Google’s upcoming Pixel Watch 2 could switch from steel to aluminum for the chassis, making it lighter and less durable.
9to5Google reports that Google plans to switch to aluminum for the Pixel Watch 2, though it’s unclear where that information came from. Aluminum is a popular material for wearables and smartwatches since it’s fairly light, especially compared to steel.
For example, the Pixel Watch weighs 36 grams without a band, partly thanks to its stainless steel chassis. 9to5 points to the aluminum Fitbit Sense 2 as a comparison, which weighs just 26g without a brand. Similarly, the 41mm Apple Watch Series 8 weighs 42.3g in stainless steel and 32.2g in aluminum.
Reducing the weight could go a long way in making the Pixel Watch feel more comfortable on people’s wrists (not that it feels uncomfortable now, but I can definitely feel the weight of it).
The biggest drawback to aluminum is that it’s less durable than steel, but that might not mean much for a watch like the Pixel Watch. Unlike some other smartwatches, the Pixel Watch sports glass domes on the top and bottom, with the steel chassis occupying a thin band around the edge. Swapping to aluminum would cut down the weight a bit and likely wouldn’t significantly alter the look and feel of the Pixel Watch.
It’s not clear if Google will offer aluminum and steel variants like other smartwatch makers, though 9to5 argues the current Pixel Watch design doesn’t have enough metal to justify offering two variants.
Along with the aluminum report, 9to5 noted that Fitbit might soon get new ‘Coach’ branding for workouts provided through Fitbit Premium. However, aside from the branding, 9to5 says it seems little has changed.