HomeTechnologyGoogle's Pixel Watch is said to have a range of Apple-like wristbands

Google’s Pixel Watch is said to have a range of Apple-like wristbands

Any modern smartwatch worth its salt comes with interchangeable straps. So it’s no surprise that Google is working on a number of strap options for its upcoming Pixel Watch. According 9to5Googlethe company is making at least seven straps — including the one featured during the I/O keynote — for the smartwatch launch this fall.

So far, 9to5Google reports that Google is working on a Milanese-style mesh strap, two types of leather straps, a link strap, a fabric strap, and a silicone strap. It’s also supposed to be working on an expandable option reminiscent of Apple’s solo loop. If it looks like Google is pulling several pages out of Apple’s playbook, it is. We still don’t know the majority of the Pixel Watch’s specs, but from what we know, it’s clear that Google is trying to take the Apple Watch head-on. Offering similar strap options plays into this strategy.

Watches, whether analog or smart, are an expression of personal style. Unless Google gives people a wide variety of choices, the Pixel Watch won’t reach a wider audience. The safest thing would have been for Google to use a standard 20-22mm strap. This would have at least eased Google’s own burden and given customers dozens of stylish options that can also be used with mechanical or analog watches.

Is it a Pixel Watch or one of many other smartwatches that look exactly alike? (It’s a Pixel watch)
Image: Google

This is not the case, however. As we saw in Google I/O’s sizzle reel, it opts for its own proprietary straps. So either Google is pretty confident in the designs it comes up with…or we’re about to see some really ugly or uninspired bunches of smartwatches from the folks who brought you the Pixel 6 cases.

Smartwatch makers – Apple included – have generally sniffed it out when it comes to wristbands. As much as I love these gadgets, few of them are as appealing as their “dumber” counterparts. Fitbit’s Horween leather straps? I hesitate to call the leather ones. The 70s have called, and they’d like Apple’s leather strap to come back. I don’t even want to talk about the monstrosities that are perforated smartwatch straps. Silicone wristbands are functional for workouts, but a bit flimsy for formal occasions.

I’d say savvy Pixel Watch owners could look to third-party accessory makers, but opting for a proprietary strap means that’s not guaranteed. If you search Amazon, third-party accessories for Google products aren’t full of fancy options. Probably because not many people buy enough Pixel devices (yet) to justify the investment. If you run an Amazon search for Pixel phone cases, you’ll get around 7,000 results. Searching for an iPhone case gives you over 100,000 results, while a Samsung Galaxy phone case gives you over 80,000. It’s worse for devices like the Pixel Buds – 190 results at over 10,000 results for AirPods. The more options you have, the more likely customers are to find something that works for them. When there are slim choices, you end up with horrors like these.

Ultimately, performance and Wear OS 3 will be the most important factors in determining if the Pixel Watch is “good.” That said, enough people must be thinking, “Yeah, I’m going to pay top dollar to put this on my wrist!” to make it count. So it’s probably wise for Google to make sure the straps it offers at least match those of its rivals. It’s just to make sure that, at least visually, the Pixel Watch won’t dazzle us either.

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