Google To Launch Two Flagship Android Wear 2.0 Smartwatches In Q1 2017: Here's What We Know About Them
Google is set to launch two new flagship smartwatches, both to be powered by Android Wear 2.0, in the first quarter of 2017, according to Google's Android Wear product manager Jeff Chang.
Chang's statement confirms reports which surfaced in October regarding Google's plans for two Android Wear 2.0 smartwatches that were said to be coming early next year.
Google Android Wear 2.0 Smartwatches Confirmed
The confirmation of the upcoming Android Wear 2.0 smartwatches is said to be part of the wider initiative to convince consumers that smartwatches, and wearable devices in general, are still in demand.
The new smartwatches will be the first devices to launch with Android Wear 2.0, which is currently in its fourth developer preview. Once the two new smartwatches are out, all other devices powered by the operating system will receive the update to the latest version.
In September, it was reported that Google has postponed the launch of Android Wear 2.0 to 2017, despite the operating system being announced in the company's I/O conference in May. It was said that the cause of the delay was that there were still bugs that were being found, but now we also know that Google was planning to launch Android Wear 2.0 alongside flagship smartwatches.
What We Know About The Upcoming Google Smartwatches
Aside from being the first Android Wear 2.0 smartwatches, it was previously revealed that the codenames of the two devices are named Angelfish and Swordfish. This complements the codenames of the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, which were known as Sailfish and Marlin, respectively.
Angelfish is said to be the larger one, with three hardware buttons, LTE connectivity, GPS capability, and a heart rate sensor that will allow it to operate as a standalone device without the need to be paired to a smartphone. Swordfish is a smaller, more budget-minded version, with no LTE and GPS and likely also no heart rate sensor with only a single hardware button.
The upcoming smartwatches, despite being Google's first smartwatches, will not have any Google or Pixel branding, and will instead be branded by the company that will manufacture them. Chang did not reveal the company that will manufacture the smartwatches, but did state that it has previously produced Android Wear-powered devices.
Chang likened the partnership between Google and the smartwatch manufacturer to the company's Nexus program, with the two companies collaborating on both the software integration and hardware design for the devices.
The upcoming Android Wear 2.0 smartwatches will be Google's attempt to challenge the Apple Watch. Whether the challenge will be a strong one is not yet clear, as the world waits for more details on the devices.