Everything You Need To Know About The Google Pixel Smartwatch
Google fans have been patiently waiting with high expectations for Google’s first smartwatch: the Google Pixel Smartwatch. As a late entrant to the market, it faces tough competition from the Apple Watch Ultra and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, as well as the host of other smartwatches available. Yet rather than pulling something special out of the bag with this first Google Pixel offering, it feels more like they’re dipping their toes in the water before they plunge into the deep end.
The Google Pixel Smartwatch isn’t compatible with Apple, but the watch incorporates Fitbit health and wellness technology and works with most Android phones – all you need is access to Google Play. At £399 it’s a decent price, but the Google Pixel Smartwatch might not be what everyone dreamed of. Let’s take a look at what works and what doesn’t.
Design and display
Google have purposefully gone for a minimalist, round look for their first Pixel watch, and a lot of people are going to like that. It’s uncomplicated and it looks sophisticated. The main issue is it’s small for a smartwatch, and it only comes in one size. At 41mm it’s going to look and feel dainty for anyone with larger wrists. At least it means the watch is light and very wearable, especially as the wristband is very comfortable. At 64 grams including the strap, you can easily wear this all day and not notice it at all. The Gorilla Glass case and the curved screen make it feel smooth against your skin, and you can easily go to bed with it on for sleep tracking without any discomfort at all. Navigating through the menus by twisting the crown is adequate, but feels a little basic. There’s a choice of straps available, and it’s easy to detach the strap and switch for another, but you can only use Google’s own straps – so far there are no third-party products that will fit.
As we say, the Google Pixel Smartwatch is a little on the small side. When it comes to the screen, it’s even smaller because of the thick black bezel that surrounds it. Some people will like this, but it does mean you can’t see much information on the screen in one go. The ‘always on’ feature is almost essential for a smartwatch, though it does drain the battery faster than you might like. The watch is fast and responds well to touch – it’s a joy to tap and swipe on this screen, giving a slick experience.
The Google Pixel Smartwatch has all the basic features of a smartwatch – contactless payments, timers, notifications and Google assistant, calls and messaging, navigation and music – making it a good smartwatch for those who are buying one for the first time. Fitbit is a Google product so comes with seamless integration as well as six months free access to Fitbit Premium. This does the job of a basic fitness sensor like heart rate tracking, ECG monitoring, workout tracking, emergency SOS and sleep tracking. If that covers all you need it for, this watch will do just great. But it’s worth noting that it misses some features you’ll find on the Apple Watch, like a depth sensor for divers and blood oxygen readings (it has the sensor already built in, but it’s yet to be activated).
It takes around 80 minutes to charge the Google Pixel Smartwatch from 0 to 100 per cent which might not sound too bad, but the problem comes in how quickly this watch drains its power. You’ll get 24 hours of charge with normal to heavy usage, which does mean it needs charging regularly. If you use it to track fitness during the day, the watch might not make it fully through the night to track your sleep too. So you’ll need to give it a boost before bed if you want to be sure of a full night’s sleep monitoring.
Price and availability
At £399 the Google Pixel Smartwatch is affordable, but perhaps a little on the pricey side for the features it has so far. The watch is available to buy now.
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