Google Pixel Watch: 5 things to know
Google’s first smartwatch finally arrives: this is what you need to know.
It might be surprising to read that Google has never actually made a smartwatch. Instead, it has been busy immersing itself into other brand’s watches, with its Wear OS technology.
Things changed, though, at the beginning of 2021, when Google bought up Fitbit.
This bolstered its wearable capabilities and while it has kept its Fitbit wearables separate to its Wear OS so far, it has now gotten into the smartwatch game, with the Google Pixel Watch.
How does this smartwatch compare with the rest on the market? Here are 5 things to know about the Google Pixel Watch...
1. It has a well-rounded design
The new Google Pixel Watch has a round, domed display. It’s an always-on display with brightness boost up to 1000 nits. It’s protected by Custom 3D Gorilla Glass 5 which should help keep scratches at bay. Size wise it’s 41mm and it weighs a mere 36g without the strap.
There are a number of colours to choose from: a Matte Black Stainless Steel case with Obsidian Active band; Silver Stainless Steel case with Charcoal Active band; Silver Stainless Steel case with Chalk Active band; and a Champagne Gold Stainless Steel case with Hazel Active band.
2. It has A LOT of Fitbit smarts
Google has really made use of its Fitbit collaboration, with a number of Fitbit smarts built into the Google Pixel Watch. It offers myriad health tracking options. The top of these is an improved heart-rate tracker. Interestingly, you also get a Daily Readiness score which will let you know if your body is up for a big workout on any given day.
There’s also sleep tracking functionality on board - this offers up nightly analytics and will give you long-term sleep trends as well.
If you fancy upping the data you get from the watch, then Google has bundled in a 6-month subscription to Fitbit Premium. This has over 800 workouts and 400 mindfulness sessions to try out, and both a Wellness Report and Health Metrics Dashboard.
3. It’s ready or your workout, whatever your workout
Built into the watch and, again, courtesy of Fitbit are 40 workout modes and some gamification in the style of Active Zone Minutes. Couple this with all-day activity tracking and the ECG app and you have a lot of data points to choose from to assess your own fitness.
If you don’t want to use Google’s own services, then Watch OS allows access to the likes of Strava, adidas Running, MyFitnessPal, and Calm.
4. Wear OS has been refined
This may be Google’s first foray into smartwatches but it has been inside powering much of the sector for years, thanks to Web OS.
On Google Pixel Watch, Web OS has been refined with a refreshed UI and rich notifications, so you can get more out of the Pixel Watch at a glance.
Access to the app store, means you can get Watch OS versions of Spotify and the like. Already baked into Watch OS, though, are Google’s suite of services, including Wallet, Calendar and Gmail.
5. Battery life is all-day only but charging is swift
The Google Pixel Watch has an all-day battery life, even when you are using power-sapping features such as heart-rate monitoring (thanks to the dual processors inside).
There are smartwatches out there with better battery lives, but at least there is speedy charging on board - 30 minutes will get you to a decent 50% battery life.
Google Pixel Watch starts at £339 / $350 (Bluetooth/ Wi-Fi) and £379 (4G LTE + Bluetooth/Wi-Fi).