At its I/O developer conference, Google finally announced its long-awaited Pixel Watch. The device marks the first time the search giant will put its logo on the body of a smartphone, and it may mean that Android users will finally get the proper Apple Watch alternative they’ve been craving.
During the event, Google didn’t go into specifics specs-wise for the Pixel Watch, and that’s because the watch won’t be released until the fall. It’ll be released alongside the Pixel 7 which was also teased during the show.
What we do know about the watch is its design, which is circular like many previous Wear OS watches. It has curved glass on the front that virtually blends with the rest of its construction, resulting in a very polished aesthetic that’s clean and minimal. There’s a single crown on the right side for navigation that also serves as a button, and it seems that the watch will only be sold in one color. The straps are replaceable using a proprietary mechanism, so you’ll have to shop around for Pixel Watch-designed bands instead of something like a standard 22mm.
Google touted the Pixel Watch’s software experience, which will primarily be driven by three things: notifications, the Google Assistant, and Fitbit integration. While the two former elements were generally assumed to take up much of the watch’s appeal, the latter is much more interesting since it’s Google’s first meaningful integration of Fitbit’s services after Google is spending $2.1 billion to acquire Fitbit.
The Pixel Watch will be able to show you all the same stats as as Fitbit, including your Active Zone Minutes. It’ll also integrate with Google Fit to provide the same fitness features many Wear OS users are familiar with. Right now, it’s unclear what type of fitness-oriented hardware features the Pixel Watch boasts.
As for the rest of the watch, Google says it will offer contactless payments through the new Google Wallet, integration with Google Maps, a refreshed UI for Wear OS, and compatibility with Find My Device. The Pixel Watch will be sold in both Wi-Fi only and 4G LTE configurations so you can leave your phone at home and only use the watch.
Pricing and exact availability remain unknown, but one thing’s for certain: all eyes will be on this watch until it hits the market. With years of anticipation behind it, Google knows it has to deliver on the experience, and it’ll be interesting to see if it can pull it off.