Getting started with the Pixel Watch 2: the major changes under the hood

Estimated read time 4 min read

Getting started with the Pixel Watch 2: the major changes under the hood

The just released watch joins the new Pixel 8 range with new sensors and a multitude of features integrated into Fitbit: this makes it the best smartwatch available for Fitbit fans and from Google Pixel.

But, don’t worry, the Fitbit Charge 6 smart bracelet still carries the torch of the company as a high-end fitness tracker. The Pixel Watch 2 is in the limelight but on the side of smartwatches.

I spent an afternoon in complete privacy with the Google Pixel Watch 2 and I was very impressed by the improvements made by the company without the changes being apparent at first glance.

New “multipath” heart rate sensor

For example, the Pixel Watch 2 sports the same round and very elegant form factor as the original, while directly addressing one of the flaws of the first version: battery life. Google announces a 24-hour battery life with the always on screen activated. This is a nice statement, which I hope I can confirm, because always-on screens tend to have a significant impact on the battery life of a smartwatch.

The Pixel Watch 2 also has a new “multipath” heart rate sensor that, together with Google’s AI, will form the basis for the most advanced heart rate tracking available in a device incorporating Fitbit technology. Reliable heart rate tracking is essential for accurate health and well-being monitoring, and that’s why it’s important for Google to focus on this function.

The new sensors are all the more important because if the curved shape of the watch gives an impression of softness to the wrist, it can also make it difficult to track the heart rate, because there is less contact with the skin. That is why the addition of new sensors can solve this problem.


Matthew Miller/ZDNET

If you hold the two Pixel Watches next to each other, you won’t be able to tell the difference

The Pixel Watch 2 is made of 100% recycled aluminum, while the original Pixel Watch was made of stainless steel. The new model is thus lightened by five grams. My real concern about the design choices lies in the Gorilla Glass 5 3D glass used, which was not very effective against shocks and scratches last year…

If you hold the two Pixel Watches next to each other, you won’t be able to tell the difference. It’s really what’s inside that differentiates the two. For example, the Pixel Watch 2 is equipped with a Qualcomm SW5100 processor while the first Pixel Watch was powered by a Samsung Exynos 9110 SoC.

Wear OS 4.0 is also present on the Pixel Watch 2, with Google Assistant, Gmail, Calendar, Wallet, Maps, Home, Photos, YouTube Music Premium (one month free included), and all supported third-party apps. Fitbit enhances the experience by offering the daily fitness score, active zone minutes, ECG (electrocardiogram), stress monitoring, sleep score and Fitbit Premium (six months free included).


Matthew Miller/ZDNET

The big question of battery life

During my demonstrations of the Pixel Watch 2 after the keynote, I was generally impressed by the new design and the new features of the watch, from the comfort of the curved glass front to the form factor of the metal back.

The new colors of the bracelets are also lovely and go well with the new Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. It is gratifying to note that Google continues to use the same bracelet design: thus, all purchased in the past year for your Pixel Watch will still work with the Pixel Watch 2.

Starting to test the watch on a daily basis, I advise you to keep an eye on my experiences with the new Safety Check function, the Fitbit integration, the Gmail and Calendar applications, and more. The most important feature that I will be tracking will be the battery life, just to see whether or not Google has improved it. Stay awake.

Source: “ “

You May Also Like

More From Author