Wearables

Google finally launches its own WearOS smartwatch, the Pixel Watch

Google finally launches its own WearOS smartwatch, the Pixel Watch
The Pixel Watch is billed as the first smartwatch to deliver the best of Google and Fitbit
The Pixel Watch is billed as the first smartwatch to deliver the best of Google and Fitbit
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The Pixel Watch is billed as the first smartwatch to deliver the best of Google and Fitbit
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The Pixel Watch is billed as the first smartwatch to deliver the best of Google and Fitbit
Fitbit integration puts exercise modes within reach, along with access to key workout and health metrics
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Fitbit integration puts exercise modes within reach, along with access to key workout and health metrics
The stylish Pixel Watch features a 320-ppi AMOLED display, a haptic crown plus a side button, and runs WearOS 3.5
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The stylish Pixel Watch features a 320-ppi AMOLED display, a haptic crown plus a side button, and runs WearOS 3.5
The Pixel Watch can monitor heart rate and check for atrial fibrillation via an ECG app, features built-in GPS and comes with 6 months access for Fitbit Premium
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The Pixel Watch can monitor heart rate and check for atrial fibrillation via an ECG app, features built-in GPS and comes with 6 months access for Fitbit Premium
The Pixel Watch is up for pre-order, with shipping expected to start from October 13 in the US, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, France, Japan, Australia and Taiwan
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The Pixel Watch is up for pre-order, with shipping expected to start from October 13 in the US, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, France, Japan, Australia and Taiwan
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The rumors and leaks have been many, but today Google finally pulled back the curtain on its very first smartwatch. The Pixel Watch combines aspects of the Google universe with health and fitness smarts from fellow family member Fitbit for a best of both worlds wearable.

Starting at the top, the Pixel Watch features a 41-mm (1.6-in)-diameter scratch-resistant circular Corning Gorilla Glass dome atop a stainless steel body. The 320-ppi AMOLED always-on display supports the DCI-P3 color gamut and can get up to 1,000 nits of brightness. And there's a haptic crown to the side for scrolling onscreen, and a slim button above that allows for quick access to most-used apps. Users can choose from 19 customizable watch faces.

The smartwatch runs Google's WearOS 3.5 mobile operating system, so users can check Gmail or Calendar, pay for stuff using Wallet and get to where they need to be via Maps. Free access to YouTube Music Premium for 3 months is included in the ticket price, to line up ad-free music on the go, and Google Assistant is available for hands-free voice searches, as well as control over compatible smart home devices.

The wearable is powered by an Exynos 9110 system-on-chip with a Cortex M33 co-processor, 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of flash storage. It comes in two connectivity variants – one with Bluetooth 5.0/802.11n Wi-Fi only, and the other with added 4G mobile connectivity built in for use without pairing to a handset.

The stylish Pixel Watch features a 320-ppi AMOLED display, a haptic crown plus a side button, and runs WearOS 3.5
The stylish Pixel Watch features a 320-ppi AMOLED display, a haptic crown plus a side button, and runs WearOS 3.5

Fast Pair is supported for quick and easy connection to Android devices, such as the new Pixel smartphones and the Pixel Buds Bluetooth earphones.

Google has also tapped into Fitbit's expertise, redesigning the health and fitness experience specifically for the Pixel Watch while also delivering its "most accurate heart-rate tracking yet" via the optical sensor. Plus there's an ECG app that checks for signs of atrial fibrillation. Other onboard sensors include an altimeter, blood oxygen sensor, a "multipurpose" electrical sensor and compass.

Fitbit integration puts exercise modes within reach, along with access to key workout and health metrics
Fitbit integration puts exercise modes within reach, along with access to key workout and health metrics

The Pixel Watch sports 40 exercise modes out of the box, the wearable can be submerged in the drink to a depth of 50 m (164 ft), and there's a dashboard in the Fitbit app for insights into key metrics. GPS tracking is cooked in too, the device can monitor sleep patterns and serve up a sleep score, and data-hungry users can also look forward to six months of access to Fitbit Premium for additional features, access to guided workouts and mindfulness sessions.

Despite being relatively small and thin on the wrist (its just 12.3 mm/0.48 in high and weighs in at 32 g/1.1 oz, without the strap), the Pixel Watch's 294-mAh battery is reckoned good for up to 24 hours of continuous use between charges, and fast-charging over USB-C can top it up to 50% in 30 minutes or 100% in around 80 minutes.

The Pixel Watch is up for pre-order, with shipping expected to start from October 13 in the US, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, France, Japan, Australia and Taiwan
The Pixel Watch is up for pre-order, with shipping expected to start from October 13 in the US, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, France, Japan, Australia and Taiwan

Google has also built in an Emergency SOS feature that will send alerts to emergency services or pre-loaded contacts, with fall detection coming next year.

The Bluetooth/Wi-Fi version of the Pixel Watch is up for pre-order now for US$349, while the 4G model will set you back $399. A selection of 20 available watchbands are available, and easily switched out via an attach and lock mechanism inspired by the way lenses attach to a camera body. Shipping is expected to start from October 13.

Product page: Pixel Watch

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4 comments
4 comments
Daishi
Much better option than trying to get an Apple watch to work with Android.
foxpup
It would be a nice watch in a setting where EVERYTHING around you is soft and/or fuzzy because with a bezel sticking out like that you wouldn't want to be elsewhere. Casio makes a much better design with a recessed bezel so it has a chance of not getting all scratched up in the REAL WORLD.
DavidB
C’mon, Apple. Please make a watch that’s similarly thin and round. I have no interest in walking around with an iPod strapped to my wrist.
LaurelS
I actually think the round design is useless because only the one line of data in the middle/diameter is fully readable. The rest are truncated. Having worn an Apple Watch for 4 years, l now realize how much better and more functional the oblong shape is.