Introduction to the new Pixel Watch 2
The Google Pixel Watch 2 is more than just a smartwatch; it’s a essential companion meticulously designed to enhance your daily life. This review serves as a follow-up to our Pixel 8 Pro analysis and is part of a series we’re experimenting with. The unit we’re reviewing was bundled with our Pixel 8 Pro, and it’s worth noting that this review is unbiased as we have not been compensated in any way. Our Google Pixel Watch 2 review follows.
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Design and Build
The Pixel Watch 2 embodies Google’s design ethos, blending contemporary aesthetics with advanced functionality, marking Google’s dedication to reliable, appealing, and user-centric products. While it maintains a heftier profile than its rivals, this size is a deliberate design decision that harmonizes aesthetics and functionality. Its larger size encompasses a wide array of sensors, although the bezel does leave something to be desired.
Even with its substantial dimensions, the Pixel Watch 2 doesn’t compromise on comfort, with Google guaranteeing its wearability for prolonged periods. The watch showcases a suave and adaptable design, suitable for both formal and casual settings.
The Pixel Watch 2 is a testimony to Google’s commitment to creating products that balance style and functionality. It stands at the intersection of technology and design, offering users a way to stay connected and productive. The device has a physical rotating crown, an extra button for the power menu and recent apps, and uses a proprietary watch strap connector.
- SoC: Qualcomm 5100
- Co-Processor: Cortex M33
- Storage: 32 GB eMMC flash
- RAM: 2 GB SDRAM
- Sensors: Compass, Altimeter, SpO2, ECG-compatible electrical sensors, Optical heart rate sensor, 3-axis accelerometer, Gyroscope, Ambient light sensor, cEDA, Skin temperature sensor, Barometer, Magnetometer
More specs can be found at Google.
Pixel Watch 2: Performance: Fluidity and Speed
The device is powered by a Qualcomm 5100 SoC, also known as the Qualcome W5+, complemented by a Cortex M33 co-processor. This combination ensures that the device offers a fluid performance, whether you’re launching apps or switching between tiles.
Meanwhile, the 2 GB of RAM ensures that multitasking is a breeze, making the user experience incredibly smooth. The previous gen Pixel Watch came with an Exynos chipset, which are known for their heating issues and inefficiency.
Battery Life: A Game-Changer
Our review unit managed to last around 30 hours with Always-On Display (AOD) activated, tilt-to-wake off, and tap-to-wake on. This is a significant leap and much longer battery life from its predecessor and places the device in a league of its own when it comes to battery longevity. Google rates it at 24 hours with all features enabled, and the device will of course last longer with AOD off.
The previous gen Pixel Watch only lasted 24 hours with AOD off, so this is an improvement, even if it doesn’t yet beat the best smartwatches or fitness trackers that can last a week or more.
Software Features: WearOS 4 and Beyond
Launching with WearOS 4 based on Android 13, the device offers a host of improvements in battery life, stability, and app support. The software also includes Material You support, allowing for a more personalized user experience. Many more apps can be installed through the Play Store, unlocking more fitness features, chatting on your wrist, and more.
Another set of useful features comes through it’s Personal Safety app, which includes features like Emergency Location Sharing, Safety Check, Fall Detection, and emergency SOS. These features enable you to call for help and inform others if the worst happends, though some features are more useful on the LTE variant as they require a data connection to function.
The watch also features Google Assistant (for supported languages), allowing you to get help, ask questions, and more, right on your wrist. Other watches like the Galaxy Watch 6 support this, while watches like the TicWatch Pro 5 do not as of writing.
Fitbit Integration: A Comprehensive Health Suite
The Pixel Watch 2 leverages the Fitbit platform to offer an extensive range of health and fitness tracking features. From heart rate monitoring to sleep tracking, the device provides a unified health tracking experience. However, some advanced features like stress tracking and advanced sleep analytics require a Fitbit Premium subscription.
The device comes bundled with a six-month free trial of Fitbit Premium, allowing you to fully explore its capabilities.
The Competition: How Does It Stack Up?
While the Pixel Watch 2 is a formidable device, it’s worth noting that other brands like Mobvoi offer smartwatches with unique features and longer battery life. However, when it comes to a balanced feature set, robust performance, and comprehensive health tracking, the Pixel Watch 2 is the watch to beat.
Pixel Watch 2 charging
One of the noteworthy advancements this generation is its charging mechanism. The device employs a proprietary magnetic pogo-pin cable that not only facilitates faster charging but also supports data transfer. This dual functionality adds a layer of convenience, allowing for quick software updates and data syncing while the device is being charged.
A full charge cycle takes approximately an hour and fifteen minutes, making it quicker than many of its competitors. This efficient charging system further improves the battery life situation.
Is the Pixel Watch 2 worth it?
We certainly think so, but those seeking a longer battery life may want to choose a fitness tracker, such as the Fitbit Versa 4, that offers longer battery life at the cost of some smart features. Otherwise, this watch offers a lot of features in an attractive package.
Conclusion: The Smartwatch to Beat
The Pixel Watch 2 sets a standard for a smartwatch and vastly improves upon the previous gen with its longer battery life, robust SoC, and versatile software, presenting a compelling investment for smartwatch enthusiasts, especially for those with a Pixel phone or who do not want to be locked into the Galaxy or Apple ecosystems.
Ready to make a purchase? It’s available at the time of review for $349 for the WiFi version, or with LTE for $50 more.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Does the Pixel Watch 2 require a Fitbit Premium subscription for all its features?
- No, but some advanced features like stress tracking and advanced sleep analytics do require a subscription.
- What is the battery life of the Pixel Watch 2?
- Our review unit lasted around 30 hours with specific settings. Google rates it for 24. Life depends on many factors, including usage.
- Does the Pixel Watch 2 support third-party apps?
- Yes, it offers robust app support, including popular apps like WhatsApp, Gmail, and Google Calendar.
- How does it compare to other smartwatches in the market?
- While other brands offer unique features and longer battery life, the Pixel Watch 2 offers a balanced feature set and robust performance, making it the watch to beat.
You can also check it out on the Google Store.