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Google Pixel Watch 2 vs Apple Watch Series 9: Which should you buy?

Two very different watches, despite a lot of the same core features.

Published onFebruary 21, 2024

The Google Pixel Watch 2 arrived last year and proved to be a major upgrade from its predecessor. Google’s latest watch has a lot in common with the original, though it adds several new sensors and improvements. Can it stand against the mighty Apple Watch? Let’s take a closer look at how they stack up in this Google Pixel Watch 2 vs Apple Watch Series 9 comparison.

Google Pixel Watch 2 vs Apple Watch Series 9: Specs

Google Pixel Watch 2Apple Watch Series 9
Google Pixel Watch 2
Diameter: 41mm
Always-on display
Custom 3D Corning Gorilla Glass 5
320ppi AMOLED display with DCI-P3 color

Apple Watch Series 9
396 x 484 pixels (45mm)

352 x 430 pixels (41 mm)
Always-on display

Up to 2000 nit brightness
1 nit minimum brightness
Materials and finishes
Google Pixel Watch 2
100% recycled aluminum

Active band: Fluoroelastomer with soft-touch coating
Apple Watch Series 9

Dimensions and weight
Google Pixel Watch 2
Diameter: 41mm
Height: 12.3mm
31g (without band)
Apple Watch Series 9
Diameter: 45mm
45 x 38 x 10.7mm
Aluminum: 38.8g
Stainless steel: 51.5g

Diameter: 41mm
41 x 35 x 10.7mm
Aluminum: 32g
Stainless steel: 42.3g
Google Pixel Watch 2
Qualcomm SW5100
Cortex M33 co-processor
Apple Watch Series 9
Apple S9 with 64-bit dual-core processor
Apple W3
Apple U2 chip (Ultra-wideband)
4-core Neural Engine
Storage and memory
Google Pixel Watch 2
32GB storage
2GB of RAM
Apple Watch Series 9
64GB storage
1GB of RAM
Google Pixel Watch 2

USB-C Fast charging cable
Apple Watch Series 9
18 hours
45 min to 80% charge

USB-C magnetic fast charging cable
Google Pixel Watch 2
Wear OS 4.0
Apple Watch Series 9
WatchOS 10
Google Pixel Watch 2
Blood oxygen sensor
Multipurpose electrical sensor
Optical heart rate sensor
Ambient light sensor
Electrical sensor to measure cEDA
Skin temperature sensor
Apple Watch Series 9
Always-on altimeter
Blood oxygen sensor
Third-generation optical heart sensor
Temperature sensor
Ambient light sensor
Google Pixel Watch 2
5ATM + IP68
Apple Watch Series 9
Google Pixel Watch 2
Bluetooth 5.0
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz
GPS/GLONASS/BeiDou/Galileo/Quasi-Zenith Satellite
Apple Watch Series 9
Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz and 5GHz
Bluetooth 5.0

Model A2475 (41mm)
Model A2477 (45mm)
LTE bands: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 25, 26, 39, 40, 41, 66
Google Pixel Watch 2
Android 9.0 or newer
Apple Watch Series 9
iOS 16 or later
Google Pixel Watch 2
Matte Black Aluminum case / Obsidian Active band
Polished Silver Aluminum case / Bay Active band
Polished Silver Aluminum case / Porcelain Active band
Champagne Gold Aluminum case / Hazel Active band
Apple Watch Series 9
Champagne Gold case / Hazel Active band
Matte Black case / Obsidian Active band
Polished Silver case / Chalk Active band
Polished Silver case / Charcoal Active band

Google Pixel Watch 2 vs Apple Watch Series 9: Design

Apple Watch Series 9
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Apple and Google have vastly different design languages, starting with the displays. The Pixel Watch 2 has a very similar design to its predecessor, rocking a round body with a relatively small 41mm circular display. While it has the exact same dimensions as the original, it weighs around six grams less. This should make it a bit more comfortable on your wrist.

