Stop complaining! The Pixel Watch screen bezels are not as bad as you think


The Pixel Watch will officially be unveiled today, marking the first time Google has released an Android-powered smartwatch. If you’ve been following along with all the official teasers from Google and the plethora of leaks, there’s a good chance that you’ve seen at least a few dozen pictures of the new smartwatch already.

We’re still waiting to go hands-on with the device and see what it’s like on our wrist, but that hasn’t stopped the internet from dismissing the Pixel Watch already, purely based on the size of the display in comparison to the body of the smartwatch.

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Due to the all-glass design on the front of the Pixel Watch, it looks like the device should have a pretty large display. Unfortunately, all the images we’ve seen so far seem to indicate that there will be a lot of extra real estate that won’t be lit up by the display. This is definitely disappointing since the latest Apple Watch has shaved off a significant chunk of the bezel around the display, increasing the screen-to-body ratio by quite a bit.

As you’d expect, some people aren’t happy about the screen-to-body ratio of the new Pixel Watch. Actually, everyone seems to be shunning the device outright, based exclusively on this one aspect. Personally, I’m not a fan of round displays on smartwatches. While it allows the watch to be smaller, it also means that the display area is smaller well since the corners have all been cut off.

That being said, the bezels around the display of the Pixel Watch aren’t as bad as you might think.

I create this image, showing the Pixel Watch, alongside various other popular smartwatches that are out right now. For this comparison, the images of all the smartwatches have been altered so that their widths are all the same so that we can get a better idea of their screen-to-body ratios.

Out of these 6, the Pixel Watch is the only device that offers edge-to-edge glass on the front of the watch.  But besides the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, all the other smartwatches have significant glass bezels around their displays, followed by a metal or plastic frame as well.

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The new Apple Watches have taller rectangular displays that deliver substantially more usable screen space, but the only other circular display smartwatch that has a better screen-to-body ratio than the Pixel Watch is the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro — but not by much.

I’m not here to tell you that the Pixel Watch will be perfect or that I love the screen-to-body ratio. If Google wants to compete with the established players in this space, it has a lot of work to prove itself. The Pixel Watch will likely be a letdown for most smartwatch enthusiasts, but I think it’s a good starting point for a first-generation device.

If those Pixel Watch bezels are too much for you to handle, there are plenty of other Wear OS smartwatches with even larger bezels for you to choose from.

Nick Gray
I'm a life-long tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC. After writing about tech for more than a decade, I jumped at the opportunity to take on the role of Editor in Chief at Phandroid. Please contact me at [email protected].

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