After a lengthy drought, the floodgates seem to have opened for Google Pixel Watch rumors, as hot on the heels of renders seemingly showing the watch, we’ve now heard a number of key details about it.
9to5Google has found mention of 'PIXEL_EXPERIENCE_WATCH' in a recent Google app update, which tells us a couple of things. Firstly, it strongly suggests that Google’s first smartwatch will have Pixel branding, and secondly, the mention of ‘experience’ suggests that there will be some Wear OS features that are exclusive to the Pixel Watch.
We say that because Google uses the term ‘experience’ in code for the Pixel phones to designate exclusive Android features.
We’re not certain yet what those features will be, but one of them might be on-device processing for Google Assistant. This is something already offered on Pixel phones, and it means that Google Assistant can work faster, and can even carry out some tasks without an internet connection.
9to5Google has found references to this feature in various Google apps in relation to ‘Rohan’, which is believed to be a codename for the Pixel Watch. Google Assistant might be getting a redesign on the wearable too, with the image below also having been dug up (this time in a Wear OS 3 emulator).
The curvy light bar at the bottom would show that Assistant is running, while your search query and any response would appear above it. Interestingly this image appears to also show a hardware button in addition to the crown, yet no such button is present on leaked Pixel Watch images. Still, perhaps this is a generic image, or perhaps there will be multiple Google Pixel Watch models.
Finally, while digging into Wear OS-related code, the site also found evidence that the Pixel Watch might have a Samsung Exynos chipset.
This wouldn’t be surprising at all, since the Exynos W920 in the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is the best chipset currently available to Wear OS devices, and since Samsung worked with Google on the latest version of Wear OS itself. It’s also previously been rumored that the Pixel Watch would use this chipset.
That said, this leak doesn’t name that specific chipset, it just points to an Exynos one in general, so it’s possible the Pixel Watch will use a different model.
Analysis: good battery life and widespread support could make this the top Wear OS watch
Given all the leaks, it’s possible that the Google Pixel Watch will launch soon, and if it does then its main Wear OS competition will be the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic.
These are currently the only smartwatches running Wear OS 3, and they’re high-end devices, but they have issues, with certain features reserved for Samsung phone owners, and no iPhone compatibility at all.
So if the Google Pixel Watch makes all its features available to all Android phone owners and – better yet – includes iPhone support, then it will have a big advantage over Samsung’s offerings.
Beyond that, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic in particular has poor battery life in our experience, so if Google can manage a solid two days of life or more here, then the Pixel Watch could be the wearable to beat in 2022.
- These are the best smartwatches
Get daily insight, inspiration and deals in your inbox
Get the hottest deals available in your inbox plus news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more from the TechRadar team.
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 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.