Technology

Google Pixel Watch: Everything we know so far about Google’s first smartwatch

Google’s long-rumored Pixel Watch is finally official, and it’s coming this fall alongside the new Pixel 7 series phones. The company unveiled the Pixel Watch during the I/O Developer keynote on May 11, giving us our first official look at the watch that someone left at a restaurant earlier this year. The Pixel Watch is arriving after years of supposed leaks,rumors, delays, and cancellations. So without any further buildup, let’s put together everything we know about the Google Pixel Watch in one place to see how it’s shaping up.

Before we begin, it’s worth mentioning that we’re also including leaks and rumors in this article in addition to the official info that’s already out there. Not everything that you’re about to read is official unless mentioned otherwise. We’ll add more details to this page over time as we get closer to the launch day, so keep your eyes peeled.

Google Pixel Watch: Pricing & Availability

Word on the street is that the Pixel Watch will retail for a starting price of $349.99. The cellular model is said to carry a $399.99 price tag, putting it in the same league as some other popular smartwatches on the market including the Apple Watch Series 8, the Galaxy Watch 5, and more. There’s no official confirmation on this just yet, so we’ll have to wait for the announcement to see if that will be the case. Google also appears to be cooking as many as three Pixel Watch models with different connectivity options. According to the FCC website, one of the models offers Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, while the others have LTE support as well.

Google has confirmed that it’s hosting an event in New York on October 6 to showcase its new hardware. It makes complete sense to bring both the watch and the new phones to the market together, so we expect the Pixel Watch to go on sale alongside the Pixel smartphones. However, it remains to be seen if the Pixel Watch will be available to purchase in all major markets worldwide. Google has a habit of limiting its Pixel phones to only a handful of markets, although that could change with the Pixel Watch.

Google Pixel Watch: Specifications

We didn’t get to hear a whole lot about the Pixel Watch in terms of the specs. Google is saving those details for the launch later in the fall. Some early reports suggest that the Pixel Watch may pack the Exynos 9110, a relatively old chipset, along with 1.5GB of memory and 32GB of storage. The Exynos 9110 is built on a 10nm process, packing two Cortex-A53 cores. It’s more efficient than Qualcomm’s latest chipset for wearables, which means it could pair nicely with the rumored 300 mAh battery. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 4100 Plus, however, isn’t exactly a benchmark for comparison.

The Pixel Watch needs to be better than Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 or even the rumored Galaxy Watch 5, which is expected to launch sometime before Google’s offering. The Galaxy Watch 5 is said to pack at minimum, an Exynos W920, which is likely to beat the Exynos 9110. All this is just speculation for now, and it’s best to reserve our judgments for later. It is worth mentioning that the FCC listing says the Pixel Watch will have a USB-C charging cable. It’s said to come with the same magnetic charging puck that we have seen on the Galaxy Watch 4 and other watches, with a USB-C port on the other end of the cable. As for the battery life, it looks like the Pixel Watch will have single-day battery life. It’s an estimate that Google is said to have made internally, although it remains to be seen whether or not it accounts for an always-on display and sleep tracking feature.

Google didn’t tell us much about the Watch during the I/O 2022 keynote. It’s probably for the best because the watch itself isn’t going to ship before the fall. We’ll update this section with a fully fleshed-out specifications table once we have enough information to fill it up.

Google Pixel Watch: Design

Google has already given us our first official look at its upcoming smartwatch during the I/O 2022 keynote, leaving nothing about the design to our imagination. There have also been numerous leaks leading up to the keynote, so it’s safe to assume that we have a very good idea of what the Pixel Watch looks like. It has a circular face that almost looks like it’s floating above the bands. Google calls it a “domed” design on its website. You can also see a button on the right side of the device along with the crown for navigating through the UI.

In terms of the color options, it looks like the Wi-Fi/Bluetooth model will be available in a Black case/Obsidian band, Silver/Chalk, and Gold/Hazel combinations. The LTE models, on the other hand, are said to be available in Black/Obsidian, Silver/Charcoal, and Gold/Hazel combinations. Google hasn’t revealed if it’s using aluminum or steel, but we may see both options. We suspect the Pixel Watch also uses proprietary bands, meaning you might not be able to use standard watch bands. The bands we’ve so far in the renders appear to be using high-quality rubber material, but we expect Google to actively release new ones for the watch.

