Wearables Week in Review

Report Type: 
Week In Review

One last Pixel Watch hint

In case the ongoing rumors were not enough, it appears that Google has dropped one last major hint that the Pixel Watch is finally coming. The company has updated its online store – the first major update since 2020 – and there is a new tab called “Watches” added to the top of the storefront. Previously, the site focused on “Fitbit” but has now gone more generic. That suggests that this year is, indeed, finally the launch window for the Pixel Watch; presumably at the upcoming I/O.

The NPD Take:

  • Of course, the big question is: will the Pixel Watch truly make an impact on the market? Based on previous “Pixel” launches, we should expect to see new innovations hit the Pixel Watch before rolling out across the rest of Wear OS… but if the benefits of this require a Pixel smartphone, then the relative base size is quite small.

The button is back

While touchscreens are all the rage, sometimes a button works that much better. With that in mind, Garmin has launched the Vivosmart 5 with… you guess it… a button to complement the touchscreen. The touchscreen itself has been improved upon – it’s larger than in earlier iterations, and apparently works better. But the button will be a welcome (re) addition for runners and so on who want to interact with the device while on the hoof. The other key improvement with the new tracker is swappable straps, rather than a single unibody, to allow us all to show off a bit more color coordination and style, not to mention drive some additional revenue Garmin’s way.

The NPD Take:

  • Garmin’s focus remains primarily on more active exercisers and within this group, function wins out over form… especially when your sweat is up and the touchscreen just won’t register your swipes.
  • At $149.99, the Vivosmart 5 is a relatively expensive tracker (the tracker market is racing to the bottom in terms of pricing). But then again, Garmin has a specialist niche, and the device comes with key features such as SpO2, heart rate monitoring and more in its small form factor.
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