Pixel Watch: All the Rumors We Know Ahead of Google's Smartwatch Reveal
Google's October event is set to reveal the Pixel Watch's price, release date and other features.
Lisa EadiciccoSenior Editor
Lisa Eadicicco is a senior editor for CNET covering mobile devices. She has been writing about technology for almost a decade. Prior to joining CNET, Lisa served as a senior tech correspondent at Insider covering Apple and the broader consumer tech industry. She was also previously a tech columnist for Time Magazine and got her start as a staff writer for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide.
Google previewed the Pixel Watch back at its I/O conference in May. The company showed what the watch will look like and said it will have certain health-tracking features from its subsidiary Fitbit but didn't reveal much else. Most importantly, we still don't know how much the Pixel Watch will cost or when it'll be available for purchase.
Although Google has made software for wearables for years, the Pixel Watch is the company's first consumer smartwatch. It gives Google the opportunity to show its vision for the ideal Android smartwatch, much like its Pixel phones have done for Android phones.
Here's everything we know -- and have heard -- about the Pixel Watch so far ahead of Google's upcoming event.
Watch this: What to Expect From Pixel Watch, Google's New Fitbit Smartwatch
It will launch this fall alongside the Pixel 7
Google said in May that the Pixel Watch will formally launch this fall. Since Google is holding an event on Oct. 6, there's a chance the Pixel Watch could launch shortly thereafter. If so, the Pixel Watch would follow a similar launch pattern as previous Google products. The Pixel 6, for example, debuted at an Oct. 19 event, while Google held a press conference on Sept. 30 to introduce the Pixel 5 in 2020.
The Pixel Watch has a round design with customizable bands
If there's one thing Google was willing to share, it's what the Pixel Watch looks like. True to the leaks, Google's first smartwatch has a circular face with a domed design and glass that looks like it curves over the edges. The watch is made of recycled stainless steel and there's a tactile crown that looks similar to the Apple Watch's. Customizable straps will be available, too. The watch is expected to come in black, silver and gold color options, and is said to measure 40 millimeters wide and 14 mm thick, according to 9to5Google.
On Sept. 22, just days before Google's Oct. 6 event, the company posted a video to YouTube showing off the watch's design. In the video, we get a closer look at the rotating crown located on the side of the watch, how the Pixel Watch's bands snap onto its body and what the device's watch faces will look like.
Google's Wear OS software and apps will power the watch
Unsurprisingly, Google's new smartwatch will run on its Wear OS platform. Google didn't say much about the watch's software features other than calling it "fluid" and "easy to navigate." Rick Osterloh, Google's senior vice president of devices and services, described the operating system as being "tappable, voice-enabled and glanceable." The company briefly demonstrated how apps like Google Maps, Wallet, Home and the Google Assistant will appear on the watch during its presentation.
It will integrate with Fitbit, but won't replace it
Fitbit's products aren't going anywhere, as evidenced by the recently announced Fitbit Sense 2, Versa 4 and Inspire 3. But you can expect to see some familiar Fitbit features arrive on Google's watch. These include continuous heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking and Active Zone Minutes, which measures the amount of time you spend in specific heart rate zones during exercise. Google also showed how you'll be able to see Fitbit health statistics like heart rate and steps directly from the watch face.
What we don't know, however, is which specific health tracking sensors will be in the Pixel Watch. But what seems clear is that the Pixel Watch will inherit more Fitbit functionality in the future. "This is not a one and done," James Park, Fitbit's co-founder who currently leads Google's wearables division, told CNET's Scott Stein. "We're going to continue improving the software over time.
It will be compatible with Android devices only
Since the Pixel Watch is meant to complement Google's Pixel devices, it will not be iPhone-compatible, according to a Google spokesperson. That's likely part of the reason the Pixel Watch won't replace Fitbit's products, considering Fitbit's watches and trackers work with both iOS and Android.
There will be a cellular option
Google will offer a 4G LTE option of the Pixel Watch, which will enable it to maintain a cellular connection when a phone isn't nearby. Fitbit's smartwatches don't come in a cellular-enabled option, so that's one way Google could distinguish the two product lines from one another.
It will have premium pricing
Google hasn't said how much the Pixel Watch will cost yet. But in a press briefing, Osterloh said it would be priced as a premium product. It's unclear what that means, but it looks like it could be competitive with the Apple Watch Series 8 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 4. Apple's high-end watch starts at $399 (£419, AU$629), while Samsung's usually begins at $250 (£249). That lines up with rumors from 9to5Google and Pricebaba, with the former reporting that the cellular version could start at $399 in the US and the latter saying the Wi-Fi only version could cost between 250 and 350 euros in Europe.
Battery, processor and other specs
Google hasn't revealed much about the Pixel Watch's specifications, but 9to5Google reported some details about the battery, processor and storage capacity. The Pixel Watch will reportedly have a battery capacity of 300 mAh that lasts for about a day on a single charge. That sounds like it might be on par with the Apple Watch, although anecdotally I've been able to get about a day and a half out of the new Series 8.
The Pixel Watch is expected to run on Samsung's Exynos 9110 chip along with a coprocessor and should have 1.5GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, according to 9to5Google. To put that in perspective, the average phone typically has about 8GB of RAM. The Apple Watch also has 32GB of storage, so it sounds like the Pixel Watch will have the same.
There's still a lot we don't know about the Pixel Watch, but we're expecting to learn more in the coming weeks.