For years now, there have been rumors about the Google Pixel watch. Many times, industry experts thought it would be coming one year or another but Google kept pulling it back. Well, the Google Pixel watch is definitely real and it will be coming sooner than you may think!
The Google Pixel Watch is Real!
Just a short time ago, Google filed a trademark for the “Pixel Watch” name. I am actually a bit surprised they had not done this before but they did do it now. In addition, there was an actual Google Pixel watch that was left at a bar and someone took a number of photos of it, including comparison photos. They also started an AMA about it on Reddit.
The Google I/O conference is just around the corner on May 11 so this would be the likely place for Google to finally reveal their own Google Pixel smartwatch. For now, Google has their WearOS that various hardware manufacturers use on their own watches for the Google product family. They also had made a $2.1 billion purchase of FitBit a couple of years ago and continue to build out and sell the FitBit family of watches (which, by the way, do not have a circular watch face or run Google’s own WearOS).
Here is a user contributed photo from the above Reddit thread as well, comparing it to both the Samsung Galaxy 46mm watch and the 40mm Apple Watch.
Who Will the Google Pixel Watch Be For?
Unlike in the Apple system, there are many different watches that have Google’s WearOS system running on them. This means that Google already has a bunch of watches available for their Android phone users to pick up to use along with them (and they even work with iPhones as well, though not as well as an Apple Watch).
So there is not a need for a watch to work seamlessly with a Google smartphone. What will Google attempt to do with the Google Pixel watch to meet a new audience and customer base?
Well, a big market is the fitness market. Sure, there is plenty of space for the lifestyle smartwatch but there are also a ton of them. There are also a variety of styles and flavors as well to look more boardroom business and others to look more fun/fitness. Google appears to be going for simplicity with class as there is no different material bezel like the Samsung watch and it is a simply round device, unlike the Apple Watch.
But this fits with the Google design language. The Google Pixel smartphones are really great pieces of hardware but will never win a design war. They don’t have to because they are very functional and no-nonsense devices. I have always said that Google could do the same with the Google Pixel watch and sell a bunch of them.
Will the Google Pixel Watch Be a Big Play for the Fitness Market?
I think they may want to draw more fitness users from the Garmin realm. Garmin has done an insane job over the years of deepening the area of their own expertise in the outdoor fitness aspect while totally beefing up battery life and even including AMOLED displays in some of their watches. In short, Garmin has really solidified their position in the fitness market while also making their watches even more appealing for those that do not rely on two-way interaction but like the notifications that a smartwatch can provide.
But, Google has something that Garmin does not have and that is a complete ecosystem that totally knows its users. Garmin has done great work with things like suggested workouts and body battery that try to use its various sensors and fitness elements to suggest things to its wearer but Google can go beyond that.
Why the Google Pixel Watch Could Be Great
Google is more widely known for software and that would be the part that could make this be the smartest watch yet.
The Google Assistant is getting smarter and smarter all the time. The Google Pixel watch could really plug into that as it learns everything about your normal routine. Imagine having a tight integration with something like TripIt where the Pixel watch knows your stride length and it gives you the timeframe you need for reaching your next gate at an airport.
Imagine having a restaurant recommendation based on your past dining experiences, time of day, amount of calories burned that day, etc. This could just be the beginning of having one of the best virtual assistants on your wrist all the time!
Google Fit / Google Coach
Google Fit has been made smarter to more accurately track your fitness efforts to let you know that you are a on a healthy lifestyle track. However, there were rumors that Google Coach would be coming and would replace Google Fit. This could be an incredible advance for everyone that wants to not just train more but train better.
The interesting part is that the rumors of Google Coach came out around the time that the Google Pixel watch was rumored to come (back a few years ago) – and is not here yet. It could be that Google is going to launch Google Coach with their Pixel smartwatch as one more way to give it an edge. It could use all the sensors that the future Pixel watch would have built-in for a well-rounded experience.
Google Coach will be able to use the things that it learns from your lifestyle, diet, and even your surroundings to help encourage you in various workouts and to help you if you miss certain workouts.
When you combine the power of Google’s AI technology with a coaching module that lives on your wrist, we could have a virtual coach that adapts your training based on a variety of variables – things like weather, location, food, sleep cycle, heart rate (which can also indicate if something is wrong with your body), workout goals, etc – to give you the best workout each and every day to accomplish your long term goal.
Imagine having your watch tell you what time your workout should be and signaling you ahead of time with the type of food you should eat and when to prep for it. Then, it could tell you the best route, for example, to run to accomplish a workout. For example, if you have a tempo workout, Google Coach could select a running area to give you a route that is not too elevated or full of traffic so you can have a smooth run without stopping. Or, if you need hills, it could recommend the closest, runnable area of hill repeats.
This could work with other fitness disciplines as well. Just plugin your favorite kind of workout and think of the variables that could give you a productive workout plan.
Like the Apple Watch models that utilize the eSIM to connect to your phone plan, Google Pixel 2 and on use eSIMs to work with Google Fi (read a complete FAQ guide on Google Fi here).
This means it would be very simple for a Google Pixel Watch to utilize eSIM technology for users that want to use it with their Google Fi account. This would be a huge benefit to those of us that like to use Google Fi for international travel. The Apple Watch Series models do not work on cellular when outside the home network so this would be a good way for Google to get ahead of Apple in that area.
Plus, imagine how great it would be to have a high-end, first party smartwatch that can stay connected anywhere in the world without using a cellphone. This would be one more way to make Google Assistant a great asset no matter where you are.
But, Battery Life is Key
The big downside to the Apple Watch is its battery life when compared to watches like the Garmin Epix 2 which has an AMOLED display and can get up to 16 days of battery life! If the Google Pixel watch can have battery life that goes at least two full days, that would be a big move by them.
Or, they could introduce some very fast charging for the Google Pixel watch that could give it a full day’s charge in something like 10 minutes. Either way, Google needs to make sure that this new Google Pixel watch has strong power options.
If the Google Pixel Watch does what I would hope it would do, I can say that I think it will be a first-day buy for many fitness enthusiasts. Even iPhone users could strongly benefit from a watch that would use Google’s software on their phone (or in the watch itself) and have the watch help the user to adapt to various fitness activities based on Google’s knowledge of so many aspects of life.
I hope they do it! I really have been looking forward to a Google Pixel watch for years and cannot wait to try it out – even if it isn’t as awesome as I hope it would be. 🙂
Featured image is a screenshot of WearOS and not of the Google Pixel watch.