This is the ultimate accessory for the Google Pixel

Jacob Krol, CNN Underscored
Thu October 31, 2019

The Pixel 4 and 4 XL smartphones are here — you can see our full review here and our roundup of some of our favorite cases here. But what about the Pixel Stand? The combo dock and wireless charger, which was announced alongside the Pixel 3 and 3 XL, is still here and still packs that $80 price tag.

While at the Made by Google event, I learned that this core accessory (and first-party built) was designed with the Pixel 4 in mind. One of the biggest design changes with the new phone was moving the bottom speakers to the actual bottom of the device (rather than under the display in a large bezel), and there are grooves on the Pixel Stand that help to blast that audio out.

So with that in mind, I figured we'd revisit the Pixel Stand and talk through why it's one of my favorite accessories for the Pixel 4 and 4 XL.

For starters, the Pixel Stand still comes in one color: white all around, with an orange bottom that provides some grip, so it doesn't slide around too much. You'll connect the USB-C power cable through the bottom, and there's a nice slot to do some cable management. Included in the box you'll find an AC adapter that's enough to power the wireless experience.

The speaker grooves on the bottom help to broadcast the sound a bit wider and the Pixel sits vertically in an easy-to-access position.

When you place the Pixel on the Pixel Stand, it will present you with some options. You can customize the authentication methods, what will be shown on the display, and of course, turn on the Google Assistant. Given the improved speakers on the Pixel 4, the phone plus the stand makes this like an ultraportable version of the Nest Mini, the latest tiny smart speaker from Google.

You can even have it act as a Nest Hub to some degree, with it pulling from Google Photos and cycling as a smart display. You can also use the always-on LED function of the display to always show the time, weather and date. And you can set it to have notifications automatically go straight to the center without displaying every time.

With the new gesture controls enabled by Motion Sense on the Pixel 4 and 4 XL, you can easily control music, stop an alarm or even dismiss calls. It's really handy. I've been using the Pixel Stand both on my desk and on my nightstand, and the phone's gesture controls really complement the Pixel Stand.

At $80, this isn't the cheapest stand out there, but I'm a big fan and I think it's a great pairing. Think of it this way: You get a stand that boosts audio by the design, it wirelessly charges the device, and it works seamlessly with the gesture controls of the Pixel 4.

Google Pixel Stand ($81.43; walmart.com)

Note: The prices above reflect the retailer's listed price at the time of publication.