The long-awaited Google Pixel Watch could at last be nearing launch. Pixel Watch rumors have been heating up ahead of Google I/O 2022 this week.
Since Google has thrown its efforts behind a new version of Wear OS with features from Tizen and Fitbit, it seems poised to release hardware to match. If Google does have a Pixel Watch planned, it could take on the Apple Watch 7, Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and all the other best smartwatches on the market.
A number of patents and acquisitions in the wearable space (ahem, Fitbit) point to the Pixel Watch debut being a matter of when, not if. Plus, an increasing number of rumors claim the Pixel Watch is definitely real and could even be announced in May.
Google also knows smartwatches and fitness trackers comprise one of the fastest growing consumer tech categories. It would be wise to put out a model of its own out as an accessory for its Pixel smartphones, like the Google Pixel 6 and Google Pixel 6 Pro or the upcoming Google Pixel 6a or Pixel 7.
So when will the Pixel Watch arrive? And what will it look like? What features will make it stand out? Here are all the rumors we know about the Google Pixel Watch’s release date, price, design and more.
Google Pixel Watch news (updated May 9)
Google Pixel Watch possible release date
While the Google Pixel Watch was tipped for a May release, leaker Jon Prosser now claims it’ll be revealed at Google I/O in May but then released in October.
“From what I understand, Google will officially be announcing the Pixel 6a + “teasing” the Pixel Watch,” Prosser tweeted in reference with what to expect at Google I/O, which is primarily a developer-focussed event. “Pixel Watch will be formally announced and launched with Pixel 7 and 7 Pro in October.”
Another leak via Evan Blass, which references wearOS 3.1, says it “won’t be long now,” so it’s very possible that we could see the Pixel Watch launch any day now.
For what it’s worth, Google CEO Sundar Pichai has confirmed that new hardware is likely to be shown off at Google I/O, though it’s unclear if that will be the Pixel Watch, the Pixel 6a smartphone — or even both devices.
The Pixel Watch has also passed through various regulatory hurdles, including the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, which only tends to happen closer to launch. That suggests an I/O unveiling could well be on the cards, but whether Google will make us wait until October is another matter.
Google Pixel Watch price speculation
How much will the Google Pixel Watch cost? Not as much as an Apple Watch, if we had to guess. There aren’t many Google Pixel Watch cost leaks to reference, but we’d place it in the mid-priced category. The Apple Watch Series 7 and Galaxy Watch 4 start at $399 and $249 respectively, so we’d expect Google to try and undercut these two watches slightly. Similar to how the Google Pixel 6 series is cheaper than both the Galaxy S22 and the iPhone 13.
It won’t be the cheapest option on store shelves, but it could fall in the $200-$350 price range depending on size and LTE variants. Again, this is just speculation based on what we know about Google’s pricing strategy for the rest of its hardware division. Insider reports the watch will cost more than a Fitbit, though.
Google Pixel Watch design
The Google Pixel Watch’s design has allegedly leaked in full, thanks to a prototype that has reportedly been found at a restaurant. The images, reported on first by Android Central, show a rounded design with what looks like a crown on the right side, but there are two buttons as well.
In addition, it appears that the Pixel Watch will use a proprietary connector for watch bands, but that is not confirmed. There’s a heart rate sensor but it’s not easy to tell what other sensors there are.
Leaker Yogesh Brar claims that the Pixel Watch will have the same sensors as the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, which means it could come with the same ‘BioActive Sensor’ that can measure heart rate, ECG and body fat percentage.
Brar’s sources also claim that there will be two different Pixel Watch sizes, and at least four different colored bands.
We first received a realistic glimpse at the Google Pixel Watch design when Jon Prosser tweeted a leaked render of what he claims is the Pixel Watch back in April, showing off a rounded design with what appears to be a physical crown. The person in possession of the watch claimed on Reddit that the crown is very similar to the Apple Watch’s, and has a satisfying click when pressed.
The Reddit AMA also revealed that there may be a speaker grille and microphone on the left side of the watch, and no visible spot for inserting a SIM card — which isn’t a huge surprise.
The watch face of the alleged prototype is around an inch and a half in diameter, with a noticeable bezel, and around half an inch in thickness. Other Reddit users also suggested that the charging connection could be similar to the Fitbit Versa range.
The leaker more recently shared a series of official-looking Pixel Watch marketing images. The images tease a wearable with a round face with a bezel-less display that seems to curve around the edges of the smartwatch. On the right-hand side, there’s a single crown that looks set to offer the only physical controls for the watch.
