At the Made by Google event today, Google officially unveiled its Pixel Watch 2, the second generation of its wearable meant to bridge the gap between WearOS and Fitbit. While it may look nearly identical to the original, this new iteration boasts several new features and hardware improvements. Let’s check those out now.
The first thing you might notice about the Pixel Watch 2 is that its housing is crafted from 100% recycled aluminum. Not only does this make it an eco-friendlier choice (Google is working on this a lot, apparently), but it’s also 10% lighter than its predecessor, making it a comfy fit. The crown is also slightly larger too and it’s flush with the silhouette of the device to make it easier to use.
Under the hood, Google’s thrown in a robust quad-core CPU which is said to make the experience even smoother, but we’ve never experienced any lag or slow down with the original. Additionally, there a 24 hour battery life here, and you can charge up to 50% in just 30 minutes if you get low.
As previously mentioned, this iteration of the watch sees Google go all in on the merger between itself and Fitbit, and between this getting more Fitbit-inspired features and the Charge 6, which was also just announced, getting more Google-inspired features and apps, that’s more evident than ever just a few years after the acquisition.
The Pixel Watch 2 has three new sensors that offer give you more detailed health insights. The heart rate sensor is especially noteworthy, with Google claiming it’s 40% more accurate in tracking vigorous activities, thanks to its increased number of LEDs (single path to multi-path). This is sure to be a selling point for anyone who wants competition for the Apple watch!
Next, a Body Response feature has been integrated into Pixel Watch 2, and it can determine if you’re stressed at any given moment and even over time, and will offer steps you can take to chill out. It uses a new skin temperature sensor called a continuous electrodermal sensor.
Training gets a boost with the watch’s enhanced features too. Google showed off Bard-style AI integration into the watch and Fitbit app that was honestly pretty nuts to see. In fact, a new Fitbit Labs will make this and other generative AI features available soon to give you more personalized coaching, offer dynamic workout recommendations and more in context with your workouts.
For example, by factoring in your heart rate and the location or trajectory you ran, it can tell you if your run was too difficult, and offer you tips for making it a bit more manageable. Obviously, Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro users will get access to these features first, and more features will be added over time.
If you’re familiar with the Pixel phone’s Safety Check feature, which allows you to state when you should be back home or in a safe area and if you’re not by that time an automatic SoS goes off for your trusted contacts, you’ll be happy to know that this is coming to the Pixel Watch 2. So, if you’re out for a midnight stroll and want some peace of mind, this should help.
Pixel Watch 2 pairs easily with other Pixel devices, too. Switch your audio from your watch to your headphones, and find your phone when it’s gone missing with Find My Phone. With Automatic Call Screener for Dialer on Wear OS, coming later this year to Pixel Watch 2, Google Assistant can also screen unknown calls from your Pixel phone and show you transcripts right on your wrist.Google Blog
If you pre-order the Pixel Watch 2, you’ll also get a free six months of Fitbit Premium, and for those who love to stand out, there’s a slew of customization options, from new watch face designs to versatile bands to suit every mood and occasion. Oh, and the price is $399 USD. There’s a Wi-Fi and an LTE version available and it drops on October 12, 2023 with WearOS4. If you like that new Bay Blue Pixel 8 and 8 Pro, you’ll be happy to know the Pixel Watch comes in that color too along with a slew of other variants as shown below. It’s also worth noting that the Pixel Watch 2 does come for free bundled with the new Pixel phones if you preorder.