According to reports, Google Pixel Watch will use an older chipset.
The much-anticipated Google Pixel Watch was finally unveiled at this year’s Google I/O, though the company was especially tight-lipped about its specifications. We didn’t get much information other than the fact that it would be released alongside the Pixel 7 series. However, a new report from 9to5Google suggests that it will include the Exynos 9110, a four-year-old chipset.
While it’s obvious that Google isn’t including the latest Exynos W920 chipset in its first smartwatch, there are likely reasons for this. The most likely explanation is that the Pixel Watch has been in the works for a very long time. The company has been planning it since the first Google Pixel smartphone, and rumours resurfaced in 2018 ahead of the launch of the Pixel 3 series.
Given all of this, it’s possible that this is being developed on older hardware because the device is technically older. According to 9to5Google, the Pixel Watch has begun development on Android 9 Pie. If Google had eventually switched to the Exynos W920, development could have been pushed back even further.
But it’s not all bad. The Exynos 9110 is a 10nm process chip with two Cortex-A53 cores. That means it’s more efficient than Qualcomm’s most recent offering, and it should work well with the reported 300 mAh battery. For comparison, Qualcomm’s most recent wearable chip is the Snapdragon Wear 4100 Plus, which is manufactured on a 12nm process and contains four Cortex-A53 cores.
Really, the only issue in the case of the Pixel Watch is that it likely won’t be able to compete with the best of Samsung, with a Galaxy Watch 5 series expected to launch sometime before the Pixel Watch will. The Galaxy Watch 5 will likely pack, at minimum, an Exynos W920 which means that it’ll still beat the Exynos 9110, though probably not by a huge amount in real-world usage.
While it would be nice to have the latest and greatest chipset in Google’s first premier smartwatch outing, processors aren’t everything. We learned as much with the Google Pixel 6 series and how Google Tensor remained competitive against the current generation of chipsets thanks to Google’s optimisations, despite being based on a theoretically weaker Exynos chipset. We’ll be waiting to see if the rumors are true, and if so, what Google can pull off with an older chip.