Source: The Pixel Watch uses the same chip as the 2018 Galaxy Watch

Source: The Pixel Watch uses the same chip as the 2018 Galaxy Watch

On Wednesday, Google officially confirmed that it was making a Pixel Watch, but the preview provided was light on some specs, as availability is still a few months away. 9to5Google has now learned that the Pixel Watch is powered by an Exynos chip that first debuted with the Samsung Galaxy Watch in 2018.

According to a source, Google’s Pixel Watch uses the Exynos 9110, a Samsung chip that was first released in August 2018.

Late last year, we reported that the Pixel Watch was probably using a Samsung chipset. Many have speculated that Google would take advantage of the Exynos W920 just announced on the Galaxy Watch 4. This would give the Pixel Watch the advantage of the latest performance and efficiency associated with a 5-nanometer chip and Corex-A55 cores.

In contrast, the Exynos 9110 is built on a 10nm process with two Cortex-A53 cores. This is similar to the Snapdragon Wear 4100+, although this Qualcomm chip is 12nm, which in turn is less efficient. With the launch of the W920, Samsung reported “CPU performance of about 20 percent and ten times better graphics performance than its predecessor.”

Google is probably using the older chip because the Pixel Watch project started a while ago. When the early development of the Pixel Watch began, an era when the 9110 was new, it was based on Android 9 Pie before later switching to Android 11.

By the time the Exynos W920 was available – assuming Samsung was already selling to third parties – the chipset change may have delayed the development of the Pixel Watch and was too much to justify a key component change. From what we know today, there is nothing to suggest that this is happening.

However, it is a pity that this long-awaited Pixel device does not use the absolute latest specifications after so long. The Exynos 9110 was first used in the original Samsung Galaxy Watch, which was released in the third quarter of 2018. It is also in the 2019 Watch Active and Active 2, as well as the Galaxy Watch 3 from August 2020. Due to Tizen, it is not battery or performance comparisons can be made.

Of course, the chipset is not everything. For that, we can even look at Google’s Pixel 6, which relies on the Tensor processor on a technically outdated chip compared to the latest Snapdragon offers. Equally important is the way Google optimizes content. The big question is how this old chip affects battery life. We previously mentioned that the Pixel Watch will have a 300 mAh battery.

For comparison, the Fossil Gen 6 has a battery and chipset of similar size (albeit at 12 nm) and is officially said to have 24 hours, which we also found. This is also true for Wear OS 2, which is supposed to be less battery efficient. Another thought is how Google somewhat implied that the Snapdragon 4100+ is not enough to run Wear OS 3. In particular, Google said that – “in some limited cases” – the user experience on existing 4100+ watches in Wear OS 2 will be “affected” after the upgrade. It is not clear if this affects the Pixel Watch in any way, as it comes with Wear OS 3 and needs to be fully optimized.

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The Pixel Watch will be released this fall with the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro. It is possible that Samsung will release the second generation Wear OS before then, and rumors have already surfaced that there will be a larger battery, as this was a critique compared to the Tizen wearables released before. For those who want the latest and greatest specs, the supposed “Galaxy Watch 5” may be the best purchase, to the detriment of the Pixel Watch. That said, Google software add-ons, such as the Pixel phones, could offer a significant gauge, and the Pixel Watch will likely excel in health and fitness over Fitbit.

Ben Schoon and Kyle Bradshaw contributed to this post

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