Google has unveiled the Pixel Watch 2 at its Made by Google event, aiming to make a stronger debut compared to its predecessor. The Pixel Watch 2 is packed with features that enhance health and fitness tracking, offer longer battery life, and provide better integration with Google’s services. Furthermore, the watch’s case is constructed from 100 percent recycled aluminum, aligning with sustainability goals.
Here are some key highlights of the Pixel Watch 2:
1. Enhanced Health and Fitness Tracking: The Pixel Watch 2 incorporates improved sensors for heart-rate and blood oxygen monitoring. It also includes a cEDA (Continuous ElectroDermal Activity) sensor and a skin temperature sensor, both borrowed from Fitbit watches, to measure stress levels and prompt users to log their feelings or engage in guided breathing exercises. Automatic workout tracking and heart zone training are also featured to help users achieve specific fitness goals.
2. Design Improvements: While there are similarities with the first model, the Pixel Watch 2 features a larger and more flush crown. Redesigned watch bands promise to be lighter and more comfortable, while still offering backward compatibility with the previous model’s swapping mechanism.
3. AI and Health Insights: Google’s machine-learning capabilities will provide deeper insights into users’ health and routines. This generative AI will be offered as a Fitbit Labs program in the near future to extract further information from health data.
4. Wear OS 4: The Pixel Watch 2 runs on Wear OS 4, which introduces new features like Safety Check, allowing users to share their location with family and friends. Emergency Sharing can broadcast real-time location data to trusted contacts in case of trouble. Users can also access Gmail and Google Calendar directly from the watch, along with improved smart home integrations with compatible Google products and tools like WhatsApp.
Overall, the Pixel Watch 2 aims to deliver an enhanced smartwatch experience with a strong focus on health and fitness tracking, sustainability, and integration with Google’s ecosystem of services and products.
Last year, Google underscored the challenges in the wearables industry by selecting an outdated system-on-chip, using Samsung’s Exynos 9110 from 2018 in the initial Pixel Watch. This choice was a strong critique of the state of wearable technology at the time. However, this year, Google has made a significant shift by adopting Qualcomm’s new quad-core Snapdragon Wear 5100 chipset, coupled with a Cortex M33 co-processor, 32GB eMMC flash storage, and 2GB of RAM. The key promise of the Snapdragon Wear 5100 is its remarkable power efficiency, a crucial improvement for Pixel Watch users.
Additionally, the battery in the Pixel Watch 2 has been slightly enlarged to 306 mAh, and it charges to full capacity five minutes faster than the previous model. (It also reaches 50 percent charge in just 30 minutes.) Google is emphasizing the reliability of its claim of 24 hours of battery life, even with the always-on display active. This is a significant improvement compared to the original model, which struggled to achieve half of this performance in real-world testing.
Despite the much-anticipated new features, many aspects have remained unchanged between generations. The case dimensions (41mm) and height (12.3mm) remain visually consistent, but the new model is five grams lighter than its predecessor. The redesigned Gorilla Glass 5 crystal, while similar in appearance, continues to provide access to the same high-quality 320ppi AMOLED display with DCI-P3 color support and a peak brightness of 1,000 nits. Connectivity options, including 4G, UMTS, Bluetooth 5.0, and WiFi 4, have also remained the same as in the previous model.
The Pixel Watch 2 is available for pre-order, starting at $349 for the WiFi-only version, with the option to add LTE connectivity. Shipping is scheduled to begin next week, and, similar to the previous generation, buyers will receive a complimentary six-month subscription to Fitbit Premium with their purchase. These hardware improvements, combined with the promise of enhanced battery life, position the Pixel Watch 2 as a compelling choice in the wearables market.