OPINION: It’s been quite the week for Google’s illusive smartwatch, with not one but two leaks giving us the chance to ponder once more over what we really want from the Pixel Watch.
The latest bit of leaked information suggests that it’s all steam ahead behind the scenes and that the Pixel Watch will finally see the light of day in 2022. This was corroborated only a few days later by supposedly leaked marketing material for the wearable, showing off a minimalistic yet impressive device that’s putting just as much of an emphasis on being stylish as it is in being useful.
Until we have concrete information from Google however, it’s still a guessing game as to what the final product will look like (or even how it’ll perform), so with that in mind, I couldn’t help but take it upon myself to throw my own hopes into the mix over what the Pixel Watch needs to do if it truly wants to take down the competition.
Show what Wear OS 3 is made of
Wear OS 3 works like a dream on the Galaxy Watch 4, but with it still being the only wearable to date to use the software, it’s hard to know exactly where Google’s input ends and Samsung’s overlay begins. With that in mind, Google needs to show Wear OS in its purest, most ideal form, much in the same vein as how the Pixel series does for Android.
After all, if Wear OS 3 really is the key to giving watchOS a run for its money, the benefits it brings to the table need to be clearly understood from the get-go.
Bring the best of Fitbit
Many eyebrows were raised when Google announced its intention to buy wearable brand Fitbit, but in the time since the acquisition, we’ve yet to see any noticeable changes in the products that either company puts out – but that’s destined to change. Google has already let it slip that aspects of Fitbit’s ecosystem will make their way to Wear OS 3, but to what extent remains to be seen.
Given how well Fitbit devices break down the fitness tracking process in a way that’s not only fun and engaging but easy to understand, these features could end up being a killer app for the Pixel Watch, particularly as Fitbit understands health tracking a lot better than Apple ever could.
Give the watch faces their due
Apple takes great care in deciding which watch faces make their way to the Apple Watch, to the point that each new addition feels like a mini-event – and rightly so. Whether it has been designed to be eye-catching or informative, each new watch face complements the overall allure that has made the Apple Watch a must-have accessory for years.
Samsung did a tremendous job of injecting style into its Galaxy Watch 4 watch faces, but now it’s Google’s turn to show that it also cares about a watch’s primary function: timekeeping. It might be daft to some, but nothing has made me want to ditch a watch faster than a mundane collection of watch faces.
Beat the Apple Watch on battery
This point, above all, should be the most obvious way for Google to score a win. Even now, in its seventh generation, the Apple Watch has fallen seriously short when it comes to battery life, and while this was a more forgivable issue in the wearable’s infancy, it’s now a glaring hole in the Apple Watch’s armour.
We already know from the time spent with the Galaxy Watch 4 that it’s possible for a Wear OS 3 watch to reach two days under the right circumstances, but if the Pixel Watch can hit the three day mark (just as the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra did) then it’s an immediate home-run for Google.
Don’t hold back on features
This can also be filed as the one thing that the Pixel Watch cannot do. Despite its accomplishments, the Galaxy Watch 4 took a knock for not having Google Assistant at launch (in fact, it’s still nowhere to be seen). Strangely, I ran into a similar issue with the Fossil Gen 6, which had a tile in place for the Alexa smart assistant, adorned with the message ‘coming soon’.
With rumours for the Pixel Watch dating as far back as 2018, it would be downright embarrassing for the device to launch without all of its major features in the box on day one. It’s bad enough that a handful of older watches have to wait until late 2022 for a full Wear OS 3 upgrade – here’s hoping that the Pixel Watch doesn’t get added to the list.