Another Google event has come and gone (opens in new tab), and Google still hasn't released a Pixel Watch – the search giant's answer to the Apple Watch. Some people are still hopeful that a Google designed smartwatch will be released, with Q1 of 2022 being slated as the announcement window, but I'm not so optimistic.
The news that Google was planning to enter the smartwatch market with its own-brand wearable first appeared in May 2018 when technology leaker Evan Blass tweeted, 'Besides the Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, and second-gen Pixel Buds, a reliable source tells me -- with high confidence -- that Google's fall hardware event will also introduce a Pixel-branded watch. Have a great summer!'
Everyone did have a great summer, then the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL were released, but there was no sign of the Pixel Watch.
- Google Pixel Watch: rumoured release date, price, specs and more
This was a blow to Google Pixel fans like myself, as the Pixel Watch promised to be the culmination of everything the computing giant had learned since Android Wear launched back in 2014. It would have allowed Google to go watchface-to-watchface with the likes of Apple and Samsung.
After the 'Made by Google' event in 2018, Miles Barr, Google's director of engineering for Wear OS said, “To think of a one-size-fits-all watch, I don’t think we’re there yet. Our focus is on our partners for now.”
Google has been continuing its smartwatch operating system development, however, multiple Google hardware events came and went without any trace of a Pixel Watch.
This is despite a number of hints that Google was working on its own wearable hardware, including a job listing that showed the brand was looking for a Vice President of Hardware Engineering for Wearable and a Wearables Design Manager in 2019.
Before the Google Pixel 6 event on the 19th of October 2021, leaker Jon Prosser tweeted, 'Don’t expect [the Pixel Watch] at the event tomorrow.' He added, 'Last I heard, it was delayed until Q1 2022.'
Who knows how reliable the Q1 2022 prediction is – it's been so long now that I'd be surprised if the Pixel Watch ever gets released at all.
After all, there are a number of reasons Google might not want to release a Pixel Watch anymore – the first being Samsung's recently released Samsung Galaxy Watch 4.
Samsung worked very closely with Google to create a new version of Wear OS / One UI Watch (previous Android Wear). The wearable OS was unveiled at Mobile World Congress earlier this year.
It promised to make the Samsung Galaxy Watch and smartphone experience more seamlessly connected and give users access to an even greater number of applications.
It was much more than a simple skin over Wear OS, Samsung and Google worked together behind the scenes, claiming the collaboration yielded better performance (apps loading up to 30-percent faster) and longer battery life.
And it's a great smartwatch – we called it a 'must-have Google powered smartwatch' in our review. It's become the de facto flagship Wear OS smartwatch and is clearly the best smartwatch out there for Android phone users.
Of course, if Google now released a Pixel Watch, that could be seen as stepping on Samsung's toes – taking a bite out of its market share and replacing the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 as the Android flagship. That's would be sure to annoy Samsung, especially as the two companies recently worked together to improve the operating system.
Google might now think it's better to help other hardware manufacturers, such as Fossil, LG and TAG Heuer, to improve their Wear OS devices, rather than Google focusing on its own device.
It's also worth noting that Google owns Fitbit and is creating its own Fitbit-branded smartwatches such as the Fitbit Sense, so it may not see the need to create its own Pixel Watch.
I also find it strange that there have been credible Pixel Watch leaks – no prototype devices spied, no tests or certifications, no parts. Basically, there is no proof that one actually exists.
Do you think Google will be releasing a Pixel Watch? Only time will tell, but one thing is for certain, though, and that's if Google does release its own smartwatch, I'll be deleting this article.