Over the last few years, Google’s hardware team has steadily expanded its reach. It has already forayed into earbuds, smart homes, phones, and even zippy notebooks, but its ambitions continue to grow. According to new reports, Google is developing its smartwatch, with plans to release it as soon as next year if all goes well.
This is very exciting news for Google fans. Until now, Google has primarily focused on the software side of smartwatches, developing technology such as Wear OS and allowing third-party watchmakers to build hardware around it. Google, on the other hand, may soon be competing with the very wearable manufacturers it has supported for so long, such as Samsung.
In any case, the device has reportedly been codenamed “Rohan” internally, but that is unlikely to be its final name. It’s more likely that it will ship with a name like “Pixel Watch” or “Pixel Wear” – this is just speculation on our part, but it would fit much better with Google’s previous naming conventions.
According to Business Insider’s sources, the watch face will be round and possibly bezel-free. It’s unclear what the latter would look like in practice (or what implications it might have for the watch’s durability), but the former isn’t exactly surprising. Many smartwatches come with round faces, except for the Apple Watch.
According to a design document obtained by Business Insider, Google intends to create a watch that is comfortable for at least “90 percent of the population.” This is significant to Google because it believes that “inadequate sizing excludes some users entirely from wearable writable.”
As someone who has a large wrist, I wholeheartedly concur with Google. I’ve tried on older Fitbit models in the past, but they were either too tight for my liking or weren’t shaped well for my proportions.
According to Business Insider, the watch will support health and fitness tracking features, as do the majority of its soon-to-be competitors. Employees have reportedly already been allowed to test the device to identify pain points and potential areas for improvement. The watch’s slow charging rate and frequent need to charge appear to be two current examples.
Given the importance of long battery life for smartwatches, we’d be surprised if the device ships in that condition. Those issues will almost certainly be resolved before the Pixel Watch, or whatever it is called, is released in 2022.