I, like many others, was excited to see the Google Pixel Watch revealed at Google I/O 2022. I’ve been following rumors about Google’s first smartwatch for several years now, so a huge part of me is relieved that it’s actually coming.
Which might seem odd, since I won’t even be able to use the Pixel Watch. At least, not with my current smartphone. Don’t get me wrong — I knew there was a very strong chance the Pixel Watch would only be compatible with the best Android phones. So who’s to say the Pixel Watch won’t be the first smartwatch to make me ditch my iPhone?
I’ve been an Apple Watch user for several years now, swapping it out as the best Apple Watch every year changes or when I test the best smartwatches for Android. When I review models like the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, switching to an Android phone is temporary. I always return to my iPhone and Apple Watch. I was excited to know that the Pixel Watch will be probably be similar to the Apple Watch — because they might have the same manufacturer.
But the Pixel Watch might change that. Perhaps it’s all the anticipation around the official announcement, but this is a smartwatch that excites me and it’s not even out yet. I nearly jumped out of my seat when I watched Rick Osterloh pull up his sleeve to reveal the silver Pixel Watch on his wrist.
It looked really, really good. The round display seemed to sit flush to the wrist, or more-so curve towards the wrist. I will say the in-screen bezel appears thicker than I’d like, especially compared to the nearly bezel-free Apple Watch 7, but I won’t fret about it until I try the Pixel Watch out myself.
What has me hooked more than the design, though, is the promise of added Fitbit fitness-tracking features. I’ve always thought Google Fit was a major drawback to Wear OS watches. But by borrowing activity metrics and Fitbit Premium tools from the best Fitbit devices, the Pixel Watch could rival or at least match the Apple Watch on health and fitness features.
It’s not clear whether Wear OS 3 smartwatches will at a later point benefit from Fitbit. If they don't, it'll make a compelling case to opt for the in-house Google smartwatch over third-party options.
More than that, the Pixel Watch is advertising the most optimized Wear OS experience for an Android smartwatch ever. It'll work with Google Assistant, Google Maps and the new Google Wallet.
As long as the Pixel Watch is an extension of a Pixel phone or other Android phone in the way that the Apple Watch is an extension of the iPhone, with a sleek look at Fitbit features on-board it could be convincing enough for me to switch. But I'll have to test it myself to be sure.
The Pixel Watch is arriving alongside the Pixel 7 series in the fall. So now, we wait.