Google Rumored to Switch to Snapdragon Chip in Pixel Watch 2

Pixel Watch - Wear OS 4 Update

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I’ll probably keep saying this until device renders leak or Google shows it off before that happens, but a Pixel Watch 2 release this year was not something I expected. Google took years upon years to release the first Pixel Watch, so to be able to turn around within 12 months and drop another would be surprising. Still, the rumors are continuing to flow around that idea.

In the latest rumor blast, we’re learning about the Pixel Watch 2’s chipset, which is said to be a Qualcomm wearable chip rather than one made by Samsung. If true, we could see a massive boost in power efficiency on top of what should be a more powerful watch. We’re also supposedly getting an upgraded Fitbit health sensor too, one that matches up to the Sense 2.

Pixel Watch 2’s Snapdragon W5 chip

According to sources of 9to5Google, the Pixel Watch 2 will run a Qualcomm Snapdragon W5 chip. This is the most recent wearable chip from Qualcomm that’s around a year old now, but only launched in its first watch last week, the TicWatch Pro 5. We don’t yet know if Google will use the regular W5 or the W5+, which has an added co-processor to handle lighter tasks.

The idea that Google would switch off of Samsung chips back to Qualcomm is a bit shocking. We all know that Google has taken on Samsung chips and customized them under its Tensor brand for most modern Pixel devices. We sort of figured they’d continue to do that with the Pixel Watch 2, likely with a slightly newer Samsung chip. But there’s also a chance that Samsung is keeping their best wearable chips for their own devices and so Google didn’t want to be stuck with the old stuff for a second generation watch. And generally speaking, this would be a big upgrade in chip tech, as the Samsung Exynos 9110 in the current Pixel Watch┬áis 10nm, while the Snapdragon W5 is 4nm.

The biggest improvement by this switch is reportedly in the battery life department, where Google is using a similar size battery in the Pixel Watch 2, yet finding over a day of usage with always-on display enabled. The current Pixel Watch can really only last up to 24 hours if you leave the always-on display off. So imagine if you still rolled that way, how long you might be able to extend the Pixel Watch 2’s battery life.

Pixel Watch 2 new Fitbit sensor

The other new upgrade, as I mentioned above, is in the Fitbit health sensor Google plans to include that’s from the Sense 2. This particular sensor could add all-day body-response and greatly improved stress tracking, as well as skin temperature and variations tracking. We hope this will mean that the Pixel Watch will finally start tracking blood oxygen (SpO2) too.

While these two changes might not seem major to everyone, trust me when I say that they are a big deal. The original Pixel Watch’s biggest flaws are in battery life and a limited health experience that is a step below the top Fitbit wearables. Google appears to be making the right changes to the Pixel Watch 2, possibly without sacrificing its biggest strengths (like its smaller design).

The Pixel Watch 2 could very well arrive alongside the Pixel 8 later this year, if you can believe it.



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