With this four-year-old processor, Pixel Watch is expected to lag behind

With this four-year-old processor, Pixel Watch is expected to lag behind

Following Google I/O, we now know that long-held speculations were true, and that the Pixel Watch will be released this year, in the fall. However, many unknowns remain, including its unique selling characteristics and the technology that powers it.

With this four-year-old processor, Pixel Watch is expected to lag behind

The Pixel Watch will reportedly use the 10nm Exynos 9110 chip, which first appeared on wrists in 2018’s initial Galaxy Watch, rather than the 5nm Exynos W920 CPU that debuted in 2021’s Samsung Galaxy Watch 4.

It has an answer for the latter, and it isn’t good. The Pixel Watch is expected to employ a Samsung Exynos chip, but it’s not the one you’d anticipate.

To be entirely fair to the Exynos 9110, its performance proved strong enough for Samsung to stick with it for three generations of Galaxy Watch, only upgrading to the Exynos W920 last year with the promise of 1.25x faster processing and 8.8x smoother graphical performance.

While it’s never great to hear that upcoming hardware will use aging internals, there are reasons to be cautiously optimistic. The best smartwatches don’t necessarily need the latest and greatest internals to shine: unlike smartphones, their duties are comparatively light and speed should take a back seat to efficiency to ensure a watch goes at least a day without the dreaded low battery warning.

the Pixel Watch’s embracing of the older chip may be a side effect of how long it’s been in development. Rumors of a Pixel Watch have been kicking around for at least six years, and at one point in 2018 — less than a month after the Exynos 9110 debuted — talk of an imminent launch was so strong that Google specifically told us nothing was planned for that year.

Unfortunately, we can’t infer much about the real-world stamina of the Pixel Watch from this announcement. While the Galaxy Watch’s 270mAh lasted an impressive three days with the same chipset, the use of Samsung’s Tizen OS means it’s not useful to make a direct comparison. Though you could argue that the considerably weaker battery life in the Wear OS 3-packing Galaxy Watch 4 is cause for concern, given that’s what the Pixel Watch will be using.

But ultimately it’s hard to be too critical of the Pixel Watch’s rumored use of old hardware until we know the price — something which Google has so far kept under wraps.

If the Pixel Watch is a cheap and cheerful wearable, then few could object to the company cutting corners to help deliver an appealing price point. We’ll just have to wait and see what the company has up its sleeve when the device is fully revealed this fall.

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