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A Google Pixel Watch rests on a lava rock displaying the Utility watch face with a Fitbit shortcut.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Google Pixel Watch review: Laying the foundation

It's not everything we were hoping for, but it's a solid start.
By
December 8, 2022

Google Pixel Watch

The Google Pixel Watch has been a long time coming, and all-in-all, it was worth the wait. It offers one of the smoothest Wear OS experiences currently available with no brand ecosystem-exclusive caveats, plus many of Fitbit's top health and fitness tracking features. That said, there is definitely room for improvement. Its small and minimalist design won't be for everyone and the battery life is painfully short. For Google's first flagship wearable, the Pixel Watch is a solid start and a good Wear OS smartwatch, but it falls short of true greatness.

What we like

Sleek, modern design
Access to (most of) the Fitbit ecosystem
Clean, Google-centric Wear OS experience
Very smooth performance
Reliable heart rate sensor
Fairly accurate GPS

What we don't like

Disappointing battery life
Only available in one size
Missing key health tracking features
No automatic workout detection
Awkward to change bands

Google Pixel Watch

The Google Pixel Watch has been a long time coming, and all-in-all, it was worth the wait. It offers one of the smoothest Wear OS experiences currently available with no brand ecosystem-exclusive caveats, plus many of Fitbit's top health and fitness tracking features. That said, there is definitely room for improvement. Its small and minimalist design won't be for everyone and the battery life is painfully short. For Google's first flagship wearable, the Pixel Watch is a solid start and a good Wear OS smartwatch, but it falls short of true greatness.

 

Like a long-awaited movie debut, the highly-anticipated Google Pixel Watch is finally here. Having followed the rumors for years, we finally have eyes (and hands) on Google’s first smartwatch. While some spoilers panned out, other details aren’t quite what we expected. Find out more in our Google Pixel Watch review.

About this Google Pixel Watch review: I tested the Google Pixel Watch LTE over a period of eight days. It was connected to a Samsung Galaxy A51 throughout the testing period. The unit was provided to Android Authority by Google for this review.

Update, December 2022: We updated this review to include new details about sleep tracking on the Pixel Watch as well as newly released Wear Tiles.

What you need to know about the Google Pixel Watch

A Google Pixel Watch on a user's wrist displays the Vista watch face.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority
  • Google Pixel Watch (Bluetooth + Wi-Fi): $349.99 / €379 / £349
  • Google Pixel Watch (4G LTE): $399.99 / €429 / £379

Google’s first-ever smartwatch has officially hit wrists. Launched on October 6, 2022, the dome-shaped wearable features a sleek build, a bright display, and Wear OS 3.5 — the newest version of Google’s smartwatch OS. However, the most prominent feature of the new wearable is its Fitbit integration. Marketed as the best Fitbit experience money can buy, the Pixel Watch represents the inevitable outcome of Google’s $2.1 billion acquisition of the fitness brand back in 2019. With tons of fitness and health tracking elements, the Pixel Watch aims to offer the best of Wear OS and Fitbit in a single, well-rounded wearable.

Despite its Fitbit influence, this is still a Google device, though. Users will find all the usual suspects, including turn-by-turn Google Maps navigation, Gmail and Google Calendar notifications, Google Assistant baked-in, Google Wallet support for NFC payments, and smart home control via the Google Home app. The Google Play Store also offers access to an extensive library of third-party apps. Navigation through all of these features is dependent on at-a-glance Tiles, info-packed data screens, and customizable watch faces.

The Pixel Watch is available now in two variants: a $349.99 Wi-Fi-only model and a $399.99 4G LTE version. Both models come in one of three case colors: Champagne Gold, Matte Black, or Polished Silver. They also all ship with an Active band in a variety of color options. Each Pixel Watch purchase also comes with six free months of Fitbit Premium access as well as three free months of YouTube Premium access.

How is the design?

