What you need to know

  • A Redditor stumbled upon a Pixel Watch prototype after purchasing an open-box smartwatch for $100 on eBay.
  • The prototype is a “Production Validation Test” (PVT) class device, which likely represents one of the first official production tests of the Pixel Watch.
  • The Pixel Watch prototype has a nonstandard storage and memory configuration, featuring 8GB storage and 1GB memory. 

The original Pixel Watch got mixed receptions, in part due to the smartwatch’s mediocre processor and low memory. But it turns out that an early Pixel Watch prototype had even less RAM and storage than the final version of Google’s first smartwatch. Somehow, that early prototype ended up on eBay, and a lucky (or unlucky) Redditor purchased it for just $100. 

The prototype is of the Production Validation Test (PVT) class, which is often the third and final prototyping stage for products. Engineering Validation Test (EVT) and Design Validation Test (DVT) stages precede PVT prototypes. By the time a product reaches the PVT stage, it is usually known that the product is functional. However, the PVT stage serves as a product’s first official production run, and it is used to determine if there are issues producing it at scale. 

In this case, the Redditor first noticed things were going awry when the Pixel Watch in question threw up a strange error when trying to reset: it had less than the intended amount of RAM. 

After using Fastboot Mode, the Hardware Revision was listed as PVT0.1, and the Secure Boot was listed as PRODUCTION. This is what indicates that the Pixel Watch is a PVT prototype. It means that the Redditor’s Pixel Watch is one of the earliest seen by anyone outside of Google.

A prototype Pixel Watch model

(Image credit: br33_111 / Reddit)

What’s interesting about this prototype, in particular, is its onboard RAM and storage. The final version of the first-generation Pixel Watch shipped with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, but this PVT prototype only has 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage, as noted by the Fastboot Mode device specifications. 

The prototype had a myriad of issues, according to the Redditor. It appeared to have a lower-quality display with a lot of screen burn-in. The smartwatch also suffered from performance issues, charging problems, and more. At least some of those issues likely derive from the Pixel Watch prototype’s extremely low memory. 

Given the limitations, performance was likely much worse than what we got with the final product. Still, while it probably isn’t great as a daily driver, it’s a pretty sweet find to stumble upon on eBay.