A Pixel Watch from Google has a somewhat Herculean task of resurrecting the company’s reputation in the wearables realm. Wear OS has languished in recent years in part due to the lack of a solid processor from Qualcomm to power these watches and Google’s rudderless management of the platform.
Wear OS itself has been turning this around over the last year with visual and feature updates and the partnership announced with Samsung at Google I/O certainly gave some renewed hope for the platform with the most successful Android wearable manufacturer rejoining Wear OS.
Here’s a look at everything that we know so far regarding the Pixel Watch including the expected release date, pricing, specs and more.
Pixel Watch: Price and availability
The majority of the information available at present originates from a significant leak revealed by Jon Prosser, which included a projected release date of October 2021, presumably alongside the Pixel 6. Prosser was quick to add caveats that this could be pushed back for a variety of reasons, but this would certainly be a perfect pairing for Google’s re-entry into the flagship phone space.
Unfortunately, we have no official or leaked information regarding pricing yet. From the fit and finish of the watch, it certainly would seem like this is going to be a high-end offering, which would suggest a starting price of anywhere from $299 to $399. Given the Apple Watch SE’s $279 starting price and Google’s lack of standing in this market, the lower side of that range seems more likely.
Pixel Watch: Design
The images we have so far are renders created by @rendersbyian in cooperation with Jon Prosser. They are based on alleged images and marketing materials that Prosser received in the aforementioned leak. According to his sources, Google is unsurprisingly going with a rounded watch design, this is a major differentiating factor from the Apple Watch which appears permanently locked to its rounded rectangle shape. However, it does take one design cue from the Apple Watch with its digital crown on the right side of the watch.
The rounded design is hardly unique. But it does manage to bring a new look to that design with a bezel-less curved glass display that meets the curved underside of the watch at the attachment point for the digital crown.
The body of the watch looks incredibly thin in the renders, but no measurements were offered. This carries over to the face size, the Apple Watch currently comes in 40mm or 44mm, it’s unclear if there will be multiple sizes available here and if so what those sizes are.
It seems there are two color options for the body of the watch, silver and black. The digital crown is then colored to match with the silver model having a white center to the crown. The band depicted in the renders appears to be silicon with a clasp that locks into an internal set of ridges. This is apparently one of roughly 20 band designs.
Pixel Watch: Features
Here things get much more uncertain. The rumors to date have had almost nothing to say about specific hardware features beyond the design. Returning again to the Prosser leak, he speculated that this could be running on some form of Google’s silicon like the Pixel 6, but he did not seem confident of that. That would leave the Snapdragon Wear 4100 as the only real option.
From a software standpoint, this will be running Wear OS, so we can expect all of those basics. However, the forthcoming Wear OS will bring new glanceable tiles to the interface along with some other new features. With Google’s Fitbit acquisition we would also expect Google to enhance its fitness features. Droid Life spotted a survey from Google back in February asking users to gauge interest in a couple of dozen health and fitness features for wearables that perhaps points to just such an update.
Of course with the new partnership with Samsung on Wear OS, it’s possible an additional update of this nature will need to wait a bit longer.
The Pixel Watch looks amazing in the renders that we have seen so far, but we definitely more leaks to help complete the picture. Google also faces stiff competition with the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic expected in August.
The Snapdragon 4100 believed to be in the Pixel Watch was announced in June of 2020, but we are just now starting to get smartwatches using it. We need time to see whether it lives up to the hype after four years without any meaningful 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 is capable of an impressive melding of hardware and software, but it needs to prove itself when it comes to wearables.
Finally, it’s worth noting that while there have been enough leaks on Pixel Watch from reliable sources to suggest that it is definitely in development, the limited volume of leaks may suggest that it isn’t quite ready yet.