(Update: more information) Google’s fall hardware event might also introduce a Pixel-branded watch

By | 10th May 2018

Wear OS

Update (5/10): WinFuture provided additional details on the three Pixel-branded smartwatches that Google will reportedly announce during its hardware event this fall.

Reportedly codenamed Ling, Triton, and Sardine, the three watches supposedly reached the stage where Google decides whether the hardware design makes sense for mass production. It is unknown how the three watches differ from each other or whether they will offer LTE connectivity.

Elsewhere, the three Pixel watches will reportedly feature Qualcomm’s upcoming Snapdragon Wear 3100 platform. The platform will reportedly use a quad-core CPU, the older ARM Cortex-A7 architecture, the Adreno 304 GPU, and a 28nm manufacturing process.

If all of that rings a bell, that is because the two-year-old Snapdragon Wear 2100 platform uses the same internals and manufacturing process. That would be disappointing if true, though Qualcomm should have more to say on this front in the coming months.

Where the Snapdragon Wear 3100 reportedly differs from the older platform is with the new power management solution. Codenamed Blackghost, the chip reportedly runs continuously and allows smartwatches to respond to voice commands at any time. As such, there would be no need to get the watch out of standby.

WinFuture noted that most of this information is based on documents that are only a few weeks old. However, there is a chance that Google might not launch the watches as part of its Pixel program or cancel any of the three watches altogether.

Also, Qualcomm provided details on what its new smartwatch chipset platform would be capable of, not what it is comprised of. As such, take all of these details with a grain of salt.

Over the years, Google’s hardware efforts amounted to phones, tablets, smart home devices, and even Chromebooks. Notably absent in that list is a smartwatch, but according to VentureBeat writer Evan Blass, Google will change that during its hardware event later this year.

A “reliable source” told Blass with “high confidence” that Google will expand its lineup of Pixel-branded devices with a smartwatch. Interestingly, Roland Quandt from WinFuture chimed in and said Google will introduce not one, but three Pixel-branded smartwatches.

Blass did not say if Google will have another company produce the Pixel watches or make it in-house, while Quandt did not say whether there would be differences between the devices. It would not be unusual for there to be size or finish differences, seeing how Apple and Huawei adopted similar strategies with their smartwatches.

We also do not know what will power the Pixel watches. Qualcomm’s new smartwatch chips will launch later this year as successors to the aging Snapdragon Wear 2100 platform, so there is a good chance the devices will feature those chips.

Either way, the Pixel watches should provide the spark that the Wear OS ecosystem needs right now. As many Wear OS smartwatches as there are, all of them feature older processors that have trouble keeping up with the latest software releases.

It also does not help that fashion brands seemingly release smartwatches every other week, though LG reportedly has a smartwatch of its own in the works.

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In related news, Blass’s source also claimed Google will unveil the Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, and second-generation Pixel Buds alongside the Pixel watches. The new Pixel smartphones are safe assumptions, though updated Pixel Buds can hopefully improve the mediocre sound and form factor of the original.

We should learn more about the Pixel watches, as well as the rest of Google’s supposed hardware offerings, as we get closer to fall.