The long-awaited Google Pixel Watch was finally unveiled at this year’s Google I/O, though the company was particularly cagey about its specifications. There’s been a drip-feed of Pixel Watch leaks over the past while since then, kick-started by a device reportedly being found in a restaurant right before its I/O debut. We’ve heard that it’ll pack an older Exynos chipset for starters, and we’ve also heard that it may have a 300 mAh battery and LTE connectivity support. Now we’re hearing that the Pixel Watch may have single-day battery life, an estimate that Google is said to have made internally.
The report comes from 9to5Google, citing sources from within the company. They were unable to ascertain under what conditions those estimates are, with the biggest question being as to whether or not an always-on display was enabled. It also doesn’t mention whether or not that day includes a night of sleep tracking or not. Plenty of Wear OS watches have poor battery life, but they’ll last you a day, a night of sleep tracking, and then expect you to charge it up in the morning while you get ready. Sometimes, you can stretch them out until the following evening.
As a result, a day of battery life isn’t too unreasonable for a Wear OS smartwatch, as other smartwatches often manage to tout about the same. It’s only devices from the likes of Huawei, Amazfit, OPPO, and more with their own proprietary operating systems that can pull much longer battery life from their watches.
However, the problem may become particularly ugly when it comes to charging. According to the report, the Google Pixel Watch will not offer fast charging with its USB-C to the magnetic dock charging cradle. It’s “nowhere near” as fast as the Apple Watch 7 which charges to full in 75 minutes, or up to 75% in 45 minutes. That’s the worst part, as while a watch with single-day battery life isn’t great, having to wait a long time for it to charge may mean it’s out of the running for anyone looking to pick up Google’s first smartwatch offering. 9to5Google says it reportedly takes up to 110 minutes to charge to full, which is an insanely long time.
Think about it this way: let’s say that usage time includes using your watch for the day, sleeping, then needing to charge it. That means to charge your watch fully for the day (and to use it for sleep tracking that night), you’ll need to charge it for just shy of two whole hours in the morning when you wake up. That’s just not feasible for a lot of people.
We’ll be waiting to see if these estimates from Google come to fruition, or if the company was just being conservative in its guesses. It’s definitely not a good sign for the Pixel Watch, though.