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Oof, some Pixel Watch units are randomly popping open (Update: Google statement)

Many affected users have been able to claim a replacement under warranty.
By

Published onJune 2, 2023

A Google Pixel Watch on a user's wrist displays the watch face.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • Multiple users are reporting that the backplate of their Pixel Watch has come off.
  • Customer support has issued replacements in most cases.
  • Google has issued a statement on this matter saying it is looking into the problem.

Update, June 2, 2023 (10:50 PM ET): Google has given Android Authority a statement on this issue. Here is the statement in full:

We’re aware of a very small number of Google Pixel Watch users having an issue with the glass on the back of the watch. We’re working to identify its cause and rectify the situation as quickly as possible.

Hopefully, Google will get to the bottom of the issue and take care of any customers who come across this problem.


Original article, June 2, 2023 (08:07 AM ET): When it comes to good Wear OS smartwatches, there are fewer options than one might hope to see. The Pixel Watch was Google’s attempt at making a good Wear OS smartwatch, and it lays a solid foundation for Google to build on, as we mention in our Pixel Watch review. However, being a Pixel device, the Pixel Watch suffers from the Pixel hardware curse, as users report their units are randomly popping open.

As compiled by AndroidPolice, there have been multiple instances reported by Pixel Watch owners where the backplate of the watch has come off. When pulling the watch off its magnetic charger, the whole rear plate cleanly slides off.

This indicates that the adhesive responsible for keeping the backplate attached has dried up. In most of these reports, we cannot spot any leftover adhesive residue on the watch or the backplate. The Pixel Watch gets warm when charging, which could also loosen the adhesive over time.

Google has not yet officially acknowledged the problem. Affected users have contacted Google support, and the company has sent a replacement unit to most. Some owners have had to escalate the issue as they were denied a replacement.

It’s troubling to see the increasing frequency of these reports. The Pixel Watch’s dust and water resistance ratings presume a secured backplate. Without the backplate, these ratings no longer hold. It also reduces your confidence in the rating even when the backplate is in place. If the backplate of your watch has come off or is about to come off, we strongly recommend keeping it away from dust and water and contacting Google support.