The Pixel Watch 2 is strongly rumored to be launching later this year, packing a faster chip and improved wellness features. And according to the reliable Google leaker Kamila Wojciechowska at Android Authority, the company is planning a whole host of exclusive watch faces for the new smartwatch.
The watch faces, which come from an “anonymous source inside Google,” will be available in four styles: Accessible, Arc, Bold Digital and Analog Bold.
As the name suggests, Accessible is all about being minimalist and easy to read at a glance, without many distracting or flashy design elements. Expect a simple digital clock above a single, circular complication slot, though the arrangement of the numbers can vary as you can see below.
On the other end of the spectrum is Arc — a “highly-customizable watch face intended for users requiring more utility and tailoring from their watch.” With it, you can add up to four complications as well as additional information around the outside and the option to toggle a second hand. The design will be a bit too busy for some people's tastes, but it’s certainly good to have the option.
Bold Digital and Analog Bold are two sides of the same coin, offering the same curvy, overlapping numbers on each — just in a digital or analog face, respectively. You can have up to three complications if you opt for the former, while the latter gives you space for more around the ring.
According to Wojciechowska, each watch face comes with a variety of colors, and the Pixel Watch 2 will come with Wear OS 4’s dynamic theming, where colors from your chosen theme spill out to other parts of the UI, including the boot animation.
Bad news for original Pixel Watch owners
These all look very stylish in their own way, and more choice is objectively a good thing. But there’s a downside: “It currently appears that they will remain exclusive to the second-gen watch,” Wojciechowska writes.
Assuming she’s correct and Google doesn’t have a change of heart, I can think of two possible reasons for this.
The first is that these new faces might be, for some reason, a big drain on the first-generation Pixel Watch’s battery. Given the original's struggles to get through a day on a single charge, if these new faces have complicated animations or too many complications, Google may decide it’s best not to tempt existing users into slashing battery life even further.
The second is simply the appeal of exclusivity. If the new watch has faces you can’t get on the original, then perhaps more people will be tempted to upgrade — although if that is the case, it’s a pretty poor way of treating early adopters.
We shouldn’t have too long to wait. The Pixel Watch 2 is tipped to appear alongside the Pixel 8 when it emerges this Fall. In the past, non A-class Pixel events have been held in October, so just a few months to go.
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Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.