The Apple Watch Series 9 also sticks to its traditional rectangular design with two size options: 41mm and 45mm. The Apple Watch Series 9 is a slightly heftier watch, especially if you pick a stainless steel case. It comes in around 32 to 39 grams, depending on the model. This extra heft also makes it feel a bit more expensive and premium. It’s also still plenty comfortable, despite the extra weight.

google pixel watch 2 angled
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The Pixel Watch 2 is arguably the more eye-catching of the two watches due to its comparatively unique design. Nonetheless, the rounded shape also makes it a little harder to scroll through some apps compared to the Apple Watch Series 9’s square display. There’s also more wasted space on the circular screen.

It’s also worth mentioning that the Pixel Watch 2 has thinner glass on its front compared to the original Pixel Watch. This has raised some concerns, as the older watch was already susceptible to damage due to its domed screen. Thinning the glass could potentially exacerbate this issue.

Overall, both watches are equally comfortable and beautiful, despite very different approaches. As you’ll see, a similar concept applies to their software and features.

Google Pixel Watch 2 vs Apple Watch Series 9: Features

google pixel watch 2 gold
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
Google Pixel Watch 2

One of the biggest differences between the Pixel Watch 2 and Apple Watch Series 9 is the software behind all of their features. The Apple Watch runs on the watchOS 10 and requires an iPhone to work. In the same vein, the Pixel Watch 2 is based on Wear OS and requires an Android device.

Let’s start by breaking down the Pixel Watch’s best features. Wear OS 4 is easy to navigate, has Google Assistant features baked in, and comes pre-loaded with important apps like Calendar and Gmail. The former makes it easy to view and delete events from your wrist, while the latter lets you quickly reply to, delete, and archive emails.

One of the biggest differences between the Pixel Watch 2 and Apple Watch Series 9 is the software.

The watch can also track a variety of health and fitness metrics, including Fitbit ECG for on-demand ECG readings, pace training, heart zone training, SpO2 measurements, and sleep tracking. You even get six months of free Fitbit Premium access with the Pixel Watch 2.

It also makes a major improvement to its heart rate monitoring capabilities. There’s now a multi-path heart rate monitor, which uses multiple LEDs and photodiodes to measure your pulse’s signal from a variety of angles. This results in a more accurate heart rate reading. The sensor also should lead to improved sleep tracking and a more accurate Daily Readiness Score.

The Pixel Watch 2 also incorporates a familiar Fitbit feature: Body Response tracking, made possible by the inclusion of a cEDA (continuous electrodermal activity) sensor. Body response tracking works by reading your temperature, heart rate, and electrodermal activity to identify signs of stress. It can then offer you options that will help you de-stress, such as breathing exercises. Unfortunately, I can’t say we’ve been all that impressed by the actual implementation here. In our Pixel Watch 2 review, we noted that the cEDA would often say she’s stressed in situations that she clearly wasn’t. She also found the notifications and data not to be used in a way that truly helps you learn anything that would help you figure out how to reduce your stress in the first place.

An Apple Watch Series 9 displays the app screen.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Turning to the Apple Watch Series 9, we find arguably the most polished wearable operating system on the market. watchOS 10 sees the return of widgets in the form of Smart Stack. These new info cards replace Glances and can be rotated by twisting the digital crown. There’s also offline map support for Apple Maps, the introduction of follow-up medication reminders, and Apple Fitness Plus custom training plans. There’s also a large library of apps designed exclusively for the Apple Watch.

Apple Health provides a ton of great tools for physical and mental health. There’s also sleep tracking, high and low heart rate notifications, EcG and Afib history, Cardio Fitness and Recovery, Heart data history, Mood Logger, info on time spent in daylight, and many other great features.

Yes, both watches have an IP68 rating, making them great at the water and dust resistance.

There are also big improvements to Siri for the Apple Watch Series 9. The new Apple S9 SoC adds a new four-core neural engine that can process Siri commands on-device. This means you don’t need a data connection to access health data and control your watch using just your voice. The new chip also enables a new gesture where you tap your index finger with your thumb twice with your watch hand in order to control apps without touching the display.

Probably one of the biggest changes outside Siri would be the new U2 ultra-wideband chip. By adding technology similar to the AirTag, you can now ping your iPhone 15 from your watch and it will navigate you to within 20 feet of its location. The watch also automatically syncs up to the HomePod if you get within four feet of it, giving you suggestions on what to play or presenting you the now-playing screen if you’re already using the speaker.

