All the Hardware Google Announced at I/O 2022
But at this year’s developer’s conference, hardware is stealing the show thanks to a number of long-anticipated product launches, from the Pixel 6A and Pixel Buds Pro to the Pixel Watch, Pixel 7, and Pixel 7 Pro, and even a glimpse at a Pixel Tablet—there are a lot of goodies.
None of these devices are launching immediately, but you won’t have to wait long to get your hands on them. Here’s everything you need to know.
The Pixel Watch has been rumored since Google started making Pixel phones in 2016—likely even before that when Google initially launched its specialized operating system for smartwatches. Well, Google’s wearable is finally arriving, though details are slim.
Unlike the Apple Watch, it’s round! There’s a tactile crown, and it uses recycled stainless steel for the frame. It also features swappable bands, though these appear to be a proprietary strap system, much like Apple’s smartwatch. Rick Osterloh, Google’s hardware chief, says the Pixel Watch has fluid animations and an improved user interface that’s “tappable, voice-enabled, and glanceable.” You’ll see more Google first-party apps on the watch, including a Google Home app that’ll let you control your smart home devices just by tapping the screen on your wrist.
Now that Fitbit is a Google-owned company, there’s deep integration and plenty of shared fitness-monitoring expertise, with continuous heart-rate tracking, sleep tracking, and the ability to record personal fitness goals. However, when Google acquired Fitbit, it agreed to keep users’ Fitbit and Google data separate—that’s the case here, and so the Fitbit body data collected by the Pixel Watch will be isolated from Google. There are two fitness platforms on the watch though: Google Fit and Fitbit. Osterloh says they’ll work together but that Fitbit is “imbued throughout” the watch’s experience. He didn’t share more about the integration.
Unfortunately, Google says the Pixel Watch will not work with iOS devices—just Android phones. Wear OS has long supported iPhones, but last year’s Samsung Galaxy Watch4 was among the first to be Android-only. It’s unclear whether this is a theme for the platform in general, or if Google and Samsung are outliers in the overall Wear OS market. We don’t have any pricing details, but Google is touting the Pixel Watch as a premium smartwatch, so expect a price similar to the Apple Watch. It launches in the fall.
Google Pixel 6A
Google’s latest A-series phone—the budget alternative to its flagship Pixel—will be called the Pixel 6A and it will cost $449 when it goes on sale in July.