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It’s not uncommon for never-before-seen devices to be revealed so frequently that they become essential the worst-kept secret of all time. We’ve seen this happen many times with Samsung smartphones and devices made by other manufacturers.
For the past few weeks, the Google Pixel Watch has been the tech world’s worst-kept secret. The leaks were too numerous to count. Detailed images of the new smartwatches have been revealed online for everyone to see. Even though Google had yet to confirm that it was making a new smartwatch, everyone knew it was.
So it’s no surprise today when the company unveiled the new Pixel Watch at its I/O 2022 conference. It didn’t provide many details on the device, but Google gave us a great preview of the Pixel watch. The smartwatch will be released later this year in the fall alongside Google’s new Pixel smartphones.
The device has a round design with a touch crown and a side button. The first one that comes to mind when I look at the Pixel Watch is “the round Apple Watch”. It’s hard to get rid of the feeling that Google saw the Apple Watch and thought it would look good if it were round. So he went to the drawing board and created what is essentially a round Apple Watch.
It’s a little disappointing because Google had the perfect opportunity to define the design of the Android smartwatch with the Pixel Watch. Since Wear OS is licensed and there will be a lot more smartwatches in the market from different brands, it would have been nice if Google took the lead and basically pushed its partners to improve their smartwatch design as well.
It feels like an abdication of responsibility even though Google essentially left it up to Samsung to define what a Wear OS smartwatch can be when it launched the Galaxy Watch 4 last year. It might have taken showing that flexibility to be interested in Samsung dropping Tizen for Wear OS in the first place. After all, it was Wear OS that needed Samsung, not the other way around.
Samsung’s smartwatch design has always been top notch. Back when manufacturers tried odd shapes for their watches, the company simply refined the ubiquitous watch shape for smartwatches. Since then, if you think of a round smartwatch, you instantly think of the Galaxy Watch.
Samsung stuck to its design philosophy for smartwatches with the Galaxy Watch 4 and that helped make the device a success. Despite being one of the biggest enhanced upgrades to its smartwatch series in years, the Galaxy Watch 4 felt like every element of the well-designed and beautifully put together Samsung Watch that we we are waiting.
What’s impressive is that year after year, Samsung has been able to produce smartwatches of its own. You don’t feel like they are too inspired by another product. That’s the vibe I get from the Pixel Watch. It wants to be the Apple Watch of Wear OS.
Again, hardware isn’t a big concern for Google. The money it makes from hardware sales might not be recorded as more than a rounding error on its balance sheets. For Google, it’s all about showcasing its software prowess, which the Pixel Watch will do better than any other Wear OS device on the market.
We just wish that if Google goes through all this trouble to create a new device, maybe it should put more effort with the design to make its products stand out a bit more. Is it too much to ask?
Say hello to Google Pixel Watch, the first watch designed entirely by Google. Built on Wear OS, it delivers the best of Google, plus Fitbit health and fitness experiences, all on your wrist. Coming this fall #GoogleIO pic.twitter.com/GQmfWKAgSY
-Google Google) May 11, 2022