That's according to well-known tipster Jon Prosser, who says this is "the first we've seen a date set on the device behind the scenes" while also leaving open the possibility that the launch date could get pushed back.
Now the May 26 date makes quite a lot of sense, because we would expect the Google IO developer event to be running around that time. Last year it ran from May 18-20, and Google used the opportunity to unveil Wear OS 3.
Pixel Watch 👇I’m hearing that Google is planning on launching it on Thursday, May 26th — over year since we leaked it.This is the first we’ve seen a set date on the device behind the scenes.Google is known for pushing back dates — but if they do, we’ll know 👀 pic.twitter.com/Kk0D4Bom6dJanuary 21, 2022
Leaked pictures and specs
Could Google once again use its May showcase to reveal something smartwatch-related? In this case, an actual smartwatch. Discussions of Wear OS 3 seem likely at Google IO 2022, so a new Pixel Watch would fit right in.
We've already seen what claim to be images of the Pixel Watch, showing off a minimal bezel and very little in the way of display bezels. If these pictures are accurate, the Pixel Watch is going to come with a single physical crown button on the side.
Another Pixel Watch rumor we've heard points to a capable chipset and some neat Google Assistant tricks. As for the software, that's going to be Wear OS 3, which has so far not made it to many other smartwatches on the market.
Analysis: another major hardware launch for Google
While Google excels in certain areas – web search, maps, email, video, digital assistants – its hardware division is finding it hard to keep up with the Apples and Samsungs of the world, and its Pixel Watch will be entering a tough market too.
The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are great phones, but they're not selling at anywhere near the level of the iPhone or the Galaxy handsets – and Google doesn't really have a tablet at all. Its Chromebooks have certainly been a success, with a certain group of users, but there's been a recent downturn here as well.
And there's no shortage of competition for a potential Pixel Watch: the Apple Watch 7, the Galaxy Watch 4, the Fossil Gen 6, the Garmin Fenix 7 and plenty more besides. Anyone looking to buy a smartwatch at the moment has got plenty of impressive models to pick from even without the Pixel Watch.
As with the Pixel phones, Google will be looking to add some unique tricks to its smartwatch to make it stand out for the crowd – so expect some tight integration with other Google apps and services, including Google Assistant.
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Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.