As you can probably tell, the round display of the watch seems to have big bezels. You can see them only in some of the renders because Google has done a pretty good job of masking them by using a clock face with dark background in almost all of its press renders. Here’s a GIF image in which you can gauge the size of those bezels. Google didn’t tell us the size of the display, nor about the different sizes of the Pixel Watch.

Google Pixel Watch: Software

According to Google’s Rick Osterloh, the Pixel Watch will come with an improved UI. It’s likely to have fluid animations and support a smarter way to interact with incoming notifications. Notably, the Pixel Watch will also have support for Google Assistant with which you’ll be able to get things done with your voice. It remains to be seen how helpful Google Assistant will be. An LTE-enabled version of the Pixel Watch was also shown running Google Maps on the stage during the keynote. We expect a lot of similar features to take advantage of the LTE connection to help you manage things better when you’re out and about without your phone.

A lot of the Wear OS features supported by the Pixel Watch are still under the wraps but we expect to learn more about them in the coming weeks and months, leading up to the official release. We suggest you take a look at our Wear OS 3 review to learn more about the features in detail, although the Pixel Watch experience could be fairly different from Samsung’s approach on the Galaxy Watch 4 series.

Google’s Pixel Watch is also expected to have a strong footing in the health and fitness department. We don’t know much about the sensors at play here, but Google says this is going to be a great wearable for fitness tracking. This could be the watch that brings Fitbit’s class-leading tracking features to the mainstream market. We’ll also see the new Health Connect API playing a huge role in creating a vast ecosystem of products that work in tandem to bring rich experiences.

Google Pixel Watch: Wishlist

We’ve been hearing about Google’s first smartwatch ever since it rebranded Android Wear to Wear OS, so it’s safe to say that our expectations are set. Here’s our wishlist for the Google Pixel Watch:

Long-lasting battery

This one’s certainly on top of our Pixel Watch wishlist for some obvious reasons. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, for instance, can last you more than a day on a single charge. We expect the Pixel Watch to offer something along those lines or possibly even better. Being able to use the watch for more than a day with all the useful features would be great. We doubt if the rumored 300 mAh battery will be enough to pull it off, though. Continuing on the topic of battery, it would also be nice to have support for a universal charging method. We hope it uses Qi wireless charging and is also compatible with the Pixel Stand accessory.

Assistant voice typing

Google has confirmed that the Pixel Watch will be getting the Google Assistant when it comes out later this year. More than that, we want to see the Assistant voice typing feature on the Pixel Watch. Voice dictation is better and smarter than ever on the Pixel 6 and it works flawlessly. Having that killer feature would make the Pixel Watch that much better for responding to messages and emails without having to reach the phone. It could very well be the main reason why many would purchase the watch.


Sizable onboard storage

If you are someone who likes to download music, podcasts, and a lot of apps on your watch, then you’d probably need more storage than an average user. The Pixel Watch will likely have 32GB of onboard storage, which we think should be enough for all your needs. It’s higher than the Galaxy Watch 4’s 16GB of onboard storage and we think it should be enough to store large playlists of high-quality content, and other apps too.


Pixel feature drops for the Watch

There’s no doubt the Pixel Watch will have a ton of awesome features at launch. But we won’t stand against the idea of getting feature drops for the Pixel Watch, like the Pixel phones. Regular OTA updates with new features will certainly make the Pixel Watch better than the barrage of wearables out there. It may sound like wishful thinking considering this is Google’s first smartwatch, but the company also seems to have taken its sweet time to bring this watch to the market.

Google Pixel Watch “Sports Edition”?

The Pixel Watch is likely to have a lot of fitness tracking features. This is where we expect Google to turn to Fitbit’s expertise to deliver a quality health and fitness-focused smartwatch. But how about a dedicated sports edition watch for fitness enthusiasts? Perhaps a variant with a different strap design and more tracking features.

Well, that brings us to the end of our wishlist and also this article, for now. As we mentioned earlier, we’ll continue to update this page with fresh information as they become available to us. In the meantime, be sure to let us know what you’re looking forward to the most about the upcoming Pixel Watch. Also, drop a line in the comments below if you have an interesting addition to the Pixel Watch wishlist.

Source
xda-developers

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