Google’s reported plans for its own smartwatch, the Pixel Watch, have circulated for years, but many details remain unclear. Considering Google’s new Wear OS and its acquisition of Fitbit, we can infer a lot about Google’s approach to smartwatches. According to rumours, leaks, and reports about the Watch, it will be available in spring or fall.
Even though Google owns Fitbit and produces Android smartwatch software (like the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4), it has yet to produce its own wearable. That may change in 2022. A new rendering of the device suggests a minimalist, round design (and Fitbit integration). Different rumours have surfaced about the Pixel Watch in the past, but it’s never come true. In this sense, Google’s position in the smartwatch market is similar to its previous position in the smartphone space before the first Pixel phone was released and before the since-retired Nexus line. Google had the opportunity to show off what an ideal Android experience should be like on phones with those devices. Google could do the same with a Pixel Watch.
Here are some possible features of Google’s Pixel Watch.
Design of Pixel Watch
Jon Prosser tweeted a leaked render of what he claimed was the Pixel Watch back in April, showing off the round design with what appears to be a physical crown. Therefore, the Pixel Watch seems to be a clean and minimalist smartwatch, somewhat in keeping with the design of other Pixel devices. Wearers would also have the option of customizing their watches with interchangeable bands.
More recently, the leaker shared official-looking Pixel Watch marketing images. An image shows a round wearable with a bezel-less screen that curves around the edge. There’s only one crown on the right-hand side of the Watch, and this is where the physical controls are located.
Leaked by 91Mobiles, the image above appears to be the first official render of the Pixel Watch. A curve for the round display is revealed, and the right-hand crown is like previous leaks, and there are also UI similarities to Google Pixel 6 and Fitbit complications.
According to a Google patent application, what appears to be skin-based touch controls could be used for the Pixel Watch and next-generation Pixel Buds. Using sensors, users’ skin could function as a touch-sensitive surface to control wireless earbuds and expand the control surface of smartwatches. A patent application is, of course, the beginning of such tech, and it may never make it to the market. It would still make the Pixel Watch stand apart from other smartwatches if it had such a system.
Not for the first time, we’ve seen images claiming to reveal the Pixel Watch’s round design. In December, Prosser published leaked images of Google’s marketing materials for the Pixel Watch. Tipster also posted renderings of the Pixel Watch in April. He claims the images he received from a source were based on leaked images of the actual Watch.
When may the Google Pixel Watch be released?
Google could launch the Pixel Watch this year, according to Insider. The report says that the device may debut in the spring, but that’s subject to change based on how internal testing goes. YouTuber Jon Prosser suggests Google will tease the Pixel Watch in May at Google I/O before formally launching the device in October. He previously said the Pixel Watch would launch on May 26.
Despite being tipped for a May release, leaker, Jon Prosser now claims it will be shown at Google I/O in May but released in October. During Google I/O, a developer-focused event, Prosser tweeted, “I’m hearing they’ll be announcing the Pixel 6a + teasing the Pixel Watch,” referring to what to expect. “Pixel Watch will be formally announced and launched with Pixel 7 and 7 Pro in October.”
In another leak, Evan Blass mentions wearOS 3.1, saying “not long now,” so it’s possible the Pixel Watch could be launched this spring.
Price speculation for the Google Pixel Watch
What will the Google Pixel Watch cost? I think it will be less than an Apple Watch. Although we don’t have many Google Pixel Watch price leaks to reference, we’d estimate it to be mid-range.
In terms of price, it won’t be the cheapest option on store shelves, but it might fall in the $200-$350 range depending on size and LTE variant. As mentioned above, this is just speculation based on what we know about Google’s pricing strategy for its other hardware divisions. However, according to insiders, it’s expected to cost more than a Fitbit.
There may be three versions of Google Pixel Watch
In German tech blog WinFuture, Google considers releasing three different versions of the Pixel Watch. Variety seems to be important to Google. Nonetheless, the details of that report date back to 2018, so it’s unclear whether they are still valid.
Also, we don’t know the differences between those three models. For example, Google may launch a specific model with cellular connectivity, or the Watch could come in three different sizes.
As well as colours, Google’s Pixel Watch models could differ. According to a leak via a carrier’s inventory system reported on Android Police, the Pixel Watch will come in black, gold and grey with 32GB of storage.
Google’s Wear OS will run on the Pixel Watch.
Google announced a revamped Wear OS smartwatch platform at Google I/O 2021, which was developed with Samsung. As a result, it’s very likely that the Pixel Watch will use this new software, which offers faster performance, a more intuitive user interface, and better integration with Google and Fitbit.
Wear OS is already being used by Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4, so the Pixel Watch wouldn’t be the first device to run it. Yet, as with Android devices, the smartwatch could serve as the blueprint for Wear OS, allowing third-party companies to build on top of it. Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 uses Wear OS, but it still uses its own apps and services for a lot of features.
You might have to charge the battery nightly.
The battery in Google’s smartwatch is also expected to last about one day, like the Apple Watch. Insider’s report mentions an internal feedback document that suggests the Watch might have to be charged every day. A chance always exists that Google could improve this before the Watch is released.
Health tracking is likely to be part of the Watch.
According to Prosser and Insider, Google’s smartwatch will at least track heart rate and steps. The metrics will probably become more advanced as we see more health-related features on smartwatches.
Based on Google’s other recent moves, we don’t know for sure, but there are plenty of possible outcomes. When Google announced its new smartwatch software in May, it said that Wear OS would have “the best of Fitbit,” so we can likely expect more Fitbit features. According to Insider’s report, Google is working on a specific Fitbit integration for Wear OS that will debut along with the Watch.
In addition, we know that the Google Nest Hub 2 can detect snoring and monitor breathing at night, so it wouldn’t surprise us to see these features in the Pixel Watch. Given Fitbit’s recent focus on Premium, there’s also a chance that the Pixel Watch will require a subscription to access more advanced features.
The rumoured name Pixel Watch could also change. According to an insider report, Google has been referring to the Watch under a few different names, and it’s unclear what branding it will use.
Click here to know more about Apple Watch Series 8.