Most manufacturers would have us pretending to act surprised when, for example, it’s announced that — shock horror — the iPhone 14 will follow the iPhone 13. Not so Google, which told us weeks ago that this morning’s Made By Google event would see the debut of both the Pixel 7 and Pixel Watch.
Well now, everything has been revealed. And while we’re not expecting either to be sold in New Zealand, it’s always good to keep tabs on what the brains behind Android and Wear OS think that perfect examples of Android smartphones and Wear OS smartwatches should look like.
The Pixel Watch is all new: Google’s first attempt at a smartwatch, despite coming up with Wear OS (or Android Wear as it was then) eight years ago. It’s a round, puck-shaped watch with a crown on the right-hand side and straps that connect via a unique system that Google suggests will be like swapping DLSR lenses.
Rather than just being the familiar Wear OS that the likes of Samsung and Huawei have run with over the years, Google brings in a little help from Fitbit — the wearable company it bought for US$2.1 billion back in 2019. “Help by Google” and “Health by Fitbit” is the motto.
So while you’ll get integration with familiar apps and services like Google Wallet for NFC payments, Google Photos for screen dressing and Google Maps for navigation, the fitness side is all handled by Fitbit.
It has support for 40 exercises, active zone minutes tracking and daily readiness scores, all backed by Fitbit’s “most accurate heart-rate tracking yet.” It’ll even come with six months’ worth of Fitbit Premium for things like wellness reports, mindfulness content and breathing rate health metrics.
Battery will apparently last for a day, and you’ll be able to get an extra nine hours’ use with 45 minutes at the charger. Which is handy if you’ve forgotten to charge your watch on the morning of an ultramarathon.
The Pixel 7 and 7 Pro, meanwhile, were more iterative updates — which is to say very little has changed from last year’s versions.
Yes, photography is supposed to be markedly improved, and there’s the new Tensor G2 chip from Google (which is only 50MHz faster on paper but could be significantly better optimised), but otherwise the only really new feature is the re-introduction of Face Unlock, last seen on the Pixel 4. This was supposed to be part of the Pixel 6 too, according to leaked marketing material, but was pulled by the time it was actually launched.
As I said above, there’s been no indication that either will be sold in New Zealand, but if you’re keen to import, then here’s some price and availability information. The Pixel Watch starts at £339 (~NZ$670) for the WiFi version and £379 (~NZ$750) for the LTE model, while the Pixel 7 is £599 (~NZ$1,185) for the regular and £849 (~NZ$1,680) for the Pro. Both are available to pre-order from today, with a full release on the 13th.