Google’s Nexus Smartwatch: 7 Easy-to-Guess Features



The Wall Street Journal reported today that an Android-powered smartwatch is coming from LG and Google. The Journal’s source said other companies may also be involved, and that the device is likely to be unveiled at Google I/O, Google’s developer conference, which is scheduled to begin June 25.

According to the report, the watch will be integrated with Google Now.

The report didn’t specify the N word, but this information reeks of a quasi-reference design product in line with the Nexus strategy. It’s easy to imagine all this as a Nexus-branded smartwatch with all the core attributes of the Nexus lines of phones and tablets. Let’s go ahead and call it the Nexus Smartwatch.

So what are these Nexus attributes when applied to a smartwatch?

Seven Easy-to-Guess Features

1. Reference designish. Like the Nexus line of phones, the Nexus Smartwatch may be designed to show the way for the industry — to basically say: Here’s how you do it. Applied to a smartwatch, the device is likely to be better than average in terms of smallness and lightness, quality of the screen and other components and generally be a very good, all-around, all-purpose smartwatch.

2. Optimized for hacking. The Nexus phones are designed for hacking and tinkering. You can easily open the back of the Nexus 5, for example, and disassemble it with a minimum of tools and without needing any custom or specialized tools, unlike some other phones. Google also deliberately made it easy to unlock the Nexus 5 bootloader. They added no encryption layer and they didn’t ship it with a warranty that prohibited unlocking. It’s reasonable to expect the Nexus Smartwatch to be equally hackable.

3. Super cheap. The Nexus 5 was a $600 phone that Google sold for an initial price of $349. If the Nexus Smartwatch is worth $400, it’s will probably be sold to the public for something like $249. If it’s worth $300, they’ll sell it for around $179 — at least, if Nexus pricing is any indication.

4. Googly as all get-out. The Journal is already reporting that the Nexus Smartwatch will center around Google Now, which is both logical and brilliant. You can expect the watch to be focused on other Googlish products, such as Google+, Gmail and more. I would also expect the Nexus Smartwatch to act as a TV remote for Google TV products, and also an extra controller for Google Glass.

5. A killer extra or two. One of the biggest benefits to buyers of the Nexus 5 smartphone is the odd killer feature. One of these is the ability to set up a WiFi hotspot without paying AT&T’s fee for it. Another is the ability to do Photospheres. Expect the Nexus Smartwatch to do a thing or two that no other watch can.

6. Functional industrial design, but not beautiful. Nexus smartphones and tablets are OK looking, but not great. They can’t compete with the likes of iPhones, HTC Ones or even Moto Xs in terms of design elegance.

7. Free to Google I/O attendees. Reports say this will be announced and possibly ship in June. You can bet Google I/O attendees will be given one of these devices.

Of course, these are guesses, based not on inside knowledge or reporting, but on Sherlock-Holmes style inductive reasoning. We know what Google has done in the past, and based on that knowledge we can guess what Google will do in the future.

We’ll know soon enough. Google I/O is only four months away!

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