As Google continues to make its mark in the smartphone industry, the company is apparently thinking about its future in smartwatches.
A report in Nikkei Asian Review says that Google plans to release a watch this year to compete with the Apple Watch.
It's important to note that a Pixel Watch had been rumored for October of 2018, but Google shot those rumors down in an interview with Tom's Guide.
The Pixel Watch would be the first smartwatch from Google and one of the top competitors to Apple Watch Series 4 and Samsung's Galaxy Watch. It would also be the most important Wear OS option on the market if and when it launches. Google recently acquired $40 million of Fossil's smartwatch technology (and a few of its employees) to develop a "totally new" product. It's unclear if that product is a Pixel Watch.
As we inch closer to an expected Google unveiling, there's little known about the Pixel Watch. Here's a look at all the Pixel Watch rumors we've heard so far.
Get ready for three models
Much of what we think we know about the Google Pixel Watch centers on a report from the German publication WinFuture.
In May of last year, the site reported that Google is working on three Pixel Watch models. According to the report, the models are code-named Ling, Triton and Sardine. Google typically uses aquatic animal names for its mobile product code names.
Exactly what the Pixel Watch code names mean, however, is unknown. It seems plausible, given the names, that the devices will come in different sizes. For now, we wouldn't expect just see one Pixel Watch.
According to the Nikkei report, Google will launch a lot of new hardware sometime this year, including an affordable Pixel 3 Lite phone, a new version of the Google Home speaker and a smartwatch. But the report doesn't provide exact timing.
However, if Google does stick with the Pixel 3 Lite name and decides to launch the Pixel Watch at the same time, the launch event would likely be well before the fall launch of the Pixel 4.
A high-end processor
Qualcomm has launched a new Snapdragon Wear 3100 for smartwatches. The new processor is smaller than its predecessor, the Snapdragon 2100, and it's designed to be far more efficient than the previous chip. Better yet, it should prove to be far more powerful, allowing you to interact with apps with ease.
To be clear, neither Qualcomm nor Google has said that the Snapdragon Wear 3100 is coming to the Pixel Watch. But considering that the chip is the flagship wearable processor from Qualcomm, it makes sense that the CPU would come to Google's creation.
1GB of RAM
A WinFuture report suggests that Google will deliver 1GB of RAM in its upcoming Pixel Watch. If true, it would immediately put Pixel Watch toward the top of the smartwatch market and, coupled with the Snapdragon Wear 3100, could translate to outstanding performance.
This one is no surprise, but Google will bundle its own Wear OS in the Pixel Watch. What makes this software different?
At Google I/O 2018 in May, Google said Google Assistant will play a larger role in Wear OS watches. This includes an always-on microphone for making queries, text-to-speech conversion when wearing a Bluetooth headset and suggested actions.
Other Wear OS features include continuous heart-rate monitoring via Google Fit and easier music control when working out. There's also an enhanced Battery Saver Mode to help the Pixel Watch last longer on a charge.
Design is a big question mark
Interestingly, we've heard absolutely nothing about the Pixel Watch's design. Since May when news of the smartwatch broke, we haven't seen any credible design leaks, renders, or even CAD drawings.
Connectivity: Expect LTE
There's a near-guarantee that the Pixel Watch will ship with Wi-Fi connectivity. But will we get LTE?
If Google opts for the Snapdragon Wear 3100 from Qualcomm, there's a good chance it will come with an LTE chip from the company, as well. This will allow you to make calls, get notifications, track your runs and more without your phone.
What will the Pixel Watch cost?
It's tough to say. But considering the Pixel Watch is expected to come with high-end features, don't expect it to be the cheapest option on store shelves.
If the Pixel Watch offers similar features to those two flagships, Google's pricing might land at around the same price.