Google Pixel Watch 2 arrives with new chipset and improved battery life
Google released its first-ever smartwatch last year and while it was promising, it had some flaws. Time for take two – here is the new Google Pixel Watch 2. It looks the same, but that goes for the new Pixel 8 series too. And it’s actually more accurate to say that the hardware looks the same because the new Wear OS 4 brings major visual upgrades.
The original Pixel Watch launched with an old Exynos 9110. While this 10nm chip kept the UI snappy enough, it was not exactly efficient. The second gen watch replaces it with the Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1, once again paired with 2GB of RAM (which is plenty for a watch).
This 4nm chip that should address the short battery endurance of the original. The battery of the new watch isn’t any bigger at 306mAh (a negligible increase from 294mAh). Google promises 24 hour battery life even with Always On Display enabled. It is relatively quick to charge too, 30 minutes on the charger are enough for 12 hours of use.
Like we mentioned, the exterior is largely identical to last year’s model. Google is sticking with the decision to have only one size available and it is a small 41mm size at that. There are some invisible changes, though, like the more durable cover glass or the fact that the watch uses 100% recycled aluminum.
The display is a circular 1.2” OLED with 384 x 384px resolution – a downgrade from the 450 x 450 of the original watch, but if it helps draw less power we’re all for it. Anyway, the new watch faces offer a lot of variety and allow you to balance legibility with information density.
There are four categories: Accessible, Arc, Gold Digital and Analog Bold. The first is all about legibility, simple and easy to read. The Bold faces are similar with their chunky digits. Arc has “arcs” that are really progress bars for various bits of data that the watch tracks throughout the day. The Arc faces also have complications so you can add as much or as little data on the homescreen as you wish.
Like its predecessor, the Pixel Watch 2 is equipped with optical heart rate and blood-oxygen sensors. However, the new multi-path sensor is 40% more accurate than the old single-path sensor during rigorous exercise because it measures your heart rate at several locations on your wrist.
The watch will also track your stress levels with the Continuous Electrodermal Activity sensor. It can give you a detailed report on your sleep quality, which now includes measurements of your skin temperature. Google has not jumped on the ECG bandwagon yet, however, unlike rivals like Apple and Samsung.
The watch comes with 6-months of Fitbit Premium, which now uses AI to analyze your current performance and explain why you're doing better or worse than before. This taps into all the data collected by the watch, so the reason you weren't as fast on your run today may actually be the poor sleep you've been getting the last few days. The watch also includes a new coaching feature that will help you keep pace and keep your heart rate in the target zone.
The watch is once again rated 5ATM/IP68 so it is dust tight and is suitable for swimming in pools.
There is a new Emergency Sharing feature that will send your location to a set of trusted contacts. This can work automatically too - with Safety Check you can set a timer for how long it will be before you are back home safe and if that times out, Emergency Sharing will kick in.
The watch has a plain, smooth glass front – a blank canvas for your watch face of choice. Further customization is possible with the interchangeable wrist straps, here are some of the first-party options.
The perforated Active Sport Band is durable and breathable and costs $50. Then there’s the Woven Band for $60 and a steel link bracelet too. Note that the strap mechanism is the same as last year, so you can reuse your straps from the original Pixel Watch.
Google also released a new charger, $30.
The Google Pixel Watch 2 is available now starting at $350 for the Bluetooth model (same price as the original). There will be an LTE option too for $400. Note that there is a separate launch event for India tomorrow.
- 16 Nov 2023
Literally why I haven't gotten it yet :(
- 02 Nov 2023
Nice design! I really like it
- 07 Oct 2023
One size - small!! Wasted opportunity. I had the original watch and it looked ridiculous on my wrist - Google's decision for one size will ultimately be the watch's downfall plus it doesn't exactly scream gadget of desire, simply a fr...