On Wednesday, Google officially confirmed that it’s making a Pixel Watch, but the preview provided was light on concrete specs as availability is still a few months away. 9to5Google has now learned that the Pixel Watch is powered by an Exynos chip that debuted with the Samsung Galaxy Watch from 2018.
According to a source, Google’s Pixel Watch uses the Exynos 9110, a Samsung chip that was first released in August 2018.
Late last year, we reported that the Pixel Watch was likely using a Samsung chipset. Many speculated that Google would leverage the just-announced Exynos W920 on the Galaxy Watch 4. This would have given the Pixel Watch the benefits of the latest performance and efficiency associated with a 5-nanometer chip and Corex-A55 cores.
Instead, the Exynos 9110 is built on a 10nm process with two Cortex-A53 cores. This is similar to the Snapdragon Wear 4100+, although that Qualcomm chip is 12nm which is, in turn, less efficient. With the launch of the W920, Samsung touted “around 20% CPU performance and ten times better graphics performance than its predecessor”.
Google is most likely using the older chip as the Pixel Watch project started some time ago. When early development of the Pixel Watch began, back when the 9110 was new, it was based on Android 9 Pie before later moving to Android 11.
By the time the Exynos W920 was available – assuming Samsung was already selling to third parties – the chipset change might have delayed the development and launch of the Pixel Watch too much to warrant a core component change. From what we know today, there is no indication that this is happening.
Still, it’s a shame that this long-awaited Pixel device isn’t running the absolute latest specs after all this time. The Exynos 9110 was first used on the original Samsung Galaxy Watch, which was released in Q3 2018. It can also be found on the 2019 Watch Active and Active 2, as well as the Galaxy Watch 3 from August 2020. Due to Tizen it is not possible to make battery or performance comparisons.
Of course, the chipset is not everything. For that, we can even look at Google’s own Pixel 6, which bases its Tensor processor on a technically outdated chip compared to the latest Snapdragon offerings. Equally important is how Google optimizes hardware. The big question is how this old chip affects battery life. We previously reported that Pixel Watch would have a 300mAh battery.
For comparison, the Fossil Gen 6 has a similar sized battery and chipset (albeit at 12nm) and is officially claimed to be 24 hours, which we also found. It’s also on Wear OS 2, which is supposed to be less battery efficient. Another consideration is how Google has somewhat hinted that the Snapdragon 4100+ isn’t good enough to run Wear OS 3. Specifically, Google said that – “in some limited cases” – user experience on existing 4100+ watches on Wear OS 2 will be “affected”. ” after the upgrade. It’s unclear if this impacts the Pixel Watch as it launches with Wear OS 3 out of the box and is expected to be fully optimized.
The Pixel Watch is expected to launch this fall along with the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro. It’s likely that Samsung will release its second-generation Wear OS device before then, and it’s already been rumored to have a bigger battery, as it was a criticism compared to the Tizen wearables that came before it. . For those who want the absolute latest and greatest specs, the alleged “Galaxy Watch 5” might be the best buy, at the expense of the Pixel Watch. That said, Google’s software additions, like on the Pixel phones, could provide a serious meter, and the Pixel Watch will likely excel in health and fitness thanks to Fitbit.
Ben Schoon and Kyle Bradshaw contributed to this post
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