A couple of year’s back, we have seen quite a few decent smartwatches from the top smartphone manufacturers. While the Apple and Samsung smartwatches run on WatchOS and Tizen OS respectively, most of the other manufacturers launched smartwatches powered by Google’s Android Wear OS. Since the smartwatches are considered as an add-on accessory more than a standalone device, there isn’t much growth as seen with the smartphones or tablets. While most of the major manufacturers including Motorola, LG, and Huawei have skipped launching Smartwatches this year, few rumors suggest the increased limitations from Google over the Android Wear OS is the main reason. Even the Android Wear 2.0 OS which was initially announced to release in the second half of this year is already postponed to 2017.
Now, the latest information is that Google will be launching two new smartwatches in early 2017 running on the latest Android Wear 2.0 OS. In an interview given to The Verge; Android Wear product manager Jeff Chang officially confirmed this news. While there are rumors about the launch of Pixel smartwatch from Google, he also confirms that these two upcoming smartwatches will lack Pixel or Nexus branding. Even though HTC acted as an OEM partner for both Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, there is no HTC logo or branding anywhere on the devices; but the upcoming smartwatches will feature the manufacturer branding. However, the Google smartwatches are said to be manufactured by the company which already launched Android Wear power smartwatches and Nexus smartphones.
Looking at the smartwatch launches in the last couple of years, we guess that manufacturer to be one from LG, Huawei, and Motorola. Once these new smartwatches are launched, the already available smartwatches will receive the latest Android Wear 2.0 update. We can also expect these two Google smartwatches to come with a circular display. With the Android Wear 2.0, the Android Pay will be finally available on smartwatches and interestingly, this function is said to work on both Android and iOS devices. The only condition is that the smartwatch needs to have the built-in NFC chip. At least one variant might come with GPS, LTE, and heart rate sensors. Along with the Android Pay, Google Assistant will also be introduced with the fifth and last developer preview of Android Wear 2.0 that will be released in January. At the upcoming CES 2017, we might even see new Android Wear 2.0 powered smartwatches from third-party manufacturers.