Photo Credit: Google
Google Pixel Watch debuted during the I/O 2022 consumer keynote on Wednesday as the company's first smartwatch — quite a long time after being a part of rumour mill. The new offering comes in a circular domed design, unlike the Apple Watch that features a rectangular display, that carries rounded edges. The Pixel Watch also carries distinct colour options and a list of fitness tracking features. In addition to the Pixel Watch, Google unveiled the Pixel Buds Pro as its latest truly wireless stereo (TWS) earbuds — countering the likes of Apple's AirPods Pro and Samsung's Galaxy Buds Pro.
Google Pixel Watch price is yet to be revealed. However, Google said at the keynote that the smartwatch will be available in the US starting this fall.
The Google Pixel Buds Pro, on the other hand, are priced at $199 (roughly Rs. 15,400). The earbuds come in four distinct colours — Charcoal, Coral, Fog, and Lemongrass — and will go on pre-orders in the US starting July 21.
Details on the launch of the Pixel Watch and Pixel Buds Pro in India are yet to be revealed.
The Google Pixel Watch runs the latest Wear OS and features the circular display with minimal bezels and a curved glass protection that brings the pebble-like domed design. It comes tactile crown — similar to Apple Watch's Digital Crown — and has a stainless steel build. The Pixel Watch also comes with customisable, swappable wrist bands that can seamlessly attach. The watch, though, doesn't seem to support any regular 22mm straps. It also sounds familiar if you have seen an Apple Watch that supports proprietary-style bands.
On the software side of things, Google said that the Pixel Watch runs an improved Wear OS UI with more fluid navigation and smart notifications. It makes sense for Google to deliver a distinct experience on its own device over other smartwatches, so you may notice a list of differences over other Wear OS models.
"It's all designed to be tappable voice enabled and glanceable so you can be more present at home, at work or on the go," said Rick Osterloh, SVP, Devices and Services at Google, during the keynote.
The Pixel Watch is also integrated with Google's offerings including Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Google Wallet to deliver an enhanced experience. Google has also made the Pixel Watch as a remote for compatible smart home devices using the Home app for Wear OS. This lets you adjust your thermostat or turn on or off lights directly from your wrist.
Google has additionally integrated Fitbit within the Pixel Watch to deliver "industry-leading health and fitness experiences" out-of-the-box. Google said that the watch provides continuous heart rate and sleep tracking. Users can also see their active zone minutes when working out and track their stats and progress against different fitness goals.
The Pixel Watch also works with the Find My Device app to help users locate their misplaced Pixel phone, earbuds, or any other supported devices on a map available on their wrist.
The Google Pixel Buds Pro come with active noise cancellation (ANC) that uses a new silent seal technology that is claimed to help compensate for audio leakage and maximise the amount of noise that has been cancelled. This makes the new earbuds a significant upgrade over the existing Pixel Buds and Pixel Buds A-Series as both don't have ANC support. The Pixel Buds Pro also include a transparency mode that helps users hear ambient sound. Later this year, Google has also promised to update the Pixel Buds Pro with spatial audio support to take on Apple's AirPods Pro.
Detailing ANC, Google said the earbuds carry beam forming microphones that use noise suppression algorithms trained with machine learning to suppress wind traffic and other background noise. The earbuds are also powered by a custom audio chip that is claimed to deliver power efficiency to make the hardware last for up to 11 hours of listening time or seven hours with ANC turned on.
Similar to existing Pixel Buds and other Pixel devices, the Pixel Buds Pro come with a hands-free Google Assistant experience. You can use the experience to translate in 40 languages or ask the Assistant to get walking directions, without requiring to physically use your phone.
Google has bundled the Pixel Buds Pro earbuds with a charging case that has USB Type-C for wired charging as well as Qi wireless charging. The buds also include support for multipoint connectivity to let users connect them with "compatible phones, tablets, laptops, and TVs" simultaneously and switch between audio streams while on-the-go. Users will also be able to find their Pixel Buds Pro using Find My Device in case they lose the earbud.
The bundled case has IPX2 splash resistant design, while the earbuds have IPX4 sweat resistance. The earbuds also include capacitive touch sensors for tap and swipe gesture support. The charging case support sFast Charge to deliver up to one hour of listening time with five minutes of charging. It also brings a total listening time of up to 31 hours (without ANC).