This time around, Google is said to be working on a Pixel Watch. Unlike the countless other times this has been rumored, this time it is finally happening — states the report, which focuses on the current situation.
While Google has been making its own smartphones for years under the Pixel brand (which has since expanded to include other accessories such as wireless headphones), the company has never made its own smartwatch, despite having a companion wearable platform for Android since 2014.
Codename: Rohan — speculated specifications
According to a report, the new upcoming Google watch — it’s unclear whether Google will actually call it a “Pixel Watch” yet — will serve much the same purpose as the Pixel phones do for Android: it will serve as an example for both consumers and hardware partners of what Google’s software can do when given the right hardware. The source say the device will cost more than a Fitbit and will compete more directly with the Apple Watch.
The watch will include basic fitness tracking features such as step counting and a heart rate monitor, and Google is said to be working on a Fitbit integration into Wear OS (codenamed “Nightlight”) to debut with the new watch when it launches.
Wear OS 3 is Google’s latest smartwatch platform reinvention. Unlike previous versions of Wear OS (or Android Wear), Wear OS 3 was developed in collaboration with Samsung, combining Google’s Tizen platform with its own.
But, for the time being, Wear OS 3 has only been available on Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4, which runs a heavily customized version of the new operating system that foregoes most of Google’s services and apps in favor of Samsung’s own.
“According to artistic renders” seen by the source of this report “and employees who have seen it,” the Google watch will be round and “have no physical bezel.” Is it possible to have a screen with no bezels? Wow, just think about it.
It will “require daily charging” “in its current form.” According to one employee who tested the device, the charging process takes time. Since the band market is far too profitable to give away by using standards, the watch will use proprietary bands, just like Apple.
It’s still unclear whether the Rohan will be marketed as a Pixel Watch, but one thing is certain: it won’t be a Fitbit device. Fitbit was purchased by Google last year, and the deal closed in January. Fitbit stated that it would “eventually” build Wear OS watches, but nothing has come of it so far.
The earliest a launch could take place is next spring, but only if the latest round of testing goes well. The Rohan is meant to compete with the Apple Watch, and if this report is accurate, it already appears to be doing so admirably in terms of battery life. The Pixel Watch will also be more expensive than any Fitbit, with the Sense starting at $299. This means the Pixel Watch will cost at least $349, if not more.