The Google Pixel Watch is one of the best smartwatches around, earning four stars in our review. But tech moves fast, and with the Apple Watch Series 8 due for replacement later this year Google has reportedly planned a new version of its own wearable for a similar late-2023 release.
The report, which comes via 9to5Google, says that Google plans to unveil the next generation of its smartwatch in October 2023 alongside the Pixel 8 and Pixel Pro phones.
Do we need a better Pixel Watch?
Although the Pixel Watch is a relatively new wearable, it was in development for a long time and didn't match the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 in terms of specifications: it's a pretty thing but its initial 1GB of RAM was pretty limiting. It's also based on a fairly old processor, the same Samsung Exynos 9110 that's in the 2018 Galaxy Watch.
The Galaxy Watch 5 has an Exynos W920, which is a 5nm processor rather than a 10nm one, has a more modern architecture and promises 20% better processing performance and ten times faster graphics than the older chip. It's also less of a power drain.
There's an even better chip now: the Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1, which is starting to appear in some wearables. However, it's probably not destined for the next Pixel Watch; Google tends not to go for the very latest processors, and I'd be surprised if that changes with this device.
As 9to5Google points out, in addition to performance gains there are some other features Google hasn't yet brought to the pixel including overnight skin temperature and oxygen saturation (SpO2) stats. It suggests looking at the sensors in the Fitbit Sense 2, also owned by Google, for an indication of what a Pixel Watch 2 could bring.
So far this is a single-source rumour, so we need to take it with the obligatory pinch of salt. But a two-year release timetable for the Pixel Watch seems feasible; as Apple has discovered, a yearly upgrade cycle means very minor hardware improvements from year to year, which is why this year's Apple Watch is expected to be all about software improvements rather than significantly different hardware.