It feels as though we've been waiting for an own-brand Google smartwatch for years (and that's probably because we have) but at the company's October 6 hardware event, we were finally introduced to the Google Pixel Watch, along with its Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro smartphones.
If you thought it had already been announced then you're right – sort of, as during Google IO 2022, the company first revealed the wearable. Technically, this was more of a tease than a full announcement, but Google was generous with its revelations, showing off the design and talking about what the wearable would be capable of and even confirming that Fitbit tech will be included.
Now we know everything from colorways to cellular connectivity, health and fitness features to price.
Below then you'll find everything you'd likely want to know about the Google Pixel Watch. Will it be enough to trouble the best smartwatches currently available? Only time will tell.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The first flagship watch designed by Google
- What does it cost? Bluetooth = $350 / £339 / AU$549, Cellular (LTE) = $400 / £379 / AU$649
- When is it out? Announced October 6, on sale October 13
Google Pixel Watch release date and price
Google officially launched the Pixel Watch on October 6, alongside the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro.
The Pixel Watch was made available for pre-order on the same day, with an on-sale date of October 13 in nine countries, including the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Japan, Australia and Taiwan.
Aside from the three colorways the Pixel Watch comes in, it's available in two variants – a Bluetooth/WiFi-only model and a 4G LTE cellular version.
The base model costs $350 / £340 / AU$550, while the cellular retails for $400 / £380 / AU$650.
Design and display
The Pixel Watch has been shown off countless times since its original official tease, back during Google I/O 2022, earlier this year, so we were already well acquainted with the timepiece's circular, rounded form factor.
Following its full launch, we now know that curved 3D Gorilla Glass 5 protects its front, while the rest of the 41mm body (yes, just one casing size) is comprised on 80% recycled stainless steel. It's also water resistant up to 5ATM (50 meters), meaning swim-tracking is on the table, plus it weighs 36 grams.
There are four finishes to choose from: a Champagne Gold case with a Hazel Active Band, a matte black case with an Obsidian Active Band, a polished silver case with a Chalk Active Band and a polished silver case with a Charcoal Active Band.
Like the Pixel 7s the finish of the metalwork varies depending on the colorway you choose; as the names suggest, the silver-bodied options sport polished stainless steel, along with the Champagne Gold option, while the matte black Pixel Watch opts for a lightly-textured finish that more readily diffuses light.
Bands attach to the Pixel Watch via a proprietary locking mechanism, 'inspired by how a camera lens attaches to a camera body' according to Google.
Pixel Watch owners will be able to choose from one of 20 band options, made from different materials; including woven fabric, leather and metal promised to arrive in spring 2023.
While the Pixel Watch only arrives in a single casing size, Google includes two sizes of Active Band in the box.
As for the display, it sports a pixel density of 320ppi (meaning it doesn't quite match the Apple Watch 8 for sharpness, at 326ppi), boasts always-on functionality and can brightness boost up to 1000nits, so should be easily visible in bright environments.
Google Pixel Watch software and features
Much like Android 13 preceded the Pixel 7 series' arrival, so too has the refreshed Wear OS experience that comes running on the Pixel Watch.
While Samsung's Galaxy Watch 4 from last year was technically the first timepiece to sport Google's revamped wearable operating system, it wasn't until the Montblanc Summit 3 from this summer that we were introduced to a clean take on the third generation of Wear OS.
Not much appears to have changed with the platform's progression to the Pixel Watch, but Wear OS 3.5 in this instance pairs access to the on-wrist Google Play Store, notification support (including Google apps like Gmail), contactless payment support thanks to Google Pay and NFC, and Google Assistant support (with 'OK, Google' wake word functionality), to Fitbit integration never before seen on the platform.
Google claims the Pixel Watch features 'Fitbit's most accurate heart rate tracking yet', plus it comes with six months of Fitbit Premium; offering brand-specific features like a Daily Readiness Score and Active Zone Minutes.
There's also ECG functionality (as on the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 5, along with the Fitbit Sense, Sense 2 and Charge 5) to analyse your heart rhythm, and even detect atrial fibrillation.
Sleep tracking with sleep stages is included and coming this winter, Google also promised fall detection with Emergency SOS support, meaning the watch will contact the emergency services if it recognises that you've suffered a significant fall.
Google Pixel Watch internals and battery
The Pixel Watch is compatible with Android 8.0 and up but not iOS (as was possible with previous generations of Wear OS). There's also 32GB of onboard storage.
One of the most disappointing rumors that has been rendered true is the Pixel Watch's use of Samsung's aging 10nm Exynos 9110 SoC, used by the South Korean company's own wearables as far back as 2018 and markedly less impressive than the 4nm Exynos W920 that the last two generations of Galaxy Watch rely on.
The main concern here centers around power efficiency, with the pairing of this older chip and a relatively small 294mAh battery pushing hard against Google's promise of up to 24-hours of use.
The included USB-C magnetic puck charger, when plugged into a 18W power adapter, promises to recharge 50% of the Pixel Watch's battery in 30 minutes, 80% in 55 minutes and 100% in 80 minutes.