A Google Pixel Watch rests on lava rock displaying the watch face.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

We’ve had a pretty good idea of what the Pixel Watch would look like for some time thanks to teasers from Google itself. In person, it’s modern, sleek, and minimalistic, with a domed face and reflective finish. It’s very reflective. If this review were a game of I spy, you could probably find my face or camera in most of the photos.

The watch itself comes in just one 41mm case size, which is on the petite side compared to many on the market. The case’s diameter measures the same size as a small model of the Apple Watch Series 8, but with its circular design, takes up less real estate on your wrist. It is also just 1mm larger than the small model of the Galaxy Watch 5. Again though, Google doesn’t offer a second, larger option like these two competitors which would give the device wider appeal. Anyone who prefers a big watch will likely find the Pixel Watch too dainty.

It features a rotating digital crown that users can configure to wear on either side of the watch. It also features a back button that blends with the side of the case, sloping into the rear curve, which at times proved hard to reach during my testing. On the wrist, the device is tasteful, unobtrusive, and for lack of a better word, simple.

The Google Pixel Watch features a rotating Digital Crown as well as a back button.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Unfortunately, my biggest gripe with the build is also a huge contributor to its clean design. In order to achieve its almost futuristic look, the Pixel Watch’s bands connect inside the watch case. It’s an effective arrangement that totally works if you never want to change your band. However, Google has a ton of replacement bands to shop, including everything from leather to metal mesh, in heaps of colorways.

If you want to capitalize on the expansive styles available, the lug design is awful. Swapping straps involves locating the band release buttons and then fidgeting and yanking until you’re sure it’s about to break. In short, removing the Pixel Watch band isn’t just tricky, it’s downright frustrating. It also gets even more complicated if you opt for one of Google’s expensive Crafted Leather bands which add lugs to the device. This adapter makes the Pixel Watch compatible with all 20mm bands. The good news is, once you own a Crafted Leather band, you can swap into even more affordable third-party options. The bad news is those straps cost $79 for the privilege.

The Pixel Watch's design is modern and clean but, unfortunately, that's largely thanks to a band mechanism that's less than ideal.

Once you have a band in place and the watch on your wrist, it’s lightweight and comfortable. The always-on AMOLED display is plenty bright even in direct sunlight, and it’s adequately protected by Corning Gorilla Glass. I didn’t necessarily rough house during my review period, but the watch stood up to normal day-to-day bumps and scrapes just fine. That said, the glass is quite exposed, so we’ll have to wait and see how it holds up over time.

A Google Pixel Watch rests among pavers, displaying the quick settings panel.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Beneath the glass, the Pixel Watch features a familiar interface with customizable “Tiles” and straightforward navigation. Swiping left or right from any watch face cycles through tiles, swiping down from the top opens a quick settings menu, and swiping up accesses notifications. From within a menu or app, you can go back to a previous screen with a swipe from the left. A short press of the button pulls up recent apps, and a quick press of the crown pulls up an alphabetical list of all your apps which can be scrolled through with a twist of said crown.

Navigating the interface is a breeze and interacting with the Pixel Watch is very satisfying.

A long press of the button opens Google Assistant, and a long press on the digital crown accesses emergency features. Following? If not, just know it’s a user-friendly setup that will feel old hat to Wear OS users, though perhaps less familiar specifically to Galaxy Watch owners used to rotating physical or digital bezels and Samsung’s One UI Watch-skinned version of Wear OS. Unfortunately, the button, digital crown, and quick settings panel are not customizable.

On the plus side, what you’ll definitely notice while swiping around is how smoothly the Pixel Watch runs. This is the most responsive Wear OS device I have personally tested, and that’s despite running on a Samsung Exynos chip from 2018 that savvy users will remember from their Galaxy Watches 1, 2, and 3. The Pixel Watch’s performance is most likely helped by its Cortex M33 co-processor and 2GB of RAM — the latter of which is the most found on any Wear OS watch to date, and 0.5GB more than the Galaxy Watch 4 and 5 series.

