Google Pixel Watch 2 review (2023) everything you need to know

It's small, lightweight, comfortable to wear, looks good and is easy to use.

Google has been waiting too long for the Android wearable market to grow. As an example of what a Wear OS smartwatch could be, the company released the Pixel Watch last year to go with its smartphones. It was good, but not great. That’s what makes the Pixel Watch 2 such an exciting device: it took a few rounds of changes to really heat up. Sad to say, getting excited quickly leads to disappointment. It’s going to be hard for the Google Pixel Watch 2. It needs to be able to compete with other great smartwatches that came out this year, fix the technical problems that plagued its predecessor, and win over people who didn’t like the small, simple design at all. All of that while being expensive and having a fitness platform that you have to pay for every month.

Google Pixel Watch 2: Description

With a new chipset, longer battery life, and a more refined design, the Google Pixel Watch 2 is a big step up from the first generation. It still has some problems, but it’s now a more viable choice in the Wear OS smartwatch market. The new chipset is one of the most important changes from the first Pixel Watch. The Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 chip is much more up-to-date and efficient, and you can tell by how well the Pixel Watch 2 works. The watch responds quickly, and apps load quickly.

The new chip also makes the battery last longer. Google says that a single charge will last 24 hours, and that’s with Always On Display turned on. Most of the time, we were able to get about 15 hours of use from a single charge. The design is another big change. The Pixel Watch 2 looks more sleek and up-to-date than the first one. The bezels around the screen have been cut down, and the case is now made of aluminium. The new watch is also a little thinner and lighter than the old one.

On top of that, the Pixel Watch 2 has some new features, such as UWB connectivity and a blood oxygen sensor. Even though UWB connectivity is still pretty new, it could be used for things like file sharing and contactless payments. The blood oxygen sensor is a nice touch, but keep in mind that it’s not a medical device and shouldn’t be used to figure out what’s wrong with you.

Google Pixel Watch 2: Pricing

As of October 12, you can buy the Google Pixel Watch 2 along with the Google Pixel 8 and Google Pixel 8 Pro. The Pixel Watch 2 costs $349 for the model that works with Wi-Fi and $399 for the model that works with LTE. You can stay connected with the LTE model even when you don’t have your phone with you, but you’ll have to pay extra to set up a plan with your cell phone provider. To give you an idea of how much the Pixel Watch 2 costs, the Apple Watch Series 9 starts at $399 and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 starts at $299.

Specifications Table

The Google Pixel Watch 2 is a significant improvement over the original Pixel Watch, with a faster chip, longer battery life, and better health features. It is also more comfortable to wear thanks to a lighter weight. However, the design is still underwhelming, and the screen bezel is too large.

FeatureSpecifications
Release Date04 October 2023
Materials100% recycled aluminium
Active BandFluoroelastomer with soft-touch coating
Display Size1.2 inches
Display SizeAMOLED, 1000 nits (peak)
ProtectionCustom 3D Corning Gorilla Glass 5
ProcessorQualcomm 5100
Cortex M33 co-processor
Operating SystemWear OS 4.0
AudioBuilt-in microphone, Built-in speaker
SensorsOptical heart rate sensor, electrical heart sensor, blood oxygen sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, GPS
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz, NFC
GPSGPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo, Quasi-Zenith Satellite
Battery306 mAh (typical), 24 hours with always-on display
Charging TypeUSB-C Fast Charging Cable
Charging Speed30 minutes to 50%, 43 minutes to 80%, 75 minutes to 100%
Case materialAluminum
Weight31 g (without band)
Dimensions41 x 41 x 12.3 mm
Operating temperature-20° to 45° C
Water resistance5 ATM, IP68
ColorsMatte Black, Polished Silver, Champagne Gold
What’s in the box?Google Pixel Watch 2
Active Band (small and large)
USB-C Fast Charging Cable
Quick start guide
Check Price
Visit Website

Google Pixel Watch 2: Design

Google Pixel Watch 2 review

I wasn’t too excited about the Pixel Watch 2 when I first saw it. I saw two main issues with the way the Pixel Watch looked that were stopping people from buying it, and both of them seemed like they could be fixed. First, the Pixel Watch 2’s screen bezel is still pretty big, which means that some of the 1,000-nit AMOLED touchscreen can’t be used. Second, Google is still only selling one size of the Pixel Watch, which is 41 mm.

