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New rumor claims Google is actually, really, for sure making its own smartwatch
- A new report claims Google is developing an in-house, Google-branded smartwatch, which could debut next year.
- The smartwatch would offer basic fitness tracking and day-long battery life and would compete with the Apple Watch.
- The Google watch is not to be confused with Fitbit’s Wear OS smartwatch, which was teased at Google I/O 2021.
It’s almost laughable how many Google Pixel Watch rumors there’ve been over the years. Whether Google has actually worked on and scrapped dozens of in-house smartwatches remains to be seen, but the fact is we’ve still not seen anything close to a real-life Google Pixel Watch to this day.
Business Insider now claims Google is actually working on an in-house smartwatch that could be the Google Pixel Watch the internet has been after since 2014. No, really this time. Please stop laughing.
According to the report, Google’s supposed in-house smartwatch — codenamed “Rohan” — would serve as the main showcase for Google’s Wear OS software and hardware efforts, similar to how Google Pixel phones showcase Android proper. To be clear, Rohan is only a codename for the device; there is reportedly no official name for the device yet.
The Insider report claims the device will have a round face and have “no physical bezel.” It’ll also require daily charging. One Insider source lamented that the watch’s charging speeds were slow.
‘Rohan’ features and clash with Fitbit
The new smartwatch would supposedly offer basic fitness and health tracking features, like step tracking and a heart rate monitor. According to sources speaking to The Verge, the smartwatch could cost “more than a Fitbit” and compete directly with the Apple Watch. If the Google watch were to cost more than, say, the Fitbit Sense, we could be looking at a $350-$400 price point for Google’s wearable. That’s how much base model Apple Watches cost.
The Google-made 'Rohan' wearable would supposedly offer basic activity tracking and one-day battery life.
Notably, this smartwatch is not to be confused with Fitbit’s upcoming Wear OS-powered smartwatch, which was teased at Google I/O this year. Alongside the rumored Google watch, the company is also planning to debut some sort of Fitbit integration into Wear OS, codenamed “Nightlight.” During Google’s developer conference, it showed concept images of Fitbit’s Today app and Active Zone Minutes running on Wear OS. However, we are unsure if these are the Fitbit integrations Google is planning.
Google executives reportedly told employees it plans to launch the smartwatch sometime in 2022.
Externally, Google’s wearable plans seem to be all over the place. The company just cleared a $2.1 billion purchase of Fitbit, which will keep making fitness trackers and smartwatches under its own name. If these new rumors prove to be true, Google would not only be investing in its own Google-branded smartwatch hardware, it’d also be pushing Fitbit hardware at the same time — not to mention keeping up with development for Wear OS 3 on its own smartwatch, Wear OS 3 on third-party devices, and Fitbit’s grandfathered-in operating system that powers Sense and Versa 3 devices. It all seems to be a bit messy.
If we hear any other Google watch rumors, we’ll keep you updated.