That’s the way for the king-sized Pixel Watch 3 XL to break free from its own curse


Image credit – Android Headlines

Is the third time the charm? For Google and their Pixel Watch series, it better be. Because, brother, if you’re Google and you can’t make a top-notch smartwatch three times in a row, you’re going down.

Let’s talk about the Google Pixel Watch 3 XL (yes, apparently, there’s going to be a king-sized timepiece from Google this time around). More importantly: let’s talk about how it should step into the light and prove it’s a capable gadget that doesn’t inherit its fathers’ sins.

What is known is that while the design from its predecessors is kept (thankfully, as this is one seriously good-looking toy), there are notable changes. The XL model of the third generation of the water droplet bijou is rumored to bring the following:

  • A 1.45-inch display (significant jump from the previous 1.2-inch panel)
  • 13.89mm thick body (opposed to the 12.3mm of the Pixel Watch 2)
  • Overall dimensions: 45mm x 45mm (expected)

Usually, when talking about a smartwatch (or a phone, or a tablet, and more or less every other gadget on Earth), one lists the three dimensions of reality – length, width, height – in the same sentence. However, as you can see, I’ve separated them. That’s because they’ll serve different purposes for my needs.But first, a little background and a chance for me to explain why the Pixel Watch 3 should fix anything and what on Earth I mean when I say that this watch should break free from its own curse.

The Pixel Watch 1 and 2: they told the time, but it wasn’t their time

Once upon a time, before I joined PhoneArena, I got the news that Google was about to release a smartwatch of their own. Since I owned (and I still do!) the magnificent Garmin Fenix 3 HR (yeah, that may sound like an antique to you, but I rock it with a NATO strap on it and it looks amazing), I got interested in what Google had to offer. Moreover, I had experience with a Pixel phone, so there you go: I just couldn’t miss it.

While waiting for the thing to come out, I learned that Google was on the mission of delivering a smartwatch for quite some time now – since 2016, actually. However, they delayed the project until Google acquired Fitbit in 2021. A year later, the first generation Google Pixel Watch was out.

I didn’t buy it. I didn’t buy the Pixel Watch 2, either.

It’s true that I was interested in both the smartwatch as a product category and Google as a brand – that doesn’t make me an impulsive buyer, however. The more I read about the devices, the colder I got towards the idea of getting it.

If you’ve got either of the Pixel Watches, great! I’m not bashing your choice – they just weren’t what I was hoping for.

Like our OG Pixel Watch review states: for example, the device suffers from typical first-generation woes: a below average battery life, software bugs, and a body that’s… well, too small at 41mm!

The Pixel Watch 2 review had it that the successor was an improvement, but still far from perfect, as it’s NOT repairable and it still came in the same 41mm body. Sigh…

Why big watches matter…

(…and why the Pixel Watch 3 XL should take advantage of its size)

These days, the only people who wear 40mm or smaller watches in diameter are counter-culture people and me (I’m all over the place with a collection of watches from 36mm to 50mm+).

Fifteen, twenty years ago, the only ones who wore big (and biggish) watches were representatives of the same counter-culture crowd.

Now, the trends have shifted and big watches are a must. Boys or girls, it doesn’t matter: large is the way to go.

That being said, there’s a difference between a “large” watch for men and a “large” watch for women. Typically, the former opts for something above the 45mm mark (up to the point where you’re wearing your grandfather’s wall clock on your wrist), while the latter gravitates around the 42mm size.

This, by the way, is why Google was selling the Pixel Watch 1 and 2 in the single 41mm size: they just wanted to sell to everybody and had to opt for a single-sized solution. Now they’ve got experience and this is why the Pixel Watch 3 could come in an XL variant.

So, to the point: the Pixel Watch 3 XL has the chance to be something truly special because of these three things:

  • A larger display
  • A thicker body
  • A larger battery

Having a larger screen is great beyond the aesthetics part. That’s how you get more space for UI (user interface) goodies. Yup, a smartwatch shouldn’t tell time – it should be packed with apps and clever tidbits. And AI, since it’s 2024.

The pros of having a larger battery are not even up for discussion, period – who doesn’t want more power?

The thicker body is my favorite of the three. It gets me going. Why? Because every piece of tech altogether – iPhones, iPads, foldables, flagships and laptops (and much more) – strive to be thinner. Watches are not an exemption, but once you go bigger sideways, you can go for a taller (thicker) watch as well.

Call it symmetry, proportions or harmony, whatever: you know what I’m talking about.

This is how you make room (potentially) for more sensors. More sensors make it more premium. More premium equates to higher profits. That’s why Apple sells the maxed-out iPhone Pro Max flagship like hotcakes.

Which leads me to my final point.

Taking Apple’s path: many will hate you… so what?

In the original Pixel Watch 3 XL leak was a claim that enraged me:

An excerpt from our “New Google Pixel Watch 3 XL leaked images suggest Google is going bigger and bolder” article

Note that it’s not the Pixel Watch 3 which is going to be the same as the Pixel Watch 3 XL, but the other way around – the bigger watch, the one with the potential for more hardware and software delicacies, is going to conform to the vanilla model.

Not cool!

Take Apple, for example. The Cupertino giant proudly announced its Apple Intelligence, while in the same breath they said it’s exclusive for the iPhone 15 Pro, the iPhone 15 Pro Max and the upcoming iPhone 16 line. Yup, you read that right: despite being of the same family, the vanilla iPhone 15 and the bigger iPhone 15 Plus do not get Apple Intelligence.

This was counted as a you-know-what move by many, but Apple did it nevertheless. With a smile, that is.

That’s why it’s only logical for Google to follow in their footsteps and separate the Pixel Watch 3 XL from the Pixel Watch 3.

Google, why don’t you do like Apple does?

This refrain reminded me of a spectacular live performance of Hugh Laurie’s – it’s a show on the Queen Mary from 2013. Make sure to find that exact version, not the studio track. One of the song’s lyrics from the show on the Queen Mary reads:

“Why Don’t You Do Right?” is an American blues and jazz-influenced pop song usually credited to Kansas Joe McCoy..

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