There were a lot of half-hearted jokes after Google announced the Pixel Watch at I/O last week, mostly because rumors of such a watch have persisted for years. We actually laughed quite a bit when it was official, because we weren’t nearly sure if it was really official. By the way it is official.
Shortly after the jokes, we couldn’t help but find excitement in the unveiling. Google has finally done it — they were preparing to give us the Pixel Watch, the Wear OS watch that we feel has been missing from the ecosystem from the start. Design is on point. Google is linking up a Fitbit health tracking app. It seems to be the perfect size. It will run some new versions of Wear OS which seems to have significant improvements. Everything is lined up out of the gate, even if we don’t know the small details like specs or price.
And shortly before the end of the week, the first rumor appeared about fact Pixel Watch appeared to kill all emotions. crew in 9to5Google I heard from sources who suggested that the 2022 Pixel Watch will power Samsung’s 2018 chipset. Bro what? no.
According to this report, Google uses the Exynos 9110 processor, which is a dual-core chipset that Samsung first used in Galaxy Watch that debuted in 2018. The chip was big enough in the Samsung world that it also found its way to Galaxy Watch Active 2 after a year and then Galaxy Watch 3 after another year.
The Exynos 9110 was more than a capable chip, that’s for sure. It’s a 10nm chip that powers Tizen and has provided one of the best smartwatch experiences on the market. As for the Galaxy Watch 3, most likely thanks to the Samsung RAM bump, I noticed in my review that the watch worked very well and handled all the tasks I threw at it smoothly. So what’s the problem?
It’s a slice of 2018, man. The biggest problem in the Wear OS world for most of the past six years has been that all devices are running outdated technology from Qualcomm and can’t keep up with the times, competitors, and advances in technology. We thought we were finally moving on from that story with the launch of Samsung’s W920 chip in the Galaxy Watch 4 line last year however, here we go.
Google is said to be using this chip because the Pixel Watch has been on for some time and there’s a chance that trying to switch to a new one will cause it to back out. Or maybe Samsung doesn’t even want to let anyone else use the 5nm W920 just yet. As it becomes clear that Google is no longer a fan of Qualcomm’s hardware chips, a 12nm Wear 4100+ is likely out of the question.
The hope, at least for the time being, is that Google has spent a long time (Like Several years) discovering ways to get it all out then get out of this slide. Since I don’t remember seeing a Wear OS watch running the 9110, we’d probably all be surprised. Google is very good at optimizing its hardware with chips that aren’t always top-notch (Think Pixel 5… Pixel 6 too), so we can see that again in the Pixel Watch.
I’m concerned about the overall performance, though. Google has already stated that Wear OS 3 is bringing major changes and has issued warnings about watches that are too old to run, even those with Qualcomm’s Wear 4100 and 4100+ chips. Google explained that upgrading from Wear OS 2 to Wear OS 3 on devices running this chip It can leave the experience affected. The Exynos 9110 is technically a more efficient chip than that.
My other concern, at least in terms of perception or the Pixel Watch story, is that it doesn’t matter how good Google would be if they used the Exynos 9110. Google’s use of a 4-year-old chipset is the kind of item writing its own titles, and not in a good way. We’ve already seen it and the Pixel Watch 5 months after launch.
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