Google’s first Pixel Watch may have had a few shortcomings, but it gave them a stellar launch pad for future iterations. In just a couple months, Google is prepping to unveil the Pixel Watch 2; and though we won’t know all the details until its actual launch sometime in October, there are some new details we now know thanks to an inside source over at Android Authority. So let’s take a look at what’s been revealed so far about the latest smart watch coming from Google.
One of the largest improvements with the Pixel Watch 2 will be the replacement of the outdated Exynos 9110 SoC with the more advanced Qualcomm Snapdragon W5 Gen 1. This new SoC not only offers improved performance, but it also presents enhanced efficiency: a marked step up from the inefficient Exynos 9100 that plagued the original Pixel Watch with less-than-stallar battery life.
The Snapdragon W5 is built on the same 4nm process as the 2021 and 2022 smartphone chips, making it a major upgrade from the aging 9110 found in the original Pixel Watch. It also introduces new low-power states such as Deep Sleep and Hibernation, which should greatly enhance the battery life of the Pixel Watch 2.
To go along with a processor that is far better on the battery, the Pixel Watch 2 will also sport a slightly larger battery, rated at 306mAh: a 4% increase from the original Pixel Watch. This increase – when coupled with the more-efficient SoC – should significantly address the battery life issues that were a major complaint with the first-generation Pixel Watch. And honestly, if this is the only upgrade we see, I’d be happy. But there’s far more.
UWB (ultra-wideband) Support
The inclusion of ultra-wideband (UWB) is another significant upgrade coming with the Pixel Watch 2. The possible applications for this technology are numerous – the most obvious being precise device location. This should end up being especially useful given Google’s efforts to improve its Find My Device network. Another incredibly useful application of UWB would be the ability to unlock your car using a Digital Car Key. Notably, only a handful of Android phones currently support UWB, so having this ability in a watch could prove incredibly convenient.
From the source, the large bezels on the original Pixel Watch are here to stay for this latest iteration. However, Google has made some improvements to the display quality with a switch from a BOE panel to one sourced from Samsung Display. While it looks to retain the same basic specs, there may be other changes like improved brightness or energy-saving features that come along with this new panel. For what it’s worth, in actual use, the Pixel Watch’s bezels never bothered me at all, so as long as this change brings a slightly improved display that could be better on battery life, it sounds great.
Faster Updates and Dynamic Theming
The Pixel Watch 2 will arrive with Wear OS 4 (based on Android 13) installed, meaning that we will get both dynamic theming and seamless updates with this watch. We saw hints of this theming in the leaked watch faces for the Pixel Watch 2 last week, and I’m still hoping very much that the Pixel Watch 2 will be able to update the colors in the theme based on your phone’s setup once it arrives.
As for seamless updates, this is exactly what it sounds like; giving the Pixel Watch 2 the ability to update the OS in the background while the old version is still running. Just like we see in Chromebook updates, your Pixel Watch 2 will be able to download and install the latest firmware in the background and a simple restart will be all that is needed to take an update. It’s a first for smartwatches and a fantastic addition for a device you generally don’t want to think too much about updating all the time.
Google is developing two separate versions of the Pixel Watch 2, one supporting LTE and the other supporting Wi-Fi. Interestingly, India’s BIS regulatory body is now included in the regulatory e-labels, suggesting that Google may be planning to launch the watch there. It’s not indicative of a massively-improved availability, but it is definitely a move in the right direction.
All in all, it would appear that the Pixel Watch 2 is a sizeable update over the original Pixel Watch. As always, we have to wait and see how these features come together, but I’m already getting pretty excited. The Pixel Watch was by far my favorite wearable and my last few months with the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 have only solidified the fact that Google made something quite unique in the original version. With this slew of upgrades, I can’t imagine the Pixel Watch 2 not being fantastic, and I can’t wait to see more in the coming weeks.