Ever since Google announced plans to acquire Fitbit back in 2019, there's been a natural clamor for a superpowered Fitbit smartwatch running Wear OS.
We've had rumors surface, projects leak from within Google and plenty more speculation from industry experts, but, so far, we're yet to see such a watch.
In fact, the only tangible partnership we've seen since the deal was finalized exists solely through the Google Pixel Watch's tracking, which is largely driven by Fitbit.
With the latest Fitbit smartwatches - the Versa 4 and Sense 2 - also somewhat plagued by pared-down feature sets and the middling Fitbit OS, a full-fledged Fitbit Wear OS watch still feels like the next natural move for the company.
But when could the release date realistically be, and how much would it cost? There's very little we do know about any potential Fitbit device running Wear OS, but, below, we've done our best to sum up the current situation.
Release date: Expected launch in 2023?
It's now been a considerable amount of time since we've had any concrete evidence a Fitbit Wear OS watch will actually be arriving, with Fitbit CEO James Park last mentioning Fitbit watches powered by Google back in 2021.
Park said: “In the future, we’ll be building premium smartwatches built on Wear that combine the best of Fitbit’s health expertise with Google’s ambient computing capabilities. This is just the beginning of how, together with Google, we can do even more to inspire and motivate people on their journey to better health”
While it's been a year since those comments, it seemed black and white that Fitbit would launch a Wear OS device. In any case, 2023 will prove to be a pivotal year.
Given that Fitbit last refreshed its two smartwatch lines before the Google Pixel Watch (with Fitbit integration) was given its full reveal, it wasn't overly surprising to see them not jump out in front and run on Wear OS in 2022.
Fossil VP Brook Eaton recently told Wareable that discussions have taken place regarding Fitbit being present on other Wear OS watches like it currently is on the Pixel Watch, so it's entirely possible that this will be the extent of Fitbit's reach into Wear OS - and something we see expand in 2023.
However, given how much Fitbit OS is lagging behind Wear OS, sticking with it for Fitbit-branded watches currently feels like needless friendly fire.
Fitbit Wear OS features to expect
If we do see a Fitbit Wear OS smartwatch in 2023, there's a good chance it would actually be one of the most feature-packed we've ever seen run on the platform.
Despite the weaker operating system, Fitbit's current watches do possess plenty of health features not yet present on most Wear OS watches, such as continuous stress tracking and blood oxygen saturation readings.
Fitbit's real trump card is now in health tracking, rather than fitness or sports tracking, and the continuous nature of this has always been backed up very well in the battery life department.
If it was to continue down that line, then, we'd likely see Fitbit's Wear OS watch feature multi-day battery life to support it - something we're expecting to be enabled through Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon W5+ platform.
Aside from carrying over some of its health tracking features, though, the rest of what we could expect is already available on the Pixel Watch. This is why it's also possible the real Fitbit Wear OS watch is, in fact, the current Google-branded smartwatch.
One advantage Fitbit's current watches have over plenty of Wear OS devices is the cheaper price tag, with even the flagship Sense 2 coming in at under $200 / £200 from most retailers.
We'd expect that to be bumped up considerably if Wear OS was added, perhaps in line with the Google Pixel Watch's $349 / £339 tag.
The ideal scenario, however, is that a Fitbit-branded watch is kept at a relatively entry-level price while the Pixel Watch continues to be the platform's premium option.
Kind of like the role the Apple Watch SE plays in the Apple smartwatch lineup, providing the same broad software experience without some of the premium design elements or features.
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