Alphabet Inc.‘s GOOG GOOGL Google recently confirmed the existence of its long-rumored Pixel Watch — its take on Apple Inc.‘s AAPL Apple Watch.
What Happened: Google announced the Pixel Watch at Google I/O 2022 and it is likely to be launched after making its debut on Oct. 6 at an event alongside the Pixel 7. The fact that the product made it through the Bluetooth Special Interest Group’s checks in April is another indication that it is nearing launch. While many already expect this new device to become the most fearsome Apple Watch competitor, Loup Funds co-founder Gene Munster said back in May that Google will have a hard time competing with the Cupertino giant in the wearable market.
See Also: Google’s Upcoming Pixel Watch May Not Make You Miss Apple’s Wearable; Here’s Why
Why It’s Important: The Pixel Watch’s fitness tracking will be most probably based on the capabilities featured in devices produced by Fitbit — a company acquired by Alphabet in late 2019. This might be one of the most appreciated Pixel Watch features, given how much better Fitbit’s suite is than Google’s underwhelming health application. It is expected that the device will feature Fitbit’s workout tracking, active zone minutes and other health-tracking tools. The device will also purportedly have the same kind of sensors found on the Fitbit Luxe and Charge 5 with a heart-rate sensor that supports SpO2 and ECG readings.
The rumored pricing of $399 for the LTE model places the Pixel Watch in aggressive competition with Apple’s competing mobile network-enabled device, which costs an extra $100 for the smaller — 41 mm — version. The two devices are also likely to have a lot in common considering that the Pixel Watch’s expected manufacturer Taiwan’s Compal Electronics also made Apple’s wearable.
Google is reportedly working on as many as six interchangeable Pixel Watch straps that would launch alongside the new wearable device. Still, Alphabet’s take on the Apple watch may be rather underwhelming in some compartments. That’s especially considering that it is rumored to ship with a 10nm Exynos 9110 chip, the same that we’ve seen in 2018’s original Samsung Galaxy Watch alongside a BioActive biometric sensor for measuring heart rate, electrocardiogram and body fat percentage that was featured in August 2021’s Galaxy Watch 4. Still, a tweet by Qualcomm suggests that the Pixel Watch could instead feature the new Snapdragon Wear 5100 system on a chip.
Google’s latest device will probably ship with a co-processor meant to help with performance and possibly more than 1.5GB of random access memory alongside 32 gigabytes of storage space — enough for over 9,500 average songs to be stored on board. The rumored 300 mAh battery is larger than the ones featured in the Galaxy Watch 4 but smaller than Apple Watch 7’s. That battery reportedly won’t allow for more than a day of usage with a rumored charging time of 110 minutes, the same charging time as the Galaxy Watch 4, showcasing a lack of fast charging.
A Wear OS rebirth: The device will run Wear OS, Google’s own smartwatch operative system, which has seen notoriously little love by the company — leaving it a high-potential platform plagued by too many bugs to depend on in everyday life. However, the infamously unstable operating system was more recently updated and displayed on the Galaxy Watch 4, and further improvements are expected to come with the release of the Pixel Watch.
Alphabet may bet on its superior artificial intelligence prowess and put Google Assistant — arguably a far superior service compared to Siri — front and center in its timepiece. Despite Google’s better artificial intelligence systems, it will still be hard for the company to beat the Cupertino giant at its own game — meaning that we will see rather interesting developments in the near future.
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