We were waiting years for Google to make its first smartwatch, but it looks like we won’t have to wait half as long for its successor.
According to 9to5Google’s source, Google is planning on releasing the Pixel Watch 2 alongside the Pixel 8 smartphone. Given Pixel phones tend to launch in October, the release could be as little as five months away.
The site says that the finished product may not be called the Pixel Watch 2 — that’s just the assumption based on the way Google numbers its Pixel phones. It could equally take a leaf out of Apple’s book and call it the Series 2, or make things hellishly confusing by just calling it Pixel Watch and leaving consumers to figure out which one they’re holding.
While this may seem like a swift turnaround, it’s worth remembering exactly how long the first-generation Pixel Watch had been in the works. Long-term readers may recall that rumors of a Pixel Watch were swirling five years ago, forcing Google to exclusively confirm to us that it wouldn’t be releasing a wearable in 2018.
That didn’t stop the rumors that Google was working on something behind the scenes and interesting patents continued to emerge suggesting something was in the works, before Jon Prosser leaked promo material at the start of 2022.
When an actual prototype was found in a restaurant last April, everything looked confirmed, and the company duly revealed it was on the way at its Google I/O 2022 conference soon after.
Pixel Watch 2: What we want to see
9to5Google’s report doesn’t contain any confirmed details of what changes we can expect, but we can make a few educated guesses.
For one, it feels likely that the Pixel Watch 2 outer design isn’t going to change too much — not just as it’s a very good-looking wearable already, but because if a new design was imminent, it would likely have already leaked.
Instead, we expect changes on the inside. The Pixel Watch doesn’t exactly use state-of-the-art internals, so that’s an easy win. Indeed, the 10nm Samsung Exynos 9110 chipset that powers the Pixel Watch has been kicking around since the original Samsung Galaxy Watch debuted in 2018. An upgrade to the Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 — or even the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5’s Exynos W920 — would give a second-generation Pixel Watch a major shot in the arm.
That’s not just in raw performance but efficiency. Both chips are 5nm, which could spell good things for battery life — one of the Pixel Watch’s few weak points, as it struggles to last the day if you’re a heavy user.
There could also be new fitness sensors, but it would be nice if Google would enable all the ones on the original wearable too. Overnight skin temperature and SpO2 are still MIA over six months after its release. Elsewhere, the Pixel Watch 2 could borrow from its sister wearable — the Fitbit Sense 2 — to nab a continuous Electrodermal Sensor (cEDA) for stress tracking.
While a release of the Pixel Watch 2 isn’t expected until later in the year, it is possible that Google gives us an early preview at next week’s Google I/O 2023 conference. That kicks off on Wednesday 10 May, so watch this space.
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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.