Google Pixel Watch: here’s everything we know so far
The Google Pixel Watch has been part of the rumor mill for a while now, and once images of it leaked via Android Central, it was only a matter of time before we received official confirmation. And at Google I/O 2022, the veil around the smartwatch was finally lifted, confirming its existence, design, feature set, and availability.
Pricing and Availability
During the I/O Keynote, Google SVP for Devices & Services, Rick Osterloh, came onto the stage and stated that Pixel Watch is part of a vision to make Pixel Devices more helpful. He followed this statement with confirmation that Pixel Watch will be available alongside the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro in Fall 2022.
Hence, after years of Android Wear being available and with several third-party options that have come and gone, 2022 will finally allow us to have a first-hand experience of a smartwatch made within Google’s stables. The tease aligns with what Jon Prosser had to say before the keynote, and here at Pocketnow, we’re looking forward to hearing more about this wearable.
As for pricing, there isn’t any reliable information available as of this moment, but if Google wants to be competitive, the Pixel Watch will need to be priced below $400 and ensure that it’s able to handle WearOS without any hiccups.
Design and Display
Coming to its design, many of us already had our expectations for the wearable formed with the 3D renders provided by Jon Prosser last year, and its vision became more concrete when pictures of a prototype reached Android Central.
The Pixel Watch shown on stage matched these images with a circular domed design, where the glass on the front curves over the sides, meshing with the glossy recycled stainless steel frame. There is a tactile Digital Crown-like knob on the side, with another button next to it, while the leaked images showed us an oval array of sensors, similar to those seen on Fitbit devices.
You may already know how helpful rotating elements are when navigating WearOS, and we’re glad Google is including one! Whether the knob also functions as a button is something we hopefully find out soon.
In case you’re wondering about sizes, the information provided by Yogesh Brar states that the Pixel Watch will be available in two sizes. Whether this will pan out is something we will find out this fall.
The leaked model was sized at roughly half an inch of thickness and had a one and half inch diameter, translating to 13mm thickness and a 40mm case size. As for the display, while there aren’t any concrete numbers, we do know there will be an OLED panel with support for an always-on display.
Apart from this, it looks like Pixel Watch has a proprietary strap mechanism. We hope Google has enough of an accessory pool to allow users to customize the wearable to their liking. WearOS is already a step ahead of Apple’s limited WatchOS in terms of personalized watch faces, and we’d like to see this extend to other accessories.
Colors and Accessories
During the I/O presentation, Google showed off snippets of how the Pixel Watch will look when in use, and through we got a look at its Silver, Black, and Gold Stainless Steel finishes. These tones will match the frame on the Pixel 7 Pro and do add an extra bit of class, in our opinion. The visuals align with leaks that stated the Pixel Watch would be available in three colors.
And as we mentioned earlier, the smartwatch does seem to feature a proprietary mechanism, for which Google reportedly has 20 interchangeable bands ready.
Although the announcement at Google I/O was devoid of any numbers, running off of leaks, the Pixel Watch is expected to feature a Samsung-made processor. Until recently, it was believed the smartwatch would have Galaxy Watch 4’s Exynos W920, but a 9to5Google article reports the device will ship with the Exynos 9110.
This processor is comparable to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 4100+, and the article further explains that a development process that started years before could be the reason behind the Pixel Watch not shipping with the latest available hardware.
Max Weinbach from Android Police reports that inventory data from a carrier marks the Pixel Watch for shipping with 32GB of internal storage; this matches the Apple Watch and doubles the amount offered on Galaxy Watch 4, which we believe gives the Pixel Watch an edge on paper.
Look forward to a post update as more data about the wearable, and its hardware becomes available!
Google Pixel Watch: Features
Google intends for the Pixel Watch to become an extension of your phone and other devices by providing tappable, glanceable, and voice-enabled elements and abilities.
Assistant and its integration will be one of the vital enablers of Google’s vision, providing tidbits of information when required. Google Maps was the next software feature touted, and Rick Osterloh mentioned that users would have the ability to get directions on the go without their phones. Google Home and Google Wallet also made a small appearance during the presentation, as the ability to control smart home appliances and the working of its NFC-based payment system were shown, respectively.
And lastly, before wrapping up the Watch announcement, deeper integration with Fitbit services was mentioned. Users will have access to heart rate measurement, sleep tracking functionality, and active minutes-related info, amongst many others.
Google Pixel Watch: What we want to see!
In recent years, the want for an Apple Watch competitor has been on the rise! The Galaxy Watch 4 came close, though its integration was best with Samsung devices. With the Pixel Watch on the horizon, we hope things are only about to get better. And thus, there are a few key areas where we’d like the Pixel Watch to excel, and we’ve explored them below.
Seamless Software Experience: Considering the Pixel Watch will be a first-party device, we hope its rendition of WearOS is consistent with Pixel UI and fluid in its working, thus setting an example for any other competitors set to join the floor. A regular update system is also a must!
Deep Integration with Android: An attractive attribute of the Apple Watch is its association with the iPhone and its data. There isn’t much to configure as personalized info is carried over, and the remaining links are formed as you boot an application for the first time. We hope the Pixel Watch can accomplish a similar level of integration. Knowing Google and their push to make using Pixel devices easier, this is something we’re optimistic we will see!
Best-in-class Fitness Tracking: Fitbit integration has already been touted by Google, and we hope the acquisition made three years ago, is put to great use! The Pixel Watch should be able to hit the ground running and not require severe optimizations to its tracking algorithms in our books.
Ample Battery Life & Fast Charging: A fundamental problem with smartwatches has been the charging period for many users. While I’ve never really been bothered with my Apple Watch and its daily charging routine, I look forward to the Pixel Watch offering a day or more of use. We think the inclusion of a faster charging mechanism is more critical and hope there is one at launch.
Competitive Pricing: Lastly, the pricing on Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro impressed many. It was competitive for the hardware package on offer and did fire on most ends. With the Pixel Watch and its rumored last-gen processor, we hope Google doesn’t price itself out of the market. While $400 could be the asking price for some variants, we expect the starting models will come in around $250.
What are your expectations for the Pixel Watch? Let us know with your comments below!