Google's Pixel Watch looks great, but it'll need to nail the hardware to rival the Apple Watch

This flagship Wear OS smartwatch looks great, but it's how it feels that matters

Google
(Image credit: Google)

Google has just given us a preview of the new Google Pixel Watch at Google I/O 2022. It's the brand's first smartwatch and answer to the Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch 4.

The Pixel Watch was met with cheers when Rick Osterloh pulled back his sleeve and revealed the new smartwatch, although, its design was hardly a surprise considering all of the leaks and misplaced prototypes in recent weeks.

I think the Pixel Watch looks stunning though, with its futuristic, flying saucer-like design.

In some ways, it looks exactly like an Apple Watch would look if it was circular – very modern, with a single crown, power button, and completely Black Hole-like display.

But while design is subjective – personally I love the Apple Watch, but not everyone is so keen – there's no denying that it has felt like a premium, luxury item since the very first generation. It's just so well made, and that's incredibly important when you're trying to make something that people actually want to wear.

What worries me is that this is the first smartwatch built inside and out by Google and that Google has a chequered past when it comes to Pixel phone build quality.

One of the first hints that Google gave us about the hardware is that it's made from recycled stainless steel. This gives me a glimmer of hope, as, if nothing else, steel will give the smartwatch a reassuring heft (more so than lightweight aluminium).

Google

(Image credit: Google)

In other hardware news, the bands will be customisable and look to feature a quick-swap mechanism. This means users will be able to personalise their watch, which, again, is very important for a wearable device.

Aside from the hardware design, Google promises that the Pixel Watch will feature an improved Wear OS UI with more fluid navigation and smart notifications.

Interestingly, Google Maps will work without your smartphone present, which could be very useful.

The Pixel Watch will also benefit from a collaboration with Fitbit (which Google owns). The only information we got here was that it will provide 'industry-leading health and fitness experiences'.

Other than these vague announcements, other functions listed were all fairly standard smartwatch features and not very interesting.

How long will we have to wait until we find out if Google has nailed the hardware? Osterloh claims the Google Pixel Watch will arrive alongside the Google Pixel 7 this Autumn.

As the Style and Travel Editor at T3, Spencer covers everything from clothes to cars and watches to hotels. Everything that's cool, stylish, and interesting, basically. He's been a part of T3 for over seven years, and in that time covered every industry event known to man, from CES and MWC to the Geneva Motorshow and Baselworld. When he's driving up and down the country in search of the greatest driving roads, he can be found messing around on an electric scooter, playing with luxury watches, or testing the latest fragrances.