Pixel Watch Might Have Outdated Hardware When It Arrives

Google has finally revealed what everyone had been expecting all along. After many years of speculation and hope, the company finally announced the existence and upcoming arrival of the Pixel Watch during its I/O 2022 keynote. Some are quick to throw shade at the wearable's design while drawing parallels to the Apple Watch, but it's hard to deny that it looks distinct and attractive — and, of course, it'll deliver a Pixel experience that will demonstrate Google's vision for smartwatches. Unfortunately, that beauty might just be skin deep if new insider information is accurate: it seems the Pixel Watch will already be a granddaddy at heart by the time it launches later this year.

The Pixel Watch is a long time in the making, or at least the expectations of a Google-branded smartwatch have been. Google itself wasn't quick to jump on the wearables bandwagon, and it wasn't until it rebranded Android Wear to Wear OS that it seemed the company was finally taking smartwatches seriously. Even then, however, sporadic updates and improvements to the platform left many in doubt over whether the company was committed at all. It would take a Google smartwatch to possibly settle those doubts, which is what the Pixel Watch represents.

Based on how long this wearable has been cooking in the kitchen, you might think that either Google is heavily invested in smartwatches or it was dragging its feet. Either way, the Pixel Watch definitely looks the part of a well-designed product. The company even threw a few good sustainability practices into the mix, promising the use of recycled stainless steel for some of its parts. Whether it actually performs well, however, might be in doubt with this new information coming from 9to5Google.

2022 Pixel Watch with a 2018 heart

According to the tip, the Pixel Watch will be using a Samsung Exynos processor, which isn't a surprise given Google's and Samsung's recent close collaboration on smartwatches. The Galaxy Watch 4, for example, is the first smartwatch to come with Wear OS 3 out of the box and has the first Exynos chip that is supported by Wear OS. What is surprising and almost shocking is that the Pixel Watch might run on the Exynos 9110 chipset instead of anything more recent, like Samsung's own Exynos W920.

The Exynos 9110 hails from 2018, back when smartwatches were still novel. That reveals how long Google has been working on the Pixel Watch and how set in stone that particular hardware was to its design. Changing the processor to something more recent could have set back the development by another year or two, negating the advantages of a modern processor.

At the same time, the 10nm Exynos 9110 is on par or might even be better than Qualcomm's current 12nm Snapdragon Wear 4100+, which is what most Wear OS smartwatches are still using anyway. In other words, the Pixel Watch could still end up outperforming its contemporaries, especially if Google has some AI-powered tricks up its sleeves. Still, when every newer generation of smartwatch processors promises better power efficiency, launching a new smartwatch with an old, less efficient chipset could be a huge disadvantage. Hopefully, the Pixel Watch will have other things going for it, especially with a unique Pixel experience and health features it will inherit from Fitbit.