The Photo watch face on a Google Pixel Watch draws attention to the device's large bezel.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Back to the watch face, another design feature users may dislike is the hefty bezel. A somewhat surprising amount of the pebble is used up by a black border, effectively shrinking the device’s display area. To be honest, though, the entire interface has a dark-mode aesthetic that makes the bezel all but disappear. From watch faces to menus to third-party apps, on-screen data is easy to view. Longer text blocks can feel cramped, but not overwhelmingly so.

Unfortunately, one exception to this is the Photos watch face. As you can see in the image above, my beach snowman’s glamor shot doesn’t cover as much of the device as you’d expect and really calls attention to the Pixel Watch’s bezel.

Luckily, however, there are tons of watch faces to choose from in the Google Pixel Watch companion app, plus even more third-party options available for download. With Google Play Store on board, users can access more third-party watch faces than any non-Wear OS watch that isn’t made by Apple. Most of the selections in the Pixel Watch app feature fairly muted colors, so it’s nice to have bolder and more unique picks just a few taps away.

Managing watch faces is also very easy within the app or on the watch itself. I switched up my look excessively, both for the sake of some varied photos for this review and for personal styling, and I rarely bothered going back to the app. You can simply long press on your watch face to adjust your look in a few seconds.

On the other hand, if you want to get into the nitty-gritty, it helps to work on a larger screen. You can personalize the details of many watch faces from both the Pixel Watch app and the watch itself, and in a pinch, (or to pass the time in the grocery line), on-device tinkering works fine. On your phone, though, it’s much easier to scroll color and complication options and edit a watch face to your preferences.

How is the battery life?

A Google Pixel Watch charges on a cream background
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

To be blunt, the Pixel Watch’s battery life is not great. Google’s smartwatch will last you just about a day if you are lucky. Things were looking even more dire in the first four days of my testing. Out of the box, it’s best to prep for a few days of budding friendship with your new charger. This is largely due to updates, calibration, and, most likely, excessive use as you set up your new device. For context, I could not make it to the end of the day without charging, and then overnight, I couldn’t make it to the morning even when I went to sleep with a full battery. After a few days, though, the Pixel Watch starts to level off to an acceptable, but still disappointing battery schedule.

Once you’re dealing with normal use, the Pixel Watch will last just up to Google’s 24-hour claim. You’ll definitely want to establish some type of routine for charging to save yourself future frustration. I charged mine each morning while starting my work day. I often topped off before bed as well just to ensure my sleep data was safely recorded each night. Charging the device from zero to 100 % took just shy of 90 minutes — right in the same respectable ballpark as the Galaxy Watch 5.

Battery life on the Pixel Watch doesn't hold a candle to products in the full Fitbit stable.

The Pixel Watch comes with a proprietary USB-C charging cable that looks like most wireless charging pucks. The magnetized puck is curved to accommodate the rounded shape of the Pixel Watch case. You will need to grab your own wall charger though, (right away, because you’re going to need it with battery life like this). Unfortunately, the Pixel Watch isn’t compatible with any other wireless chargers. That also means you can’t top it off with a flagship Pixel phone’s reverse wireless charging either. A bizarre decision, to say the least.

Sure, 24 hours might seem favorable compared to the Apple Watch on paper, but in reality, most Apple Watches — the Watch Series 8, included — outlast their 18-hour claim to offer a full day of use. Moreover though, in light of the much better battery specs on other Fitbit devices, the Pixel Watch’s battery life is dismal. It’s easily the biggest frustration with the first-generation Pixel Watch.

How well is Fitbit integrated?

