Since the beginning of Google’s wearables strategy, it has relied on other OEMs to provide the hardware torch for its software. However, demand for Google’s official Pixel Watch has only increased since Wear OS 3 launched last year.
Unfortunately, since 2016, leakers had been promising a Pixel Watch would be available soon, until we learned in 2019 that Google dropped development because their prototypes “didn’t work very well,” dispelling those rumors. Then, after Google IO launched the new Wear OS ecosystem in 2021, the leaker promised the Pixel Watch would come with the Pixel 6, only to (supposedly) delay Google again.
Now that the leaker has promised a Pixel Watch release in 2022, we might be disappointed again. But dig into the leaks and you’ll find legitimate and consistent evidence that the new watch could be arriving soon. Here’s what we know about the Pixel Watch.
Pixel Watch: Announcement and release date
At the moment, we don’t have any official word on the release of the Pixel Watch this year. But the latest Google I/O rumour from leaker Jon Prosser says the company will “tell” the Pixel Watch at an event on May 11, but it won’t launch with the Pixel 7 until October 2022.
Prosser has previously hinted that the watch will be released alongside the Pixel 6a in October 2021, Q1 2022, and after Google I/O. Whether you blame Google’s changing goals or unreliable sources, it’s fair to say the time isn’t coming anytime soon.
Another Pixel Watch leak suggests a watch codenamed “Rohan” could launch in spring 2022, and Google has already allowed prototypes to be tested outside the company. However, that spring date depends on the success of testing, so a new October release date could mean more issues with the watch, or simply that these leaks are wrong.
The actual launch date for the Pixel Watch could currently be mid-to-late October, depending on when the Google Pixel 7 event takes place.
Pixel Watch: Price and models
Contrary to the Pixel Watch’s release date, we haven’t heard any rumors about the Pixel Watch’s price. Since this is Google’s first attempt at making its own smartwatch, we can only speculate at this point.
Google wants it to compete with the Galaxy Watch 4 and Apple Watch Series 7, which means between $250 and $400, the Apple Watch will be more expensive. In theory, it could be lower, but Google already offers Fitbit for the sub-$200 crowd. Given Google’s push to popularize the Pixel brand, it’s unlikely to go mainstream.
One thing is clear: we haven’t seen any evidence in all these leaks of multiple Pixel Watch models. Unless there is evidence to the contrary, we think Google will sell bezel-less compact watches that follow Apple rather than Samsung.
We’ve also noticed that since the Pixel Watch is said to integrate Fitbit with its watch face, you may end up paying for a Fitbit Premium subscription, which is an extra $10 per month over the cost of the watch.
Pixel Clock Theme
While we don’t expect to see more than one Pixel Watch model, if the recent data leak is correct, we’ll get three Pixel Watch color options: black, gray, and gold. We’ve also seen leaked renders of the Pixel Watch, giving us a hypothetical look at the rumored smartwatch.
Google Pixel Watch leaked
As you can see from the pictures, the watch has a very minimalist design with almost no bezel. It looks like Google will use a rotating crown on the right center of the case. As for the color options for the case, it looks like users will choose between black and silver.
Google Pixel Watch marketing image
Last December, leaked marketing materials for the Pixel Watch confirmed a flat edge-to-edge design reminiscent of 2015’s Moto 360.
A recently leaked image shows a potential Pixel Watch design with a rotating crown and a Google Assistant button hidden in the top-right corner. This suggests that the watch may have two buttons, or three if the second button appears in the bottom right corner.
A more nasty rumor is that the Pixel Watch will use a proprietary strap that attaches directly to the case. While it looks appealing, it can be very difficult to change the strap. Most other popular Android smartwatches give you more options for changing bands, which puts the Pixel Watch at a disadvantage.
Pixel Watch: Specs and software
We know that Google will be using the new Wear OS 3 jointly developed by Google and Samsung. But given the supposed timing of Google I/O 2022 and leaked software renders, we can expect Google to add its own Pixel-like approach to the software, compared to what Samsung did with the Galaxy Watch 4.
The analog version of the “camp” Wear OS 3 shown above shows a circular pill-shaped menu that looks very similar to the Galaxy Watch 4’s UI, with the dial’s color changing from day to night
Multiple sources have confirmed that the Pixel Watch will support Fitbit integration, with some watch faces showing health data and Fitbit icons. We’re excited to see how the Pixel Watch compares to upcoming Fitbit models like the Fitbit Sense 2, as the company has promised Wear OS for future Fitbit smartwatches.
However, based on a 2020 patent, it’s unlikely that the Google Pixel Watch will even support “skin gestures.” In theory, the watch uses an accelerometer to detect finger touches on the skin surrounding the watch by “using mechanical waves that propagate through the user’s body part between the input area and the wearable device.” Google’s last attempt at useless gesture controls was with the Pixel 4’s Soli sensor, so it’s not out of the question that Google will try it.
A leak from Android Police suggests the Pixel Watch will have 32GB of storage and possibly eSIM functionality.
We don’t yet know the size, weight, battery capacity or other important information of the watch. But the leaks mentioned above suggest that the watch needs to be charged every day, which is disappointing but expected.