Leaked images reveal Meta is once again working on a smartwatch to flesh out its metaverse hardware ecosystem, with the watch being built on Android — not Wear OS.

Last year, it was reported that Meta had dropped its plans to release an Android-powered smartwatch, with the hardware leaking extensively at the time. Today, courtesy of leaker Kuba Wojciechowski, we can now see a second generation of the Meta smartwatch, which doesn’t seem to have strayed far from the previous design.

Like before, the second-generation Meta smartwatch is powered by a Qualcomm SoC running a customized version of Android rather than Google’s Wear OS platform. Up to this point, Meta has made extensive use of Android in its hardware, most notably with the Meta Quest series of VR headsets using Google’s OS as a baseline.

Similarly, this new smartwatch uses the same detachable frame design, which allows the Meta wearable to be taken off the wrist while keeping the band on. The key reason to be detachable remains the same, as the watch includes two cameras — a low-resolution one on the front in a teardrop notch and a higher-resolution one on the underside.

The placement of the second camera was a challenge in Meta’s first attempt at this smartwatch, dubbed “V1,” with the company reportedly having conflicts between the camera and nerve signal (electromyography) gestures. Presumably the new design allows for these two hardware features to better coexist.

In new photos, provided to Wojciechowski by an anonymous source, we see that the overall form factor has remained relatively unchanged, though the sensors on the underside have been tweaked. On the front, pictures reveal a new watch face, using a simple blue design with a red second hand.

According to the source, Meta still intends to ship its smartwatch to customers “so that users can start getting used to the form factor” before it’s used with “Metaverse-related devices.” However, the intended timing of the smartwatch’s launch was not shared.

What do you think of Meta’s second attempt at the watch form factor? Would you buy a smartwatch designed for the Metaverse? Let us know in the comments.

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Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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