A user reviews the Fitbit apps on their Google Pixel Watch.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Fitbit integration on the Pixel Watch is one of the device’s most anticipated features. To over-simplify, the experience boils down to three main apps: Fitbit Today, Fitbit Exercise, and Fitbit ECG. Each app plays a unique role in bringing the Fitbit ecosystem to users’ wrists. I’ll cover each briefly below, but for more details, check out our dedicated article which runs through every Fitbit feature that made it onto the Pixel Watch (and those which are missing).

Fitbit Today

A Google Pixel Watch displays a user's Fitbit Active Zone Minutes.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Like all Fitbit’s devices, the Pixel Watch tracks basic stats, including steps, floors, and distance, plus Active Zone Minutes, calories, and heart rate. You can review all of these stats in the Fitbit Today app, or in some cases, by swiping to the relevant tile. If you want more details on a particular measurable, you can tap to pull up more information.

For example, the Today app opens with a welcome message immediately followed by your daily step count. You can scroll down for other stats or tap your step count to dig into more data. There you’ll find a breakdown of your steps throughout the day as well as information about your weekly average.

To view your data on a larger screen, you can also pop over to the Fitbit app on your paired phone. For the record, I found step counting to be quite accurate on the Pixel Watch, often within 10-15 steps of my Apple Watch SE 2.

A Google Pixel Watch user checks their Sleep Score on the device.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Fitbit Today also houses data from Fitbit’s impressive sleep-tracking platform. I wore the Pixel Watch to sleep each night during the testing period, along with my Fitbit Versa 3. The Pixel Watch performed well, picking up REM cycles and nailing when I fell asleep and woke each morning. On one evening, when I vividly remember tossing all night, my data indeed showed frequent periods of wakefulness. However, I still received an 84 sleep score the next morning because Fitbit recognized that I was able to hit my goal for total time asleep.

Fitbit's sleep tracking suite is one of the brand's biggest selling points, and its Sleep Profile program is also available on the Pixel Watch.

Fitbit is one of the industry leaders when it comes to tracking and analyzing sleep, so it’s exciting to see a Google smartwatch leverage the platform. Though not originally available at launch, Pixel Watch users can now access Fitbit’s Sleep Profile program. Sleep Profile provides a monthly analysis of users’ sleep habits to help find individuals find ways to improve their sleep over time. Personally, I like to find out what cute animal I sleep like each month. It is, however, locked behind the Fitbit Premium paywall.

Fitbit Exercise

A Google Pixel Watch in a user's hand displays three exercises modes.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

The Fitbit Exercise app is where you can start workouts and view/manage real-time fitness data. Within the app, you’ll find 40 workout modes ranging from traditional options like running and cycling to more niche hobbies like canoeing. You can also personalize which data fields are prominently displayed during your workout.

To test the GPS and heart rate sensor, I took the Pixel Watch on walks, runs, and bike rides, but I also tested a few of the atypical workout modes as well. Newly obsessed with paddleboarding, I was excited to see that what I consider “leisure time in the sun” counts as a workout. To be honest, my arm and ab muscles agree.

The Pixel Watch's Fitbit ecosystem is best suited for those who want to casually track their workout journey.

On the other hand, many fitness trackers offer even more sport modes, (as in dozens more), including budget wearables like the sub-$100 Xiaomi Mi Band 7. You also can’t design interval workouts on the Pixel Watch like on other Fitbit devices, such as the entry-level Inspire 3. Most surprisingly, the watch doesn’t feature automatic workout detection. It will recognize a workout after you’ve completed it and share the data in the Fitbit app, but you won’t find auto-start functionality on your wrist.

Overall, the Exercise app is very basic. Generally speaking, the Fitbit platform is best for those with a casual relationship with working out. It’s especially beneficial for anyone new to tracking or just starting on a fitness journey. In the Fitbit app, users can set weekly goals for the number of days they exercise and review workouts tracked over time. For deeper insights, you’ll likely want to download a third-party fitness app.

