In brief: Google on Thursday unveiled the Pixel Watch, a flagship wearable positioned to go toe to toe with the Apple Watch and other mainstream smartwatches in the growing wearables category.

The Pixel Watch features a 41mm case made of 80 percent recycled stainless steel that measures 12.3mm tall and weighs 36 grams without a band. The 320 PPI AMOLED, always-on display boasts up to 1000 nits of peak brightness and is coated in custom 3D Corning Gorilla Glass.

Under the attractive exterior is a Samsung Exynos 9110, a dual-core SoC with Mali-T720 MP1 graphics, alongside a Cortex M33 co-processor, 2GB of SDRAM and 32GB of eMMC flash. Dedicated sensors include a compass, altimeter, blood oxygen sensor, an optical heart rate sensor, an accelerometer, a gyroscope, an ambient light sensor and a multi-purpose electrical sensor.

The watch is also loaded with an array of navigation sensors including GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou and Galileo. Wireless connectivity options include 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC and Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz. The integrated 294mAh battery is said to offer up to 24 hours of runtime on a single charge, and you can get a 50 percent boost in about half an hour.

It all starts with the aesthetic, and Google seemingly has a winner on its hands. The wearables are reminding me a lot of the vintage Nike watches from around 2000 or so. Cherlynn Low with Engadget said it's possibly the prettiest smartwatch she has ever touched. The Verge's Victoria Song notes that it very much feels like it fits within the Pixel family. Lisa Eadicicco from CNET believes it could be the Apple Watch alternative that Android users have been waiting for.

The Pixel Watch starts at $349.99 for the Wi-Fi only model and $399 for a unit equipped with 4G LTE capabilities. It is available to pre-order as of this writing in your choice of black, silver or champagne gold color schemes and comes with a free six-month trial of Fitbit Premium plus three free months of YouTube Music Premium. It ships and hits stores on October 13, the same day the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro launch.