Google Pixel Watch 2 Intro
What’s new about the Google Pixel Watch 2
- All-new, quad-core CPU
- Aluminum case instead of stainless steel
- Skin temperature sensor
- Continuous electrodermal activity (cEDA) sensor
- All-new heart rate sensor
- Improved battery life and charging speed
Table of Contents:
Google Pixel Watch 2 Specs
The performance gains mentioned above come thanks to the Snapdragon W5, which is a chip Qualcomm announced in 2022. It is made specifically for wearables, meaning that in addition to smooth performance, we expect to see low power consumption as well.
Google Pixel Watch 2 Design & Sizes
Same on the outside, but with a lighter aluminum case
While the 1st-gen Pixel Watch was made of stainless steel, the Watch 2 has an aluminum case. Aluminum isn’t as strong, but it is lighter, and on a watch, even a few grams make a difference. The Pixel Watch 2 is 10% lighter than last year’s model.
Water resistance is rated at 5ATM – a typical rating for premium smartwatches. In plain words, the Google Pixel Watch 2 can be used safely in a pool.
Google Pixel Watch 2 Bands
More bands to choose from than last year
Unsurprisingly, the Pixel Watch 2 sticks to the same proprietary band attachment mechanism. Some people seem to be frustrated with Google’s solution, but I think once you get the hang of it, you’ll find taking the bands off and putting them on again rather easy.
Google Pixel Watch 2 Software & Features
The Pixel Watch 2 is one of the very few smartwatches running the latest WearOS 4 by Google. The new OS brings along improved, more functional notifications and six new watch faces to pick from.
But you might be a bit more excited about the Watch 2’s new health and fitness tracking features. For example, the watch has Fitbit’s Body Response feature which leverages a new continuous electrodermal activity (cEDA) sensor to detect stress, be it positive or negative. When stress is detected, the Watch 2 will invite you to reflect on your experiences and take a moment to unwind with a guided breathing or a mindfulness session.
The new Heart Rate Zone Coaching and Pace Training features are designed to help you maintain depending the right pace, depending on the type of exercise and fitness goals set. It can alert you if you’re out of the optimal heart rate zone, thus letting you know if you should speed up or slow down.
Google Pixel Watch 2 Battery and Charging
A much-needed battery life boost
The Pixel Watch 2 and its new magnetic charging puck. Image credit – PhoneArena
Google says that the Pixel Watch 2 lasts longer between charges. With its newer processor and slightly larger, 306mAh battery, it should be able to last 24 hours per charge with always-on display enabled. That’s still not an excellent endurance rating, but it’s comparable to how long an Apple Watch lasts. Charging is now faster: expect getting to 50% charge in 30 minutes and 80% in 45 minutes. A full charge takes 80 minutes, according to Google.
Another welcome change is the new magnetic charging puck, which now holds the Pixel Watch 2 firmly. Last year’s Pixel Watch had weaker magnets in the puck, and it was common for it to come off by accident. On the downside, I noticed that the new puck will only stick to the Watch 2 if it’s rotated with the cable below the crown.
Google Pixel Watch 2 Models and Prices
There are two models to pick from: a base Pixel Watch 2 with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi ($349) and an LTE-capable model with eSIM ($399). While the cheaper variant lets you make calls and send texts when paired to your smartphone (the watch has built-in microphone and speaker), the LTE-enabled Watch 2 can do that on its own – for example, when you leave your bulky phone at home during a morning run.
Google Pixel Watch 2 Expectations
We’ll be using and testing the Google Pixel Watch 2 over the coming week to give it our final verdict. For now, however, we can say that it’s looking like a solid offering for Android users and an overall improvement compared to the first-gen Pixel Watch, especially if it’s able to deliver on the promised battery life and performance gains.