We’ve learned that Google is building two of its own Android Wear smartwatches that could launch before the year comes to an end. The duo will offer a smaller, traditional model and a high-end model with premium features. It’s not clear, though, if these two smartwatches will be placed in Google’s Nexus line.
Hit the break for details.
The two smartwatches, according to the reputable Android Police, are known internally as Angelfish and Swordfish, which stays true to the codenaming method for Google’s hardware. Both of them have circular displays but without the ‘flat tire’ Motorola and Lenovo have used the last two years.
Angelfish, the premium model, is being compared to the Moto 360 and LG Watch Urbane 2 LTE. This smartwatch has “visible lugs, with a smooth housing shape that curves where the watch band meets the body.” Because of its design, Angelfish is being described as “sporty,” and there are three buttons along the right side of the body. That’s a clear departure from the one-button setup we’ve seen on previous Android Wear devices, but the source did not share what the additional two buttons are all about.
What’s inside? Google is packing a heart-rate monitor, GPS, and LTE in here. Based on those components, you should be able to use this smartwatch without your phone acting as the companion running the show behind the scenes. Plus, Android Wear 2.0 is ushering in standalone apps. Angelfish should be able to go solo.
Since there’s a lot going on inside, Angelfish measures 14mm thick with the watch’s diameter being 43.55mm. The sole color option to be expected is Titanium, but Google might offer the smartwatch in a few more options when released.
The smaller smartwatch, Swordfish, ditches the two of the three fancy components mentioned earlier — possibly keeping just the hear-rate monitor — for a streamlined experience similar to what you already get from a smartwatch. The shape of this smartwatch is being compared to a softer, more attractive Pebble Time Round as it doesn’t have thick bezels taking away from the aesthetic. Unlike Angelfish, Swordfish only has a single button on the right side of the body.
The body diameter of Swordfish is 42mm and the entire smartwatch measures 10.6mm thick.
Google intends to offer Swordfish in Silver, Titanium, and Rose Gold.
Both Angelfish and Sailfish are going to have Google Assistant integration, meaning a full virtual assistant will be right on your wrist.
Currently, it is believed that Angelfish won’t be compatible with Android Wear’s interchangeable MODE bands while Swordfish “definitely” will.
Creating an in-house smartwatch would pit Google against its own hardware manufacturers from the world of Android. So it wouldn’t be surprising to see people at Huawei, Lenovo, and elsewhere get angry over this news. They already have to deal with Google making Nexus devices, and now they have to worry about a Nexus smartwatch cutting into sales.
In Google’s defense, Android Wear hasn’t exactly caught on in the way people expected. Google should be taking matters into its own hands and sell smartwatches to advance the platform.
We actually discussed the possibility of a Google-made smartwatch on our podcast, but none of the team outside of Ryan and I thought there was a real chance of it happening. My point was that, if HTC is indeed signed on as a long-term partner for Android’s maker, they might as well be tasked with developing a smartwatch. However, it’s not clear if Angelfish and Swordfish are going to be manufactured by HTC in the same way Google leans on partners to create its Nexus devices.
Over the last two weeks, information regarding Google and HTC’s two Nexus phones has surfaced. First we learned about Sailfish, the smaller of the two, before the same source said what Marlin will be like. Then the whole thing was exposed when Android Police shared an illustration of what this year’s Nexus phone will look like.
- These are possible specs for Sailfish, one of HTC’s Nexus phones
- Specs for Marlin, HTC’s bigger Nexus Phone, trickle out
- Here’s what this year’s Nexus phone lineup is going to look like
Google’s plans for Android this fall are becoming increasingly (and unintentionally) public and we’re only two weeks into the summer. So expect to see and hear a lot more about what’s coming between now and September or October when these things are probably going to become official. The curtain just can’t stay in front of anything for long.
Ready yourself for a bloodbath this year and beyond because Apple and Samsung are both investing heavily in their wearable platforms.
Source: Android Police