A big part of owning a watch is personalizing it with a watch band that represents your style. Whether you like a sporty band or a dressier leather piece, there are countless options on the market for watch owners who want to change the vibes from day to day. Unfortunately, for most Android watches, finding a new watch band has meant running over to Amazon and buying cheap $5 bands that feel like you are one good sweat away from it causing a skin rash or burn. What I’m saying is that quality first party bands aren’t common, unless you own an Apple Watch.
For the upcoming Pixel Watch, Google is reportedly working on having a decent line-up available, which we hope means good quality. The folks at 9to5Google heard from sources who believe Google has at least 7 bands on the way, like the rubber/silicone strap seen above that should come on the Pixel Watch out of the box.
The rest of the watch bands Google could release for the Pixel Watch include a Milanese-style band, metal link bracelet, a couple of leather options, plus fabric and stretch bands. I’d imagine there will be several colors of some styles as well, in case you were considering 7 to be too few.
Of course, first party or “Made for Google” accessories likely means a price well north of those cheap bands I just complained about that I buy too often from Amazon. If you need an idea of the types of prices we could see, think of the standard Apple Watch Sport Band (like the Pixel Watch band above) at $49 or Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 sport bands at $39.99. Each also offers Milanese and metal link bracelets that range from $79 up to $449. I can’t imagine Google coming in much cheaper than either of those.
Another thing to take into account is the mechanism for which the Pixel Watch bands connect to the watch itself. We know it’s a proprietary system rather than the universal quick release systems that so many other watches utilize. Does a custom watch band system add to the cost? It will certainly limit the companies who choose to make them, that’s for sure.
To recap, it sounds like Google is preparing for a big Pixel Watch launch that should include a decent range of accessories out of the gate. You love to hear that, but now we need to learn more about its supposedly-dated, yet still customized chip.
Did You Order a Galaxy Z Flip 4 or Galaxy Z Fold 4?
Pre-orders are taking place for the new Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Fold 4, and as we always say, there’s never a better time to order one of these phones than during this period. Seriously, you should do it.
If you have taken advantage of Samsung’s crazy-good trade-in values, store credit and free accessories, the last thing we want to know is which model you ended up going with. In 2022, both are very good options, seen as relatively minor upgrades over last year’s models, but still offering top specs, water resistance, improved hinge designs for more compact designs, and improved software.
I have been using the Z Fold 4 for a week now and have really been enjoying the experience. The battery life has been great, the displays are nice, and the cameras appear to be very good.
Which option are you going with?
How Good is Android 13 on Pixel Phones?
The stable Android 13 update has been out since the beginning of the week and that means a couple of days for you to run it and establish first impressions. I’m curious what those are, as the update is somewhat minor in new features, but huge in terms of bug fixes from Android 12.
To recap, Android 13 dropped on Monday for the Pixel 4, Pixel 4a, Pixel 5, Pixel 5a, Pixel 6, and Pixel 6a. The update was available immediately if you felt like playing in adb, plus we’ve seen it rollout over-the-air as well to some phones. Tim, for example, says he can pull it yet I can’t on my Pixel 6 Pro. Rude, Google.
We talked about all of the new features in Android 13 that you’ll want to be on the lookout for and then spent a lengthy amount of time looking through the list of 150 bugs that Google fixed. Google says it was able to improve “performance, stability, and reliability,” fixed bugs related to charging and Gboard and touch screen palm detection and so much more. Google even says it addressed fingerprint reader performance on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6a.
After browsing through reddit, I can see that a number of folks have been quick to share that their fingerprint reader is indeed faster (Do people really believe this?) and that overall performance and stuttering has improved, especially on older Pixel phones.
What about you? How has Android 13 been running on your Pixel phone this week? Or are you still waiting for it?
Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro Get Major Approval Ahead of Launch
The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro stopped through the FCC this week, marking a big step towards launch that should happen around October, if previous launches are any indicator. The filings don’t reveal much, other than supported network bands and the presence of UWB again, but they do give us model numbers to pin on each phone going forward.
There are four FCC filings of note to dip into under Google’s FCC ID. Those filings give us model numbers of GVU6C, GQML3, GP4BC, and GE2AE. After looking through several of the documents at the FCC, I’m pretty confident in saying that the first two are the Pixel 7 and the last two are the Pixel 7 Pro. The GVU6C Pixel 7 also has an alternate model number of G03Z5 alongside it, as does the Pixel 7 Pro’s GE2AE, where GFE4J can be added to its list.
To recap, we have Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro model numbers as follows:
- PIXEL 7: GVU6C (G03Z5)
- PIXEL 7: GQML3 – mmW
- PIXEL 7 PRO: GP4BC – UWB
- PIXEL 7 PRO: GE2AE (GFE4J) – UWB, mmW
Each phone has all of the proper network bands to work well here in the US, with select models also supporting 5G mmW. The two models supporting mmW are GQML3 (Pixel 7) and GE2AE (Pixel 7 Pro). The others support sub-6 5G, just not the super speedy 5G mmW that you’ll never attach to anyway.
To tell the difference between Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro devices, we really are guessing (assuming) based on the fact that GP4BC and GE2AE have UWB or ultra-wideband support. In the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, only the Pixel 6 Pro had UWB and it looks like that’ll be the case again this year. UWB is used for short-range communications in things like luggage trackers or to help a digital car key talk to a car.
The rest of the big network stuff can be see below, where you’ll find WiFi 6E, NFC, and WPT (wireless power transfer aka wireless charging).
Pixel 7 network bands
Pixel 7 Pro network bands
There isn’t much else to take from this because Google already announced each phone. We’re really just waiting for them to go official, so that we can start playing with their cameras, test Google Tensor 2, and see if Google took are of all of the Pixel 6 line’s modem issues.
If you were hoping this arrival at the FCC would tell us when the Pixel 7 will launch, I’m not sure that it does. The Pixel 6 line hit the FCC in September 2021 and then arrived in October. The Pixel 6a showed up at the FCC in April 2022, was announced in May, and then didn’t ship until July.
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