The Pixel Watch can’t work if Google reuses the same 8-year-old formula 2022-04-28 11:00:07


Fossil Gen 5 watch face showing the Wear OS logo

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Rumors about Google’s first official entry into the world of smartwatches are starting to gain traction. what It seemed like a legend for many years It now looks more and more like a certainty, as bits and pieces of the upcoming Pixel Watch are leaking from various sources. It got me thinking: What is the real value of a Google-made hour? What unique features will the Pixel Watch offer to challenge the status quo of Android smartwatches? And to be honest, I can’t come up with a clear answer.

know everything: Google Pixel Watch rumor center

I’m speaking from the perspective of someone who has followed the Android smartwatch efforts since the beginning. I owned my first LG G Watch, then G Watch R, Huawei Watch Classic, Skagen Falster, Misfit Vapor X and now Galaxy Watch 4. For several years, I wore my watches daily and religiously. right Now? Although the latest Samsung watch is the best smartwatch I’ve owned, I can forget about it for days, even weeks. It sits on my charger so I remember it’s there, so I grab it and wear it for a day or two, trying to pretend it’s worth the several hundred dollars I paid for it.

I find it best to access my phone with its large screen, proper keyboard, and full app functionality. In addition, I wear a size smaller Fitbit Inspiration 2 throughout the day and night to track my activity and sleep. They last about a week for a fee.

Wear OS is basically the same since 2014.

My issue is not with the Samsung or the Galaxy Watch 4 itself, it’s the entire display of the product. Android watches have been around for more than eight years, but the product category has seen little growth or improvement in this time frame. Sure, we’ve gone from power-hungry 28nm phone processors to more efficient and wearable 4nm and 5nm processors, reducing bezels, improving screen clarity, dropping a flat bezel, and adding some tiles and complications, but… Wear OS It’s basically the same as ever.

It’s fairly good at notifications, it does some limited fitness tracking but fails to integrate that into a broader health-focused ecosystem, and it’s a second-class native to most third-party apps (Apple Watch Support comes first for many developers). even in Google Assistant It was a slow, buggy, unresponsive mess. Most smartwatches running on the platform are data on fashion first and useful gadgets second. Wear OS only Existing Now, it has been around for eight years.

I know it’s a little hard to say, but isn’t that the truth?

Fossil Gen 6 stands on the picnic table.

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Even on the hardware side, the diversity that initially made the ecosystem special is now gone. LG, Motorola, Sony, Asus, and many other brands have abandoned the wearables category, leaving Fossil – and several sub-brands – and Samsung as the major players in town. With Fossil, we get one device schema every two years (one processor, one RAM configuration, one display) recast under endlessly different names and shapes. All watches have a round screen that looks fine when not in use, but is useless for displaying more than two or three lines of text. All of them barely last a day on a charge. All of them have the same controls and response issues.

Samsung’s partnership with Google brought a breath of fresh air Wear OS 3.0. More sensors and gauges, a better healthy ecosystem, a rotating bezel for controls, and a more powerful phone companion app. It shook up the status quo, and it obviously struck a chord, even though it pushed Samsung’s ecosystem more than Google’s.

Our verdict: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 review

Google’s Pixel Watch won’t compete with hundreds of fashion-brand Fossil watches, but with the Galaxy Watch 4. That’s really a high bar for clarity. And even beyond that, Google needs a unique selling point to differentiate itself from its competition. This is where I draw a blank.

A marketing image of the Google Pixel Watch Prosser showing the watch face and strap

Tech front page / YouTube

The Pixel Watch will keep the same inefficient, circular design of the screen, and while I wouldn’t argue with the smoothness of the form factor, I’d at least see Google offer a rectangular option with more screen space. It probably has a day of battery life, which would require a daily charge and constant activity/sleep tracking interference. Fitbit integration appears to be a separate app, and it’s not clear if we’ll have passive Fitbit tracking in the background or whether Google Fit and Fitbit will coexist.

So what is the value of this Pixel Watch display? What makes it a unique smartwatch among its competitors? What distinguishes it from fitness trackers It can display notifications or something like that Fitbit Versa 3? Better yet, what makes it an indispensable accessory for my phone? So far, this question has not been answered, leaked or rumored. It’s just another Wear OS watch, but it has the Pixel branding.

So what is the value of a Pixel Watch offer? Well… 🤷‍♀️

I’d like to see Google prove me wrong when they finally announced the Pixel Watch. I’d like to be surprised by the new features and premium functionality that breaks away from this eight-year oblivion of Wear OS. But I am very skeptical.

The “Pixel” brand has become synonymous with excellence in photography and artificial intelligence in the smartphone market. We’ll have to wait and see what, if any, this brand means in the wearables segment.

Do you think the Pixel Watch is enough to revive Wear OS?

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