Google’s Pixel Watch is an elegant smartwatch packed with fitness and wellness features.
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Wednesday, October 12, 2022
After years of rumors, Google (GOOG, GOOGL) is finally releasing the Pixel Watch.
The company has long been in the market, providing software to third-party hardware partners such as Samsung and Michael Kors. But this is the first time Google actually builds and manages both software and hardware.
As you can see, starting at $349 for Wifi and $399 for LTE, the Pixel Watch is a combination of Google and Fitbit, acquired by the tech giant for $2.1 billion in 2021. To those expectations, and some. This is arguably the most elegant looking piece of hardware since Apple (AAPL) unveiled its watch in his 2015.
Still, the battery life with the always-on display active isn’t quite as long as Samsung’s $279 Galaxy Watch 5 or $399 Apple Watch. Although it seems to have improved over time. Its screen also has fairly large bezels, leaving a lot of wasted space on the sides.
Overall, the Pixel Watch is a capable smartwatch with good design and software. It doesn’t beat the Apple Watch as the best smartwatch on the market, but it ultimately puts Android watches on roughly par with Apple’s offerings.
Stand out in a crowded market
The Pixel Watch’s design is surprisingly simple and compact. It features a standard circular body with a single button that summons recent apps and a digital crown for navigating to app pages and back to the home screen. One of my favorite smartwatches. Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 5 also features a circular watch face, but Google has used sophisticated materials to make the Pixel Watch look like high-tech jewelry.
And while the Apple Watch looks great, the Pixel Watch is different enough to grab the attention of die-hard Apple fans. I bought the Apple Watch Series 8, and when I opened the Pixel Watch box, there was a bit of buyer remorse.
Unlike Apple, which offers two sizes of the Apple Watch, a 41mm option for smaller wrists and a 45mm option for larger wrists, the Pixel Watch will come in a single 41mm size. I’m a traditional 45mm Apple Watch wearer and didn’t find the Pixel Watch particularly small. Text was easy to read, Slack messages, emails, updates on the Mets loss, and buttons were tappable.
One of my complaints about the Pixel Watch’s design is its large bezels. Almost invisible while using most watch faces. This is due in large part to the fact that it blends into the black background. But using a photo background can take up a lot of space to display more text.
Samsung and Apple offer watches with smaller bezels, giving you more room to view your content at once. This is useful when you need to glance at your watch while running.
Fitness with Fitbit
The Pixel Watch’s design is certainly worth mentioning, but what sets the watch apart from the competition is the inclusion of Fitbit’s fitness and health-tracking software. This means you can track workouts for a variety of exercises, from swimming and running to yoga and canoeing.
During your workout, you can read your overall progress, including data such as heart rate zones, distance, calories burned and active zones (minutes). Active Zone Minutes is Fitbit’s proprietary fitness metric that counts how many minutes your heart is working harder than usual, based on your weight and other stats.
One issue I have with workout tracking on the Pixel Watch is the inability to control music from the Fitbit app during a workout. Instead, you have to press the recent app button to summon Spotify to change songs or turn the volume up or down. This is a no-brainer if you don’t want to stop moving while moving.
Google is also pushing Fitbit’s Readiness Score as an important metric for Pixel Watch users. This feature takes into account sleep scores, recent workouts, heart rate variability, and more to let you know if you need more time resting or if you’re ready for all your workouts. However, you must sign up for Fitbit Premium to access your app readiness score.
For $9.99/month or $79.99/year, the service includes guided workouts, health metrics for the last 90 days, sleep score breakdown, and more. Google is offering his Fitbit Premium for free for his 6 months. After that, you have to pony up your cash. That said, you don’t need premium to take advantage of the features of the watch itself, just the offerings in the Fitbit app.
long battery life, kind of
This is where the Pixel Watch hits a wall. Google advertises a 24-hour battery life for the watch with always-on display turned off. And that’s more or less what I got. But with the always-on display on, you get just over 12 hours of battery life.
The Apple Watch and Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 5 get through the day, some with active always-on displays. So this isn’t a total deal breaker, but it’s certainly a shame considering this was designed to look like an attractive watch. I noticed a slight improvement in the lifespan of
Performance-wise, the Pixel Watch was just as agile as you’d expect from a smartwatch. I did notice some issues, like double-tapping the recent apps button and crown to activate Google Pay, but those instances were rare.
should you get it?
Pixel Watch is beautiful technology with the best fitness and health tracking features. This has established Google as a premier hardware manufacturer capable of delivering some truly compelling gadgets. Sure, its bezels could be smaller, but I’m not too picky.
However, I do wish the watch had a stronger battery when always-on display was active, especially given the watch’s premium price. If you’re looking for a decent smartwatch contender, the Pixel Watch is certainly one of the best options after Samsung’s offerings. It’s getting closer.
To Daniel Howley, technical editor at Yahoo Finance.keep up with him @Daniel Howley
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