Everything you need to know about Google’s new Pixel Watch
Google has just quietly launched its first-ever smartwatch, and its sleek circular design might just make it the fanciest piece of wearable tech out there. Last night at the Made by Google event in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the tech giant unveiled the new Pixel Watch. Despite the sunny weather outside, it turns out the watch face was inspired by water droplets, and how they land just so, in a perfect dome shape.
“We wanted to recreate a drop of water to create a seamless look that combines the traditional analog idea of the circle and shape of time with this modern idea of fluidity of form, which also communicates the fluidity of technology in our lives,” says Isabelle Olsson, head of industrial design for Google’s Home and Wearable products. For Olsson and his team, function follows form, not the other way around. That’s why, for example, as a wearer, you’ll find that the bezel-less design won’t cling to your sleeve like most traditional watches.
For groups, Olsson drew inspiration from dozens of objects, from traditional watches and jewelry to handbags, wallets and even sneakers. “The knit bands, made from recycled plastic, are actually inspired by 3D knitted sneakers,” she says. “Sneakers are such a good analogy for what this product needs to do: it needs to be comfortable, stylish and durable.” Durability in particular was heavily considered when designing the Pixel Watch – it’s water and scratch resistant, and features bespoke 3D Gorilla Glass (a special brand of chemically strengthened glass).
And similar to a pair of sneakers, the Pixel Watch can be dressed up or down depending on which band you choose. Options range from woven, stretchy (so comfortable you can sleep in it), leather and metal (coming later this spring), with a plethora of color options, so you can mix and match your way.
“We wanted to make sure there was a group for everyone,” adds Olsson. “We also wanted to make sure that the colors we offer really stand the test of time.” To achieve this, Olsson tested the shades using his own fingernails as paint chips. “I would paint my nails a color we were excited about, then wear it for two weeks and look at it in different lighting conditions to see if I got bored.” (While explaining this, Olsson held her own woven band in a lemongrass hue to her matching manicure.)
But let’s be clear: the Pixel Watch is not just a pretty accessory, its technical characteristics are even more impressive than its design. Wear OS, Google’s Android operating system, includes access to Emergency SOS notifications, Google Wallet, Gmail, and Calendar. Plus, a la Siri, you can talk to your Google Pixel Watch to text, ask questions, and set reminders, letting you do a lot without physically handling your phone. Because hands-free is the way to be.
As a bonus, the watch doubles as Fitbit, with a step counter, heart rate monitor, and sleep tracking that can send the user a “Sleep Score” each morning (essentially a summary of all your sleep habits , good and bad). ).
The Google Pixel Watch starts at $349.99 and is available for pre-order now at store.google.com.