iFixit Pixel Watch Teardown Gives Heavy First-Gen Technology Vibes

Five months after showcasing it for the first time at its I/O 2022 event, Google launched its first Pixel-branded smartwatch on October 6, 2022. Retail sales of the Pixel Watch began a week later on October 13, and the first Pixel Watch buyers have just started using their new smartwatches. Given that this wearable is a first-generation product from Google, there have been concerns surrounding the Pixel Watch — especially in light of the poor track record Google has had with its hardware products. After Google detailed the hardware specs of the Pixel Watch during its launch event, potential buyers had several questions about the large bezels of the device and its battery life.

Surprisingly, most initial product reviews — including SlashGear's review — paint a satisfactory picture of the Pixel Watch. Initial reviews have largely addressed most concerns associated with the watch, with several reviewers confirming that the large bezels don't look too intrusive during daily use. The watch also delivered good battery life despite packing a much smaller battery than most of its rivals. Now that the first-generation Pixel Watch is shaping up to be a decent attempt by Google, the only thing we need to see is how the device looks from the inside, especially from a reparability standpoint. That is exactly what the good folks at iFixit attempted to offer in their latest teardown video.

Not as beautiful from the inside

While the Pixel Watch received glowing reviews for its chic external looks, the same cannot be said about its innards. Google certainly needs to take a cue from Apple in this regard, and hopefully, things should only get better with successive generations. iFixit found it relatively easy to pry open the top case after placing the Pixel Watch on a heating pad.

Opening up the watch revealed the battery, which seems to be capped with yellowish-colored tape. After removing a couple of screws, and a trip to the heating pad later, iFixit managed to remove the vibration motor and move the battery aside to finally reveal the display connector. Removing the display connector separates the AMOLED panel from the rest of the watch body. It took the team a couple more attempts using Torx screws to remove the battery completely.

iFixit then proceeded to remove a couple of other connectors and disconnect other components, including the loudspeaker, the tactile crown, and the depth and optical sensors. Finally, opening up the watch's other side revealed the Pixel Watch's heart: its mainboard. Attached to the mainboard are the antennas and the heart rate sensors. iFixit describes the teardown experience of the Pixel Watch as an interesting puzzle, with the product giving them "strong first-generation tech" vibes. The Pixel Watch is a mixed bag in terms of reparability; while it gets a removable back panel, some other components inside it are irreplaceable.