Update: Not only has the Pixel Watch been revealed, it looks so good one Tom's Guide staffer might be tempted to switch to Android
The Google Pixel Watch has been rumored since last April when the leaker Jon Prosser published early Pixel Watch mockups of what Google's wearable could look like. And his early prediction has seemingly been vindicated.
First up, Google has registered the name Pixel Watch with the US Patent and Trademark Office (opens in new tab) — nothing unexpectedly left field as with the rumored Pixel Notepad, then. Secondly, and far more interestingly, a Pixel Watch prototype was apparently left behind in a restaurant with pictures aplenty.
The pictures were shared with our sister site, Android Central (opens in new tab), by a source who requested to keep key details anonymous including their name, the location and the restaurant in question. But the device looks pretty much exactly as predicted, with a round face and a twistable crown on the right-hand side.
Just this week we saw new Google Pixel Watch renders surface showing a round face, but this is the first time the wearable has allegedly been caught in the wild.
There also seem to be two additional buttons hidden away on the metal band underneath said crown, suggesting users won’t be forced just to use touchscreen controls — something that, as a runner, I’m personally a big fan of.
Flipping it over, Android Central’s source revealed an underside that “looks metallic but feels like it’s coated with glass.” You can clearly see a heart-rate sensor, and given the promised Fitbit integration in the software, we wouldn’t be surprised if it also offered additional health metrics such as ECG measurement and blood oxygen reading, as seen on the Fitbit Sense.
But it’s not all good news. The watch band included with the package seems to use a proprietary connection method, meaning that customizing your wearable could be considerably less easy than buying any old band and attaching it. It makes sense for Google — a steady income from selling additional bands — but it’s a bit disappointing for those who prefer more choice.
It’s also not clear how it charges as yet: it’s possible the Pixel Watch supports Qi wireless standards with a dock, but there was no way for the source to test this. There is one port hidden underneath the strap connector, but given the awkward location, we’d imagine this is a diagnostic port like the one used by Apple on the Apple Watch for troubleshooting. It may not even appear on the final version, given this is just a prototype.
Unfortunately, we can’t see the watch in action. Of course, the source tried switching it on, but after the familiar ‘G’ logo flashed up on screen, the prototype immediately switched itself off again, suggesting that Wear OS may yet to have been installed on this model.
While this could all be an elaborate prank, the idea of finding a prototype in a restaurant isn’t as far fetched as it sounds. Indeed, that’s how the iPhone 4 first appeared to the world, after Gizmodo found a prototype iPhone 4 in a bar back in 2010 (opens in new tab).
And while it may seem harder to leave a wearable behind by mistake given it’s usually tethered to the wrist, this particular model was reportedly found in a box with text stating that it’s for “internal testing and development only.”
Hopefully we’ll see the Pixel Watch in action soon. It’s widely tipped to become official at the Google I/O developer conference on May 11, though Prosser himself believes it won’t be available to buy until later in the year.