No breakthrough new features, but that’s not what the Pixel Watch 2 needed anyway
- The Google Pixel Watch 2 has small upgrades on the outside with a lighter aluminum body and thinner glass.
- The real upgrades are internal, with a much better processor, a multi-path heart rate sensor, body response and skin temperature sensors, and improved fitness tracking capabilities.
- The Pixel Watch 2 also offers new safety features such as Safety Check and Emergency Sharing, as well as improved battery life and compatibility with Google apps.
The first-gen Pixel Watch was a decent attempt from Google. While it packed dated internals and missed out on a lot of health-focused features, the wearable did its bit in reviving the Wear OS ecosystem. Plus, the Pixel Watch seemingly arrived a year late, which justifies its dated hardware. But this was in 2022. A year later, things have changed, and the Wear OS platform needs a great smartwatch to truly become an Apple Watch rival. And that’s why Google is upping its game with the Pixel Watch 2, announced today at the Made by Google 2023 event.
Like the Pixel 8 series, the second-gen Pixel Watch does not offer any breakthrough new features. You get the same set of features on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 and the Apple Watch. But if you are an Android user, the Pixel Watch 2 is now a viable alternative to the Galaxy Watch. Gone is the stainless steel body in favor of a lighter (and recycled) aluminum housing. And barring the four charging pins on the watch’s underside, you are unlikely to spot any design differences between the Pixel Watch 1 and 2. The display size remains unchanged at 1.2 inches, though it now uses a thinner cover glass without sacrificing on durability, according to Google.
There are more significant changes internally. The Pixel Watch 2 packs an upgraded multi-path heart rate sensor, with body response and skin temperature sensors being the two new additions. Google says the new sensor and its AI magic allow for more accurate heart rate tracking, irrespective of whether you are working out or sleeping. And with the new body response sensor, the watch can track your stress level throughout the day and prompt you when things are getting too hot.
Fitness tracking is also better than before, with the smartwatch offering automatic workout detection for common activities like running and outdoor cycling. Other fitness-focused additions include personalized heart rate zones, Pace Training, Heart Zone Training, and more.
The Pixel Watch 2 is gaining some new safety features as well. With Safety Check, you can set a timer at the end of which you must confirm your safety to let your friends or family know you are safe. If not, the watch will share your location and contact emergency services. A new Emergency Sharing feature will allow your emergency contact to see your real-time location for a specified time.
Google’s second smartwatch packs pig upgrades over its predecessor with a lighter body, longer battery life, and new health and safety features. The body is now made of 100% recycled aluminum, and the Pixel Watch 2 uses a newer Qualcomm chipset to deliver better performance.
- Case Material
- Case size
- Matte Black; Polished Silver; Champagne Gold
- 1.2″ 450 x 450 AMOLED
- Qualcomm Snapdragon W5 with Cortex M33 co-processor
- Wear OS 4
- Health sensors
- Optical heart rate, SpO2, ECG, continuous EDA, skin temperature
- Starting at $350
- 41 x 41 x 12.3 mm
- 31g (without strap)
- IP Rating
- Cellular connectivity
Running Wear OS 4, based on Android 13, Google is using the Pixel Watch 2 as the launch vehicle for the Google Calendar and Gmail apps on its smartwatch platform. Google Assistant is also on board again with new health and fitness queries, though leaks have pointed out that it still needs to be connected with servers to process speech. The new At a Glance watch face complication, also already on the first-gen Pixel Watch, is supposed to make it easier for you to stay up to date with your day.
Google claims “significant” improvements to the Pixel Watch 2’s battery life, with a battery life of 24 hours with always-on display enabled. This is the same as the original Pixel Watch reached with always-on display disabled. The more efficient chipset seems to allow the Pixel Watch 2 to last much longer that way, but stay tuned for our review for the full rundown. You can get a full day of charge in about 75 minutes.
Google is offering the Pixel Watch 2 in four color combinations: Polished Silver/Bay, Polished Silver/Porcelain, Matte Black/Obsidian, and Champagne Gold/Hazel. There are various new watch bands that you can pair with your purchase as well. The Pixel Watch 2 starts at $350, the same price as its predecessor. New and returning users will get 6 months of free Fitbit Premium with their purchase. Google will also offer the Pixel Watch 2 for free if you preorder the Google Pixel 8 Pro.
The post The Google Pixel Watch 2 is here, fixing everything wrong in the first model first appeared on www.androidpolice.com