Fitbit ECG

A user takes an ECG reading on their Google Pixel Watch.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

The Pixel Watch features an always-on, optical heart rate sensor that both Google and Fitbit claim is their best sensor available. It also features the Fitbit ECG app, which may look familiar if you already own a Charge 5, Fitbit Sense, or Fitbit Sense 2. The app allows users to ​take on-demand ECG readings and​ ​assesses for ​signs of atrial fibrillation (AFib).

Using the app is very easy. You simply follow the onscreen prompts, resting one finger on the digital crown until the thirty-second countdown is complete. However, I cannot emphasize enough that you should be sitting during the recording and remain still. I received inconclusive results many times while testing this app’s functionality.

Fortunately, the watch will also tell you why your results were most likely inconclusive. A few times, my heart rate was too high, and other times, it stated that a good reading wasn’t possible (likely due to movement). If your heart rate is too low, that can also lead to inconclusive results.

This app has potential but it needs some tweaking. For someone hoping to keep tabs on their heart, a finicky ECG is not going to be especially comforting. Unfortunately, the Pixel Watch also does not offer high/low heart rate notifications. While not a certified medical device, the omission of heart rate notifications calls into question whether it would be the best pick for anyone who wants to keep a passing eye on their heart health.

Fitbit Premium

Right now, the Pixel Watch comes with six months of Fitbit Premium membership out of the box. Users can tap into the following features with Premium access:

  • Daily Readiness
  • Breathing rate
  • Heart Rate Variability (HRV)
  • Sleep Restoration
  • Sleep Profiles
  • Stress Management Score
  • Health Metric
  • Detailed Sleep Score breakdown
  • Additional workouts from Fitbit trainers and partner brands in the Fitbit app
  • Games and challenges in the Fitbit app
  • Mindfulness Sessions in the Fitbit app

A subscription fee related to a flagship wearable is unfortunate, but not unheard of either. Oura Ring requires a subscription for its latest model and Apple requires a subscription for its Apple Fitness Plus service. However, the Pixel Watch is by no means a cheap device and many of these paywalled features are standard on other devices. For example, Daily Readiness is a useful metric that offers a collective overview of your energy. Garmin offers very similar insight for free with its Body Battery feature. Likewise, Garmin, Withings, and others provide HRV, stress management, and detailed sleep insights without a subscription as well.

There’s no doubt Fitbit Premium is a substantial service with a lot to offer users. $10 extra a month to access all the tools of your $350 purchase is just a tough pill to swallow. At the very least, users can give the service a whirl with six free months and then decide if paying the monthly rate in the future is worth it.

How is the fitness tracking?

A user begins a run workout on their Google Pixel Watch.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

So, we’ve established that native workout functionality is relatively basic on the Pixel Watch. However, with access to an abundance of third-party apps, there is plenty of supplementation available for more advanced fitness tracking, if that’s your thing. With that in mind, the accuracy of the watch’s GPS and the reliability of its heart rate sensor remain significant areas where Google needed to deliver.

A GPS map shows a Google Pixel Watch running route compared to that of an Apple Watch SE 2.

GPS tracking on the Pixel Watch is passable, but not quite on par with devices from Apple or Garmin. On basic neighborhood runs, it traced my route fairly accurately and recorded acceptable total distances. It also locks on very quickly at the start of a workout which is a huge plus.

Granted, it’s not spot-on. You can see in the data above where the watch recorded my route just slightly off enough to run through a few people’s yards, or along the opposite side of the road than I actually hugged. That said, overall, it was decent.

A heart rate graph shows Google Pixel Watch data compared to a Polar H10 and Apple Watch SE 2.

Meanwhile, the heart rate sensor on the Pixel Watch lives up to Google’s promises. It outperforms older Fitbit devices and keeps up with comparable wearables. It didn’t match my Polar strap absolutely perfectly, but most wrist-based wearables don’t.

In fact, it closely mirrored data recorded by my Apple Watch SE 2, which boasts a very reliable heart rate sensor. In the data above, you can see moments when the Google Pixel Watch drops off, like around the 33-minute mark, for example. However, that’s a pretty good-looking graph in terms of keeping up with a chest strap.

