Sunday, July 21, 2024

Exclusive: Google Pixel Watch 3 set for major display upgrades, new colors, UWB, and much more

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The Google Pixel Watch 2 was a massive upgrade over its predecessor — it addressed almost every major issue of the first-generation smartwatch — most importantly, the bad battery life and slow charging. It also introduced a plethora of new features that made it a much more compelling option for most. However, the device still had a few gripes that stopped some from buying it.

Fortunately, Google is fixing a few of these lasting issues with its upcoming refresh of the watch — the Pixel Watch 3. Thanks to a source inside Google, Android Authority is able to preview some of these changes early.

Pixel Watch 3 series: Specs and battery size

As previously rumored, the device will come in 41mm and 45mm sizes, both with cellular and Wi-Fi variants available. At this time, we are unable to confirm what Google will call these different sizes, but some rumors suggest the larger model will be called the Pixel Watch 3 XL. The basic watch specs remain the same as the Pixel Watch 2: both are based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon W5 platform with a custom co-processor.

The smaller Pixel Watch 3 will have an unchanged 310mAh battery, while the larger 45mm model will contain a 420mAh cell that should last a fair bit longer.

Smaller bezels, finally!

One of the biggest complaints about the original Pixel Watch that persisted in the Pixel Watch 2 was its relatively big bezels. The Pixel Watch 3 finally reduces them and improves the display brightness.

Both models of the Pixel Watch 3 come with 4.5 mm bezels, compared to 5.5 mm on its predecessor. While the size might still seem rather large — especially compared to something like the Apple Watch Series 9 — it’s still a major upgrade over the older watch. We included a graphic below to help visualize the sizes.

Additionally, both the new watches come with a 2,000-nit display (this is the value declared in the watch’s software; Google’s final marketing materials might include a different value). The Pixel Watch 2 only reached up to 1,000 nits, which should make the upcoming watches much more pleasant to use outside in direct sunlight.

We’ve compiled all the display specs of the new watches below:

Pixel Watch 2 – codename eos/aurora Pixel Watch 3 (41 mm) – codename selene/helios Pixel Watch 3 (45 mm) – codename luna/sol

Display size

Pixel Watch 2 – codename eos/aurora

30×30 mm

Pixel Watch 3 (41 mm) – codename selene/helios

32×32 mm

Pixel Watch 3 (45 mm) – codename luna/sol

36×36 mm

Bezel width

Pixel Watch 2 – codename eos/aurora

5.5 mm

Pixel Watch 3 (41 mm) – codename selene/helios

4.5 mm

Pixel Watch 3 (45 mm) – codename luna/sol

4.5 mm

Screen resolution

Pixel Watch 2 – codename eos/aurora

384×384 px

Pixel Watch 3 (41 mm) – codename selene/helios

408×408 px

Pixel Watch 3 (45 mm) – codename luna/sol

456×456 px

Brightness (declared)

Pixel Watch 2 – codename eos/aurora

1,000 nits

Pixel Watch 3 (41 mm) – codename selene/helios

2,000 nits

Pixel Watch 3 (45 mm) – codename luna/sol

2,000 nits

UWB (this time for real)

Ultra wideband UWB toggle

It seems that the Pixel Watch 3 will finally have the feature. Not only did our source confirm it, but the recently spotted FCC listings also list it.

We can only speculate as to what features this addition could enable; however, we have some pretty good guesses. The obvious use case is precise device finding, whether it’s the watch or another device you’re looking for. As we recently reported, Google might be working on adding UWB support to the Find My Device app.

Another use case could be unlocking your car using Digital Car Key. The tech is already supported by BMW, Hyundai, and Kia, and many other manufacturers are currently working on their implementations. Having support in your watch would mean unlocking your car without using your phone, enabling UWB features even if your phone doesn’t support them. UWB support is currently only available on only a handful of Android phones, and mostly only those in the flagship tier.

New colors

The Pixel Watch 3 will also come in a few new colorways. We’ve compiled a list of the available colors below:

Pixel Watch 2 Pixel Watch 3 (41 mm) Pixel Watch 3 (45 mm)
Pixel Watch 2

Silver case / Bay band

Pixel Watch 3 (41 mm)

Silver case / Rose Quartz

Pixel Watch 3 (45 mm)

Hazel case / Hazel band

Pixel Watch 2

Black case / Obsidian band

Pixel Watch 3 (41 mm)

Black case / Obsidian band

Pixel Watch 3 (45 mm)

Black case / Obsidian band

Pixel Watch 2

Gold case / Hazel band

Pixel Watch 3 (41 mm)

Gold case / Hazel band

Pixel Watch 3 (45 mm)

Pixel Watch 2

Silver case / Porcelain band

Pixel Watch 3 (41 mm)

Silver case / Porcelain band

Pixel Watch 3 (45 mm)

Silver case / Porcelain band

Google Pixel 9 in Pink color 2

Google usually releases one colorway that matches the Pixel phones that come out at the same time. In this case, we expect the “Rose Quartz” band to match the color of the pink Pixel 9 Pro we’ve seen in a recent video leak (and pictured above).

Pretty Pixel Watch 3 animation that reveals nothing, but it’s pretty

Lastly, we were provided with a retail animation that will be shown on demo units of the Pixel Watch 3. It doesn’t reveal any features or other information about the watch (it’s just supposed to attract customers; it’s even called an “attract loop”). However, it’s still a pretty animation in the Material style, and we know some of you are into that.


This concludes our early look at upgrades in the Pixel Watch 3. What do you think about the new changes? Please let us know in the comments and vote in our poll below.

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