Google did not release its first smartwatch, Pixel Watch, in Singapore. Thankfully, its successor – Pixel Watch 2 – was released in October this year. And I have been testing the smartwatch for two months.
The Pixel Watch 2 comes in four colour combinations, a silver with blue watch band, a silver model with off-white watch band, a champagne-gold model with grey watch band and a black model with black watch band (version reviewed).
- PRICE: From S$525, get it Google Store and Shopee
- CASE SIZE: 41mm
- DISPLAY: 1.2-inch AMOLED (450 x 450 pixels), up to 1,000 nits
- CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
- WEIGHT: 31g (without watch band)
In terms of looks, the Pixel Watch 2 looks exactly like its predecessor with its round pebble design in a 41mm aluminium case. It has a rotatable crown at the three-o-clock position and a side button at the two-o-clock position.
Its 1.2-inch AMOLED display is said to protected by Gorilla Glass 5 technology. But like wearing any watch, you will want to be careful to prevent the usual scratches given the Pixel Watch 2’s rounded glass edges. This is especially so when the Pixel Watch 2 is so light. At only 31g, you might not even realise that you are wearing the smartwatch at times.
In the inside, the smartwatch now comes with three new sensors – heart rate sensor, skin temperature sensor and continuous electrodermal activity sensor – to make it essentially a Fitbit Pixel. This puts it on par with its competitors like Apple Watch Series 9 and Samsung Galaxy 6 series, in providing advanced health monitoring features like taking ECG to detect irregular heart beat.
|Sleek round pebble design
|Only one size
|Bezel can be thinner
|Better smartwatch features
|Can be cheaper
|Accurate workout tracking
|Watch bands hard to find
|Pretty fast charging
The smartwatch also comes with free six months subscription of Fitbit Premium (S$12.98 per month), which gives you a deeper understanding of your sleep patterns, a larger library of workouts, and a daily readiness score.
I do find the Pixel Watch 2 takes a wee bit longer to secure a GPS lock. But otherwise, it is really accurate in tracking my walks and runs with a difference by at most 10 metres. Its steps tracked is also pretty spot on, with only 3% difference compared to my calibrated Apple Watch Series 7.
Sleep tracking is superb too, given the Fitbit infusion. The Pixel Watch 2 automatically tracks the amount of time you spend in light, deep and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep cycles, as well as the time you are awake.
In terms of smartwatch function, the Pixel Watch 2 runs on Wear OS 4 that allows for native Wear OS apps, such as Google Calendar, Gmail and Google Pay. Furthermore, you can sync the Bedtime mode and Do Not Disturb status from your smartphone to the smartwatch.
You can also run other popular apps, like WhatsApp and Spotify, natively on the smartwatch. While the display is a bit small, I find no issues tapping my passcode or even typing responses as long as you tap the letters not too quickly.
The bezel of the display is actually a tad thick, in my opinion. I find myself using watch faces with a black background to ensure its bezel is not “called out”. But you can find many watch faces from the Google Play Store.
In terms of battery life, you probably have to charge the Pixel Watch 2 by the end of the day if Always-On Display is turned on. This is especially so for those with low-battery anxiety like myself, or if you wear it to bed for sleep tracking.
Thankfully, the charging is pretty fast using its proprietary USB-C charging puck. You can get 50% battery juice into the smartwatch within 30 minutes, so you can plug it to charge while having breakfast.
On the downside, the Pixel Watch 2 uses a charging puck that is different from the original. In addition, you have to put the puck in a certain way before it starts charging.
My other quip is that the Pixel Watch 2 only comes in one size of 41mm. It might be ideal for those with thin wrists, but it looks a tad small on my wrist. It would have been good to offer it in a bigger size, say 46mm. That said, it does lessen the confusion when compared to the multiple sizes of Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy series smartwatches.
Yet, I found it hard to find any third-party watch bands for Pixel Watch 2, whether on Shopee or Lazada. Not to mention, the local online Google Store itself does not sell the original watch bands. So I am pretty stuck with original black silicone watch band that came with the smartwatch.
But at S$525, it is only a bit cheaper than the cheapest Apple Watch Series 9 model (S$599 for 41mm aluminium non-cellular model) and more expensive than the cheapest Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 (S$448 for 40mm model). Not too sure if it will appeal to new smartwatch users as a result…
VERDICT: By itself, Google Pixel Watch 2 is a pretty good smartwatch with its nice marriage of Fitbit health and workout features and Wear OS 4 smartwatch features. But if you compare it to the competition, there might be better alternatives out there that cater to your tastes and needs.