Unlike the Pixel Watch 2, the Apple Watch Series 9 doesn’t offer any sensor upgrades. That’s not necessarily a big deal, as its predecessor had a ton of specialty sensors, including a Blood Oxygen sensor, ECG, always-on altimeter, and temperature sensor — to name a few. For the complete list, check the spec table at the top of this comparison.

Google Pixel Watch 2 vs Apple Watch Series 9: Price and colors

google pixel watch 2 and pixel buds pro
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
  • Pixel Watch 2 Wi-Fi: $349
  • Pixel Watch 2 LTE:  $399
  • Apple Watch Series 9 Wi-Fi: $399 and up
  • Apple Watch Series 9 LTE: $499 and up

The Pixel Watch 2 is now available now and began shipping on October 12 of last year. It starts at $349, or you can get the LTE model for $399. You’ll be able to pick it up in your choice of the following:

  • Matte Black Aluminum case with an Obsidian Active band
  • Polished Silver Aluminum case with a Bay Active band
  • Polished Silver Aluminum case with a Porcelain Active band
  • Champagne Gold Aluminum case with a Hazel Active band
Google Pixel Watch 2Google Pixel Watch 2
Google Pixel Watch 2
Runs a snappy Wear OS 4 • Added and upgraded advanced health sensors • Fast charging alleviates battery woes
MSRP: $349.99
Wear OS 4, advanced health sensors, and upgraded training features elevate the Pixel Watch 2
The Google Pixel Watch 2 retains the first model's successful features and refines several of the original's shortcomings. Added sensors, upgraded training tools, and a few key changes suggest a more finished product. Google's Wear OS 4 runs flawlessly, while advanced health tools from Fitbit join the lineup.

The Apple Watch Series 9 launched back on September 12 and went on sale on September 22. You can pick it up now from all major retailers. The pricing for the 41mm variant is $399 for the Wi-Fi model and $499 for the LTE model. The 45mm variant starts at $429 and will set you back $529 for the LTE version.

Just like the Pixel Watch 2, there are quite a few band combinations you can choose from:

  • Champagne Gold case with a Hazel Active band
  • Matte Black case with an Obsidian Active band
  • Polished Silver case with a Chalk Active band
  • Polished Silver case with a Charcoal Active band
Apple Watch Series 9Apple Watch Series 9
AA Editors Choice
Apple Watch Series 9
Powerful processor • Upgraded display with 2000 nit brightness • Gesture controls and Siri features
MSRP: $399.00
Apple's most convenient smartwatch
The new S9 chip makes the Apple Watch Series 9 the most capable, and battery friendly Apple watch to date. Enjoy improved security, improved functionality in low-connectivity situations, and improved health tracking. Introducing new Double-Tap gesture.

Google Pixel Watch 2 vs Apple Watch Series 9: Which should you buy?

The battle between the Apple Watch Series 9 and Pixel Watch 2 really comes down to your smartphone preference: Android or iOS. Both watches have many of the same core features and sensors, even if their design and software philosophy are worlds apart. Neither watch is going to let you down, though the Pixel Watch certainly has more rivals.

For Android users, the Pixel Watch 2 is a solid choice, though the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 ($299.99 at Samsung) is also one of the best Pixel Watch 2 alternatives. If you’re an iPhone user you really have no other alternatives, unless you want to save a little cash with an Apple Watch SE (w$269.99 at Amazon) or splurge on the Apple Watch Ultra 2 ($759.99 at eBay). Sure, there are a few options like Garmin watches, but Wear OS isn’t within reach.

Google Pixel Watch 2 vs Apple Watch Series 9: FAQ

The Google Pixel Watch 2 was formally launched on October 4 and will start shipping on October 12. The Apple Watch Series 9 was first announced on September 12 and started shipping on September 22.

The Google Watch 2 doesn’t officially work with the iPhone. You can sync Fitbit data but you won’t get notifications and all the other features found when pairing with an Android device.

Yes, both watches have removable bands.

The Google Pixel Watch 2 comes in a single size of 41mm. In contrast, the Apple Watch Series 2 has both a 41mm and 45mm variant.

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