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Google Pixel Watch vs Pixel Watch 2: What's new and should you upgrade?

Google brings refinement and power to its second generation.
By

Published onFebruary 9, 2024

google pixel watch 2 color options
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Google is officially two generations deep into its wearable lineup with the launch of the Pixel Watch 2. The new smartwatch features many of the same specs and design features as the original model but adds a few key upgrades to the user experience. Is it worth upgrading to the newest version if you already own Google’s first release? Read our Google Pixel Watch vs Google Pixel Watch 2 comparison to find out.

Google Pixel Watch vs Google Pixel Watch 2: At a glance

Year-to-year alterations aren't always obvious when comparing smartwatches. Below are the major differences between Google's first two generations.

  • The Google Pixel Watch 2 packs Qualcomm's Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 chip for a faster, more power-efficient user experience.
  • The new generation features an upgraded, multi-path heart rate sensor for advanced health monitoring.
  • The Google Pixel Watch 2 also adds a skin temperature sensor and cEDA sensor, which were not found on the original model.
  • The Pixel Watch 2 adds automatic workout detection for seven different activities.
  • The Pixel Watch 2 runs Google's Wear OS 4 out of the box.
  • The Pixel Watch 2 is made from recycled aluminum rather than stainless steel.

Google Pixel Watch vs Google Pixel Watch 2 specs

Google Pixel Watch Google Pixel Watch 2
Display
Google Pixel Watch
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
Google Pixel Watch 2
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
Google Pixel Watch
80% recycled stainless steel

Active band: Fluoroelastomer with soft-touch coating
Google Pixel Watch 2
100% recycled aluminum

Active band: Fluoroelastomer with soft-touch coating
Dimensions and weight
Google Pixel Watch
Diameter: 41mm
Height: 12.3mm
36g (without band)
Google Pixel Watch 2
Diameter: 41mm
Height: 12.3mm
31g (without band)
Chip
Google Pixel Watch
Exynos 9110 SW5100
Cortex M33 co-processor
Google Pixel Watch 2
Qualcomm SW5100
Cortex M33 co-processor
Storage and memory
Google Pixel Watch
32GB eMMC flash
2GB SDRAM
Google Pixel Watch 2
32GB eMMC flash
2GB SDRAM
Power
Google Pixel Watch
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%
Google Pixel Watch 2
306mAh (typical)
Up to 24 hours with always-on display
USB-C Fast charging cable

Promised charging speed:
About 30 minutes to 50%
About 43 minutes to 80%
About 75 minutes to 100%
Software
Google Pixel Watch
Wear OS 3.5
Google Pixel Watch 2
Wear OS 4.0
Sensors
Google Pixel Watch
Compass
Altimeter
Blood oxygen sensor
Multipurpose electrical sensor
Optical heart rate sensor
Accelerometer
Gyroscope
Ambient light sensor

Google Pixel Watch 2
Compass
Altimeter
Blood oxygen sensor
Multipurpose electrical sensor
Optical heart rate sensor
Accelerometer
Gyroscope
Ambient light sensor
Electrical sensor to measure cEDA
Skin temperature sensor
Barometer
Magnetometer
Interaction
Google Pixel Watch
Side button
Haptic crown
Premium haptics
Google Pixel Watch 2
Side button
Haptic crown
Premium haptics
Audio
Google Pixel Watch
Built-in microphone
Built-in speaker
Google Pixel Watch 2
Built-in microphone
Built-in speaker
Durability
Google Pixel Watch
5ATM
Google Pixel Watch 2
5ATM + IP68
Connectivity
Google Pixel Watch
4G LTE and UMTS
Bluetooth 5.0
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz
NFC
GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo
Google Pixel Watch 2
4G LTE and UMTS
Bluetooth 5.0
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz
NFC
GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo, Quasi-Zenith Satellite
Compatibility
Google Pixel Watch
Android 8.0 or newer
Google Pixel Watch 2
Android 9.0 or newer
Band Size
Google Pixel Watch
Active band:
Small: 130-175mm around
Large: 165-210mm around
Google Pixel Watch 2
Active band:
Small: 130-175mm around
Large: 165-210mm around
What’s in the Box
Google Pixel Watch
Google Pixel Watch
Active band (small and large)
USB-C Magnetic Charging Cable
Quick Start Guide
Google Pixel Watch 2
Google Pixel Watch 2
Active band (small and large)
USB-C Fast Charging Cable
Quick Start Guide
Warranty
Google Pixel Watch
US, CA, JP, TW, UK:
1 year

EU, AU:
2 years
Google Pixel Watch 2
US, CA, JP, India, Singapore, Taiwan, Indian:
1 year

UK,EEA, France, Switzerland and AU:
2 years
Colors
Google Pixel Watch
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
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

Google Pixel Watch vs Google Pixel Watch 2: Features

Pixel Watch 2 vs 1 HR
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Both Google Pixel Watches offer shoppers a unique Wear OS experience with the best Google has to offer and the top tools from Fitbit’s ecosystem packed into a single device. The smartwatches feature the staples of a solid wearable, including first and third-party apps, fitness tracking, health monitoring, and daily-use tools like phone call support, music storage, and assistant support. Where the Pixel Watch 2 pulls ahead is in its internal upgrades and added features.