During your workout, the Pixel Watch also natively offers real-time, heart rate-focused data via color-coordinated heart rate zones. Once you begin a workout, the watch will automatically convert your active heart rate into at-a-glance actionable data. Depending on what zone you are in, be it fat burn, cardio, or peak, progress arcs will appear in yellow, orange, and red, respectively. These heart rate zones directly relate to Fitbit’s Active Zone Minutes.

After you complete your workout, you’ll see a pleasant congratulatory screen followed by details about your Active Zone Minutes achieved, plus general stats. You can also review this info in the Fitbit app. If you are interested in deeper analysis, you can enable integration with third-party fitness apps. As mentioned though, you won’t however be able to access heart rate variability data without a Fitbit Premium subscription. HRV analysis helps serious athletes asses their recovery and rest when planning training each day.

How are the smartwatch features?

Google Pixel Watch on wrist showing maps.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Smartwatch features — and more specifically, Wear OS features — are where the Pixel Watch differentiates itself from Fitbit’s stable. Obviously, headlining tools include the best of Google’s offerings. Google Assistant voice activation is responsive and reliable. For on-the-go payments, Google Wallet is convenient, though only in supported regions. The Google Home app will be useful if you own compatible smart devices that you rely on regularly. Google Maps offers turn-by-turn navigation and on-device maps, a solid feature for anyone who gets lost frequently. Finally, Pixel Watch users can queue up new playlists on YouTube Music. Google includes three months of YouTube Premium membership to the service with each Pixel Watch.

Additional smartwatch features pre-loaded on the Pixel Watch cover the basics, including Calendar and Gmail notifications, a daily weather app with the current UV index, and Find My Phone support. There is also a compass on board, as well as a flashlight.

On the Pixel Watch’s revamped Wear OS, users can also create a lengthy app drawer with third-party options. That means you can augment your device with health staples like MyFitnessPal, Strava, Calm, and much more. But it goes far beyond fitness tracking; if there are features of the Pixel Watch that you can’t find natively, the Google Play Store offers the chance to bulk up your experience.

Personally, I like to extend my questionable music taste to all my devices and appreciate the support for Spotify playlists. I also downloaded the popular fitness app Seven to see how the Pixel Watch would handle the app’s animated workout features. Despite a somewhat undersized display space, the app had plenty of room to stretch out successfully.

A Google Pixel Watch displays an incoming call.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

The Pixel Watch also offers support for on-wrist phone calls and messaging. With a Wi-Fi-only model, users will need to keep their paired phone nearby to receive calls and texts. If you purchase an LTE model, you can leave your phone at home.

Though not typically one to conduct phone calls on speaker, I tested the watch by calling long-distance relatives. Voice clarity through the device’s built-in speaker is adequate, and family members on the other end said they could hear me fine as well. I then had to explain that the phone call was for work purposes, which it turns out is the perfect way to cut off chatty siblings.

Anything else?

A Google Pixel Watch on a user's wrist displays weather details including the UV index.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority
  • Google Pixel Watch app: Users can manage watch faces, tiles, and basic settings in the new Google Pixel Watch app. You will need to download this companion app to initially pair your device.
  • Voice-to-text: While the Pixel Watch does offer a keyboard, it’s too small to rely on exclusively. Fortunately, voice-to-text input is extremely reliable. From querying Google Assistant to searching the Google Play Store, the watch consistently translates correctly.
  • Touchscreen Lock: From the control panel, the Pixel Watch offers a lock setting for disabling the touchscreen. Users will also find Sleep Mode in the same menu, as well as Theater Mode, Airplane Mode, and Do Not Disturb.
  • No on-wrist cycle tracking: Considering the market push to improve female health tracking across the board, it’s a big surprise not to find any cycle tracking features on the Pixel Watch. People who menstruate can still log periods and symptoms in the Fitbit app on their paired phone, but there is nothing on the Pixel Watch itself to support cycle tracking.
  • No SpO2 monitoring (yet): Unlike many devices at this price point, the Pixel Watch does not offer SpO2 monitoring. The device does in fact feature an SpO2 sensor, but its functionality is not yet enabled.
  • Wear tiles: As mentioned, these at-a-glance widgets allow users to customize watch navigation. Post-launch, Google released additional options including a Sunrise/Sunset tile from the Weather app and a Favorites tile from the Contact app.

