Every modern smartwatch worth its salt comes with interchangeable straps. So it’s no surprise that Google is reportedly working on a number of strap options for its upcoming Pixel Watch. According to 9to5Googlethe company manufactures at least seven belts – including one was displayed during the I / O keynote – because when the smartwatch is launched this autumn.
Still, 9to5Google reports that Google is working on a Milanese-style mesh strap, two types of leather straps, a link bracelet, a fabric strap and a silicone strap. It is also claimed to be working on a stretchable alternative that is reminiscent of Apple’s Solo Loop. If it sounds like Google is taking several pages out of Apple’s gamebook, this is it. We still do not know the majority of Pixel Watch’s specifications, but from what we know, it’s clear that Google is trying to take the Apple Watch right away. Offering similar belt options plays into that strategy.
Watches – whether they are analog or smart – are an expression of personal style. Unless Google gives people a wide range to choose from, the Pixel Watch will not reach a wider audience. The safest would have been if Google used a standard 20-22 mm strap. It would at least have reduced Google’s own burden and offered customers dozens of great looking options that can also be used with mechanical or analog watches.
However, it does not. As we saw on the sizzling roll on Google I / O, it chooses its own proprietary straps. So either Google is pretty sure of the design it presents … or we’re about to see some really ugly or uninspired smartwatch bands from the people who took with you the Pixel 6 case.
Manufacturers of smartwatches – including Apple – have generally seen it when it comes to straps. As much as I love these gadgets, few of them are as attractive as their “dumber” counterparts. Fitbits Horween leather strap? I hesitate to call them leather. The 70s rang, and they would like Apple leather leash back. I do not even want to talk about the monstrosities that are perforated smartwatch bands. Silicone straps are functional for workouts but a lil chintzy for formal occasions.
I would say that discerning Pixel Watch owners could turn to third-party manufacturers of accessories, but using a proprietary strap means that it is not guaranteed. Searching on Amazon does not abound with third-party accessories for Google products with fancy options. Probably because not many people buy enough Pixel devices (yet) to justify the investment. If you do an Amazon search for Pixel phone cases, you will get about 7,000 results. Searching for an iPhone case gives you over 100,000 results, while a Samsung Galaxy case gives you over 80,000. It’s worse for devices like Pixel Buds – 190 results to over 10,000 results for AirPods. The more options you have, the more likely it is that customers will find something that suits them. When there are narrow picks, you end up on eye ulcers like these.
Ultimately, performance and Wear OS 3 will be the biggest factors in determining if the Pixel Watch is “good”. That said, enough people have to think, “Yeah, I pay premium prices to put it on my wrist!” because it matters. So it’s probably wise for Google to make sure that the belts it puts out at least match those of its competitors. It’s just to make sure that the Pixel Watch, at least visually, will not dazzle us either.
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