Google Pixel Watch 3: Everything we know so far

Google Pixel Watch 2
(Image credit: Future)
Google Pixel Watch 3 latest News

Updated May 16

• Wear OS 5 will feature improved fitness-tracking data
• Google's next-gen OS will also bring improved battery performance
• The Pixel Watch 3 will likely be available in two sizes
• Google may ditch the buttons on the Pixel Watch 3

After launching Android Wear (now Wear OS) in 2014, it took Google eight years to make its first smartwatch that used the software. Thankfully, it was worth the wait: both the original Pixel Watch and Pixel Watch 2 have been excellent wearables that really showcase what Wear OS can do in the right hands — and why the latter is our pick for the best smartwatch for Pixel owners. 

So what does Google have up its figurative sleeve (and literal one, given we’re talking smartwatches) for the Pixel Watch 3? Details on the hardware front are limited but with Google I/O 2024 in the rearview mirror, we have several concrete insights into what's coming on the OS side. 

We also have our wishlist. 

Google Pixel Watch 3 cheat sheet: Biggest rumors

  • Release date prediction: October 2024
  • Price prediction: $349 or higher
  • Design: Likely available in two sizes 
  • Features: Possibly new gesture controls, better battery life, improved fitness tracking
  • Software: Wear OS 5

Google Pixel Watch 3: Possible price and availability

Google Pixel Watch 2

(Image credit: Google)

The two Pixel Watches we’ve had to date have both launched in October, after appearing at Google’s annual fall event. 

Having only two data points obviously makes it too early to tell whether Google intends to make Pixel Watch updates an annual occurrence, but if there’s a Pixel Watch 3 in 2024, it will almost certainly land in October around the same time Google launches the Pixel 9 smartphone.

It’s a similar story on potential Pixel Watch 3 pricing. Both previous Pixel Watches have launched at $349 and $399 (depending on whether you want LTE or not), so it’s possible this could be the case again — though given recent inflation on Pixel flagships, a slight bump in price isn’t out of the question.

As you’ll read in a moment, this could be the first year when Google has multiple size options too. Both Apple and Samsung charge more for smartwatches with larger displays, though Google could take a leaf out of Garmin’s book with the Venu 3 and keep the price the same for both big and small models.

Google Pixel Watch 3: Design

So far, rumors about the forthcoming Pixel Watch 3, particularly its design, have been minimal. However, there are a few worth noting. 

An inside source reportedly told 9to5Google that the Pixel Watch 3 will come in two different sizes. The article doesn’t include sizing details, but the implication is that the second will be larger than the 41mm frame currently in use.

From a market research point of view, that makes perfect sense. The Apple Watch Series 9 (41mm and 45mm), Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 (40mm and 44mm) and Garmin Venu 3 (41mm and 45mm) all have 4mm between their models, so we would expect a larger Pixel Watch 3 to hit the 45mm mark when it arrives.

Pixel Watch patent

(Image credit: USPTO)

The other possible Pixel Watch 3 rumor comes from the murky world of patent watching, which isn’t always a reliable guide to a company’s imminent hardware moves. (Just because a company patents something doesn't guarantee it will wind up in a future product.)

Google has filed a patent for a smartwatch that runs purely on gestures without any buttons. This could simplify the look of a smartwatch while reducing the complexity of manufacturing and making it easier to waterproof.

While the image in the filing has a round face like the current Pixel Watches, patents aren’t always implemented — and even if they are, it’s not necessarily right away. File this one under “doubtful” for the Pixel Watch 3.

On the other hand, it does seem like a real possibility that Google's forthcoming smartwatch will feature at least some form of improved gesture controls. 

Google Pixel Watch 3: Features

Google Pixel Watch 2 safety check

(Image credit: Future)

Google I/O 2024 gave us a sneak peek into some of the features coming to Wear OS 5, which we expect to debut on either the Pixel Watch 3 or more likely the Samsung Galaxy Watch 7.

