Google Pixel Watch Launch Tipped for May

Google Pixel Watch Launch Tipped for May
Samsung's Galaxy Watch 4 was the first Wear OS 3 smartwatch. (Photo: Victoria Song/Gizmodo)

Rumours surrounding Google’s forthcoming Pixel smartwatch have been circulating for more than a year, and while we know some details about the product, a specific release date hasn’t even been speculated.

Today, that changed. Leaker Jon Prosser posted on Twitter that Google is planning on launching the Pixel Watch on May 26, a date that aligns with the company’s I/O developer conference.

Prosser had previously said that Google might reveal the watch alongside the Pixel 6 in October but warned that the date was a moving target. He later corrected the timeline, claiming the watch had been delayed to Q1 2022. Now the device looks likely to arrive in Q2.

While Google hasn’t confirmed the release date — no less the existence of a Pixel Watch — just yet, this latest leak should be encouraging Android users waiting for a proper Apple Watch rival because, as Prosser points out, this is the “first we’ve seen a set date on the device behind the scenes.” Moreover, Google’s I/O 2022 conference, which took place from May 18 to 20 last year, would be a logical launchpad considering it’s where Google announced Wear OS 3, the most meaningful update to its watch OS in years.

We’ve been hearing about a Google-made smartwatch for a long time now, and while Google has squashed those rumours in years past, now might finally be the time. A December report claimed the codename for the device is “Rohan” and that it’ll have a round face (like basically every other Android smartwatch). It is said to offer basic fitness-tracking, like step counts and heart rating monitoring, along with other features taken from Google-owned Fitbit.

There had been plenty of speculation about how Google would approach smartwatches after finalising its acquisition of Fitbit last year. It was unclear whether the company would release a Pixel-branded device or go the Nest route and put its smartwatch division under the Fitbit brand. Anything is possible, but leaks and rumours suggest the wearable will be a companion device to Google’s smartphones.

If past leaks are accurate, then we’ve already seen the device. Late last year, Prosser posted on his YouTube channel what he claims are official promotional photos. They show a watch similar to the one featured in renders from April — it has a circular design and a practically bezel-free watch face that waterfalls around the edges.

As for specs, the rumoured wearable could be powered by a Samsung Exynos chip and support Google Assistant, based on a report from 9to5Google that claims to have found a “PIXEL_EXPERIENCE_WATCH” feature tag within a Google app. It might have been assumed that Google would turn to Qualcomm, but remember, Google partnered with Samsung to help it fix its tragically failing smartwatch OS. We wouldn’t be surprised if this partnership also involved using the other’s hardware.

We don’t know how much the watch will cost, but a recent Business Insider report, corroborated by The Verge, claims it will be more expensive than a Fitbit and priced to compete against the Apple Watch. And like the Apple Watch, the Pixel Watch (if it’s named that) will need to be charged daily. In any case, most of what we think we “know” about the Pixel Watch is based on speculation and rumour, so this Android user is keeping his excitement in check.