Pixel Watch images show the smartwatch of our dreams

James Tsai's Pixel Watch concept shows a Wear OS device that's big on style with a touch of the playful

Pixel Watch
(Image credit: James Tsai)

For as long as the Google Pixel has been a thing, rumors have abounded that a Pixel Watch is just around the corner. Well, the Pixel 5 is mere months away, and Google is still yet to make a wearable, despite building an OS dedicated to wearables.

It doesn’t look like we’re going to see a Pixel Watch launched alongside the Pixel 5, but designer James Tsai has got us hoping that Google has just been very good at keeping its prototypes under wraps. He’s built a gallery showing exactly how classy a Google-built smartwatch could look

Tsai takes inspiration from current Google hardware with a design that feels more ‘fun’ than its Wear OS rivals, which often seem to be going out of their way to look serious.  And that comes right down to the colors, where Tsai apes Google’s memorable names for their shades, with “milk white,” “sweet papaya” and “boba black”. 

Pixel Watch

A concept showing the long-rumored Pixel Watch

(Image credit: James Tsai)

“The Always-On Display is created to be simple on your wrist for an effortless feel, also lets you forget the digital watch feeling from turning off the screen,” Tsai writes. “The Always-On Display itself is capable of providing constant imagery and showing off Google's remarkable animation clock and UI transition.”

It’s very stylish looking, reminding me a little of the Withings Activité Pop fitness trackers, but I’m not completely sold on everything here. It’s mainly down to the strap, which looks plasticky and made with studs to hold it in place – in my experience, that never actually feels good on the wrist.  

Plus, of course, it appears to have the watch face built in, meaning you wouldn’t be able to sub in your own strap. That feels a bit unlikely to me too: as Apple will no doubt tell you, being able to sell stylish new looks with additional straps is big business.

It’s a moot point, anyway. There’s no sign of a Pixel Watch appearing any time soon, and it feels like it might be something that came close to production before ultimately being either postponed or abandoned. Even the reliable Evan Blass thought it was a sure thing, tweeting that a “reliable source” had said it would be launching alongside the Pixel 3 in 2018.

Two years later and, sadly, we’re still waiting for Google to show other Wear OS manufacturers how it should be done. So we’re left dreaming – and with that in mind, you can see James Tsai’s full gallery here