The Google Pixel Watch 2 has just been unveiled with the Google Pixel 8 at Google’s Hardware launch event, and it brings with it a slew of new features and improvements, both in terms of hardware and software. In this hands-on review, we’ll take a close look at 17 of the most notable enhancements that set this smartwatch apart.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Pixel Watch 2 is that the case size remains largely unchanged, ensuring compatibility with existing hardware bands. However, several noteworthy changes have been made to the exterior. Google has improved the durability of the glass, shifted to 100% recycled materials, and reduced the watch’s weight by 10%. These eco-friendly changes reflect a growing industry trend towards sustainability
Inside the Pixel Watch 2
The most significant changes are found within the Pixel Watch 2. It now operates on Watch OS 4, promising enhanced performance and new features. While the exact release date for Watch OS 4 on the first Pixel Watch is uncertain, it’s expected soon. The introduction of a quad-core CPU further boosts performance and powers a host of new software features.
Intriguingly, the Pixel Watch 2 manages to increase battery life to a remarkable 24 hours with an always-on display. Charging time has also been significantly reduced, with just 30 minutes required to provide 12 hours of use. This is a practical improvement for users who value convenience.
One of the standout features of the Pixel Watch 2 is the enhanced sensor suite. It boasts a multi-path heart rate sensor with five photodiodes and LEDs, promising 40% more accurate heart rate readings compared to its predecessor. This is a significant leap forward in health monitoring, making it one of the most accurate smartwatches in this regard.
Additionally, the watch introduces a skin temperature sensor and an EDA (electrodermal activity) sensor. The skin temperature sensor directly measures skin temperature, offering more accurate insights into your body’s responses. The EDA sensor detects tiny sweat patterns on your wrist, helping to gauge stress levels and overall well-being. These sensors contribute to a comprehensive health and fitness tracking experience.
Sports and Fitness Enhancements
Fitness enthusiasts will appreciate the Pixel Watch 2’s new Zone Pacing feature, available for both heart rate and pace tracking during workouts. This allows users to set target paces or heart rate zones, ensuring they stay within their desired fitness parameters. Automatic workout recognition and start/stop features have also been added, streamlining the tracking process.
Despite these advancements, one notable omission is heart rate broadcasting, a feature seen on some competing devices like the Fitbit Charge 6. This function allows users to share their heart rate data with compatible devices or apps, a useful addition for those participating in group fitness activities. Its absence may disappoint some users.
Connectivity and Safety
Google has improved the Pixel Watch 2’s connectivity capabilities. Google Assistant can now provide information on steps and sleep, making it easier to track your daily activity and sleep patterns. This feature puts Google ahead of Apple, which is planning to introduce a similar feature later this year.
The watch also introduces the Safety Check and Emergency Sharing features. Safety Check allows users to set a predetermined time for an activity, automatically notifying emergency contacts if they fail to check in within the specified timeframe. Emergency Sharing allows users to share their live location via Google Maps with predefined contacts, enhancing personal safety.
Other notable features include the ability to back up and restore the watch and transfer data between phones directly from the watch. With three color options and various band choices, users can personalize their Pixel Watch 2 to match their style. Pricing starts at $349 for the Wi-Fi edition and $399 for the cellular edition, with shipping commencing on October 12th.
In conclusion, the Google Pixel Watch 2 impresses with its comprehensive set of enhancements and features. While it doesn’t bring a radical design change, it excels in improving core functionality, health monitoring, and user convenience. With the promise of ongoing software updates and potential feature expansions, it’s a compelling option for those looking for a versatile and reliable smartwatch. Google continues to make strides in the wearable technology market, and the Pixel Watch 2 is a testament to its commitment to innovation in this space.