel Stands setting's page.

Once you get there, you can change which photo albums are used, enable or disable the Sunrise feature, and pick whether or not the screen should go black when the room is dark.