Pixel Watch video reveals what Google doesn’t want you to see

Google just released a teaser video titled “The Design of Google Pixel Watch” ahead of the smartwatch’s official debut at an event on October 6. The video does a good job highlighting the smartwatch’s sleek design with its curved glass aesthetic and punchy strap colors, all in under a minute.

The design of Google Pixel Watch

What cannot be seen are the bezels. Since the first leaked renders of the Pixel Watch appeared online, all UI elements on the screen have been depicted against a pitch black background. It looks good, but the actual thickness of the bezels has also remained a mystery. Smart design, you might say.

Pixel Watch looks like a great smartwatch for 2014!

— Joe Maring (@JoeMaring1) September 22, 2022

But a still from Google’s video in particular caught the attention of Digital Trends Mobile Editor Joe Maring. It showcases a Tron-inspired sea green analog dial that leaves an excessive empty space along the periphery. Of course, you can’t light up pixels below black borders. If the Pixel Watch did indeed have such thick bezels, it would look more like a holdover from the era of the first-generation smartwatches.

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Hey Google, are you kidding?

So I tried looking back at old product assets to check if we’re actually going to witness a “bezel profanity” this fall season. After searching a few Google Image results, I came across this official rendering with the Google Assistant UI ready to do the bidding of the master.

See the thick edges in this potato quality improvement and edit? google

As you can see in the image above, the assistant’s signature colorful bar at the bottom is a little too far from the rounded edges. That can only mean one thing: the Pixel Watch has… fat edges. And by fat I mean “we don’t deserve these in 2022” thick.

But again, these are design mockups, and maybe, just maybe, the real thing could surprise us with thinner bezels. But it looks like there’s no pleasant surprise for excited fans. At least not this year.

Remember the leaked footage of a Pixel Watch test unit left behind in a restaurant? I went back to the Reddit thread and jumped to the Imgur gallery with the leaked images. Well, I’ll leave you with this image to decide for yourself.

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Leaked image of the Pixel Watch
Credit: tagtech414/Reddit

The design is reminiscent of the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, which came out in 2019. The only difference is that the glass is much rounder than the outline of Google’s smartwatch, making the bezels appear even more pronounced than the Samsung wearable.

Below is possibly the most realistic representation of the real Pixel Watch – and its unsavory bezels. Cristina Alexander of Digital Trends described it as “an old-fashioned round watch, just updated for the digital age.” It’s hard to disagree with that observation. Another colleague was less forgiving and left the conversation with “just yuck!”

Real-life leaked image of the Pixel watch
Credit: tagtech414/Reddit

Now it’s hard to see any appeal in those thick bezels. The only justification one can give is that the Pixel Watch has been stuck in development hell for a while. BR Rather than switch halfway through and burn a few million bucks, Google stuck with the original design — one that’s more befitting of 2018.

Only for the real Pixel fan

I sincerely hope those bezels serve a functional purpose. On the Galaxy Watch Active 2, the rounded edges were capacitive, providing an intuitive way to navigate the user interface. It was pretty smart, and also a test of patience when the screen got wet.

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Render of the Google Pixel Watch, with its giant bezels.

I’d like to imagine Google hiding some sort of bioactive sensor under the edges, kind of like the Fitbit Sense 2, but don’t hold your breath for such a miracle. Oh, and did I tell you that the Pixel Watch reportedly includes an Exynos chip from the 2018 era of smartwatches? Yes, that too.

But that’s not where the bad news ends. For all that bezel-like goodness of the Pixel Watch, Google is reportedly planning to charge $350. That’s the asking price for the Bluetooth-only model. If you prefer cellular connectivity on your Wear OS smartwatch, get ready to burn $400 this holiday season.

Chunky bezels alone aren’t enough reason to be hesitant about the Pixel Watch, but combined with everything else we know about the smartwatch, it makes it increasingly difficult to get excited about Google’s first Pixel wearable. And – considering how much anticipation surrounds the thing – that’s a shame.

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