A Google Pixel Watch report from last weekend sure soured a lot of expectations around these parts. The news suggesting that Google had decided to use a 4 year old processor for their first flagship watch was disappointing, to say the least. However, a follow-up report to end this week should help bring some excitement back and potentially squash any worries you had.
The crew at 9to5Google has heard from a second source who also confirmed the chipset in the Pixel Watch as being the 4-year old Exynos 9110, the same chip first found in the Galaxy Watch. Where this takes a turn away from that being horrible news is in the rest of what this source told them.
Google will apparently add a co-processor alongside that older Exynos 9110 chip, likely to help offload tasks and create a more efficient watch experience. This would be a similar approach to what Qualcomm does with their 3100 and 4100 series chips for wearables. A low powered co-processor could be used to monitor ongoing health and fitness data, power an always-on display, that sort of thing. By taking away activities from the main, power-hungry chip and putting it through a low-power chip, there are big efficiency benefits to be had.
This news makes a lot of sense, because it would allow Google to clear up that talk from Google I/O where they said the watch was “built inside and out by Google.” My guess is that they’ll sell this as a custom experience and brand it with Google Tensor. They basically did the same thing with Tensor on the Pixel 6 line.
As for the rest of the good news, today’s report says we could get 32GB storage and over 1.5GB RAM. If you’ve used a Wear OS watch at any time over the past several years, you are probably aware that the jump to 1GB RAM (from 512MB) dramatically improved the user experience on the platform. We’ve since seen some watches go further and give us 1.5GB RAM, like the Galaxy Watch 4 series. RAM is a crucial spec for smartwatches on Android.
In somewhat related news, we’re now learning that the Pixel Watch will use health sensors on-par with those from Fitbit. That should mean not only heartrate tracking, but SpO2 and ECG readings.
To recap, the seemingly bad news from last week has now turned into what could be seen as OK, if not good news. Google may have customized a still-capable chip to work even better than it ever has, while upgrading things like storage and RAM.
Is the Pixel Watch back on your radar?