GADGETS

Google’s Pixel watch has just leaked


Fitbit

Photography: Victoria Song

As a long-time Android user, I’ve spent most of the decade on the margins of an entire product category, waiting for a wearable device that could match Apple Watch. From startups to traditional watch manufacturers, many companies they promised a decent alternative, just to issue smart watches with harmful trade-offs. Every failure has dashed hopes for a viable rival to the Apple Watch, while Google, the company responsible for the Android smartwatch The OS has seemingly lost interest in its own platform.

Now there is reason to hope again. Google recently woke up from a dream and in partnership with Samsung, whose Galaxy smartwatches have long been the best option for non-iPhone users to make Wear OS 3. When the first smartwatch with the new software platform arrived in the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, critics widely announced it (including us) as the “first good Android smartwatch”. The sale of that watch has increased Android’s share of the wearable market in recent months.

Google plans to continue this momentum with the long-awaited release of its own Pixel Watch. Yes, the Pixel Watch, not the Fitbit, as expected Google’s acquisition of Fitbit last year. I’m not pinning too much hope, but everything I’ve seen so far suggests that Google’s first smartwatch could soon create a dark line on my left wrist.

The latest encouraging information comes from leak Jon Prosser, WHO posted on his YouTube channel which he claims are official promotional photos. Consistent with earlier renderings from the same sources, these leaked marketing materials show images (albeit grainy) of the Google Pixel Watch that has been talked about.

Google Pixel Watch leak

If this is the right thing, the Pixel Watch will have a simple circular design with the face of the watch practically without a frame that seems to fall around the edges. On the right is a large crown for physical controls. And unlike the slightly chunky Apple Watch, the Pixel Watch looks impressively thin on these renders.

It looks, well, luxurious. And while not everyone will be involved in design, the low profile watch looks so small that you probably wouldn’t even notice it during the day, even during training. I also like that there is a physical wheel to connect to Wear OS 3 because dragging around such a small screen can be a hassle.

Although the leak does not reveal specifications or summarize the features, several alleged marketing slides show what you can do with the watch, including the possibility get directions on Google Maps, track health metrics, and answer phone calls.

I admit, I stopped paying close attention to rumors about the Pixel Watch as a way to protect myself from any further heartbreak, but success Pixel 6 has rekindled my faith in Google after some questionable hardware decisions (raise your hands, Pixel 5 owners). Remember, Google upset the smartphone industry when the original Pixel was launched and has a chance to do it again with the Pixel Watch.

But let me slow down for a second, because they still exist too many pieces are missing in this puzzle. How Google plans to position the Pixel Watch — as a full rival to the Apple Watch or a Fitbit-like fitness-oriented wearable deviceit remains a mystery, as are the components tasked with providing a smooth experience (something that past Android watches struggled with).

I’m also worried about what the thinness of the watch means for battery life: Achilles the heel of most wearables. Using a battery that is too small to last all day is a sure way to ruin a smartwatch. I wouldn’t mind a few extra millimeters of thickness if it kept the wearable device alive the other day. I’m guessing here, but poor durability is the kryptonite of many Android watches, and the small design shown in this latest leak upsets me.

It is rumored that Google will introduce the Pixel Watch sometime in 2022, so Android users can start setting up their analog watches for what we all hope will be the last time.



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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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