Leaked in the flesh after not weeks and not months but entire years of idle speculation and empty hopes and dreams, Google’s first-ever own-brand smartwatch FINALLY went official last week.
Unfortunately, instead of a proper announcement and full pre-release details, virtual I/O 2022 attendees only got a “preview” and a sneak peek at the Pixel Watch’s real-life design and future commercial capabilities, as well as a vague confirmation of distant “fall” availability.
A lot of new stuff to be excited about
While 9To5Google claims to have now heard from two separate (and presumably unconnected) tipsters about the ancient processor set to power the long-awaited Pixel Watch, the rest of the specs and features “confirmed” today are pretty much all good.
First and foremost, we’re talking 32 gigs of internal storage space, which is precisely how much hoarding room the Apple Watch Series 7
offers for apps and music, as well as double what Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4
and Watch 4 Classic
have going for them in that department.
In terms of memory, 9To5Google is keeping things awfully cryptic and vague, claiming that the Pixel Watch “should slightly surpass” the 1.5GB RAM count of the fellow Wear OS-based Galaxy Watch 4 duo. It’s unclear if that means 2 gigs of the good stuff are in the cards for Big G or the search giant will settle on some odd number between 1.5 and 2, but either way, this is great news, further suggesting an okay overall user experience… at worst.
The Exynos 9110 SoC originally used on 2018’s Samsung Galaxy Watch remains everybody’s main concern as far as device performance goes, but for what it’s worth, a mysterious so-called “co-processor” is expected to reside under the Pixel Watch’s hood as well, taking care of certain low-power tasks to potentially maximize energy efficiency and ultimately battery life.
Unsurprisingly, many of the sensors and health tools present here should be “borrowed” from Fitbit devices like the Luxe and Charge 5
, including heart rate monitoring (duh!), blood oxygen saturation, and yes, Apple-rivaling ECG technology that could literally prove life-saving.
So many key questions left unanswered
How much will this thing cost? Exactly when will it go on sale, where, and how many units will Google
be able to ship by the end of the year? Will the battery life be better than that of the hugely popular Apple Watch Series 7
Sadly, only Google can answer these make-or-break questions with complete certainty, although we do have some pretty good ideas based primarily on leaks and rumors from the last few weeks leading up to the I/O “preview.”
At under $400, the cheapest of at least two main variants
could prove fairly competitive against Apple and Samsung’s most affordable premium smartwatches, with optional 4G LTE support obviously likely to get the Pixel Watch closer to the $500 mark for cellular addicts.
The “bold circular, domed design”, potentially handy (and arguably stylish) tactile crown, robust stainless steel build, and customizable bands already confirmed by Big G
further contribute to the general description of a top contender for the title of best smartwatch
in the world.
Then again, the distant release and limited availability prospect make us cautious in predicting the Pixel Watch will ever fulfill its potential, especially with the Apple Watch Series 8
and Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 family
undoubtedly around the corner as well.