Google recently rebranded Android Wear as Wear OS, saying that the name change was aimed at preparing for a diverse future of wearable devices. The rumor mill is certain that Google is going to launch a Pixel-branded smartwatch later this year to challenge the dominance of Apple Watch in the wearable market. A Google Pixel smartwatch makes sense, as the company is pushing aggressively in the hardware business. It has already launched Pixelbooks, Pixel earbuds, and Pixel smartphones. Wearable market is the next frontier.
The Google Pixel smartwatch will allow the company to show off the full potential of its Wear OS software. The existing Android Wear devices look and feel the same with little differentiation. Here’s what you need to know about the Google Pixel smartwatch:
Pixel smartwatch design
Folks at Cnet speculate that Google could design and develop the device in-house rather than joining hands with third-party vendors to make it. It will give the company tighter control over the watch’s design and features. A report claimed in May that Google was working on three, not one, wearable devices. We haven’t yet seen any leaked photos or renders of Pixel watches, but we expect them to be sleek and aesthetically-pleasing to persuade buyers away from Apple Watch.
Since there are three different models, there could be one focused on style and another dedicated to fitness tracking.
Google Pixel smartwatch: Hardware specs
Google has confirmed that it was working with Qualcomm to design a new chipset for wearable devices. The chipset they are designing together is the quad-core Snapdragon 3100, which is expected to power the upcoming Pixel watch. It uses the ARM Cortex A7 architecture and Adreno 304 GPU. The Snapdragon 3100 will reportedly be produced using 28nm process technology.
The processor will have a dedicated power management integrated circuit called ‘Blackghost.’ According to XDA Developers, Blackghost will run separately from the main processor to help improve the watch’s battery life. It will also allow the wearable device to respond to voice commands without being woken up. So, we can expect the Google Pixel smartwatch to offer a good battery life of at least three days.
Qualcomm has confirmed that the Snapdragon 3100 would debut this fall. The chipmaker told Wareable last month the Snapdragon 3100 would support features like LTE, GPS, WiFi, pedometer, Bluetooth, heart rate sensor, and the ability to detect stress levels.
The rumor mill expects Google to include an advanced biometric security feature such as facial recognition or in-display fingerprint reader in the Pixel watches. The Wear OS currently lets users secure their devices through a PIN. The watch should also be water- and dust-resistant to let you track your workout in the swimming pool without ruining the device.
Pixel smartwatch: Software capabilities
The Google Pixel smartwatch will run the stock version of Wear OS. It means the Pixel-branded smartwatches should receive faster support and security updates. The Wear OS will get an improved battery saver mode, but it would restrict the features you can use.
The search engine giant has already revealed the features we are going to see in the Wear OS. As expected, Google Assistant will be at the core of the smartwatches. It will bring up smart suggestions and answer your queries much more thoroughly. For instance, if you ask about the weather, it will not only show you details about the current weather but also weather forecast for the next few days.
Google Assistant will also get a voice on Wear OS. It means you’ll get audible responses from the virtual assistant if your smartwatch has a built-in speaker or is synced with Bluetooth earphones. The Google Pixel smartwatch will also be able to control smart devices at your home. Google aims to make its watches practical and useful, not another gimmicky piece of hardware.
The Wear OS will also focus heavily on fitness. It will offer you deep insights into your health data, besides suggesting workouts to try.
Google Pixel smartwatch price and release date
Google is going to release the third-gen Pixel phones in October. The company refreshes its Pixel phones on 4th October, and is expected to stick to the same pattern this year. Reliable tipster Evan Blass has learned from his sources that Google will unveil the Pixel-branded watch alongside Pixel 3 phones and second-gen Pixel Buds. If it happens, the Pixel smartwatch will compete directly with Apple’s upcoming Series 4 Watch during the crucial holiday shopping season.
Besides the Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, and second-gen Pixel Buds, a reliable source tells me — with high confidence — that Google's fall hardware event will also introduce a Pixel-branded watch. Have a great summer!
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) May 10, 2018
A full-fledged Pixel smartwatch should cost at least $300 in the US. Depending on the model, the prices could go even higher. By comparison, the Apple Watch Series 3 costs $329 for the base model.