The upcoming Google Pixel Watch could be the first smartwatch to work with the technology company’s own phone network, called Google Fi.
Until now, and while almost every other phone network offers data services for smartwatches, Google’s own Fi network has missed out, instead sticking only to Android handsets and iPhones.
But this could change with the launch of the Pixel Watch. Google’s first own-brand smartwatch was announced earlier in 2022 and is due to be revealed in full in the autumn. And, thanks to some digging into the latest version of the Google Fi app by 9to5Google, it looks like the Pixel Watch will work with Google Fi.
Researchers discovered multiple references to “rohan_add_device_confirmation_details” in the app, with Rohan being Google’s codename for the Pixel Watch. As such, it looks like the wearable will be available to buy through Google Fi, and/or customers who buy a Pixel Watch elsewhere will be able to add it to their Google Fi account.
There’s no evidence yet on how a Google Fi data plan for the Pixel Watch might be priced, and it could be a case where the watch is given a free data-only SIM, as is currently the case with tablets and Chromebooks added to Google Fi accounts.
It also isn’t known yet if Pixel Watch users will be able to associate a unique phone number to their watch through Google Fi, or if the wearable will use the same number as their smartphone. The former would allow it to make and receive phone calls while away from the owner’s smartphone entirely, while the latter would simply turn the Pixel Watch into an extension of the phone.
9to5Google also spotted references to insurance in the Google Fi app suggesting customers who add a Pixel Watch to their Fi account will be given the option to take out an insurance policy on the wearable.
The Pixel Watch has been a long time coming. Google first launched its Android Wear smartwatch system, now called Wear OS, back in 2014, and a Pixel-branded watch has been rumoured pretty much ever since. Finally, Google confirmed earlier in 2022 that a watch will arrive in the autumn, but it hasn’t yet announced a specific date or month. It is expected to be priced from between £300 and £400, and to directly rival the Apple Watch Series 8, due out in September, and the new Samsung Galaxy Watch 5.