A Pixel Watch Is Actually Taking place, and Fitbit Loyalists May Actually Like It

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Google introduced its long-awaited Pixel Watch on Wednesday, furthering the tech large’s enlargement into {hardware}. The corporate teased its first smartwatch throughout its Google I/O convention however plans to disclose extra particulars nearer to the gadget’s fall launch. 

The watch has a domed round design, runs on Google’s Put on OS smartwatch software program and contains some Fitbit health-tracking options. Google did not announce a worth however mentioned will probably be offered as a premium product. 

The Pixel Watch represents Google’s first main step into the smartwatch market, which noticed shipments develop by 24% in 2021, in response to Counterpoint Analysis. Google is a newcomer to this market. Rivals like Apple and Samsung lead the market and have been promoting smartwatches for years. The corporate sees its new smartwatch as essential to constructing its Pixel model right into a full ecosystem of merchandise much like these provided by Apple and Samsung, spanning telephones, tablets, wi-fi earbuds and smartwatches. 

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“You may have your Pixel telephone, you could have your Pixel Buds, you could have YouTube Music,” mentioned Ramon Llamas, a analysis director for Worldwide Knowledge Company, a market analysis agency. “And now hastily, you see this greater than we now have in earlier years, a a lot clearer head-on competitor to Apple.”

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The announcement comes greater than a 12 months after Google’s acquisition of Fitbit closed in January 2021. Whereas the Fitbit group is driving the event of the Pixel Watch, Google is not planning to merge the 2 product traces, in response to Rick Osterloh, Google’s senior vp of units and providers.

The Pixel Watch and Fitbit’s lineup of units will as an alternative complement each other, says James Park, Fitbit’s founder who now leads Google’s wearables division. Those that care about having extra conventional smartwatch options like LTE assist along with well being monitoring would probably go for the Pixel Watch, whereas the Fitbit Cost can be splendid for customers who care extra about health and battery life. 

“The wonderful thing about combining Pixel and Fitbit is that we’re in a position to collectively provide these totally different units,” Park mentioned in an unique interview with CNET’s Scott Stein forward of Google I/O. “Folks can choose and select what’s finest for them.”

Acquainted Fitbit options like Energetic Zone Minutes, which measures the period of time spent in sure coronary heart charge ranges throughout train, will likely be out there on the Pixel Watch. Like lots of as we speak’s smartwatches, the Pixel Watch may also monitor sleep and coronary heart charge. 

The corporate expects so as to add extra Fitbit performance sooner or later. “Over time, the Pixel Watch can have probably the most superior well being sensors,” Park mentioned. “And we’ll be selective on how all these options come throughout your complete portfolio.”

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Not like the Pixel Watch, which will likely be Android-only, Fitbit’s merchandise are appropriate with iPhones too. Park mentioned the corporate does not have any plans to discontinue assist for iOS customers on Fitbit merchandise. “It is actually necessary for the Fitbit lineup,” he mentioned.

Someone on a bike checking their watch

The Google Pixel Watch on an individual’s wrist


In style Google apps like Maps, Pockets and Google Assistant will likely be a part of the Pixel Watch, together with refreshed software program that ought to really feel “fluid” and “simple to navigate,” in response to the corporate. The watch additionally has customizable bands and a tactile crown much like the one discovered on the Apple Watch.

For Google, launching a brand new {hardware} product just like the Pixel Watch is not essentially about promoting probably the most models, in response to Tuong Nguyen, a senior principal analyst at market analysis agency Gartner. It is about protecting individuals utilizing Google’s apps and providers, giving them a extra outstanding function in our lives. It is a technique that is labored nicely for Apple. 

“The {hardware} is sort of a supply mechanism,” mentioned Nguyen. “And we should always, not less than perhaps within the brief to medium time period, focus extra on what it could possibly do.”

The corporate did not announce pricing, availability, characteristic particulars, battery life or different {hardware} specifics just like the watch’s processor, well being sensors or show kind. These questions will probably be answered within the fall nearer to the watch’s launch. 

Google already holds some affect over the smartwatch market because of its possession of Fitbit and to its Put on OS software program platform, which powers watches from Fossil and Samsung, amongst others. Google will likely be each a companion and competitor to those smartwatch makers as soon as the Pixel Watch debuts. By launching its first smartwatch, Google may also have a chance to showcase what the best Android watch expertise must be like, simply as its Pixel telephones do for Android smartphones.  

The corporate is finest recognized for its ubiquitous search engine and digital providers, however it’s made a much bigger push into {hardware} lately. The Pixel Watch will be part of Google’s present lineup of telephones, sensible dwelling devices like thermostats and related audio system, the Pixelbook Go laptop computer and Chromecast streaming units. It is also simply considered one of a number of new {hardware} merchandise in Google’s pipeline. The corporate introduced on Wednesday the Pixel 6A and Pixel Buds Professional, each of which will likely be launching in July. It additionally previewed the Pixel 7, which is able to arrive within the fall, and a new Pixel pill coming in 2023. 

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