In 2010, a tech prototype of the iPhone 4 was left in a bar by an Apple engineer, giving the world a glimpse of the phone months ahead of its official debut. Now, a test unit of Google’s upcoming Pixel Watch has reportedly been abandoned at a restaurant, and we now have what appears to be our first detailed look at the smartwatch from different angles.
So far, the barrage of leak-based renders has painted the image of a round dial with a curved outline. The new batch of real-life images, which comes from Android Central, shows a screen that is dramatically curved, imitating the “waterfall” curved screen aesthetic that smartphone makers like Vivo were looking for a few years ago.
But given the massive glass curvature, Google could use the curved edges for flashing notification lights without interrupting the content on the screen. Related, another leaked image that appeared last week revealed the Pixel Watch’s home screen with some sort of Fitbit (which Google owns) integration clearly visible.
Images leaked to Android Central reportedly show the long-rumored Pixel Watch.
The housing appears to be metal with a glossy finish, and the sensor array is neatly arranged in a rectangular bar in the center. The rotating crown also rocks a metallic finish. There are reportedly two physical buttons on the main body of the Pixel Watch – one on either side of the crown. It is unclear whether these buttons are intended for interaction with the user interface or for health-related functions.
The Pixel Watch in question was apparently devoid of any functional software, as pressing the buttons reportedly only flashed the boot screen with a ‘G’ logo. The unit, which could be “a test model for the Internal Pixel team”, also relies on its own connection points for attaching a strap, much like the Apple Watch. That means buyers can’t just buy a standard 22mm band for the Pixel Watch that suits their style. The leaked live images only show a blue band resembling rubberized silicone, but more color options will likely be on the table.
Currently in development codenamed Rohan, Google’s first smartwatch will reportedly rely on a custom chip that shares its DNA with Samsung’s Exynos family and will also support mobile connectivity. However, there is no word on the size and material options of the case.
The possible side of the Pixel Watch, along with the band, leaked to Android Central.
The box in which the Pixel Watch was found states that the device is only intended for “in-house testing and development” and that it may not be the final design for the retail package. It’s curious, though, that someone (read: Google employee or contractor) would publicly carry the packaging box while secretly testing a long-awaited product.
Rumors suggest that the Pixel Watch will offer a supercharged version of Google Assistant, which means faster response times and some exclusive features, just like the Pixel smartphones. Whether it will bundle advanced health-focused capabilities such as electrocardiogram facility and blood oxygen saturation level measurement remains to be seen.
Google hasn’t said a word about the Pixel Watch yet, but rumors suggest it will debut alongside the Pixel 6a at its upcoming I/O event in May. However, if Google decides to launch it alongside the Pixel 7 series phones, we may have to wait until Q4 2022 to find out what Google has to offer with its first smartwatch.
Until then, watch this leak with skeptical (albeit curious) lenses.