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Pixel Stand may turn your phone into an Assistant-powered smart screen

Google Pixel 2 XL backJulian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

It looks like Google will release an accessory called the Pixel Stand when it announces the Pixel 3 smartphone range later this year. First, we heard about the wireless charging stand in code discovered inside a beta version of Google’s app. The stand may allow a docked Pixel phone to work in a similar way to Google Assistant-powered smart screens, such as Lenovo’s recently released Smart Display.

Now, we’re being treated to a slightly better look at the new device. A render of the charging stand has leaked online through MySmartPrice, showing that the charging stand is essentially made up of one circular puck for the base, and one oval one for the back of the stand. The render shows an orange bottom with the Google logo, and an otherwise mostly white design.

google pixel stand news

The device’s primary feature maybe as a wireless charging dock, but with additional Assistant-related functionality. The code states that when the phone is docked, Google Assistant will operate as it would do normally, providing answers to questions, giving suggestions, and following commands even when locked. It also adds the phone will give personalized help when docked on the Pixel Stand. All this is provided the dock is added as a trusted device on the phone, indicating it may need to be connected by Bluetooth at some point.

Lenovo’s Smart Display adds a visual element to Google Home with a choice of two different screen sizes, but costs either $200 or $250, making it considerably more expensive than a standard Google Home or Google Home Mini. Depending on how much Google charges for the Pixel Stand, it may end up being a handy middle-ground for anyone wanting to see Assistant’s advice and suggestions after providing voice commands. While the screen won’t be as large as the Smart Display — which is either 8 inches or 10.1 inches — it could be ideal for desktop use, which is where we’d most want a wireless charger anyway.

While the code inside the Google app reveals the company is certainly testing a Pixel Stand-like device, and the leaked image seems to suggest it’s coming soon, it’s not absolute evidence that it will ever be released, or that it will retain this functionality even if it does. We’re expecting the Pixel 3 range to launch later this year, potentially around October, and we should find out more then.

We’ll keep you updated with Pixel Stand news here.

Updated on September 26, 2018: The Google Pixel Stand has leaked online.

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