After Google’s official halt on the Nexus program for smartphones, the company seems to be reviving it for the smartwatch space. With Android Wear 2.0’s launch, Google has confirmed the launch of two “flagship” smartwatches in the first quarter of 2017 (that’s before 31st March). The news comes from Product Manager at Android Wear, Jeff Chang when he spoke to The Verge. Reports suggest the pair of smartwatches will be the first to debut with Android Wear 2.0 out of the box.
Unlike expected, the watches will not be Pixel branded and will instead carry the manufacturer’s name. For now, the manufacturer remains a mystery with Chang hinting at one that has prior smartwatch experience. This makes companies like Asus, Huawei, LG and Motorola strong contenders owing to their previous collaborations with Google. With Samsung’s focus on Tizen OS smartwatches, they are unlikely to be producing Google’s future duo.
It is rumored that Google’s high end offering may feature LTE, GPS coverage and a heart rate monitor alongside a larger dial with more buttons. The other will come at a slightly smaller size with a few sacrifices and a lower price tag. Both however are to offer interchangeable straps for customization. Let’s also hope they’re circular.
After the launch of Google’s mystery smartwatch duo, Android Wear 2.0 updates will come to select current gen smartwatches. As a refresh, the update will bring Google Assistant and Android Pay (depending on device) alongside functionality with Apple smartphones. Currently, the fifth developer preview of Android Wear 2.0 is set to be available in January.
With CES happening between January 5-7, many smartwatches from other manufacturers will be revealed for the upcoming year and it will be interesting to see what the next wave has in store for consumers. Maybe it might hint at what Google will bring to the table. What do you think will be new for smartwatches this year? Let us know below.