This October, we're anticipating that Google will follow its footsteps of the past two years with an event to announce its latest and greatest hardware products. We've seen Pixel phones, Home speakers, wireless earbuds and more, and this time around, we're expecting the company to finally dive into the world of smartwatches.
A rumor popped up in early May suggesting that Google will announce a Pixel Watch alongside the Pixel 3 this year, and if true, this will mark the first smartwatch Google's released under its Pixel brand.
Wear OS is still in something of an awkward state despite the big rebrand this past March, but like I said shortly after that, Google can still make something exciting out of it by releasing a proper watch of its own.
If and when that happens, this is what I'd like to see from it.
Qualcomm's new smartwatch CPU
There hasn't been much development in the way of silicon for smartwatches, but Qualcomm's looking to change that this year.
The company revealed that it's creating a successor to the Wear 2100 processor that was first introduced in 2016, with some of the highlights including better ambient displays, improved fitness tracking features, increased battery life, etc.
Qualcomm's said that this new chip will make its way into a "lead smartwatch" by the holiday season, and it's expected that that'll be none other than the Pixel Watch.
Specifics on Qualcomm's new processor are still up in the air, but at the very least, it should offer a much better experience compared to other smartwatches before it.
An approachable design no matter your wrist size
When they were first announced, the Samsung Gear S3 and LG Watch Sport looked like they had all the features I'd ever wanted in a wearable. They had GPS, mobile payment support, LTE connectivity, you name it.
Unfortunately, I never did own either one as their large, bulky designs were far too big for my wrists.
I get that some people prefer a larger smartwatch, but those huge designs keep a lot of potential buyers at bay. This is something that Apple's excelled at with the Apple Watch, and it's an area Google needs to get right.
Accessibility is key when it comes to technology, and as we've seen with the Apple Watch Series 3, you can pack every major smartwatch feature into a product that looks and feels comfortable on anyone's wrist.
I'm all for a Pixel Watch XL if Google wants to offer the same features in a larger body for people that prefer that look, but it can't make that the only option.
Loudspeaker for voice calls
Every LTE-enabled smartwatch comes with a loudspeaker so you can take phone calls even when you're without your phone, but I'd like to see Google keep that speaker around for non-LTE variants of the Pixel Watch, too.
In addition to answering phone calls directly on your wrist, this would also allow for spoken responses from the Google Assistant. This functionality was recently added to Wear OS as part of the Android P Developer Preview 2, suggesting that Google would want its flagship wearable to support it.
This is a component that a lot of watches tend to skip out on, and I really hope Google decides to buck that trend.
NFC and GPS
The LG Watch Style was nearly perfect from a design point of view, offering an incredibly slim body that looked good on both male and female wrists. Unfortunately, LG eviscerated the Watch Style's functionality by omitting NFC and GPS.
NFC and GPS are essential components in 2018.
These two components weren't all that essential a few years back, but in 2018, there's no reason they shouldn't be on every smartwatch that's released.
NFC seems like it'll be a given for the Pixel Watch as that'll allow Google to further push Google Pay, but GPS is still up in the air. Google's not really known for its excellent fitness-tracking platform, but adding GPS to its smartwatch would certainly help to change that.
A reasonable price
Last but not least, I'd love for the Pixel Watch to have a price tag that doesn't make my wallet run into hiding for six months.
For the Pixel Watch, I'd like to see pricing around $250 - $300. I think that's reasonable considering all of the tech it should come equipped with, and even with a $300 sticker, that'll still make it at least $30 cheaper than the Series 3 Apple Watch.
What do you want to see?
Those are my wishes for the Pixel Watch, but what about you? What features would you like to see in Google's first true smartwatch? Sound off in those comments down below!
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