Google Pixel Watch: A promising but flawed debut

google pixel watch review

google pixel watch review

Google has finally entered the smartwatch market with its own Pixel Watch, a device that combines the best of Google’s software and services with Fitbit’s health and fitness expertise. The Pixel Watch is a sleek and stylish wearable that offers a smooth and responsive Wear OS experience, a bright and colorful AMOLED display, and a range of features that make it a useful companion for your Pixel phone or any Android device. But is it worth the $349 price tag? And how does it compare to the competition from Apple, Samsung, and others? In this article, we will look at the pros and cons of the Google Pixel Watch, based on the reviews from various sources.

Design, materials, and display

The Google Pixel Watch is undoubtedly one of the most elegant smartwatches on the market, with a minimalist and classic design that resembles a traditional watch. The watch has a glossy, smooth flat face that curves to meet an equally curvaceous stainless steel body, creating a seamless look. The watch comes in two colors: matte black and silver gold, and has a single button on the right side that can be used to access the app drawer or Google Assistant. The watch also supports wireless charging and has an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance.

The watch has a 1.3-inch AMOLED display that is bright, colorful, and responsive, with a resolution of 416 x 416 pixels. The display supports always-on mode and ambient light sensor, as well as touch and swipe gestures. However, the display also has a noticeable black bezel around it, which some reviewers found to be a wasted space that could have been used for more screen real estate or rotating functionality. The display is also considerably smaller than the Apple Watch Series 8’s rectangular face, which may be an issue for some users who prefer larger screens.

The watch comes with a silicone band that is comfortable and durable, but also somewhat difficult to change. The band has a proprietary mechanism that requires you to press down on a small button on the back of the watch and slide out the band. Some reviewers found this process to be frustrating and unintuitive, especially compared to the simple pin-and-tuck system of the Apple Watch or the quick-release pins of other smartwatches.

Setup, sensors, and fitness

The Google Pixel Watch is compatible with any Android phone running version 8.0 or higher, but it works best with Pixel phones. The setup process is simple and straightforward, requiring you to download the Wear OS app on your phone and pair it with the watch via Bluetooth. You can also use your Google account to sync your data and preferences across your devices.

The watch has a range of sensors on board, including accelerometer, gyroscope, heart rate monitor, barometer, compass, GPS, NFC, microphone, speaker, and vibration motor. The watch also supports LTE connectivity as an optional feature for an extra $50. However, the watch lacks some sensors that are common in other smartwatches, such as blood oxygen sensing (which Google says will be added in a future update), ECG (electrocardiogram), or skin temperature.

The watch also integrates with Fitbit’s health and fitness platform, which is one of its main selling points. Fitbit is known for its comprehensive and accurate tracking of various activities, metrics, goals, challenges, insights, and more. The watch can automatically detect and record different types of workouts, such as running, cycling, swimming (the watch is water-resistant up to 50 meters), yoga, etc., as well as track your steps, calories burned, distance traveled, heart rate zones, sleep stages, stress levels, and more. You can also access Fitbit’s guided breathing exercises, meditation sessions, and mindfulness content on the watch. google pixel watch review

However, the Fitbit integration is not as seamless as it could be. Some reviewers noted that the Fitbit app on the watch is separate from the Wear OS app, and that you need to switch between them to access different features. For example, you can’t use Google Pay or Google Maps from the Fitbit app, and you can’t use Fitbit Coach or Fitbit Premium from the Wear OS app. Some reviewers also reported issues with the GPS syncing, the heart rate accuracy, and the calorie estimation of the Fitbit app.

Performance and software

The Google Pixel Watch runs on Wear OS, Google’s operating system for smartwatches. Wear OS has been criticized in the past for being slow, buggy, and lacking in features, but the Pixel Watch seems to have improved on these aspects. The watch is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100+ processor, which is one of the most advanced chips for smartwatches. The watch also has 1GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, which are generous amounts for a wearable device.

The watch performs smoothly and reliably, with no noticeable lag or stutter. The watch also supports a full range of Google services and apps, such as Google Assistant, Google Calendar, Google Photos, Google Fit, Google Keep, Google Messages, Google News, Google Podcasts, and more. You can also download third-party apps from the Google Play Store on the watch, such as Spotify, Strava, Telegram, Uber, and more.

The watch also has a number of features that make it a useful companion for your phone. You can receive and reply to notifications from various apps, make and receive calls and texts (if you have the LTE version), use Google Pay for contactless payments, use Google Maps for navigation, control your smart home devices with Google Home, and more. You can also use Google Assistant to perform various tasks with your voice, such as setting reminders, timers, alarms, or appointments, asking questions, getting information, or translations, playing music, podcasts, or audiobooks, controlling your media playback or volume, and more. The Google Assistant works great on the watch, with fast and accurate voice recognition and responses.

Battery life

The Google Pixel Watch has a 400mAh battery that is supposed to last up to 24 hours on a single charge, depending on your usage and settings. However, some reviewers found that the battery life was disappointing, especially compared to other smartwatches that can last for days or even weeks. Some reviewers reported that the battery drained quickly when using GPS, LTE, or always-on display, and that they had to charge the watch every night or even twice a day.

The watch also lacks fast charging, which is a surprising omission for a premium device. The watch takes about two hours to fully charge from zero to 100%, which is longer than some of its competitors. The watch also does not support wireless charging from other devices, such as Pixel phones or Pixel Buds, which would have been a convenient feature. google pixel watch review

Score card

Here is a summary of the pros and cons of the Google Pixel Watch, based on the reviews from various sources:


  • Elegant, classic watch-like looks
  • Brilliant screen
  • Full of features
  • Fitbit integration
  • Google Assistant works great


  • One size fits all
  • Fitbit integration is slightly awkward
  • Band switch system takes practice
  • No blood oxygen sensing – yet
  • Lackluster battery life

Should I buy?

The Google Pixel Watch is a great smartwatch, but not the best for everyone. It is a perfect choice for Pixel phone users who want a seamless and integrated experience with their devices, as well as for anyone who values Google’s software and services. It is also a good option for anyone who wants a stylish and minimalist smartwatch that can do a lot of things. However, it is not the best choice for fitness enthusiasts who want more accurate and reliable tracking, or for anyone who wants a longer battery life or a larger screen. It is also not the cheapest smartwatch on the market, and it faces tough competition from Apple, Samsung, and others.

If you are interested in buying the Google Pixel Watch, you can find it on Amazon, Best Buy, Verizon Wireless, or Google’s official website for $349 (LTE) or $399 (Cellular). google pixel watch review

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