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Google Pixel Watch: Everything we know so far (Updated: May 16)
Update: May 16, 2022 (1:30 AM ET): We’ve updated our Google Pixel Watch hub with information about its alleged chipset.
Original article: The Google Pixel Watch is the wearable industry’s version of Bigfoot. For the better part of a decade, rumors that the smartwatch is, in fact, real have come and gone. However, its existence was finally confirmed at Google I/O 2022.
But what do we know about the Google Pixel Watch so far? We round up the latest details below.
See also: The best smartwatches you can buy
A brief history of Google Pixel Watch rumors
Google then purchased Fitbit and launched its Wear OS 3 rework on the Galaxy Watch 4 series. With the appetite for smartwatches and health trackers being bigger than ever, there has never been a better time for a Pixel smartwatch.
Google Pixel Watch: Name and release date
In April 2022, we finally got tangible evidence for the Google Pixel Watch. The company filed a trademark for “Pixel Watch.” The company later confirmed at I/O 2022 that the wearable is indeed called that and coming in 2022.
As for a specific release date, well, you can imagine this is a pretty complicated matter. Google has said that the watch will debut this fall and didn’t get more explicit. Google had the perfect opportunity of launching the Pixel Watch alongside the Pixel 6a at I/O 2022, but that clearly did not happen.
Judging from Google’s history, it tends to launch new Pixel phones in early October. Our guess would be that we could see the Pixel Watch launch then alongside the already-confirmed Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro.
Google officially unveiled the Pixel Watch at I/O 2022. We got a good look at the design of the watch, which is in line with previous leaks and rumors.
The Pixel Watch will have a circular face, going against Apple’s rectangular philosophy. We can see at least two buttons on the right side of the device. The central crown appears to be rotatable for navigation and could also work as a dedicated voice assistant button, although the flat button may have that functionality instead.
Google also confirmed on stage that the watch will have proprietary bands. This means you won’t be able to buy standard watch bands from third parties nor use bands you already own, which is slightly disappointing. Google did confirm there will be a few colors to choose from, though.
Before Google actually revealed the Pixel Watch, the biggest design leak came in the form of an alleged prototype that was found left behind in a Chicago restaurant. The leaked device looks a lot like the official render Google showed us. The anonymous source who found the watch said that the wearable came with a box that stated that the device was for “internal testing and development only.” The leaker then posted images of the alleged Pixel Watch prototype alongside an Apple Watch and a Galaxy Watch.
The leaker also said that the prototype has a 40mm diameter, 14mm thickness, and weighs 36g. The bezels on it are quite thick, with the visible screen measuring 30mm.
Google Pixel Watch: Specs and features
What could the Google Pixel Watch bring to the table in terms of specs? Google gave us a sneak peek at I/O 2022.
For starters, the watch will support Google Assistant as well as the Google Home app and the newly announced Google Wallet. This feature allows users to tap to pay, and also stores cards and documents like a student ID, boarding passes, vaccine cards, and more. Since there will be an LTE model of the Pixel Watch available, users will be able to use these features without a phone nearby.
Google also said that the Pixel Watch will have a “deep integration with Fitbit,” so the usual SpO2 sensor and heart rate monitor would likely feature. Should Google appeal to more avid fitness fanatics, it could rope in an EDA sensor or an ECG for stress and heart health monitoring. Notably, Fitbit has experience working with the latter two technologies with the Fitbit Sense. Again, there’s no proof that the Pixel Watch will sport these particular features. A recent rumor from Business Insider also suggests the watch will only offer basic fitness tracking features.
In terms of processing power, rumors claim the Pixel Watch might forego the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 series in favor of a Samsung Exynos chipset. A source confirmed to 9to5Google that the Google smartwatch will use the Exynos 9110, an SoC Samsung released in 2018. It was previously believed that the device would leverage the Exynos W920 that features on the Galaxy Watch 4. That would theoretically give the Pixel Watch access to a low-power Arm Cortex-M55 core for low-power operations, LTE support, and GNSS support for more accurate outdoor activity tracking. Instead, the Exynos 9110 is a 10nm processor featuring two Cortex-A53 cores, similar to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 4100 Plus.
Interestingly, Google’s also taking a keen interest in developing a “next-generation Assistant,” according to evidence uncovered by 9to5Google. This revamp would include onboard computational smarts akin to Google’s Pixel smartphones. This suggests that Google may need to focus on the Pixel Watch’s number-crunching abilities while also keeping power consumption in check.
Of course, the demand for processing power could come at the cost of battery life. Per Business Insider sources, the Pixel Watch in its current guise requires daily charging. Charging speeds are also reportedly far too slow. Notably, battery endurance is a significant weakness of the Galaxy Watch 4. Daily charging would be pretty annoying for those who currently own a Garmin or Fitbit, but it wouldn’t be a major issue for Apple Watch floor-crossers.
Pricing and availability
Finally, how much will the Google Pixel Watch cost, and when can you buy one?
According to The Verge‘s sources, the Pixel Watch will “cost more than a Fitbit,” but that itself is a pretty vague statement.
Meanwhile, citing a “relatively new source,” frequent tipster Yogesh Brar revealed that the smartwatch might be priced in the range of $300 — $400. That’ll put it in direct competition with the Apple Watch Series 7, Garmin Venu 2, and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic.
Brar also noted in his tweet that the smartwatch could see a limited release, suggesting that it may only launch in a few markets, just like the Pixel phones.
Meanwhile, we might be looking at three variants of the Pixel Watch. A Google wearable recently got listed on the Bluetooth SIG website with three different model numbers.
That’s all we know about the Google Pixel Watch. Are you excited for the company’s first smartwatch? Let us know in the comments below.