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Wear OS-powered Google smartwatch shows up at FCC, but it’s likely not Pixel Watch 3

1 month ago 58

Ahead of what is sure to be a busy year of hardware launches for Google, a new Wear OS-powered smartwatch has been listed with the FCC today, but it doesn’t seem to be the Pixel Watch 3.

In the last few months, we’ve reported quite a few details about the upcoming Pixel Watch 3, including the fact that Google intends on two sizes being available. Another useful tidbit is that we found Google preparing to use UWB connectivity instead of Bluetooth LE to handle Watch Unlock, suggesting the Pixel Watch 3 will have UWB support.

Our current expectation is that the Pixel Watch 3 will launch in the fall alongside the Pixel 9 lineup – including the reportedly rechristened “Pixel 9 Pro Fold.” That being the case, a newly posted FCC listing for Google hardware (model number G4SKY) seems out of place. Specifically, the instructions for how to view the on-device FCC E-label line up precisely with where to find the same info on a current Pixel Watch, not a phone or tablet:

Regulatory information, certification, and compliance marks can be found with the following steps from the Home screen: Settings > System > Regulatory Information.

As the Pixel Watch 3 isn’t intended to launch until fall, we wouldn’t expect to see its FCC listing until late summer at the earliest. Adding to that, this device also doesn’t appear to have UWB connectivity, so it’s quite unlikely to be the Pixel Watch 3.

That being the case, what is this mystery Wear OS device coming soon from Google? One unlikely possibility is that we’re looking at something of a mid-range “Pixel Watch 2a” to arrive alongside the upcoming Pixel 8a. However, no leaks or reports have indicated that any such smartwatch is in development.

Another interesting detail is that this G4SKY watch only seems to exist in one variation that is equipped with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and LTE connectivity. The inclusion of LTE would rule out any alternative Android-powered options, such as a Chromecast, while the lack of 5G eliminates the possibility of it being the Pixel Tablet 2.

Putting it all together, it seems that Google or Fitbit has something of a Pixel Watch alternative in the works. Considering we’re now less than a month from Google I/O 2024, it’s possible we’ll learn more about the hardware at that event, which is already predicted to serve as the debut of the Pixel 8a.

Abner Li and Ben Schoon contributed to this article.

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