Google Pixel Watch 3, renders provide first glimpse of upcoming device

The first renders of Google Pixel Watch 3 have been published giving us a preview of the upcoming device. The unofficial images show a slightly thicker device then before – potentially to accommodate a larger battery.

It’s fair to say, the original device received a lukewarm response. Nevertheless, with its sleek design and robust functionality it was a worthy first effort. Things were improved the second time around. The upgraded device boasts new health sensors, a faster processor, and longer battery life, delivering a smoother, more comprehensive smartwatch experience than Google’s first attempt. But there are still some negatives which remain.

Google Pixel Watch 3: Potential release date

Let’s start off first with the potential release date. The rumours about the first Pixel Watch date back more than five years. However nothing materialised until October 2022. A few times along the way, we totally gave up hope of ever seeing the device. But now things seems to have settled into a regular release schedule.

Essential readingTop fitness trackers and health gadgets

Just like Apple, Google has one smartwatch. In Apple’s case this has become a range, with a subsequent editions released without fail each year. And Google has adopted this approach. Which means we can expect the next Google Pixel Watch to land in early October 2024.

Google Pixel Watch 3: leaks and rumours

Various news outlets are reporting that there will be two size editions of the device. The current generation measures 41mm in diameter. Which is quite small. The advantage of this is that it is a unisex device that those with small wrists can wear comfortably. Considering competitor sizing, we expect the additional size model on Pixel Watch 3 to come in at around 45 mm.

We were actually hoping this option would arrive in 2023. But better late than never.

Plus now we have first renders of the device. Feast your eyes on the images below. They come via @OnLeaks and 91mobiles.

Google Pixel Watch 3

Leaked renders of the Google Pixel Watch 3 reveal a familiar design, closely resembling its predecessor. While the overall aesthetic remains consistent, a subtle difference lies in the thickness. The Pixel Watch 3 appears to be slightly thicker, potentially housing a larger battery for extended usage. The actual dimensions come in at 40.79 x 40.73 x 14mm compared to the Pixel Watch 2 which measures 41 x 41 x 12.3mm. 

The display size remains unchanged at 1.2 inches for the 40mm variant. The leaked images feature a sleek black model with a matching strap, but it’s anticipated that more color options will be available upon release.

Google Pixel Watch 3

Google Pixel Watch 3: features and capabilities wishlist

Get rid of those thick bezels

The Pixel Watch 2 swaps the original’s stainless steel for a lighter aluminum casing. While this means a slightly less premium look, the aluminum design offers a noticeable improvement in comfort due to reduced weight.

What has remained the same, though, are the prominent bezels. They are ugly. The thick borders frame the watch’s display, resulting in a dated appearance compared to some of its sleeker rivals. While the overall design is attractive, the bezel size does reduce the available screen real estate. Hopefully, Google will prioritize a more edge-to-edge display in the next iteration of the Pixel Watch, creating a more immersive and modern visual experience.

It is difficult to assess from these leaked images whether the bezel is smaller. But considering the screen is the same size as before and the dimensions are not very different – we are not very hopeful.

Some health metrics require a premium membership

One point of contention with the current Pixel Watch model is the necessity of a Fitbit Premium membership to unlock certain health metrics. This paywall limits the full health-tracking potential of the watch for users unwilling to commit to the additional subscription. 

Hopefully, Google will reconsider this strategy for the Pixel Watch 3. By integrating more in-depth health analytics as standard features, Google would make the Pixel Watch 3 a more compelling and inclusive health and fitness companion.

Unfortunately an increasing number of companies are taking the subscription route. We are not fans of this approach, and feel that if you buy hardware you should have access to all the metrics it is capable of producing.

Longer battery life

A full battery for the Google Pixel Watch lasts up to 24 hours with the always display on. And while this is enough to support sleep tracking and other features, it is not great. Dismal might be a better word.

And, yes, we are aware that this is a wear OS watch, but still. Only 24 hours?

Let’s aim for 2-3 days as a minimum on the Google Pixel Watch 2. Surely this not too much to ask for! With more power-efficient internals and a larger battery, it should be achievable.

Google Pixel Watch 2

New health sensors

The Pixel Watch 2 made significant strides in health tracking with the addition of a skin temperature sensor and a continuous electrodermal activity (cEDA) sensor for stress detection. This has brought it on par with the Fitbit Sense 2. However,there’s still room for future iterations to take things further. Additional sensors capable of monitoring blood pressure, for example, would make the Pixel Watch 3 a truly comprehensive health and wellness device.

Having said that, it is difficult to forecast what sort of sensor improvements we might see. Fitbit has not released very much in terms of hardware over the past year, so things seem to have stagnated a bit on this front. We’re not sure what’s going on.

Google watch is still limited for workout tracking

While the Pixel Watch offers solid workout tracking capabilities, it still falls short in providing dedicated performance-oriented statistics. This is particularly the case when compared to specialized sports watches like those from Garmin. 

And yes, we do realise that this is a fitness and health watch rather than a sports watch. Regardless, it would be nice if future iterations of the Pixel Watch will go beyond the basics. This would give serious athletes deeper insights into their training. Here we’re hoping for advanced metrics like recovery time guidance, and more detailed breakdowns of training load and intensity.

iPhone compatibility

Unsurprisingly, Pixel watch works best with Pixel smartphones. You are also good if you have an Android smartphone. However, those who own an iPhone are out of luck. Google Pixel Watch does not play nice with Apple’s ecosystem.

There are numerous reasons for this. Smartwatches are intended to be an extension of smartphones. As a result, the Apple Watch is the ideal companion for an iPhone. The same is true for Pixel phones and the Pixel Watch. The Google timepiece requires an Android on the other end in order to function properly.

Is it possible that this will change in the future? We can’t think of any reason why not.

In the past, Android watchmakers such as Samsung have provided some iPhone compatibility. This was accomplished using a third-party Galaxy Watch iOS app. Unfortunately, the support was pulled a few years ago. But this demonstrates that it is doable.

Does Pixel Watch 3 really need to be this expensive?

The Google Pixel Watch is pricey. The device costs $350 for the entry level GPS + Bluetooth-only configuration. The high-end LTE-compatible version will set you back an additional $50. This is in addition to the LTE wireless service plan.

As of late, Google and other retailers have started offering discounts on Pixel Watch. It is not typical for price cuts to be available so soon after the launch of a device.

Our hope is that Pixel Watch 3 will be priced more reasonably. Of course this will in the end depend on its specs. The other option is for Google to introduce a cheaper version. Something akin to the Apple Watch SE.

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Ivan Jovin

Ivan has been a tech journalist for over 7 years now, covering all kinds of technology issues. He is the guy who gets to dive deep into the latest wearable tech news.

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