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These are my favorite Google Pixel Watch cases and bands

The Pixel Watch's sleek glass dome is too exposed for my liking sometimes. This is how I protect it.

Published onApril 7, 2023

Nearly six months after the release of the Google Pixel Watch, the accessory ecosystem is catching up. While we only had a limited choice of stands, chargers, straps, bands, and cases at first, that’s no longer the case now. Both well-known brands and white-label companies have jumped on board and there’s a lot to pick from. I’ve been digging into the online accessory treasure trove to find some options that work for me and landed on four protective Pixel Watch cases and bands that I enjoy using for different reasons.

It’s worth noting, though, that I keep my Pixel Watch band/case-less about half the days that I’m wearing it. I really enjoy its smooth, curved, and obstruction-free design that slides into pockets and under long sleeves without snagging on anything. But I’m a very clumsy person, so there are situations when I know I need a bumper around the glass dome to avoid scratching or breaking it. This is when I resort to these bands and cases.

Yes. The Pixel Watch has removable watch straps, but the mechanism is unique. You have to press the band release button and slide the strap towards it. Check out our detailed tutorial for how to change the Pixel Watch band.

My all-around favorite Pixel Watch band: Caseology Nano Pop

google pixel watch band caseology nano pop 1
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

The two-tone navy and yellow color of the Caseology Nano Pop instantly drew me in. The band’s yellow rim creates an eye-catching border around the Pixel Watch’s display, which works particularly well with yellow-themed watch faces. Yes, I like it when things match. Better yet, the Nano Pop design is available for phones too, so you can grab a similar case for your phone. My only regret here is that the band isn’t made in the “avo green” colorway that Caseology offers on other Nano Pop products.

As we noted in our Pixel Watch review, the design is one of its unique selling points, so it’s a bit of a shame to see it disappear inside this band. But, I think this gives the watch a unique, sportier look, and kinda makes me feel like I own two very different watches.

The Nano Pop gives the Pixel Watch a sportier look and makes me feel like I own two very different watches.

This all-in-one Pixel Watch band protects the device’s body, creating a raised bevel around the display to avoid scratches (which takes a bit to get used to when swiping), and wrapping around into non-removable 22mm straps with a metallic buckle. I like the band’s soft but sturdy rubber material, and its clicky app launcher button, but I’m so-so on its design around the crown. I would’ve liked to see a thinner material here or a larger opening to allow for better grip when turning the crown. Not a deal-breaker for my usage, but keep that in mind if you rely on the crown a lot.

Caseology Nano Pop for Google Pixel Watch
Caseology Nano Pop for Google Pixel Watch
MSRP: $17.99

A robust alternative: Spigen Rugged Armor Pro

google pixel watch band spigen rugged armor pro 1
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

If the Caseology Nano Pop is a cute and streamlined Pixel Watch band, the Spigen Rugged Armor Pro is anything but. It lives up to its name, though. This reminds me of Casio G-Shock watch designs, with the four thickened bumpers protruding from the left and right sides. The strap is very long — enough to fit 215mm wrists and fix one of the original Pixel Watch’s problems for people with thick wrists. It’s 24mm wide with an indentation after each adjustment hole. The system is so well secured that there’s no way the free loop would slide while you’re wearing it.

This isn’t the band I wear while I’m doing my lofty desk job, but it’s the one I’ve started turning to when I go hiking or on other outdoorsy adventures. The raised lip around the display is just enough to provide protection without impeding on gestures and, surprisingly, the crown is a bit more accessible here than on the sleeker Caseology band. The Rugged Armor definitely looks more “manly” on my wrist, though, but hey, I’m not wearing this to a wedding.

Spigen Rugged Armor for Google Pixel Watch
Spigen Rugged Armor for Google Pixel Watch
MSRP: $21.99

The simple everyday option: Caseology Vault

google pixel watch case caseology vault 1
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

I wasn’t a fan of the Vault when I first saw it, but it slowly grew on me. Now it’s my favorite Pixel Watch case when I want to keep the minimal, all-black design while adding a bit of protection. Unlike the two previous options, though, this is just a case that wraps around the Pixel Watch’s body; you still have to attach the original bands after you install it.

The Vault has appealed to me because it’s minimal enough and the leather-like pattern around the display doesn’t look too cheap. The case also keeps the Pixel Watch’s cute round shape (unlike the Spigen Liquid Air which takes an oval shape on the speaker’s side), but it still offers a bumper around the entire body. If you don’t mind the more oval shape of the Spigen Liquid Air ($18.99 on Amazon), I think it’s a good alternative: The material is thinner but it has a slightly more raised lip around the display, the crown is more easily accessible, and the app launcher button is more clicky there. I wish there was a case with the best features of both of these, but as it stands, the Vault has won its place on my wrist.

Caseology Vault for Google Pixel Watch
Caseology Vault for Google Pixel Watch
MSRP: $14.99

A transparent option: Spigen Thin Fit

google pixel watch case spigen thin fit 1
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

Clear TPU isn’t the most elegant material, but there’s a reason a lot of us keep coming back to it: It lets us see beneath it. And that’s why the clear Spigen Thin Fit is nabbing a post on this list. Like its name indicates, it’s a pretty slim case around the Pixel Watch’s dome, but it’s just what you need to avoid random bumps and scratches.

The transparent material is not my favorite — it often catches dust particles and sometimes looks cheap with a rainbow-like effect — but it can also look good under some lighting conditions. My favorite feature here, though, is the completely unimpeded crown. I can easily reach it and turn it, as if there was no case at all.

This isn't my favorite material, but I like the unimpeded access to the Pixel Watch's crown.

Spigen offers it in a black version too, but that one is made of hard plastic and seems to be breaking after a few weeks of use for some users. I’d definitely grab a black rubberized Thin Fit case if the company started offering it, but the clear one is the only option at this time.

Spigen Thin Fit for Google Pixel Watch
Spigen Thin Fit for Google Pixel Watch
MSRP: $14.99

I’m still keeping my eye on the Pixel Watch accessory ecosystem and will see if other bands and cases pop up that catch my attention. For now, though, these are the ones I’ve settled on and would recommend you to buy.

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