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Pixel Watch: Everything to know about Google’s long-rumoured smartwatch

With the recent teasing of the Pixel 6 series, and Google’s upcoming livestream, the rumour mill is abound for the as-yet-unseen Pixel Watch. Before any official confirmation, here’s everything we know so far about the illusive Pixel Watch.

It’s been quite the year for Google – not only did the company announce the long overdue Wear OS update that wearable fans have been waiting for, but it’s also ventured on a complete design shift for the upcoming Pixel 6 smartphones. The only thing that’s yet to appear is the Pixel Watch, the existence of which has been discussed in hush tones for almost four years.

The appearance of Wear OS 3 earlier this year would imply that a proper Pixel Watch is closer now than it’s ever been, but a new rumour would suggest otherwise. There’s a lot of information out there to make sense of, but ahead of Google’s October event, these are all the rumours you need to know about Pixel Watch including its design, release date, features and more.

Pixel Watch Release Date

Out of all the rumours floating around for the Pixel Watch, a release date is the hardest thing to pin down right now. Earlier rumblings suggested that the Pixel Watch might get a 2021 release date but as the year is drawing to a close, this estimation is looking increasingly unlikely.

The latest bit of info comes from leaker Jon Prosser who now suggests that the Pixel Watch has been delayed to the first-quarter of 2022. Given that similar products like the recently released Apple Watch 7 have had to endure minor delays due to the ongoing chip shortage, it isn’t too hard to imagine Google postponing the reveal to ensure sufficient levels of stock for launch.

Pixel Watch Design

  • Leaked design renders show off the slim profile
  • Near bezel-less display
  • Single physical input

Prior to his newly revised release date, Jon Prosser managed to get his hands on several images of the Pixel Watch, known internally at Google as ‘Project Rohan’. Being unable to share the leaked images directly however, Prosser has developed multiples renders based upon those images.

According to these renders, the Pixel Watch will feature a near bezel-less display, with the ability to spill over the sides, much like the Apple Watch 6. While it’s difficult to gain the exact measurements from these mock-ups, the watch itself does look incredibly slim – arguably one of the slimmest smartwatches we’ve seen.

There’s only one physical input on the device’s right-hand side: a presumably rotating crown. This means it’s likely that aside from having quick access to an app via a long press, as well as rotating the crown to navigate menus, the majority of interaction with the Pixel Watch will be done by the touchscreen.

Pixel Watch

Image credit: John Prosser

It’s also worth pointing out that the watch strap teased here is unlike anything we’ve seen before. While it bears some resemblance to Fitbit’s Infinity Band, there appears to be some sort of magnetic panelling on the inside of the strap that could be used for adjusting the length.

It seems like this could be a big year for Google’s design. Leaked renders suggest the Pixel 6 is going to look very different from the phones that went before it and we know Android 12 is integrating some sleek new design elements. If you want to get an idea of what these Android changes are, you can download the Android 12 beta now.

Pixel Watch Features

  • Set to run on the new Wear OS
  • Google is partnering with Samsung on the software
  • There will be Fitbit integration

At this point in time, there’s no way of knowing exactly what Google has in store as far as features go for the Pixel Watch, but there is one aspect that is bound to set it apart, and that’s an updated Wear OS.

During Goole I/O 2021, Google announced it was partnering with Samsung to merge the Korean brand’s Tizen software with its own Wear OS to create one wearable ecosystem that’ll hopefully combine the best of both.

Google will also be tightly integrating Fitbit, a brand it now owns, into the OS to give Wear OS watches greatly improved fitness skills. Fitbit said it would be bringing its tracking and goals across and that it would be building premium smartwatches running the software in the future. So there’s every chance the next Fitbit Versa could be running this software.

Wear OS update

Aside from the small animation you can see below, there wasn’t much to go on regarding how this will look or function but the prospect is tempting.

During the announcement, it was revealed that this updated software would focus on battery life, performance and making it easier for developers to build apps. One example of the focus on performance was a new shortcut that would let you jump quickly between apps. You’ll also be able to finally download music from YouTube Music, a feature that has been absent since the death of Google Play Music.

There’s an abundance of devices from the likes of Mobvoi, Fossil and more that utilise Wear OS and Google said these companies would still be able to use the new software.

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