Google Pixel Watch: news, rumors, price, features, and release date
The tech giant’s foray into smartwatches is long-awaited, but Google is seemingly unenthusiastic about building its flagship Pixel watch.
UPDATE 5/11/2022 3:01 PM ET: Well, it’s finally official. Google shares a first look at the upcoming Pixel Watch. The watch will release alongside the Pixel 7 later this year, roughly sometime in the fall. And we’ll likely learn a lot more about the upcoming wearable in the coming months. The original post follows below.
Google has been working on its own smartwatch for years. When the tech giant bought Fitbit, we expected an imminent release, but all we got was yet another Fitbit. So, what’s happened to the fabled Pixel Watch?
Google makes the software that runs on every Android smartwatch. That said, it still hasn’t made its own hardware for one, preferring to have partnerships with other companies. Is this year the year that changes?
Below is a rundown of all the rumors about the Pixel Watch that we could find.
On May 10, 2018, Evan Blass, a well-known American tech journalist, shared information from his trusted source on Twitter regarding Google releasing a Pixel Watch alongside the Pixel 3 and 3 XL. That didn’t materialize, with Google confirming there won’t be a Pixel Watch for 2018.
Around that time, WinFuture mentioned that the Pixel Watch could come in three variations. Whether that still holds true four years later is anyone’s guess at this point.
Later in 2019, Business Insider broke a story that took the internet by storm. Google was ready to release a smartwatch alongside the first Pixel phones, way back in 2016. Instead of releasing it, Google’s hardware chief Rick Osterloh killed it. There was talk that it didn’t feel premium enough to release with the Pixel.
Things were quiet until August of 2020 when ETNews breathed a new life into fans’ dying hope. The Korean news website alleged that Samsung obtained an order from Google to manufacture a sensor capable of detecting body movements.
Possible Pixel Watch release date
Fast-forward to 2022 and we might see the Pixel Watch for real. Leaks of the packaging happened at the end of last year.
Now, the latest word on a Pixel Watch release date is May, possibly, or not long after that. That’s pretty soon, for a device that we weren’t sure would ever release.
Jon Prosser thinks it’ll get teased at Google I/O next week, with an official release in the fall alongside the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro.
That device will be slim and rounded; a marked contrast to the squared-off Apple Watch that dominates the wearables category. Can Google fit enough battery into such a small package? Early reports say it might need charging daily, so maybe not.
New renders back up earlier leaks
The ever-reliable @OnLeaks graced us with a purported render of the device. At least, the main body of it, without a strap or any visible way to attach one. One thing’s for sure, Google is leaning into its purchase of Fitbit, with a prominent Fitbit logo on the watch face.
The software might not suck, either. Google teamed up with Samsung, integrating its Tizen software into Wear OS. Expect battery optimizations, better apps, and a wider range of apps. Oh, and “the best of Fitbit” will be coming to Wear OS, after Google’s acquisition of the fitness company.
The Pixel Watch might also feature a Samsung-created processor. No more underpowered Snapdragon chips, which should make Wear OS snappier. It will need to be powerful, as the next-gen Google Assistant that handles all voice processing on-device is also rumored to come to the Pixel Watch.
An inventory leak from early March says that we should expect three colors for the Pixel Watch – gray, black, and gold. That leak also says it will come with 32GB of storage. Will it come with a cellular-enabled version? 9to5Google says yes, on at least one of the three versions.
As we inch closer to the expected release date, we got another leak, this time about battery capacity. A 9to5Google source says the battery will be 300mAh. That’s great news, as that battery size should give 24hrs of battery life, or even more if the Pixel Watch has some neat optimizations.
How much will the Pixel Watch cost?
While we’re fairly sure it’s going to release, we haven’t seen any details related to cost. Any guesses we have for pricing are just that, guesses. Those are based on other competing devices, and if Google plans to go head-to-head with the Apple Watch, or aim for the existing Android smartwatch market.
Google isn’t going to want to price itself out of the market. The last Fitbit before Google bought the company was the Sense, which retails for $300. The Apple Watch Series 7 starts at $400 without cellular connectivity or $500 for the cellular model.
Two leakers on Twitter say it’ll be going up against the Apple Watch 7, with a $300-400 price tag. One of the leakers believes it will fall in that price range, with the second saying it could be closer to $400 (or even more). If $400 gets you cellular connectivity, Google could have a winner here.
Again, these prices are rumors, or maybe even speculation with some embellishment. Until Google officially announces, take these as possible prices.
Rounding up the Google Pixel Watch rumors
We also don’t know for sure what chip is going to power it. Both Samsung and Qualcomm have been linked with the project before. That was before Google got into its own custom chips, with the Tensor chip powering the Pixel 6. Maybe a modified Tensor chip will power the Pixel Watch.
Will the wearable even be called the Pixel Watch? Will it work with iOS and Android, as on early Wear OS watches, or only Android like the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 does.
For our part, we’ll be happy if Google can manage a mid-range smartwatch for its first attempt. It needs to have advanced health and fitness tracking, NFC for Google Pay, accurate GPS, and a design that’ll survive the pool.
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- Review: Sequent SuperCharger 2.1 – a smartwatch that’s you-powered
- Facebook is working on a smartwatch because of course they are
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