Google Nexus smart­watch

Google set to en­ter smart­watch mar­ket. Lewis Painter re­ports

Android Advisor - - Contents -

While the An­droid Wear front has been rel­a­tively quiet re­cently, two new Nexus-branded smart­watches are ru­moured to be head­ing to the mar­ket this year, flaunt­ing the yet-un­re­leased An­droid Wear 2.0 OS with a gor­geous de­sign. An­droid Po­lice re­ceived a tip from a re­li­able source that Google is work­ing on two smart­watches, one co­de­named An­gelfish and one co­de­named Sword­fish, and here’s all we know about them so far.

Re­lease date

So, when are we go­ing to be see­ing the Google Nexus An­gelfish and Sword­fish smart­watches? While there are no solid ru­mours at the mo­ment, the gen­eral con­sen­sus amongst tech publi­ca­tions is that the smart­watches will be re­vealed af­ter the launch of the up­com­ing Google Nexus 5/6 smart­phones, which are due out later this year.

Look­ing at the ev­i­dence we spec­u­late that the Nexus smart­watches will be re­leased near the end of 2016, if not early 2017.


So, what can we ex­pect in terms of de­sign from the two Google Nexus smart­watches, An­gelfish and Sword­fish? While the two are ac­tively be­ing de­vel­oped to­gether, there are a few dif­fer­ences be­tween the two. Based on its orig­i­nal re­port, An­droid Po­lice pub­lished a ren­der­ing of what the smart­watches could look like along with the claim that the im­age isn’t an in­ter­pre­ta­tion, but in­stead “recre­ations of pri­mary source ma­te­rial” – what­ever that means.

An­gelfish Let’s start with the more pre­mium of the two Nexus smart­watches, code name An­gelfish. An­gelfish is said to be the larger of the two smart­watches, bear­ing some re­sem­blance to the Mo­torola Moto 360 – without the flat tyre, of course. The smart­watch ap­par­ently fea­tures vis­i­ble lugs with a smooth hous­ing that curves where the watch strap meets the body of the de­vice, giv­ing it a smoother (and more pre­mium, we imag­ine) look

and feel when com­pared to the an­gu­lar lugs and multi-piece de­sign of watches like the LG Watch Ur­bane.

In­ter­est­ingly, An­gelfish is said to have not one but three but­tons. Why is this in­ter­est­ing? Most An­droid Wear smart­watches fea­ture a sin­gle but­ton, with Ca­sio’s An­droid Wear smart­watch be­ing one of the only ex­cep­tions to the rule. An­gelfish is said to fea­ture a large crown but­ton on the right hand side of the body with two cir­cu­lar but­tons ac­com­pa­ny­ing it, one above and one be­low. The pur­pose of these but­tons is un­clear at this time, but we spec­u­late that users will be able to set up cus­tom short­cuts to pop­u­lar apps, and so on.

It’s the thicker of the two Nexus smart­watches, though. Mea­sur­ing in at 14mm thick, the Nexus An­gelfish smart­watch is sim­i­lar to the LG Ur­bane LTE in terms of bulk, but we imag­ine this is to ac­com­mo­date for a larger bat­tery due to the LTE con­nec­tiv­ity fea­tured on the smart­watch (more on that be­low!). It’s ap­par­ently 43.5mm in di­am­e­ter, mak­ing it smaller than the large 46mm Moto 360 but larger than the stan­dard 42mm vari­ant.

In terms of colour op­tions, it seems like the Nexus An­gelfish smart­watch may only be avail­able to buy in a sin­gle colour, ti­ta­nium.

Sword­fish While An­gelfish looks to have all the bells and whis­tles of a mod­ern smart­watch, the Nexus

Sword­fish looks to be a bit sim­pler. De­scribed as be­ing sim­i­lar to the Peb­ble Time Round without the huge screen bezel in terms of de­sign, Sword­fish also sports a dif­fer­ent but­ton ar­range­ment when com­pared to An­gelfish.

While An­gelfish fea­tures three but­tons, Sword­fish fea­tures only one – a crown on the right­hand side of the smart­watch. It’s said to have a pol­ished metal cap with a rigid crown-like bezel sim­i­lar to that fea­tured on the Ap­ple Watch, which should again help con­vey the pre­mium look and feel of the smart­watch.

Without the ex­tended func­tion­al­ity of An­gelfish, Sword­fish can af­ford to be thin­ner than its coun­ter­part mea­sur­ing in at 10.6mm thin. While the thick­ness of Sword­fish is pretty im­pres­sive at 0.8mm thin­ner than the cur­rent Moto 360, it’s not quite im­pres­sive enough to com­pete with the 7.5mm thin Peb­ble Time Round.

The Nexus Sword­fish smart­watch is said to be avail­able in more colours than An­gelfish, with three choices avail­able – Sil­ver, Ti­ta­nium and Rose Gold.

New fea­tures

So now we know a bit about the phys­i­cal de­sign of the up­com­ing Google Nexus smart­watches, what will they fea­ture? While the re­ports of the de­sign

were fairly de­tailed, the same can’t be said for the in­ter­nals. So, what do we know so far?

It’s been re­ported that the Nexus An­gelfish smart­watch will fea­ture all the bells and whis­tles of a 2016 smart­watch in­clud­ing GPS, a heart rate mon­i­tor and most im­pres­sively, LTE con­nec­tiv­ity. The abil­ity to con­nect to the in­ter­net without the need for a phone makes An­gelfish po­ten­tially the first com­pletely stand­alone An­droid Wear watch, fol­low­ing the an­nounce­ment that stand­alone apps are to be sup­ported in the forth­com­ing An­droid Wear 2.0 soft­ware up­date.

Sword­fish on the other hand is a bit more mys­te­ri­ous, with no con­firmed spec­i­fi­ca­tion ru­mours – it could fea­ture a heart rate mon­i­tor, but it’s un­con­firmed at this stage.

What we do know is that both Sword­fish and An­gelfish will fea­ture Google As­sis­tant in­te­gra­tion, Google’s per­sonal as­sis­tant that was first show­cased at Google I/O ear­lier this year. At the event Sundar Pichai men­tioned that Nexus de­vices will get more ex­clu­sive soft­ware fea­tures, lead­ing us to be­lieve that the Nexus smart­watches will in­clude func­tion­al­ity in­ac­ces­si­ble by any other An­droid Wear smart­watch man­u­fac­turer.

Along with Google As­sis­tant, Google is said to be work­ing on a com­pletely new style of watch faces that al­low for quicker ac­cess to the things you need, such as no­ti­fi­ca­tions, in­for­ma­tion (like un­read email count), media con­trols and app func­tions. It’s said that the con­trols will sit be­neath the watch dial, and are very di­verse in terms of the kinds of short­cuts of­fered, although again, specifics aren’t pro­vided at this time.

Peb­ble Time Round

Mo­torola Moto 360

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