The Pixel Watch misses the most important thing it needed to stand out

The Pixel Watch misses the most important thing it needed to stand out

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Is the Pixel Watch Google’s reply to the Apple Watch? In that they are some smartwatches tied into their respective ecosystems, yes, but if you solely see the design, the Pixel Watch doesn’t travel adjacent to Apple’s wearable. By holding backmost and being each Google astir the looks, it has missed the accidental to marque the archetypal iconic circular smartwatch, and genuinely marque the Apple Watch of the Android world.

Why quadrate has worked for Apple

Not each ticker has to beryllium round, and erstwhile it was introduced, the Apple Watch received plentifulness of hatred for not pursuing that trend. In reality, determination are plentifulness of highly recognizable quadrate watches, from the Casio G-Shock 5000 and 5600 series watches to the Tag Heuer Monaco. Since its instauration successful 2015, the Apple Watch has go the astir seen, astir easy identified, and astir wide worn quadrate ticker successful the world. Counterpoint Research puts the Apple Watch astatine the apical of its wearable shipment estimates, with a 30% marketplace stock successful 2021. Apple doesn’t merchandise income figures, but immoderate reports assertion it present sells 40 cardinal Apple Watches per year.

Apple Watch Series 8 showing however  overmuch  artillery  is remaining.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Being quadrate has not killed the Apple Watch, it made it a success. Most volition enactment functionality astatine the apical of the database of desirable points earlier buying a smartwatch, but plan apt comes next. Anything we enactment connected our bodies has to person immoderate benignant of aesthetic appeal, and though it took immoderate a portion to get retired of the mindset watches person to beryllium round, it’s wide that it’s nary longer an contented for most. The Apple Watch Series 8 looks and feels superb, and Apple arguably has simply refined what is an astir cleanable signifier since the motorboat of the Series 5.

Apple’s fantastic plan works due to the fact that it doesn’t look similar each the different smartwatches retired there. The institution was truly the archetypal to popularize the signifier (let’s not speech astir the hideous Pebble oregon LG G Watch) and present perfectly owns it. When different quadrate smartwatch launches, similar the Amazfit GTS bid oregon the Oppo Watch, it’s called retired for being an Apple Watch copy. In the satellite of smartwatches, the quadrate signifier has go truthful synonymous with the Apple Watch, nary 1 truly wants to deterioration an imitation.

The Apple Watch’s signifier is chiseled and well-judged, and present truthful intrinsically linked with the brand, that astir person accepted that quadrate is simply a large signifier for a watch. The Apple Watch is an icon, and the information its basal signifier has lone been refined implicit the past years alternatively of dramatically reinvented makes it a timeless one.

Oh truthful round

If Apple took a hazard making the Apple Watch square, it was a calculated 1 that has paid off. Google has taken nary specified hazard with the Pixel Watch. It’s arsenic circular arsenic circular tin be, it has a crown connected the side, and it has a strategy for attaching antithetic straps. It’s perfectly the explanation of what astir would deliberation of erstwhile asked, “what does a ticker look like?”

Google Pixel Watch with a recycled loop strap.Andrew Martonik / Digital Trends

Herein lies the problem. It has perfectly nary identifying features that marque it evidently a Pixel Watch astatine all. From a region (if you’re truthful inclined to cheque retired different people’s wristwear), you whitethorn inquire yourself if it’s an archetypal Skagen Falster, an Amazfit Zepp E Circle, a Sequent SuperCharger 2, oregon possibly adjacent a first-generation Moto 360. Or, really, immoderate circular ticker astatine all. I’m not saying it’s severely designed — the opposite, arsenic the curves look large and it besides looks acceptable to beryllium precise comfy — but I americium saying it’s precise harmless indeed.

Unfortunately, that information has robbed it of individuality. Most look astatine the Apple Watch and cognize precisely what it is, which is chiefly due to the fact that of its squareness and the information Apple has stuck with it since the beginning. It adjacent had the accidental to reinvent the plan with the Apple Watch Ultra, but didn’t, arsenic it knows the worth successful sticking with what has turned retired to beryllium a fantastic wide benignant and plan for a smartwatch.

Google is going to find it precise hard so to get the nationalist to admit the Pixel Watch arsenic a Pixel Watch, not conscionable due to the fact that it’s round, but due to the fact that the harmless plan doesn’t truly person immoderate instantly identifiable ocular features.

A missed opportunity

What could Google person done differently? It surely couldn’t person made a quadrate smartwatch. Trying to vie with Apple connected a plan level successful this mode would person been a superior mistake, arsenic portion iPhone and Android telephone owners indispensable usage the smartwatch from their respective ecosystems, Google would ever beryllium the imitator if for thing other than the Pixel Watch came on 7 years aft the archetypal Apple Watch.

The Montblanc Summit 3 connected  a mans wrist.Montblanc Summit 3 Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Going circular was truly the lone solution, arsenic determination are lone truthful galore shapes a ticker tin be. But determination are a batch of Swiss manufacturers that negociate to marque precise antithetic looking circular watches from each different connected a regular basis, and a batch person gone connected to physique elephantine empires retired of 1 oregon 2 highly recognizable silhouettes. A Deloitte report says 60% of Swiss ticker manufacture executives consciousness the Swiss ticker manufacture missed the smartwatch boat.

Surely 1 of those would person jumped astatine the chance to enactment with Google to make what could arguably go the archetypal iconic circular smartwatch? Something recognizable, desirable, and uniquely Google, conscionable infused with the plan cognition of a seasoned of the Swiss ticker industry. The Rolex Submariner, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, oregon the Omega Speedmaster of the smartwatch world.

The Pixel Watch looks similar a portion of tech, which connected 1 level is good arsenic Google is simply a exertion company, but exertion is forgettable successful a mode that genuinely large ticker plan isn’t. Creating forgettable mobile tech has been a Google contented successful the past, but with the beautiful Pixel 6 Pro and Pixel 7 Pro design, on with its wonderfully earthy Nest designs, it appeared to beryllium moving past it. The Pixel Watch surely isn’t ugly, but it truly could person been truthful overmuch more. Google had the accidental to marque the Apple Watch of the Android satellite but, astatine slightest from a plan perspective, it missed.

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