Google Pixel Watch could have a camera in an unexpected place

(Image credit: Google)

The Google Pixel Watch is a long-rumored smartwatch that we're hoping to see a little more of in the near future, and a recently surfaced patent filed by Google suggests the company is developing some news ideas.

The patent, found by Dutch blog LetsGoDigital, shows the Google Pixel Watch in rough detail from a few different angles – it doesn't tell us much, but there is one big feature it teases; a camera.

In the center of the watch face shown in the patents, where the hands would meet in an analogue clock, you can see a small lens. We don't know any details such as sensor, aperture or megapixel count, but it does show that Google is at least considering giving the Pixel Watch the ability to takes photos.

Smartwatches with cameras aren't actually a new phenomenon; the Nubia Alpha, which launched in early 2019, had a 5MP camera. 

We found the Nubia Alpha's camera fine in terms of picture quality when viewed on the device, and you could easily export pictures to a smartphone app, but it was hard to hold a wearable at the right angle in order to take any kind of a decent picture.

So we're not convinced that cameras in smartwatches are really necessary, but Google's a pioneer of software, and pretty well respected with hardware too, so it could find a way to make a wrist-mounted camera work.

Hopefully we'll find out soon, but we've been hearing about the Google Pixel Watch for over a year now, and if Google is still filing patents for the wearable, it implies they haven't settled on a final design yet.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist.