Google officially announced its first smartwatch at I/O 2022 in May, but only offered a “first look” ahead of a full reveal this fall alongside the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro. 9to5Google has revealed a number of new details since then, and here’s everything we know about the Pixel Watch.
- Original: July 4th
- Update 1: September 1st
- Update 2: September 20
Design, display and materials
The Pixel watch is made up of three distinct layers, starting with a domed glass top that curves down to recycled stainless steel sides. According to an early measurement, the watch’s circular body is about 14mm thick and over 40mm wide, while the actual flat display appears to be about 30mm wide (or 1.18 inches). Google hasn’t revealed what the display’s resolution is or what kind of glass protects it.
There is a crown in the form of a glass cap that rotates and can be pressed at the 3 o’clock position with a button just above it. The case also has a long speaker grill on the left edge and two small circular cutouts.
The top and bottom house fairly large strap slots, with the 20mm straps attached via a proprietary mechanism that involves inserting at an angle and then locking into place.
Colors and stripes
Google showed off the Pixel Watch in three stainless steel colors:
- Silver: glossy, polished finish
- Black: non-reflective, a possible matte finish
- Gold: darker shade
We reported in June that Google was working on an extensive collection of watch bands, though not all of them might be released or made directly by the company:
- Silicone Band: Already featured by Google and very similar to Fitbit’s Infinity Bands
- Cloth strip
- Elastic band
- Two leather straps: differentiated by style and lighter/darker shades
- Link bracelet: metal
- Milanese-style mesh band: Made of stainless steel in colors that match the three body colors
Pixel Watch Specifications
9to5Google in May reported that the Pixel Watch is powered by Samsung’s Exynos 9110. It features a co-processor and over 1.5GB of RAM, which should surpass what’s offered on Wear OS today. Meanwhile, the 32GB storage space is double that of existing devices and allows users to store many songs offline.
This chip dates back to 2018 with the Tizen-powered Galaxy Watch, but different tasks should be offloaded to the co-processor. It is not clear how Google will identify this SoC and whether the Tensor branding will be applied.
We also reported that the Pixel Watch has a battery that comes in at just under 300mAh and should last a day. Charging is via a magnetic disk with USB-C on the other end.
In addition to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, Google will offer an LTE cellular model of the Pixel Watch. Other notable specs include built-in GPS and 50 meters of water resistance.
Fitbit and health on Pixel Watch
A big focus of the Pixel Watch is health, fitness and exercise. Of course, there’s Fitbit integration which gives an on-board view of all your stats – just like on existing Fitbit devices, while Google Fit will also be offered.
The sensor array underneath the Pixel Watch looks identical to that of the Fitbit Luxe and Charge 5. There’s a heart rate sensor and hardware support for SpO2 (blood oxygen) and ECG (electrocardiogram) readings.
Port OS and apps
The Pixel Watch runs Wear OS 3, but it remains to be seen how much Google customizes the experience. It will be significantly different from what Samsung has done (One UI Watch) and could be closer to the upcoming Montblanc release or Fossil updates.
For example, there should be a simple list of apps instead of a circular bubble launcher, while you can swipe up to see notifications. The pull down for quick settings is unchanged, while the tiles are accessed by swiping vertically on the watch face.
We’ve already previewed a few watch faces that Google is working on. Designs span digital and analog, with most offering slots for complications such as Fitbit.
Google Assistant will definitely be a big focus, while there’s Google Pay/Wallet tap-to-pay and Maps navigation. All of these apps exist today, but the company also introduced a Google Home app with a stream of gadgets and the ability to receive alerts for the front door.
Pixel Watch can unlock your Android device and Chromebook, while there will be a companion app “Google Pixel Watch”. Fast Pair should also be available to speed up connecting and switching Bluetooth headphones.
Pixel Watch price and release
In late August, we reported that Google was pricing the Pixel Watch phone with LTE at $399 in the US. I have since learned that the Wi-Fi/Bluetooth model costs $349.99. Additionally, it will be available in Black case with Obsidian (black), Silver/Chalk (white-beige) and Gold/Halnut (green-ish) band. The default LTE case/band configurations are pretty much the same except for silver/charcoal (grey).
That could change ahead of the fall launch, which we can confirm is happening alongside the availability of the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro without a lag, if all goes according to plan. Carrier deals should bring the price down, and we’ve already seen evidence that Google Fi is preparing support.
The Bluetooth/Wi-Fi Pixel Watch will be cheaper, but so far Google’s offering is slightly more expensive than Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 5 ($279). One thing to note is the use of recycled stainless steel, which is usually a premium material, although no sapphire glass is used.
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