For the past few months, rumours have been building suggesting that Google is doubling down on its own hardware design. That means we’re likely to see Google-branded smartphones, tablets, Chromebooks and – perhaps -smartwatches.
With the holiday season closing in, here’s everything we know so far about Google’s rumoured Nexus watches.
Nexus Watch: Names
Like the upcoming HTC Nexus/Google phones, there are two watches in development and they are currently being called by their codenames which both feature a fish of some kind. The larger watch is currently named Angelfish, while the smaller model is Swordfish.
Google isn’t expected to stick with these names. Until recently, the watches were just branded “Nexus Watch” by the media. Of course, there’s a chance that Google won’t even continue with the Nexus naming. Whether they’re given theNexus moniker or not, they will undoubtedly be launched with the Nexus spirit of being completely optimised for all that Android Wear has to offer.
Nexus Watch: Design
The larger and more spec-tastic of the two, Angelfish, is claimed to measure 43.5mm in diameter, while the smaller watch, Swordfish, is 42mm, similar to the Huawei Watch and 2nd gen Moto 360.
What’s interesting is that, according to Android Police’s sources, Angelfish will be equipped with a different array of physical buttons. This watch is claimed to feature the usual “crown” button halfway up the right edge, but also feature two shoulder buttons which don’t protrude as far. The larger model also appears to have a much thicker, darker metal casing with fitting for a wider watch strap.
Moving on Swordfish, and it appears that this model only has the one, single oddly designed button on the right edge. Despite its case diameter only being 1.5mm narrower than the larger model, the watch strap is quite noticeably much narrower, by at least 4-5mm.
As well as being smaller, the 42mm Swordfish model is claimed to feature a much rounder design. Although both have a circular face, the smaller model is rumoured to have glass that curves towards the edges, and a bezel which itself curves a little. Angelfish is much flatter, and more angular.
If one was to generalise it, we could assume that perhaps the more rounded, less angular model with a thinner strap was designed with a female target market in mind, while the bigger version is supposedly more “masculine”.
Nexus Watch: Display
Nothing has yet been specifically mentioned about the Nexus Watch displays in terms of exact dimensions. However, Android Police noted that the screen would be slightly smaller than the Moto 360, and will have a small black gap between where the watch body ends and visible display begins to avoid a section being cut-off. In other words, the screen will have a slim black ring around the edges, but thankfully won’t have a hideous “flat tyre”.
As for size and resolution, any mention of those would be completely speculative. It wouldn’t be surprising to see a display similar in size and resolution to the Huawei Watch which features a 400 x 400 resolution 1.4-inch circular display boasting a pixel density of 286ppi (pixels per inch).
Nexus Watch: Specs
Google has long been a partner with Qualcomm for its Nexus smartphone chips. Likewise, most notable Android Wear watches are powered by a Snapdragon chip of some kind, so it’s likely that Google’s Nexus Watch will make use of the newest Snapdragon 2100 chip designed specifically for wearables. That is, of course, unless Qualcomm announces a new processor in between now and when the watches hit the market, which wouldn’t be surprising.
More interestingly, as well as being different in design and size, the Angelfish and Swordfish are predicted to offer different features to each other. As you can imagine, that means you’ll see more packed in to Angelfish.
For the most part, it seems the Angelfish is being designed to work as a standalone device. In other words, you won’t need to have your phone on you all the time to make use of it. It will have LTE connectivity for data connection, andGPS for location tracking, while the smaller Swordfish watch will not, according to Android Police.
With Android Wear 2.0 featuring the ability to have apps natively installed on the watches, you’d expect that also means a slight jump in available storage space: 4GB could be enough, but 8GB would ensure users don’t get storage anxiety.
Nexus Watch: Software
Of all the rumours surrounding the Nexus watches (or whatever they end up being called), the software is the one element we have some certainty over.
Google announced a brand new wearable operating system called Android Wear 2.0 at Google I/O 2016 this summer. If the company does launch these watches, they will run Android Wear 2.0 and will be a glittering showcase for the new software.
Android Wear 2.0 features – among other things – standalone native apps so that your watch is less reliant on your smartphone. It also has a more advanced messaging system, which allows you to scribble or type replies on the touchscreen, as well as a refreshed app launcher screen.
The fitness app and notifications have also seen something of a design revamp, plus, advanced complications means you can have all kinds of information showing on your watch face, regardless of which watch face it is.
Nexus Watch: Release date and price
Until Google officially confirms their existence, we won’t know precisely when the Angelfish and Swordfish watches will be released, or how much they will cost. However, it would make complete sense to launch them alongside the nextNexus smartphones later this year. That could put the date as September or October 2016.
Prices will likely be similar to current Android Wear watches. We’d expect the smaller 42mm model to cost between £230-£300 ($345-$450), while the larger model will likely cost more than £300/$450. Unless of course Google decides to return to itsNexus roots and offer them at close to cost price, making them ultra-affordable.