Back in May, Google announced the Pixel Watch at its I/O developer conference, confirming long-running rumours that the company was working on a smartwatch. We don’t know much about the watch yet, but details continue to emerge — the latest suggests potential Pixel Watch customers should expect the battery to last about one day.
9to5Google performed a teardown of the latest Fitbit app, version 3.65, and uncovered text within the app for battery-related notifications for the Pixel Watch (as a reminder, Google owns Fitbit, and the Pixel Watch is set to feature Fitbit integration). The first bit of text is for a notification that will remind Pixel Watch users to charge up before bed:
“Get a notification before your bedtime goal if your Pixel Watch battery is too low to track a night’s sleep.”
9to5 notes that the above notification will show up shortly before users’ bedtime goal, giving them time to charge up before bed. However, the publication found another battery-related notification with some more interesting details:
“Time to charge your watch
“You’ll need at least 30% charge to track a full night’s sleep”
Now, here’s where things get a little speculative. 9to5 suggests — given it’s recommended people get eight hours of sleep each night — that could mean the Pixel Watch will burn through 30 percent of its battery in about eight hours. If you expand that to 24 hours, that’d be about 90 percent of the Pixel Watch battery, suggesting the Pixel Watch will offer about 24-hour battery life.
24-hour battery could put the Pixel Watch behind competitors
Now, a few important caveats. First, and most important, is that this information comes from an app teardown. 9to5 cracked open the Fitbit app and found these text snippets for notifications related to the Pixel Watch. But since the Pixel Watch isn’t out yet and likely won’t arrive until October or November, there’s still time for Google to refine its software. In other words, these details could change, or may not accurately reflect the final product. So, take this information with a healthy dose of skepticism.
However, as Android Police points out, the 24-hour number does match previous reports about the Pixel Watch’s battery. Other rumours suggest the Pixel Watch will sport a 300mAh battery, which will last all day — Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 sports a 247mAh or 361mAh battery, depending on the watch size. That adds some credibility to the teardown information.
It’s also worth noting that sleep tracking features often use heart rate monitoring, which can have an increased impact on the battery. That could mean the 30 percent in eight hours measure is with the heart rate monitor, and potentially you could squeeze more longevity by disabling heart rate monitoring. But we won’t know that for sure until the Pixel Watch is in reviewers’ hands.
Ultimately, it sounds like the Pixel Watch could have subpar battery life. It’s a bit of a bummer, considering what other watches have on offer. Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 lasts 40 hours, while the recently unveiled Galaxy Watch 5 should go even longer thanks to its bigger battery. Fitbit’s own smartwatches last pretty long — the Sense that I wear consistently gets me through two days before I need to charge it. Hopefully the Pixel Watch proves these details wrong when it launches in the fall, but keep your hype in check just in case.
Image credit: Google