As such, the Pixel Watch looks set to be a rather clean and minimalist smartwatch, somewhat in keeping with the design of other Pixel devices. Interchangeable bands, meanwhile, would offer wearers a bit of customization.
The image above may be the first official render image of the Pixel Watch, leaked by 91Mobiles. It shows the curvature of the round display, and the crown on the right side like previous leaks, but also a Google Pixel 6-like UI, and complications for Fitbit fitness features.
We have seen some awesome concept art, too. These images come from designer James Tsai. Inspired by the company’s “Made By Google” devices, Tsai delivered a playful set of renders that even have Google-esque names like “milk white”, “sweet papaya” and “boba black.”
Colors for the Google Pixel Watch also appear to have been hinted at in a Pixel Superfans virtual coloring book. These seem to include Just Black, Lemon Pop, Pale Yellow and Dark Olive; think standard colours in a pastel form.
A different color leak gives just three colors, simply identified as black, gray and gold rather than with the more playful Google names. This came from one particular U.S. carrier though, so it’s possible that there may be more colors on offer that aren’t going to be sold by this company.
A Google patent application has shown off what looks like a set of skin-based touch controls for what could be the Pixel Watch and next-gen Pixel Buds.
The idea being that sensors would allow a user’s skin to be a form of touch-sensitive surface for the controlling of wireless earbuds and an expansion of the control surface of a smartwatch. Of course, a patent application is simply the first stages of such tech, and it may never see the light of day. But such a system in the Pixel Watch would certainly let it stand out from other smartwatches.
Google Pixel Watch specs
German publication WinFuture reported that Google is working on three Pixel Watch models, code-named Ling, Triton and Sardine. However, Insider’s more recent report instead speaks of the overall project being known within Google as “Rohan.”
Exactly what these Pixel Watch code names mean, however, is unknown. It seems plausible, given the names, that the devices will come in different sizes, and possibly different specs.
One could be lifestyle focused, making use of the $40 million of Fossil’s smartwatch technology it acquired last year. Another could become one of the best fitness trackers, benefiting from Google’s ownership of Fitbit.
On that note, it’s worth casting a glance at this report from ET News which states Google has placed a large order for body movement tracking sensors from Samsung. Those, in hand with Qualcomm’s latest smartwatch chip and rumors of on-board storage and LTE connectivity, could make for a well-specced Pixel Watch.
A new report claims the Pixel Watch will have a 300 mAh battery, though it’s unclear if that’s just for one model or for all of Google’s wearables. If true, that 300 mAh would likely produce battery life comparable to the Galaxy Watch 4.
Google Pixel Watch Wear OS
This one is no surprise, but Google will bundle its own Wear OS platform in the Pixel Watch. But what could make the software different or, should we say, better?
Popular Wear OS features on third-party smartwatches from TicWatch and Fossil include continuous heart-rate monitoring via Google Fit, contactless payments with Google Pay and hands-free Google Assistant access, plus a Google Play smartwatch store. In the past, these features didn’t absolve Wear OS’s flaws, but the newer, more refined version of Wear OS works great on the Galaxy Watch 4.
We should get a better sense of what Wear OS without Samsung’s own integrated UI looks like when new Wear OS-eligible smartwatches are updated in early 2022.
Insider’s report, meanwhile, suggested the Pixel Watch will have basic features including step counting and heart-rate monitoring. It also claimed that Google’s acquisition of Fitbit may result in some type of Fitbit integration with Wear OS; that integration is reportedly codenamed “Nightlight”.
A separate report from 9to5Google shows how the Google Pixel Watch could integrate Fitbit fitness tracking across various watch faces. One of the watch faces in the Wear OS 3 video goes as far as to include the Fitbit logo alongside a running tally of stairs climbed and total calories burned.
The bottom line is that Google’s software is evolving and getting better. One of our editors really likes Wear OS and has some ideas for Google on what he wants from a Pixel Watch.
Google Pixel Watch vs Apple Watch
The Google Pixel Watch could potentially beat the Apple Watch at its own game, but it’s going to take a serious commitment from Google and some killer features. This would include a stellar Wear OS experience that’s intuitive and offers a wide array of great apps. Google would also need to leverage Google Assistant and its advantages over Siri right on your wrist while also offering seamless integration with other Google services like Gmail, Google Photos and Google calendar.
When it comes to health tracking, the Pixel Watch will need to build on its Fitbit acquisition and create a fitness wearable that beats the Apple Watch on sensors and workout tracking. The Fitbit Daily Readiness Score and Active Zone Minutes are two particularly great features.
Last but not least, the Pixel Watch will need competitive pricing and longer battery life than the Apple Watch to truly win.