The Google Pixel Watch unites the help of Google and health of Fitbit for a great first attempt at a smartwatch made especially for Pixel phone users. But the device unsurprisingly presents some quirks, leaving room for improvement.
The Google Pixel Watch might not be a perfect smartwatch, but it's the one Pixel phone users have been waiting for. Good looks, smart software and the help of Fitbit's fitness tracking features make a strong showing for a first-generation device.
Separating the device's true performance from the excitement of a brand-new flagship smartwatch for this Pixel Watch review wasn't a simple task. The best of Google and Fitbit united It almost sounded too good to be true; and, for the most part, it lives up to its promises. Google apps run smoothly and Fitbit's health-tracking is as holistic as ever.
But as time went on with the Pixel Watch, some inconveniences presented themselves that are uncharacteristic for a $349 smartwatch, though unsurprising for a version 1.0 device. The battery life feels very un-Fitbit, and the big bezel is a missed opportunity. There was also a worrying moment when I thought I would never get the watch strap back on my review unit, though I did eventually get a grasp on the interchangeable band mechanism.
Despite these reservations, the Pixel Watch offers wearable experience different enough from the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and similar enough to the Apple Watch Series 8. By that I mean Wear OS on the Pixel Watch surprisingly stands apart from the software on Samsung's smartwatches, in way that emulates the intuition and interconnectivity of the Apple Watch. And that's why I'd consider it one of the best smartwatches of the year.
The Pixel Watch release date was October 13, 2022, and since then we're continuing to track the best Pixel Watch deals. Note that the Pixel Watch launched alongside the Google Pixel 7 and Google Pixel 7 Pro, which would both make ideal companion devices for the company's smartwatch.
The Google Pixel Watch is a simple-looking smartwatch, I might even call it minimalistic. It comes in just one size: 41mm. Those with larger wrists might complain about the lack of a larger option; that said, it fit me perfectly.
The face features a rounded design with a 3D glass dome. This raised effect distracts from the display's thick bezel, but doesn't change the fact that a good chunk of the display is unusable. Perhaps my prior experience with Samsung watches is to blame I can't help but think it's a missed opportunity to incorporate in digital rotating bezel in that space.
It seems like no mistake that the Pixel Watch is a \"dark mode\" device. The interface and all of Google's watch faces have black backgrounds to further conceal the bezel. The only watch face that amplifies in the bezel is the Google Photos watch face, which I actually quite like from a personalization perspective, even if it emphasizes the watch's small size.
The watch can track more than 40 workout types, while also counting your steps and continuously monitoring your heart rate. I was impressed by the heart rate measurements, which not only updated constantly on watch faces with heart rate complications but also adjusted quickly during workouts. In a yoga practice, I wore both my Apple Watch Series 8 and Google Pixel Watch, and found the Pixel Watch's displayed my heart rate changes at least a full second faster than the Apple Watch. In addition to heart rate monitoring, the Pixel Watch can be used to take ECGs to detect possible signs of atrial fibrillation.
Again, I'm inclined to believe skipping Fitbit Premium will limit the Pixel Watch experience. Paid companion programs have become common in the wearables market, from Apple Watch and Oura Ring to Amazon Halo and Whoop. If you did want to avoid handing over a monthly fee, you'd still get activity tracking and readings from the watch's health sensors. Menstrual tracking features aren't locked behind a paywall, either, which I think many users will appreciate.
As such, the Google Pixel Watch features Wear OS's familiar tile-based navigation that moved as smoothly as I've ever seen it. Though it's different from the menus on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, revealing Samsung truly takes its own spin on Wear OS. But like the Galaxy Watch, the Pixel Watch also has support for some third-party apps like Spotify and Strava through the Google Play Store. This is a huge benefit eliminated from this year's Fitbit smartwatches, but that's a rant for another day.
It's a breeze to open relevant settings from your watch on your phone, and you can also ping your phone if you've misplaced it. You can use the watch app on your phone to create customizable watch faces, including one that brings Google Photos images to your wrist. I used an image of my dog, obviously. Speaking of Google Photos, there's a camera remote feature that lets you control the camera of a companion Pixel smartphone. This is one of my favorite Apple Watch features, so I was glad to see a version of it on the Pixel Watch.