Google Pixel Watch specs

Google Pixel WatchSpecs
Display
Diameter: 41mm
Always-on display
Custom 3D Corning Gorilla Glass 5
320ppi AMOLED display with DCI-P3 color
Brightness boost up to 1,000 nits
Materials and finishes
Case: 80% recycled stainless steel

Active band: Fluoroelastomer with soft-touch coating
Dimensions and weight
Diameter: 41mm
Height: 12.3mm
36g (without band)
Chip
Exynos 9110
Cortex M33 co-processor
Storage and memory
32GB eMMC flash
2GB SDRAM
Power
294mAh (typical)
Up to 24 hours
USB-C magnetic charging cable

Promised charging speed:
-About 30 minutes to 50%
-About 55 minutes to 80%
-About 80 minutes to 100%
Software
Wear OS 3.5
Sensors
Compass
Altimeter
Blood oxygen sensor (inactive)
Multipurpose electrical sensor
Optical heart rate sensor
Accelerometer
Gyroscope
Ambient light sensor
Interaction
Side button
Haptic crown
Haptics
Audio
Built-in microphone
Built-in speaker
Features
-Fitbit health and fitness
-Google Maps
-Google Wallet
-Google Assistant
-Messages and notifications
-YouTube Music
-NFC
-Emergency SOS
-International emergency calling
-Fall detection (up to 32 g-forces) (Coming winter 2022)
Durability
5ATM water resistance
Connectivity
4G LTE and UMTS
Bluetooth 5.0
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz
NFC
GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo
Compatibility
Android 8.0 or newer
Band Size
Active band:
-Small: 130-175mm around
-Large: 165-210mm around
What’s in the Box
Google Pixel Watch
Active band (small and large wristbands)
USB-C Magnetic Charging Cable
Quick Start Guide
Warranty
US, CA, JP, TW, UK:
1 year

EU, AU:
2 years
Colors
-Matte Black Stainless Steel case / Obsidian Active band
-Polished Silver Stainless Steel case / Charcoal Active band
-Polished Silver Stainless Steel case / Chalk Active band
-Champagne Gold Stainless Steel case / Hazel Active band

Value and competition

Google Pixel WatchGoogle Pixel Watch
Google Pixel Watch
Voice-to-text assistance • Play Store integrated • Wear OS
The Pixel Watch is the first wearable with the Big G.
The Google Pixel Watch is a Wear OS-powered wearable that's aiming to be the smartwatch for everyone. It has a robust app library, plenty of Fitbit-based health-tracking features, and a classy design.

The Pixel Watch isn’t perfect, but it has plenty to offer anyone looking for a clean, slim, and stylish Wear OS watch. The presence of Google’s full and untarnished software suite, plus (most of) Fitbit’s leading fitness features, is a value that’s hard to ignore. Wear OS continues to improve across the board, and Play Store’s third-party app support allows users to round out their experience with personal favorites. On the other hand, the Pixel Watch’s battery life definitely leaves a lot to be desired. It’s also priced higher than perhaps its feature set warrants, though the cost is supposedly offset by six months of Fitbit Premium access.