There aren’t as many sizes to choose from as there are with the Apple Watch Series 9, the Galaxy Watch 6, and the Garmin Venu 3. People like having options, like different sizes, whether it’s for personal taste or comfort. Luckily, there is another choice when it comes to how they look. The watch comes in three colors: matte black, polished silver, and champagne gold.

It can also be used with a variety of bands. Along with the Pixel Watch 2, Google released some new styles. The Active Sport straps are my favourite. The frame of the round watch is now also made of 100% recycled aluminum. The original watch weighed 36 grams (1.27 ounces), but this makes it more comfortable and lighter. It now weighs 31 grams (1.1 ounces). The Pixel Watch still has one side button and a digital crown, though the digital crown has been slightly changed to make it easier to use.

Google Pixel Watch 2: Display and Size

The OLED screen on the Google Pixel Watch 2 is 1.2 inches round and has a resolution of 384 x 384 pixels. The original Pixel Watch had a resolution of 450 x 450, so this is less clear. However, Google says this was done to make the battery last longer. In terms of size, the Pixel Watch 2 only comes in one choice: 41mm. This is the same size as the first Pixel Watch, and compared to other smartwatches on the market, it’s not very big. The Pixel Watch 2 has a good screen overall, even though it is smaller.

The OLED panel is clear and bright, and it can be seen from many angles. Also, you can use the screen outside in direct sunlight because it is bright enough. One great thing about the Pixel Watch 2’s screen is that it can show a lot of different watch faces. Google has added some new watch faces to the Pixel Watch 2, and you can also get a lot of third-party watch faces from the Google Play Store. The Pixel Watch 2’s screen is pretty good, especially for its size. There are many watch faces to choose from, and the OLED screen is clear and bright. But it’s a shame that the Pixel Watch 2 has lower resolution than the original.

Health and Fitness-Tracking Features

Google Pixel Watch 2 review

The Pixel Watch 2 puts your health first by including a skin temperature sensor and the cEDA reader from the Fitbit Sense 2. It checks your daily stress levels and gives you personalised advice. The improved heart rate sensor is said to be 40% more accurate than the original, which was already very good. The watch can now keep track of your activities on its own, show you your heart rate zones while you work out, and give runners Pace Training.

In the same price range, Garmin models might be better for serious training. The Fitbit app can sync your health data, such as tracking your sleep (premium membership required). When you register the device, you get 6 months for free. Next year, a generative AI feature will give us more information about how health data affects our movement and well-being. This is an exciting new development that we should look into further.

Google Pixel Watch 2: Safety Features

The first Pixel Watch had an emergency SOS button and a fall detection feature. The Pixel Watch 2 adds a helpful Safety Check feature. This is something that many of the best smartwatches don’t have. Apple just put out a new version called Check In, but you can only get to it on an iPhone running iOS 17. With Safety Check, I can plan an activity and set a timer to help me figure out when I should get to my destination or finish the activity.

I chose to let my emergency contact know about my plans as well. The nights are getting longer, so I used a Safety Check to get home from work. If for some reason I didn’t let my emergency contact know I got home safely, they will get a text message with my location on Google Maps through Emergency Sharing. For those times when I suddenly and seriously worry about my health, I can just press “emergency sharing” right then. This feature gives me peace of mind and helps me remember why I like wearing a smartwatch. The Siren on my Apple Watch Ultra gives me the same sense of security.

Google Pixel Watch 2: Wear OS Software

Google’s Wear OS 4.0 software hasn’t made huge leaps forwards, but it does have some improvements that stand out. Now there are apps for both Gmail and Calendar that you can use on your wrist to keep up with your inbox and schedule. They are added to the list of Google apps that already exist, which includes Google Maps, YouTube Music, Google Home, and Google Pay. When it comes to Android smartwatches, the Pixel Watch 2 is the only one that is fully integrated with Google’s services.

Now you can use Google Assistant to get fitness information as well, or you can just ask questions and send messages. A new “At a Glance” watch face complication can put together useful data based on what you might want to see at a certain time of day. If not, there is a set of customizable watch faces that I can use to make the interface of my watch look the way I want it to.

