Google’s new Pixel Watch 3 and 3 XL are begging to be spanked by Samsung’s new Galaxy Watch FE

The first convincing Pixel Watch 3 renders have leaked, and as someone who’s been using the Pixel Watch 2 for about half a year, I must say I’m slightly disappointed by what I’m seeing.

Initial rumors painted the Pixel Watch 3 as a notable upgrade over the previous two models, and while we don’t know exactly how improved the Pixel Watch 3 will end up being (overall), the leaked renders show a watch that looks nearly identical to the current model, which looks identical to the 2022 version.

The problem I have with this would be the thick bezels we still see around the tiny screen of the Pixel Watch 3, and while the display borders are an eyesore only if you’re way too obsessed with the design of your smartwatch, it’s not all about aesthetics.

The large bezel around the display makes my 41mm Pixel Watch 2 look like the perfect size watch for my wrist, until you realize the display portion of the watch is actually pretty tiny, which makes interacting with the watch harder – especially if you fiddle with workout modes, and use the watch to its full (smartest) potential.

Luckily, I’m not a heavy smartwatch user (in fact, I’ve now switched to a good old Casio), but even then, a small display comes with small watch faces, which aren’t as easy to read.

Leaked Pixel Watch 3 looks disappointingly dissimilar to Pixel Watch 2 and Pixel Watch 1, but a new Pixel Watch 3 XL could make up for it

All that being said, the good news around the Pixel Watch 3 might come in the form of a whole different Pixel Watch 3, and that’s the supposed “XL” version of the ticker, which was just leaked.

And while this is far from “confirmed”, it might be that the Pixel Watch 3 “Pro” could end up being Google’s “One More Thing” announcement this fall, which means there’s a chance the “XL” model might look different/better than the vanilla watch.

Let’s not forget that Google is no stranger to creating separation within its product lineup by giving more affordable products visibly less premium design. The best example is the new Pixel 8a, which has dramatically thicker display borders than the Pixel 8.

In case there’s any doubt, a good reason to believe the Pixel Watch 3 “XL” is on the way is that Google is preparing to release not one but two “Pro” versions of the new Pixel 9 flagship (in two different sizes).

It seems like 2024 might be the year when Google expands its product portfolio in a direction that gives users more choice, and more sizes to choose from.

The competition won’t let Google get away with selling the same watch 3 years in a row: Samsung’s budget Galaxy Watch FE already makes the Pixel Watch 3 look bad

Finally, it’s appropriate to note that Google won’t be lacking competition in the WearOS smartwatches segment this year. In fact, quite the opposite.

Said to start at the super accessible price of around $200/€200, Samsung’s Galaxy Watch FE is now official, and this price makes it the most dangerous Pixel Watch competitor Google should look out for.

On top of being $150-200 more affordable than the alleged Pixel Watch 3, I’d argue Samsung’s first-ever “Fan Edition” watch looks a tad more modern than what Google has to offer right now.

And while Samsung isn’t the only serious player in the WearOS/Android smartwatch business (Huawei enjoys a bigger portion of the global market share), the South Korean company benefits from a spotless track record, great reputation, and a decent degree of brand loyalty. Especially compared to Google.

If I was in Google’s shoes, trying to play catch-up to the big guys like Samsung and Apple, I’d be hesitant to sell what looks like the same watch three years in a row. Especially when it comes with an obvious design compromise.

I like my Pixel Watch 2 and I’m rooting for the Pixel Watch 3! But isn’t the same old (dated) design getting a bit too repetitive?

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