It sounds like Google’s upcoming Pixel Watch will be a flagship set to compete with Samsung’s latest Galaxy Watches and the Apple Watch, according to new specs leaked by 9to5Google. According to 9to5’s report, you’ll be able to get a cellular version of the wearable, and it will have a 300 milliamp-hour (mAh) battery.
It wasn’t necessarily a given that there would be a cellular option for the Pixel Watch. Some lower-end smartwatches, and even some high-end fitness-focused models, are reliant on your phone for connectivity. If the rumor is accurate and there is a cellular Pixel Watch model, it reinforces the idea that Google’s probably not trying to make its watch a smaller or cheaper alternative — it wants that mass-market appeal.
As for the battery, its physical capacity seems about right for how big the watch is. However, it’s almost impossible to tell what that milliamp-hour rating means for how long it’ll last between charges.
When The Verge’s reviews editor Dan Seifert compared the Apple Watch Series 7 41mm and the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic 42mm, he found that they had dramatically different levels of endurance. One day, the Galaxy Watch was out of juice while the Apple Watch was at 52 percent (though the next day he was able to get a couple of hours more out of the Galaxy after some tweaks). And yet the Apple Watch’s battery isn’t that much bigger; it has a 284mAh capacity, while the Galaxy’s battery is rated for 247mAh.
What really matters when it comes to a wearable’s battery life are its features and processor. Both are unknown at this point for the Pixel Watch, though features-wise it obviously won’t have the e-paper display that let the Pebble Time get well over a week of use out of its 250mAh battery.
The big, as-of-yet unanswered question is which chip Google will use — Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 4100 or 4100 Plus, which haven’t shown up in a lot of watches despite having been around for a while? A currently unannounced next-gen Qualcomm chip? Samsung’s Exynos chips that it uses in its own watches? A custom Tensor processor, like Google uses in the Pixel 6? There are so many options — some of which are unknowns, and others that would be a bad sign for its battery life.
Hopefully, we won’t have to wait too long to find out the answer — the rumors say that Google could announce the Pixel Watch at its I/O conference, which starts just a few weeks from now on May 11th. If you want to get a look at its hardware before then, though, you’re in luck — someone posted a plethora of pictures of it on and off a wrist, claiming that a friend found the device laying around in a bar, iPhone 4-style. Maybe Sundar Pichai will make the same joke as Steve Jobs when he announces the Pixel Watch, saying “stop me if you’ve already seen this.”