Google Pixel Watch 2: Performance

Google Pixel Watch 2 review

For a full week, we tested the Google Pixel Watch 2. During that time, we worked out with it and wore out the battery. It works pretty much as described. The battery lasts 24 hours in smartwatch mode and 20 hours after a 45-minute workout with GPS tracking. The Pixel Watch’s battery life is better than most Apple Watches and good enough for most uses. Google deserves credit for fixing one of the worst things about the first Pixel Watch.

The new four-pin charger is also faster, and it might not get too hot as often. We wouldn’t take this watch on a multi-day event, though, because it needs to be charged every day. Instead, we’d pick a Fitbit Charge 5 (if we wanted to stick with Fitbit) or one of the best Garmin watches. That doesn’t mean we didn’t like running with the Pixel Watch 2. We loved how quickly GPS connected we didn’t have to wait at the start of the run and how clear and bright the metrics were.

It didn’t take long for the option to record walks and runs to appear. Our Fitness and Wearables editor wore the Apple Watch Ultra 2 on a five-kilometer run around central London to see how it compared. There was a small difference in heart rate (less than 10bpm), distance (0.04km), and calories burned (9kcal), so we’re happy with how accurate the Pixel Watch 2 is compared to a well-tested watch that costs more than twice as much. You could also wear the watch every day.

We had no trouble taking a call or recording several Keepnotes. Google Assistant responded quickly to voice commands, and the feature that lets you add a reminder to each note is a nice touch, especially when you’re on your watch. It was also pretty easy to sync with Google Wallet and set up personal safety features like the Safety Check we talked about earlier. People who use Google a lot will find it useful.

Google Pixel Watch 2: Battery Life

The first Pixel Watch would only last 24 hours if I turned off the always-on screen. Now, Google says that you can leave the screen on all the time and still get a day’s worth of power. After switching to the Qualcomm Snapdragon W5 processor, this is likely the case. This processor not only makes the Pixel Watch more responsive, but it also uses less power. I didn’t believe this was a real upgrade at first.

But I was pleasantly surprised that the Pixel Watch 2 lasted the whole six-hour walk I used it to track my location continuously. The first Pixel Watch drained about 20% an hour, but this one only drained about 10% an hour. It’s strange that the Pixel Watch 2 doesn’t have wireless charging, though. This means that there is a certain way to connect the watch to the charging pins so that it can charge. The charger for the first-generation watch also doesn’t work with the charger for the new generation.

Google Pixel Watch 2: Pros and Cons

The Google Pixel Watch 2 is a significant improvement over its predecessor, with better performance, battery life, and health and fitness tracking. It is also more comfortable to wear and has a more refined design.

Pros

  • Sleek, minimalist design
  • Fast and responsive performance
  • Long battery life
  • Accurate health and fitness tracking
  • Fitbit integration

Cons

  • Not as many third-party app options as some other smartwatches
  • No physical bezel

Final Words

The Google Pixel Watch 2 isn’t my ideal smartwatch. I had to weigh the pros and cons, and since Google had a year to learn from initial feedback and make changes, I was tougher on version 2.0. On one hand, the watch improves wellness tracking. It feels more like a Fitbit, which is probably good. The safety features are great, and it’ll have Wear OS 4 exclusivity for a while, getting the optimised Google Calendar and Gmail apps.

On the other hand, many people, including me, have complained about the size and bezels, and it’s weird to say but it feels like those concerns weren’t heard. Thinking ahead, I think this is a half-stepping stone to attract first-gen holdouts. I think next year will be a big year for Google’s smartwatch, with upgrades that challenge the Galaxy Watch and possibly the Apple Watch.

John Brister
John Brister
Meet John Brister, the prolific content writer renowned for his perceptive comparison articles on Bollyinside. Specializing in topics ranging from TVs to headphones and other accessories, John's knack for breaking down intricate details into reader-friendly insights has garnered him a dedicated following. Beyond his literary pursuits, John is an avid swimmer and equally passionate about tracking, often exploring new trails and routes, feeding his sense of adventure.

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The Google Pixel Watch 2 is a good follow-up to the first one. It has a faster chip, a longer battery life, and better health features. It's also easier to wear. The design is still not great, though, and the screen bezel is too big. Wear OS is also not as reliable as it should be. The Pixel Watch 2 is a good smartwatch for Android users in general, but it does have some problems. The Apple Watch Series 9 is still the better choice if you want a more polished and reliable experience.Google Pixel Watch 2 review (2023) everything you need to know