The Pixel Watch will presumably hit store shelves later this year. What do the experts want to see in this upcoming wearable tech from Google? Given the choppy history of the Wear OS platform, the real test for the Pixel Watch is to just function as a reasonable competitor to the evergreen Apple Watch.
But what does that look like in practice for Google’s upcoming smartwatch? Well, they need to absolutely nail the basics. And that’s easier said than done, because, for smartwatches, there are a lot of basics.
A smartwatch needs to do more than just tell time and ping you when you get messages. The basics are pretty much the same as you’d expect any Apple Watch to do, barring some high-end bells and whistles.
You want your watch to track your fitness information, like your time spent exercising, your heart rate, and your calories burned. You want it to handle music, even without your phone around – all for keeping you lighter while you run.
The other baseline thing you need your watch to do is back up your data. Wear OS watches haven’t had this feature yet, and it’s incredibly frustrating. It’s 2022 and yet you need to factory reset your smartwatch when you get a new phone if you use Wear OS.
Compare this to the “it just works” magic of an Apple Watch, and you can see why reviewers are often a bit cold to the Wear OS lineup.
The bar for the Pixel Watch is so low that Google should be able to clear it without trouble. A 24-hour battery life, the ability to make cloud backups of watch data, and a fast processor should all be enough to make any potential Wear OS device a home run.
Google has made some great smart devices. The Pixel itself is a great example of this. If the company can deliver a similar product with its Watch, it will have a winner on its hands.
There’s an opening in the Android market for high-end, boutique-style devices that directly compete with Apple’s highly-curated experience. If Google can nail the basics with its Pixel Watch, it’ll position itself as the de facto competitor to Apple in the Android space.
Google bought FitBit and it’s made a huge push for its Wear OS 3 rollout. With any luck, the Pixel Watch can be the next big thing in the wearable space.