So why has Google never made its own smartwatch? It's a great question with no simple answer but there are signs that, after all this time, one might finally be coming to market.
When does the Pixel Watch launch?
A bit like the OnePlus Watch (which is finally a reality), it feels like we've been waiting forever for Google to release an own-brand smartwatch.
It was way back in 2018 when it was confirmed Google was definitely working on a Pixel Watch but in an interview with Tom's Guide, Google's director of engineering for Wear OS, Miles Barr, said it wasn't quite ready for primetime just yet.
Barr told the site, "to think of a one-size-fits-all watch, I don't think we're there yet. Our focus is on our partners for now."
That clearly went further than the back-burner but new leaks for the Pixel Watch suggest it might be on its way soon.
Jon Prosser might normally report on Apple leaks but has shared an image of the supposed Pixel Watch, showing an extreme closeup of the watch face, with a physical crown in the background.
Since this initial leak, Prosser has posted a fairly substantial follow-up featuring the Pixel Watch (see below). Codenamed 'rohan' internally, it's expected to arrive "sometime in October" but it may be pushed back.
What are the Pixel Watch's specifications?
Previous rumours included murmurings of three different models, 1GB of RAM and support for 4G LTE on one of the variants.
Although Prosser didn't have details on the specs, he put out some renders based on images sent to him, against the sender's wishes. However, the renders by Ian Zelbo modelled after said pictures - which Prosser said are some of the best he's ever seen - show a possible Pixel Watch design and also hint at some specs.
It really does look stunning with a completely circular screen (no flat tyre section, like some), plus minimal bezel; with marketing materials describing it as "round bezel-less, bringing unity to software and hardware".
We can also see a crown and on the opposite side what looks like a small hole for a microphone, along with a slit, likely for a speaker. While it looks incredibly thin, Zelbo replied to a comment on Twitter saying "It looks to be the same thickness as the Apple Watch but the angles I chose make it thinner than it is (like all marketing material)."
The images also appear to show a proprietary strap system that slides in and out from the side (similar to the Apple Watch) and a silicone strap with ridges on the inside to allow a sort of locking system. The source says there will be around 20 different bands.
Prosser says that it's often just the hardware that's real but here the software is also based on the real thing with "WearOS getting a facelift" so that watch face is likely an official one. The official marketing contains things like "Your world at a glance", "Your health at a glance" and "Your agenda at a glance".
On the subject of Wear OS, during Google I/O 2021, Google and Samsung announced an official partnership that sees Wear OS and Tizen OS fuse to become a new wearables platform, boasting improved performance (up to 30% faster app load time), better battery longevity and new functionality, including Fitbit-powered fitness and wellness capabilities.
An official name wasn't mentioned at I/O or by Google's or Samsung's press releases on the subject but "Wear" seems to be a working title until official branding is announced.
We don't get to see the back of the Pixel Watch but it will have a heart rate monitor and, presumably, wireless charging, like its rivals.
We'll have to wait for some specs like screen size, resolution and what connectivity the Pixel Watch will have but Prosser says "it might be fair to assume that this might be part of Google's in house silicon", referring to the software and hardware unity mentioned earlier.
You can see the full video with animated renders here:
Read next: Best smartwatches you can buy right now