We’re less than a day away from Google’s official, full reveal of its Pixel Watch wearable, but the leak machine doesn’t hold water, and details keep coming in. This week, courtesy of Droid Life, we got a very detailed look at the Pixel Watch’s active-style bands – and they bear a striking similarity to the bands on existing Fitbit devices.
Droid Life says it was able to purchase the bands from an anonymous retailer for $49 each, although the bands are no longer available now. Chalk, Charcoal, Obsidian, and Citronella strips were available; Droid Life got their hands on Chalk and Lemongrass.
We’ve seen these groups before in promotional material published by Google, but this is the first time we’ve heard impressions from someone who’s actually handled them. Droid Life says the bands are “premium”, describing their quality as “as good if not better than” similar proprietary bands offered for the Apple Watch. As shown on the back of the retail packaging, the bands come in two sizes. Smallest size fits wrists 130-175mm in circumference; the largest fits 165-210mm.
If you’ve been following developments around the Pixel Watch, you’re probably already aware that the wearable uses proprietary watch straps, but the instructional documentation included in the boxes of the straps sheds some light on how they actually work. There’s what Google calls a “band secure button” inside the grooves the watch band slides into that you’ll need to press when joining or disconnecting from a band. Apparently you’ll be able to press the button even when the tape is in place, which will release the tape so it can be removed.
The bands attach with a kind of horizontal sliding motion that we’ve seen demonstrated in early Google promotional materials, which feature visuals of the watch twisting into place between two band halves. The bands have what look like little metal rails to attach them to the watch body, although Droid Life hasn’t mentioned what that particular bit is made of.
We knew this from both leaks and first official images, but the Pixel Watch’s active bands look a lot like the default silicone bands that come with Fitbit Sense and Versa watches, which themselves work like watch bands. from Apple. Looking at a wearer’s lower wrist band, the only way to know it’s not a Fitbit band is the absence of the fitness tracker brand emblem belonging to Google. Of course, the bands will not be interchangeable due to different connectors.
Aside from a more detailed look at the connector mechanism, Droid Life’s hands-on with the bands doesn’t offer much new information, or even any info on the watch itself – the post couldn’t secure the bands, not a full Pixel Watch. If there’s still something you’re wondering about Google’s smartwatch, you don’t have long to wait to find out: it should be featured prominently in Google’s hardware event tomorrow.