In addition to improved battery performance, Wear OS 5 boasts additional fitness stats for runners, like, ground contact time, stride length, vertical oscillation and vertical ratio. (Apple Watch users got these metrics in 2022 with WatchOS 9).

Fitness tracking has also been tweaked to inundate users with fewer unnecessary alerts. Better yet, monitoring physical activity of any kind should be less of a battery drain with the new operating system. 

More specifically, Google claims users tracking a marathon with a Pixel Watch will end up with 20% more battery life at the end of the event if they're running Wear OS 5 versus 4. 

Google Pixel Watch 2 watch face

(Image credit: Future)

Lastly, Watch OS 5 will feature an even greater degree of watch face customization

Meanwhile, on the hardware side, the Pixel Watch 3 will likely include ultra-wideband (UWB) connectivity, as reported by 9to5Google. This nifty piece of tech should improve the Watch Unlock feature that lets users unlock their Android smartphone from afar. It also may open more possibilities when it comes to gesture controls. 

Watch Unlock works well enough now, but with UWB connectivity, it should work even more reliably and at greater distances. Currently, Watch Unlock relies on a Bluetooth connection and will likely continue to in countries where UWB is banned. 

Google Pixel Watch 3: What we want

We're still several months out from the presumed Pixel Watch 3 launch date, but we have a few things that we hope Google is looking at…

Thinner bezels

The Pixel Watch is a fine-looking wearable, but the bezels are thick even by smartwatch standards. 

To be fair to Google, this isn’t noticeable most of the time thanks to the black background on most apps and watch faces. But this is ultimately a visual trick, and if Google could thin things down it would open the watch up to more colorful watch faces and apps in the future.

Google Pixel Watch 2

(Image credit: Future)

Better battery life

The first-generation Pixel Watch struggled to get through a day’s use, and to Google’s credit the Pixel Watch 2 fixed this. 

But it still only promised 24 hours, and it would be nice if Google could push it further, perhaps by taking a leaf from its Fitbit line of wearables which last longer with a few sacrifices.

Or perhaps the rumored larger model could pack a bigger cell, to give consumers a longer-lasting option. At least we know that Wear OS 5 will do its part for battery life, given Google's promises.

One charger

Speaking of Fitbit, before it was purchased by Google, the company sure loved its bespoke chargers, with almost every fitness tracker having its own uniquely designed cable incompatible with others in the range.

Worryingly, it looks like Google has followed this with the Pixel Watch: the two models so far released have different chargers that don’t work with each other. 

That’s because the first one was wireless, while the second used faster-charging pogo pins. We don’t really mind which path Google chooses for the next generation, but we hope it sticks to one type going forward.

Google Pixel Watch 3: Outlook

Apple Watch 9 and Google Pixel Watch 2 on a person's wrist

(Image credit: Future)

From the sound of things, Google Pixel Watch 3 seems like more than an iterative update. With the possibility of multiple sizes, improved battery performance, better fitness tracking, improved gesture control and more, it may very well be worth the upgrade from the 2.

The real question is, will all this be enough to compete with Samsung's new Galaxy 7 smartwatches set to launch a month or two earlier at a Galaxy Unpacked Summer 2024 event — rumors even suggest that a Galaxy Watch 7 Ultra could be in the works. And how will these devices compare to a possible forthcoming Apple Watch Ultra 3, also expected in the fall? 

As with all things tech and watch-related, time will tell. 

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Dan Bracaglia
Senior Writer, Fitness & Wearables

Dan Bracaglia covers fitness and consumer technology with an emphasis on wearables for Tom's Guide. Based in the US Pacific Northwest, Dan is an avid outdoor adventurer who dabbles in everything from kayaking to snowboarding, but he most enjoys exploring the cities and mountains with his small pup, Belvedere. Dan is currently training to climb some of Washington State's tallest peaks. He's also a big photography nerd. 

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