A Pixel Watch, if that’s what Google calls its smartwatch, faces the somewhat Herculean task of resurrecting the company’s reputation in wearables. Wear OS has languished in recent years partly due to the lack of a solid processor from Qualcomm to power these watches and Google’s rudderless handling of the platform.
Wear OS has recovered slightly over the past year with visual and functional updates combined with an announced partnership with Samsung at Google I/O. All of this has generated renewed interest and much-needed market share for the platform, but the Galaxy Watch 4 alone cannot keep Wear OS alive.
Here’s a rundown of everything we know so far about the Pixel Watch, including the expected release date, pricing, specs and more.
Pixel Watch: price and availability
The majority of the information available right now comes from a major leak revealed by Jon Prosser, which included an expected October 2021 release date, presumably alongside the Pixel 6. proven to be incorrect, but it should be noted Prosser still stated the uncertainty regarding this time frame.
Ahead of October’s Pixel event, Prosser said, “Last I heard it’s been delayed until Q1 2022.” In early December, a detailed Insider report also claimed the Pixel Watch would arrive in 2022, but didn’t offer a more specific timeline. Given that the product appears to have been set to release late last year, it seems likely that it will arrive via Google I/O in May at the latest, but that’s pure speculation.
Pixel Watch Don’t expect that at tomorrow’s event. Last I heard, it was postponed to the first quarter of 2022. It’s still happening, but not tomorrow. https://t.co/Rd0dGN3yekOctober 18, 2021
Of course, we don’t have any official pricing information yet, but the Insider report claimed it would be closer to Apple Watch pricing than Fitbit. This suggests a starting price of between $299 and $399. Some rumors have suggested three variants of the Pixel Watch including one with 4G LTE connectivity, which would open it up to a wider price range.
Given the Apple Watch SE‘s $279 starting price and Google’s lack of position in that market, it’s expected to start at the lower end of that range. However, Google may see the budget wearable realm as where its Fitbit offerings take place. Google told Google I/O that Fitbit hardware running the new Wear OS is coming, but we don’t have any specific rumors about when yet.
Pixel Watch: Design
The images we have so far are renders created by @rendersbyian in collaboration with Jon Prosser. They are based on alleged images and marketing materials Prosser received in the aforementioned leak. The Insider report essentially mirrored Prosser’s design claims, so while the images are limited, they’re highly believable.
According to Prosser’s sources, Google is unsurprisingly opting for a rounded watch design, it’s a major differentiator from the Apple Watch which seems permanently locked to its rounded rectangular shape. However, it takes a design cue from the Apple Watch with its digital crown on the right side of the watch.
The rounded design is not unique. But it manages to bring a new look to this design with a bezel-less curved glass display that meets the curved underside of the watch at the digital crown attachment point.
The watch body looks incredibly thin in renders, but no measurements have been offered. This carries over to face size, the Apple Watch is currently available in 40mm or 44mm, it is unclear if there will be multiple sizes available here and if so what those sizes are.
It looks like there are two color options for the watch body, silver and black. The digital crown is then colored to match the silver model having a white center on the crown. The band depicted in the renders appears to be silicone with a clasp that locks into an internal set of ridges. It’s apparently one of about 20 band designs.
Pixel Watch: Features
Here, things become much more uncertain. The rumors so far have almost nothing to say about specific hardware features beyond the design. Returning again to Prosser’s leak, he speculated that it might work on a form of Google silicon like the Pixel 6, but he didn’t seem convinced of that. That would leave the Snapdragon Wear 4100 as the only real option.
From a software standpoint, it will run on Wear OS, so we can expect all that basics. However, the upcoming Wear OS will bring new visible tiles to the interface along with other new features. The Insider report added that it will feature Fitbit integration, but had no details on that. Droid Life spotted a Google survey in February asking users to rate interest in a few dozen health and fitness features for wearable devices, so it seems clear fitness is going to get a bigger boost with this. portable.
The Pixel Watch looks amazing in renders, but we definitely need more leaks to complete the picture. Google also faces fierce competition, with the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic quickly becoming the most popular Wear OS devices for years.
The Snapdragon 4100 supposed to be in the Pixel Watch was announced in June 2020, but we’re only just starting to use it with smartwatches. We need time to see if it lives up to the hype after four years without significant new processors for Wear OS. The rest will likely have to wait until we get our hands on the Pixel Watch. Google has proven with its Pixel phones that it’s capable of an impressive fusion of hardware and software, but it needs to prove itself when it comes to wearables.