Speaking to Android Police, a reliable source has told us that Google is currently building two Android Wear devices - possibly Nexus-branded - for release some time after the latest Nexus phones are announced. One watch will be larger, sportier, and more fully-featured (LTE, GPS, heart rate), the other will be smaller and lack the aforementioned mobile data and GPS.
We do not have possession of any APKs we can distribute or unreleased devices, so please don't ask for them.
We give this rumor a confidence level of 9 out of 10. We are extremely confident Google is in the process of prototyping these in-house Wear devices, and have confirmation of their existence from multiple sources. We are subtracting a point from our confidence because of the ongoing development occurring for these devices, and the possibility that they may change or that one or both may be cancelled (or delayed), as well as the fact that we are unable to share our primary source information for this post.
There also remains some ambiguity about the codenames I will use for these watches, and whether or not these names are currently being used, so consider them nothing more than easy ways to refer back to either device at this point.
As I said, we are unable to share any direct evidence of the existence of these devices at this time. However, because of the quality of our source, we feel confident in publishing information about these devices, including descriptions of their respective appearances. To ensure we are clear on one thing before we start: the hero image of this post is 100% a fabrication [hopefully obviously, because my talentless ass made it] and has no resemblance to either watch. So, let's get started.
Both watches have full circular displays. We do not believe either will have "flat tires." Let's start with the larger watch, which we believe to be codenamed Angelfish.
Angelfish bears some resemblance to the current Moto 360 and LG's Urbane 2nd Edition LTE, but is distinct from both. The design has visible lugs, with a smooth housing shape that curves where the watch band meets the body. It does not have the stark circular "puck" shape of Motorola's 360, nor the rather angular lugs or multi-piece design of the Urbane LTE. This gives the watch a subdued but sporty look. Angelfish has three buttons. Looking at the watch face, one large circular crown button is centered along the right side of the body, with two smaller and shorter circular buttons above and below it. It is unclear what these secondary buttons are for at this time, though you are free to imagine the possibilities.
Angelfish is quite thick, at over 14mm in cross-section (around the same as the Urbane LTE), likely owing to a larger battery necessitated by its LTE-ready chipset. The watch's diameter is allegedly 43.5mm, making it substantially smaller than the "large" 46mm Moto 360, but still a bit bigger than the standard 42mm edition. We believe it will come in a matte dark gray finish that may be called "titanium," but it's unclear if other colors will be available. Angelfish will have GPS, LTE, and a heart-rate monitor, giving it the ability to be a true "standalone" Android Wear device. Remember, Google announced standalone Wear apps at I/O with with Wear 2.0.
The second, smaller watch is codenamed Swordfish. Speaking generally, Swordfish is reminiscent in basic shape to the Pebble Time Round, of course lacking the Round's obviously massive screen bezel, and also using a different button arrangement. But the overall style of the body and especially the lug design are, in my opinion, quite similar. That said, because it doesn't have the internal screen bezel, the portion of the body surrounding the watch face is larger, and the shape is more gentle and rounded than the Pebble's.
Swordfish has a single button centered on the right-hand side of the body, with a more delicate and Apple Watch-like design. The center of the button cap appears to be polished metal, with the bezel of the crown being ridged. Aside from appearing more "raised" out of the body because of the watch's circular shape, the button really is quite similar to the Apple Watch's crown. Swordfish is smaller and thinner than Angelfish, with a body diameter of 42mm and a thickness of just 10.6mm - 0.8mm thinner than the current Moto 360. Granted, it still doesn't have anything on the 7.5mm Pebble Time Round in this regard. Swordfish will allegedly be made available in three colors: silver, titanium, and rose gold. Swordfish lacks LTE or GPS, and it's unclear if it has a heart rate monitor (we are leaning "no").
It appears that, oddly, the larger Angelfish device will not support Google's interchangeable MODE watch bands, because the design of the lugs and band won't allow for it. Swordfish, on the other hand, will definitely be compatible with MODE bands.
Both watches will offer Google Assistant integration with contextual alerts. Exactly what that integration entails, we aren't certain, but given Sundar Pichai's comments about Nexus devices receiving more exclusive software features, we're left wondering if these watches will get functionality other Android Wear devices won't.
Google may also be working on a brand-new style of watch faces for these devices that will allow much quicker access to notifications, information, or media controls for apps or functions that you commonly use. This will likely be via the new app watchface integration announced as part of Wear 2.0. These quick-access functions would sit below the watch dial, presenting things like your current playback location in a song, the number of unread messages in Gmail, Hangouts unread counts, time in another time zone, the amount of time until your next calendar appointment, your number of steps, and more.
The inevitable question with these Google smartwatches is "why?" I'm afraid I don't have a concrete answer for you. But I can speculate. As Android Wear has evolved, manufacturer interest in it has not skyrocketed as Google likely hoped it would. At best, it appears to be holding steady. Once considered Wear's strongest partner, LG has announced no new mainstream Wear device since the old Urbane last spring (the LTE is unashamedly niche with limited availability, and was heavily delayed). The number of new Wear OEMs announced lately has been modest, aside from a few niche fashion products that are unlikely to have a major impact on Wear's distribution.
By building its own smartwatches, Google can implement exactly the hardware and features it believes will best demonstrate Android Wear's capabilities. It can also, perhaps, offer a better sales and support experience than Wear's smaller partners. It's possible Google could even utilize economic leverage and sell these watches at a discount with the purchase of an accompanying Nexus phone or, in the case of the mobile data-enabled Angelfish, Project Fi cellular service. But this, again, is speculation - I'm simply trying to walk out some potential reasoning for the existence of these devices in the first place.
Perhaps the most obvious and compelling, though? Google's competitors in the hardware space make their own smartwatches, too. Apple and Samsung both are pushing their own watch operating systems and accompanying ecosystems, and perhaps Google feels that Wear's OEM partners simply aren't going to put in the effort necessary to market the platform to consumers. As Samsung's Gear OS grows ever-more compatible with non-Samsung devices and services, too, the threat to Android Wear is all too real. While I doubt there's much of a chance the Apple Watch will be pairing to your Android phone any time soon, Google does let you use Wear with iOS, and Google-branded smartwatches would likely be the most visible such devices to Apple users.
Whatever the reason, we feel confident Google is building these watches, though time of release, MSRP, and their current level of development remain unknown to us. It is our assumption that Google will attempt to push these watches alongside the upcoming Nexus phones, but we don't believe they'll be unveiled at the same time, but rather at a later date. Given Wear 2.0 is still in early previews, the watches not coming until after the phones would make sense.
We'll let you know as we learn more.