We already know the upcoming Pixel Watch is going to look really great, have some sweet watch faces, and hopefully offer up a Pixel-specific take on Wear OS 3. While we still don’t know when the device will arrive or what the pricing will be, thanks to some digging by 9to5 Google, we now know a few more details about what life could be like with this new watch from Google.
Next-Gen Google Assistant
Not surprisingly, it looks like Google is slated to bring the next-gen Google Assistant to the Pixel Watch. If you aren’t famimliar, the next-gen Assistant is simply how Google refers to the on-device version of Google Assistant that simply doesn’t need to lean so heavily on Google’s servers to answer your questions. It makes things like text-to-speech and simple queries about weather or conversions a whole lot faster, and it is the version of the Google Assistant many of us have grown accustomed to having in our pockets.
Thanks to 9to5 Google’s piecing together of a few interesting tidbits in Google’s own apps, we can feel certain that this quicker, lighter, less-connected version of the Google Assistant will be on the Pixel Watch – a.k.a. ‘Rohan’. But it goes further than those ties. In addition to delivering an early look at 10 Pixel Watch watch faces, the new Wear OS 3 emulator in Android Studio has also turned up a graphic that shows where the Pixel Watch might display the next-gen Assistant light bar that we’re all so fond of. Take a look.
While this looks for sure to be inbound on the Pixel Watch, the fact that this is included in the Wear OS 3 emulator tells me that we could see the next-gen Assistant on other Wear OS watches down the road as well. The graphic up there is clearly for a generic watch as there is a crown and a button of some sort, so this doesn’t appear to be specific to the Pixel Watch if the swath of renders we have of that device are to be believed. For this to be a part of a smartwatch, however, better processors are needed, and it turns out that might be on the way for Pixel Watch, too.
Samsung Exynos powered?
As part of this deep dive from 9to5 Google, they also noticed various references to ‘Rohan’ being powered by a Samsung Exynos processor. It is still unclear at this time exactly what Exynos processor we’re talking about, but it could either be something like we see in the new Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 (Exynos W920) or something a bit more customized by Google.
Though Pixel 6 is powered by Google’s Tensor SoC, the truth is that chip is manufactured by Samsung and is likely a customized version of the company’s own Exynos processor. In a similar way, Google could either utilize a Samsung Exynos chip or a slightly-customized version they could label as a Tensor chip.
With Google and Samsung working together so tightly on Wear OS, the latest Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, and the rumors of Google using Samsung screens and glass to make the Pixel Fold, it really makes a lot of sense that we’d see some sort of Samsung silicon in the Pixel Watch. Regardless of what it is called, a more-powerful processor will be needed to leverage the on-device Assistant, and Samsung’s latest ultra-mobile processor could be a great fit.
As always, we’re watching for more news about this new watch. Many of us have been waiting on the Pixel Watch for years and if Google puts together the device we’re beginning to get a fuller picture of, I know there will be tons of people snapping this thing up when it does launch. It’s time for Google to finally set the standard for Wear OS, and the Pixel Watch needs to be the device that does it.