Google may not be able to keep silent for much longer. Google couldn’t help but offer us our first official look at the Pixel Watch at Google I/O 2022, as well as our first official look at what Wear OS 3.1 will look like on it.
The circular watch casing — it’s made of recycled stainless steel, don’t you know? — is complemented with a spinning, tactile crown and adjustable bands, though they appear to be exclusive to the Pixel Watch. We’re inquiring with Google about the specifics.
We know the watch is LTE-capable since it has to be connected to the same network as your phone. NFC will be available on the Pixel Watch for Google Wallet payments, making it easy to leave your wallet at home. It contains sensors for continuous heart rate and sleep tracking, as well as the option to connect to your Fitbit account for metric sharing, which is a feature we’ve been waiting for.
Fitbit integration will also be available on the Pixel Watch before any other watch. Users will be able to see extra information such as Active Zone Minutes, as well as steps and other fitness data. Health Connect APIs will be available to users, allowing for the sharing of health data.
Google’s version of “the new Wear OS experience” is barely mentioned here, but we’re assured that it includes Maps, Google Assistant, and apps from the Google Play Store. Unfortunately, it was the only information we received on the watch during Google I/O. We’ll have to wait a little longer for further details on the other features.
Full details and an official retail debut with the rest of the Made by Google product portfolio, including the Pixel 7, are expected in the coming months, according to the firm. The Pixel Buds Pro, the Pixel 6a, a yet-unnamed Tensor-powered Android tablet due in 2023, and Google’s first set of AR glasses since Glass were introduced a decade ago were also announced.
The device, of course, has the typical Google suite of apps, such as Assistant, Maps, and Wallet, which will be available without a smartphone thanks to an optional LTE connection. The product will, of course, be engineered to operate better with the Pixel 7, which will be presented alongside it (including the use of features like Find My Device and smart home control). It won’t function with iOS devices, which is odd but not surprising.
I expect/hope Google has some more surprises in store for us. It has a nice-looking piece of hardware and a tonne of software resources from Fitbit and Google. But, in order to make a splash in the already established smartwatch industry, all of this and more will have to come together in a very appealing way. The Pixel Watch will be “premium-priced,” according to Osterloh, implying that it would be more costly than Fitbit’s $200 Versa. Hopefully, it will be priced between that and the new $350 Galaxy Watch.