All that said, the Pixel Watch is designed to have wide appeal. Anyone looking for a more tailored experience will likely want to shop around. For starters, the watch doesn’t offer the entirety of Fitbit’s platform and absolutely doesn’t compete with any dedicated Fitbit device’s battery life. Individuals specifically shopping for a Fitbit experience are better off looking into the Fitbit Sense ($149.95 at Amazon). It’s not as capable as a smartwatch, but it gives you the best of Fitbit for a much cheaper price. And yes, we mean the Sense, not the Sense 2 — the second-gen model has some rough edges, to say the least. Alternatively, if you’re happy to go for a fitness tracker form factor, the Fitbit Charge 5 ($99.95 at Amazon) remains the best you can get.

Google Pixel Watches on wrist
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

Likewise, anyone packing a Samsung phone would be better suited with the Galaxy Watch 5 ($279.99 at Samsung). Like the Pixel Watch, the Galaxy Watch 5 runs the latest version of Wear OS and offers basic health and fitness tracking, though Galaxy phone users get additional software perks. For a more advanced workout experience, Garmin offers the Venu 2 Plus ($349.99 at Amazon) with detailed fitness tracking, an SpO2 sensor, and much better battery life, though the “smart” side of the smartwatch is a little more lacking on the app front.

It also goes without saying that iOS users should steer clear of the Pixel Watch. The Apple Watch outshines Google’s offering in essentially every department, and the Pixel Watch is not compatible with iPhones anyway. Price-wise, the Apple Watch Series 8 ($399 at Amazon) is the most comparable device from Apple. In terms of an overall experience, the Pixel Watch is perhaps more similar to the even cheaper Apple Watch SE 2 ($249 at Best Buy).

See also: Google Pixel Watch vs Galaxy Watch 5

Google Pixel Watch review: The verdict

A user accesses Google Assistant on their Google Pixel Watch.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

In a lot of ways, the Pixel Watch is like that film you can’t wait to see because you really loved the book. We’ve gotten teasers and trailers for months (years, really), and it’s finally time to see the full-length feature. While the basic plot is exactly what we expected — a Google/Fitbit mash-up on a powerful wrist-based wearable — the end result isn’t quite what some may have imagined. In reality, we’ve been reading about Google’s smartwatch venture for so long that expectations could not have been higher.

That’s not to say this is merely a case of excessive hype, however. Without question, the Pixel Watch could and should be significantly better. The display could be bigger and the bezel could be smaller. The Fitbit integration could be more extensive and the battery life absolutely shouldn’t be so disappointing. However, it’s worth remembering that this is a first-generation product. Sure, Google’s been working on it seemingly forever, but it’s still the company’s debut into the smartwatch arena. With that perspective, comparing the Pixel Watch to the Apple Watch Series 8 or Galaxy Watch 5 series may be fair considering how high Google has set the asking price, but it doesn’t tell us the whole story.

Google's first smartwatch might not be everything we hoped for, but it's a very promising start.

Looking at it for what it is, the Pixel Watch is a flawed, but promising start. A wearable with both Google’s tool kit and Fitbit’s tracking suite is a wearable with a lot to like and even more potential. As long as Google continues to support the Pixel Watch, it’s very likely to see software updates that continue to improve the user experience. What’s more, should the company produce a sequel next year, this premier attempt offers a strong foundation.

After so many years of waiting, it’s only natural that many users have a lot to say about the Pixel Watch, both positive and negative. At this point, our hope is that Google is listening closely to the constructive criticism so it can deliver a blockbuster sequel.

Top Google Pixel Watch questions and answers

The Google Pixel Watch has a water resistance rating of 5ATM.

The Google Pixel Watch is not compatible with iOS. The Pixel Watch is only compatible with phones running Android 8.0 or higher.

The Google Pixel Watch is available in the US, UK, Canada, Germany, France, Australia, Japan, and Taiwan.

Google has committed to at least three years of Android updates on the Google Pixel Watch.

According to Google, Fall Detection will arrive on the Pixel Watch sometime in 2023.

Yes. To pair and set up your Google Pixel Watch, you will need an Android phone.