Google's first smartwatch could launch in 2022

  • 2021-12-06 19:13
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What to expect: Google's hardware team has been steadily expanding its reach over the past few years. It has made its first forays into earbuds, smart homes, phones and even laptops with locks, but its ambitions continue to grow. According to new reports, Google is working on its own smartwatch, with plans to launch this device as soon as next year, as long as everything goes smoothly.

This is big news for Google fans. So far, Google has mainly focused on the software side of smartwatches, developing technology like Wear OS and allowing third-party watch makers to build their hardware around it. Soon, however, Google will likely have to compete with wearable device manufacturers that it has supported for years, such as Samsung.

Despite that, the device is said to be internally codenamed "Rohan," but that probably won't be its final moniker. It will most likely ship with a name like "Pixel Watch" or "Pixel Wear" - that's still our speculation, but it would fit much better with the previous naming conventions Google has employed to date.

As for the device's design, Business Insider's source says the watch face will be round and possibly even bezel-less. It's hard to say what the latter looks like in practice (or what it might mean for watch durability), but the former isn't exactly a surprise. Many smartwatches ship with round faces, although the Apple Watch is a notable exception.

Google aims to make a watch comfortable for at least "90% of the population," according to a design document seen by Business Insider. This is important to Google as it feels that "size is not enough to exclude some users from wearable wearables".

As someone with large wrists, I totally agree with Google there. I've tried wearing older Fitbit models, but they've always been too tight for my liking; or simply not shaped well for my proportions.

In terms of functionality, Business Insider says the watch will support health and fitness tracking features, like most of its upcoming competitors. Staff members are said to have been allowed to test the device to identify pain points and potential areas for improvement. The two current examples seem to be the watch's slow charging rate and its frequent need to charge.

Given how important battery life is to smartwatches, we'd be surprised if the device ships in that state. Those issues will most likely be resolved before the Pixel Watch - or whatever it's called - releases in 2022.