Google’s first smartwatch is highly anticipated to the point that it probably won’t be able to live up to unsustainable expectations. After almost nothing for months, Pixel Watch leaks have been piling up, and fast. Here’s everything you need to know.
Delays, false auroras, and more saw the first wearable device made by Google finally debut alongside the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro. Thanks to a mountain of last minute leaks, we have a pretty solid picture of what to expect, and it will be interesting, to say the least.
Design and accessories
The first leak of the Pixel Watch essentially confirmed the design so early on that it was almost a shock that it looked so similar when it finally broke cover in the first half of 2022. It’s not often designs are etched into the marble at such an early stage, but with the Pixel Watch being rumored for so long, this could explain the design consistency.
Google sticks to a simple circular shape with a curved edge-to-edge design that certainly borrows from the likes of the Ressence Type 3 Luxury Mechanical Watch but without the exorbitant cost of entry. A rotating beveled crown also sits on the right side with a button just above it. It hasn’t been explicitly confirmed, but it looks like you can use it to scroll through on-screen menus like you can on many other Wear OS watches.
A major point of contention looks like the 1.4 inch screen. Even though renders showed fairly thin bezels, leaked unboxed Pixel Watch demo units show that the bezels will be quite noticeable in the right light. Unlike many OEMs, Google will only offer its first wearable in a 40mm size, but with an actual usable screen space of 30mm according to early hands-on leaks.
Only three frame colors should be available. Black, gray and gold cases are expected to be available, which will match the frames of Pixel 7 series devices in Obsidian, Snow and Hazel finishes respectively. It’ll be great for cohesion if you pick up the latest smartphone, but there will be a huge selection of first-party straps and bands to choose from.
A proprietary connector is about to be used, which was briefly teased during the Disclosure of I/O. It looks like the Pixel Watch bands slide into place and can be detached with a release button on the actual watch’s outer bezel.
A recent leak confirmed that a 20mm silicone band will be the default Pixel Watch accessory. Positioned as the “Active” band, it looks like the Fitbit-style Infinity Band will start at $49. Leaked images of the Pixel Watch strap collection show that Google will offer mesh straps, multiple silicone options, leather straps, and premium metal straps.
The internals reported for the Pixel Watch might leave a lot to be desired, as our own leak indicates that it will use the Exynos 9110 chipset. This four-year-old processor was used on the original Galaxy Watch. It’s hard not to worry, but it’s worth noting that a coprocessor is about to be used, which could help alleviate major slowdowns and performance bottlenecks.
Another rumor suggests the Pixel Watch was launch planned for 2018, which led to the use of an old processor. That could very well be the case, but we don’t know if it’s true. Since Google used less powerful processors for flagship devices in the pastthere could be a whole other reason.
A saving grace could be the other interns. The Pixel Watch is expected to come with over 1.5GB of RAM, which means it should surpass what’s offered on any other Wear OS watch today. In addition, 32 GB of storage should be offered. This is double that of existing devices and allows users to store content for offline playback and hopefully more as apps are updated.
Battery and Charging
One of the most concerning aspects of the Pixel Watch is the expected battery life. Early rumor suggests battery capacity will be capped just under the 300mAh threshold. Google has since confirmed “all-day battery life” with leaked marketing materials. It’s not really clear whether this means when using the always-on display feature or not.
Twenty-four hours of battery life seems to be the average at least for a new laptop. The 40mm size means a larger battery might have been harder to successfully add without increasing the thickness, but we’ll hold judgment until we’ve tried the Pixel Watch for ourselves.
The Pixel Watch will charge via a magnetic puck in the same way as the Galaxy Watch series. It’s unclear whether you can charge wirelessly using a Qi charger or reverse wireless charging. The actual charging cable has a USB-C connector rather than USB-A, but that should mean it will be compatible with existing Pixel chargers.
Software and Features
We know Google has reinvigorated Wear OS with help from Samsung, so it’s high time a first-party wearable hits store shelves with the latest version pre-installed. A recent retail packaging leak shows that Wear OS 3.5 should come preloaded on the Pixel Watch. This is great news as it matches the recently released Galaxy Watch 5 series. Until recently, Samsung was the flagship of Wear OS as there are only four watches on the market with this particular version.
Back at I/O, a number of apps have been teased, including a new Google Home app for Wear OS, as well as additional integration with Fitbit for fitness and health tracking. Google Fit can still be used, but it looks like you’ll be able to track workouts and more using Fitbit. Leaked marketing material says you’ll need a Fitbit Premium Membership to access the in-depth tracking features of Pixel Watch. However, we just don’t know at this point.
The Google Assistant will definitely be a big priority, while there’s Google Pay/Wallet tap-to-pay and Maps navigation. Your Pixel watch may unlock your Android device and your Chromebookwhile there will be a Companion app “Google Pixel Watch”. Quick pairing should also be available to speed up the connection and switching of Bluetooth headphones.
A number of exclusive watch faces have been detailed, including some you’ll be familiar with if you’ve used a Nest Hub before. We already have preview some of these watch faces which Google is working on. The designs span digital and analog, with most offering complication slots, such as for Fitbit.
Fast Pair will make the process of pairing the Pixel Watch to your Android phone pretty seamless. A recent leak showed that the linking process will prompt you to download a dedicated app from the Google Play Store. We don’t yet know what the app will look like, but if it looks like the Galaxy Wearable app, it will likely offer additional controls and customization options.
At the end of augustwe reported that Google is pricing the Cellular Pixel Watch with LTE at $399 in the US. Since, we learned that the Wi-Fi/Bluetooth model costs $349.99. Additionally, it will be available in the black case with an obsidian (black), silver/chalk (white-beige), and gold/hazelnut (green) strap. The default LTE case/band configurations are almost the same except for Silver/Charcoal (gray).
We know that thanks to a leak if you pre-order the Pixel 7 Pro in the UK, the Pixel Watch will be given as a free gift. This would be a substantial pre-release incentive for anyone who wants to get the latest handset and wearable straight from the Google Store. Other regions offer free access to Fitbit Premium with purchase. Offers will likely vary by region.
Release date and availability
Google will detail and unveil the Pixel 7, 7 Pro, and Pixel Watch in detail at an in-person launch event in New York City on October 6. In previous years, the end of live streaming coincided with the opening of pre-orders. We’re betting it will again, but there’s been no explicit leak on when the Pixel Watch will start shipping. However, with the Pixel 7 set to go on sale from October 13, it wouldn’t be a stretch to expect the Pixel Watch to be available at the same time.
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