Google has announced its long-awaited Pixel Watch on Wednesday, encouraging the expansion of the hardware giant in hardware. The company annoyed its first smartwatch during Google I / O conference, but plans to reveal more details closer to the autumn release of the device.

The watch has a dome-shaped design, works with Google’s Wear OS smartwatch software and includes some Fitbit health tracking features. Google did not announce a price, but said it would be sold as a premium product.

Pixel Watch is Google’s first big step in the smartwatch market, with shipments up 24% in 2021, according to Counterpoint research. Google is new to this market. Rivals like Apple and Samsung lead the market and have been selling smart watches for years. The company sees its new smartwatch as crucial to building its Pixel brand into a complete ecosystem of products similar to those offered by Apple and Samsung, including smartphones, tablets, wireless headphones and smartwatches.


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“You have your own Pixel phoneyou have your own Pixel Buds“You have YouTube Music,” said Ramon Lamas, research director at International Data Corporation, a market research firm.

The announcement comes more than a year later Acquisition of Fitbit by Google closed in January 2021. While the Fitbit team is leading the development of the Pixel Watch, Google has no plans to merge the two product lines, according to Rick Osterlo, Google’s senior vice president of devices and services.

Instead, the range of Pixel Watch and Fitbit devices will complement each other, says James Park, founder of Fitbit, who now heads Google’s wearable division. Those interested in more traditional smartwatch features such as LTE support in addition to health tracking would probably choose the Pixel Watch, while the Fitbit Charge would be ideal for users who are more interested in fitness and battery life.

“The great thing about combining Pixel and Fitbit is that we can collectively offer these different devices,” Park said in an exclusive interview with CNN’s Scott Stein before Google I / O. “People can choose what is best for them.”

Known features of Fitbit such as Minutes for the active zone, which measures time spent in certain heart rate ranges during a workout, will be available on the Pixel Watch. Like many of today’s smartwatches, the Pixel Watch will also track sleep and heart rate.

The company expects to add more Fitbit functionality in the future. “Over time, the Pixel Watch will have state-of-the-art health sensors,” Park said. “And we will be selective about how all of these features fit into the entire portfolio.”

Unlike the Pixel Watch, which will only be for Android, Fitbit products are also compatible with the iPhone. Park said the company has no plans to suspend iOS support for Fitbit products. “This is really important for the Fitbit range,” he said.

Someone on a bike is checking his watch

Google Pixel Watch on a person’s wrist

Google

Popular Google applications such as Maps, Wallet and Google Assistant will be part of the Pixel Watch, along with updated software that should feel “fluid” and “easy to navigate,” according to the company. The watch also has custom straps and a tactile crown similar to the Apple Watch.

For Google, launching a new hardware product like the Pixel Watch doesn’t necessarily mean selling the most units, according to Tuong Nguyen, senior chief analyst at market research firm Gartner. It’s about keeping people using Google apps and services by giving them a more important role in our lives. This is a strategy this works well for apple.

“Hardware is like a delivery mechanism,” Nguyen said. “And we need to, at least in the short to medium term, focus more on what it can do.”

The company did not announce prices, availability, feature details, battery life or other hardware features such as a clock processor, health sensors or display type. These questions will probably be answered in the fall closer to the release of the clock.

Google already has some influence in the smartwatch market thanks to its ownership of Fitbit and its Wear OS software platform, which powers watches from Fossil and Samsung, by the way. Google will be both a partner and competitor of these smartwatch makers after the Pixel Watch debuts. With the launch of its first smartwatch, Google will also be able to show what the perfect Android watch experience should be, just as its Pixel phones do for Android smartphones.

The company is best known for its ubiquitous search engine and digital services, but in recent years has made a bigger boost in hardware. Pixel Watch will join Google’s current range of phones, smart home gadgets such as thermostats and connected speakers. Pixelbook Go laptop and Chromecast streaming devices. It is also just one of several new hardware products in Google’s pipeline. The company announced on Wednesday Pixel 6A and Pixel Buds Pro, both of which will launch in July. He also visualizes Pixel 7which will arrive in the fall, and a new Pixel tablet coming in 2023

https://www.cnet.com/tech/mobile/google-pixel-watch-is-coming-this-fall-with-some-familiar-fitbit-features/#ftag=CADf328eec

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