The Google Pixel Watch battery life is rated for 24 hours of battery life. That's perhaps a bit less than I was hoping to see, especially with Galaxy Watch and Apple Watch getting battery upgrades this year. In my testing, I could hardly eke out that long, with GPS draining 20% battery life per hour. That said, on a day I didn't workout or use activity tracking, the watch did last the full 24 hours.
It's not that a daily charge is that unusual for wearables, but felt a bit jarring switching from the Fitbit Sense 2 with up to 6 days of battery life to watch that lasts a fraction as long. Perhaps the Pixel Watch's stamina wouldn't seem so disappointing if it didn't run so much like a Fitbit watch.
As for charging, the Pixel Watch comes with simple magnetic to USB-C charger that kind of looks like a pebble. It charged from nearly dead to full in about an hour, which is on pace with the charging abilities of most popular smartwatches.
The March 2023 Pixel Feature Drop update adds a couple of additional features to the Pixel Watch. The most notable of them is the addition of fall detection, which will put you in touch with emergency services if the watch sensors detect you've taken a particularly bad tumble.
Other the Apple Watch Ultra, I can't think of a smartwatch that's been more anticipated than the Google Pixel Watch. Now that it's here and I've tested it, I can say it both does and doesn't live up to the type.
On one hand, Google services and Fitbit health tracking strike the perfect balance of connectivity and fitness tracking. Bar none, it's the best showing of Wear OS yet. The Pixel Watch also reaffirms Fitbit as one of the strongest wellness platforms on the market. This is a great smartwatch to get if you're a Pixel user.
The Google Pixel Watch is easily one of the most elegant smartwatches on the market, and beneath its slick exterior it offers smooth operation and deep, useful features. We love it despite some notable quirks.
The Google Pixel Watch is an uncommonly beautiful smartwatch. It has a poured rather than a manufactured look, with a glossy, smooth flat face that curves to meet an equally curvaceous stainless steel body. The construction is close to seamless.
Because of that curve, there's more glass (Gorilla Glass 5) facing you than on the Apple Watch 8, which both adds to the elegance and, we think, hides one of the smartwatch's shortcomings: a larger-ish black bezel surrounding the screen.
Google unveiled its new smartwatch at its Google Pixel 7 event (officially titled Made By Google) on October 6, along with the Google Pixel 7 and Google Pixel 7 Pro phones. It's available for pre-order now, and will start shipping on October 13.
An undeniably beautiful device, Google Pixel Watch blends metal, chrome, and glass with a level of sophistication rarely seen on a smartwatch. The design is both subtle and supportive, giving the wearable's relatively small screen (1.2-inch, 450 pixels x 450 pixel) the best opportunity to shine.
To put that display in perspective, it's visibly smaller than the nearly 2-inch Apple Watch 8 display. Where Apple has been working over the last seven years to reduce the bezel around its watch face and stretch the screen to the very edges of the Iox-X glass, the Google Pixel Watch arrives with a shockingly thick black bezel between where the circular display ends and the metal chassis begins.
There are a handful of pre-loaded watch faces (some with useful complications that offer direct access to various features) that you access by holding your finger down on the screen until the menu of watch face options appears. You can add more with your paired phone and the Google Watch App.
The rest of the watch design mirrors the subtlety of the face. There's a chrome crown that's more or less flush with the edge of the watch, though we can see a tiny bit more of the stem than we'd prefer. Apple watch managed to make its digital crown pressable, but also totally flush with the watch frame.
The stainless steel body has a couple of microphone holes and a long speaker slot. Though not officially described by Google as 'waterproof,' the smartwatch is rated for depths of up to 50 meters in water. We did not take the Pixel Watch for a swim.
Like Apple, Google carved a pair of band channels into its watch. When the band is attached, the marriage between wrist strap and watch is perfect. Changing the watchband, though is tricky, at least at first.
This can sometimes make it feel like your workouts, health stats, and activities are a layer deeper than they ought to be. On the Apple Watch, Workout is one of my top-level app options, but on the GooglePixel Watch, there's Fitbit Exercise, and then, under that, the All Exercises option. We did like, though, that the app will surface recent workouts, which means the one you want to use is likely only one level below the watch interface surface.
The watch comes with a six-month Fitbit Premium trial, which gives you access to mindfulness guidance, on-demand workouts, and advanced sleep tracking, among other things. For the sake of completeness, we tried it, but don't think that you necessarily need it to make the watch feel like a complete workout and health companion. 59ce067264