Have you ever wondered what $2.1 billion could buy? In Google’s case, it’s your own pebble-shaped smartwatch. The Pixel Watch has been rumored since the search giant, YouTube owner and somewhat capricious phone maker announced its acquisition of Fitbit in 2019 — after a prototype was said to have been spotted at an American restaurant and then completely leaked — It’s finally legal.
Announced at Google’s annual I/O conference in Mountain View, Calif., it’s… pretty much as anyone who’s been following the long-running saga could have predicted. If what you’re predicting is the last teaser ahead of a full reveal later this year.
So, what do we know about the Google Pixel Watch now?
Well, it’s a nifty little thing with a domed design, an Apple Watch-style crown, and recycled stainless steel construction. As with smartwatches made in Cupertino, you can also customize your Pixel Watch band if you need to dress neatly in the office, or when you’re sweating.
If the hardware looks familiar, Google is counting on its software prowess to separate the Pixel Watch from the usually dizzying array of fitness-focused wearables. To do so, it will combine Fitbit’s long-standing expertise in fitness tracking with the latest Wear OS operating system, which details Samsung and Google’s generally well-received Wear OS 3 partnership last year. Continuous heart rate and sleep tracking is incorporated into the mix, along with stats like “active zone minutes” to ensure you’re getting the most effort/pain out of your workouts.
Of course, the billion-dollar question here is whether these are enough to make a big difference in the smartwatch market that Apple has absolutely dominated to date. Remember, it sells more timepieces designed by Jony Ive than the entire Swiss watch industry sells in a year. To reach those same heights, Google’s Pixel Watch needs to climb a hellish mountain. Given that quite a bit of information about the device is still being withheld (including its all-important price and release date), we’d be foolish to rush into any immediate judgment here.