Google Pixel Watch: will the long-rumored smartwatch show up at Google IO?

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic watch face close up showing app icons
A Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic (Image credit: Future)

The next big event in the Google calendar is Google IO 2022, which kicks off on May 11, and will be host both to new software (including Android 13) and probably new hardware.

But will the Google Pixel Watch be among the announcements? While we can’t be sure just yet, there’s reason to be hopeful. That said, some leaks also suggest we’re in for a longer wait.

Below we’ll look at all the information we have so far on the Google Pixel Watch’s announcement date, so we can figure out whether a Google IO launch is likely.

Evidence for the Pixel Watch at Google IO

There are lots of signs that the Google Pixel Watch could land at Google IO. For one thing, back in January we heard from Jon Prosser (a leaker with a reasonable but not perfect track record) that the Google Pixel Watch would likely be launched on May 26.

That of course would be after IO, but we didn’t know the Google IO dates back then, and it’s close enough that Google IO 2022 is a likely candidate for the launch. That said, more recent leaks from Prosser suggest the date might have changed, as we’ll get to below.

Elsewhere, Evan Blass (a very reliable leaker) claimed in April that “it won’t be long now”, while posting an image of what appears to be part of an online manual for a device with the codename Rohan – which has previously been attached to the wearable.

That doesn’t necessarily mean a launch at Google IO, but does strongly suggest the Pixel Watch is coming soon, so again, IO would be an obvious venue.

Similarly, the wearable has also been spotted on a US carrier's back-end inventory system – which is another sign that the launch is imminent, as is Google filing a trademark for the Pixel Watch name. A much earlier leak also pointed to a launch sometime in 2022 at the very least.

Beyond that, other aspects of the Google Pixel Watch have been extensively leaked, and the wearable has even seemingly been photographed in the wild, which again suggests it’s almost ready for its grand unveiling.

A leaked photo of the Pixel Watch from the front

A leaked image of the Google Pixel Watch (Image credit: Android Central)

Evidence against the Pixel Watch at Google IO

Above we noted that Jon Prosser had predicted a May 26 launch for the Pixel watch – and that’s true – but his source has since revised this, first saying in early March that the date was likely to be pushed, and then in late March that the Pixel Watch now won’t be announced until October, with the wearable likely to land alongside the Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro.

That said, it will still apparently be teased during Google IO, so it might be present, just not fully unveiled.

Will we see the Pixel Watch at Google IO? And what else should you expect?

Prosser is the only source that has specifically said not to expect it at IO, but they’re also the only one that previously suggested it would land there. Other than that, there are various signs that it’s coming soon – perhaps before October – but none of them specifically name Google IO as the venue.

So we’re not at all sure when the Pixel Watch will show up, but we’re not optimistic that it will get fully unveiled at Google IO. That said, we also wouldn’t be overly surprised if it was. At the very least, it seems likely that the wearable will be teased there, so we might get our first official look at it very soon.

Whether the Google Pixel Watch is in attendance or not, there should be plenty of other stuff at Google IO 2022 though, including Android 13, updates to Wear OS, and likely also the Google Pixel 6a.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.