The second generation packs a powerful new processor, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 chip, with four cores running at 1.7GHz. This makes the smartwatch much more efficient and supports low-power states such as Deep Sleep and Hibernation. Each of these modes contributes to improved battery specs. In testing, the impact is a speedy user experience with smooth navigation. The Pixel Watch 2 also features ultra-wideband (UWB), enabling a new Find My Device feature.

On the fitness tracking front, the Google Pixel Watch 2 brings automatic workout detection to users’ wrists, including seven popular activities. This was a major oversight of the original model and an exciting tool to see added for active users. The new device also offers Pace Training and an improved heart rate sensor for monitoring heart rate zones during workouts. I found these tools extremely useful for optimizing training mid-exercise. The color-coded rate zones, in particular, made it easy to manage exertion during HIIT workouts. The device’s built-in Google Assistant will also answer health and fitness queries with real-time stats. These improvements make the device a more reliable gym companion and a more attractive option for athletes.

The Google Pixel Watch 2 builds on the features of the original model, adding more advanced health sensors and useful fitness tracking features. .

Beyond the gym, the watch also features new cEDA and skin temperature sensors for keeping closer tabs on advanced health metrics. Specifically, Fitbit’s stress management features are among the best in the business and a welcome addition to the Pixel Watch line. That said, I wasn’t personally impressed by the tool during my review period. I would love to see Fitbit add more actionable analysis to its stress-tracking platform.

The watch also boasts new safety features. These include Safety Check, which allows users to preset a contingency plan when approaching situations they are uncertain about. The latter allows users to share their location with specific contacts for a chosen amount of time. Finally, Fitbit Premium members can access phone-free connectivity to safety features without activating an LTE plan.

Because the Pixel Watch 2 runs Google’s latest Wear OS 4 out of the box, it also offers an improved user interface with updated apps. The device also features dynamic theming, new watch faces, and a revamped Fitbit UI. However, these improvements are also available on the older model via software update.

Google Pixel Watch vs Google Pixel Watch 2: Design

Pixel Watch 2 vs 1 crown
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

The second Pixel Watch echoes the overall minimalist impression of the original Pixel Watch with clean lines, integrated bands, and a curved display. Case in point: the image above is a Pixel Watch and a Pixel Watch 2!

However, the back housing is slightly redesigned to accommodate the new model’s added sensors. More noticeably, the new device is made from 100% recycled aluminum rather than stainless steel. The watch is, therefore, slightly lighter and, according to Google, features thinner domed glass over its display. It’s hard to recognize the differences in person, but the slightly larger digital crown is a nice improvement. Overall, the device is very comfortable for all-day wear. It also boasts an IP68 rating not seen on the original model. This means the device is certified as dust-tight and protected from water in all directions. The IP rating is in addition to the 5ATM water resistance rating carried over from the original model.

Like the previous model, the Pixel Watch 2 is available in four color combinations. Each new device ships with a fluoroelastomer sport band and plenty of additional accessories are also available. These include new metal and active band options.

Internally, the Pixel Watch 2 packs a slightly larger battery that Google claims will offer longer use between charges. The official specs list the device’s battery life at up to 24 hours with the always-on display enabled. Unlike its predecessor, the second-generation device actually provides 24 hours of power between charges, even with always-on display enabled. During my review, a full charge lasted about 25 hours, including a 40-minute GPS workout.

The watch also ships with a new fast-charging cable that cuts charge times, though only slightly. Google claims the new cable will charge the device from 0 to 80% in under 45 minutes. During my review, charging the watch from zero to 100% took a little over an hour (almost a full 30 minutes less than the original model), and charging to 50% took 25 minutes. The new charger won’t work with the first Pixel Watch, which charges even slower than ever after a controversial software update.

Google Pixel Watch vs Google Pixel Watch 2: Price and colors

  • Google Pixel Watch (Bluetooth + Wi-Fi): $349.99/€379/£349
  • Google Pixel Watch (4G LTE): $399.99/€429/£379
  • Google Pixel Watch 2 (Bluetooth + Wi-Fi): $349.99/€349/£349
  • Google Pixel Watch 2 (4G LTE): $399.99/€399/£399

The Google Pixel Watch launched at $349.99 in October 2022, landing squarely between leading wearables from Apple and Samsung. For an LTE model, Google added a $50 upcharge to the device. Both models shipped with active-style bands and were available in the same four colorways. Options include Matte Black with an Obsidian band, Polished Silver with a Charcoal or Chalk band, and Champagne Gold with a Hazel band.

Google Pixel WatchGoogle Pixel Watch
Google Pixel Watch
Voice-to-text assistance • Play Store integrated • Wear OS
MSRP: $349.00
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.

This October, the Google Pixel Watch 2 landed at nearly identical prices to its predecessor globally. In the US, a Bluetooth Pixel Watch 2 costs $349.99. Like last year, the LTE model runs for an extra $50. the Google Pixel Watch 2 also comes in four colorways. Matte Black with an Obsidian active band and Champagne Gold with a Hazel active band echo the line’s original colors. This year, Google mixes things up slightly by pairing its polished silver case with an active band in Bay or Porcelain.

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.

Google Pixel Watch vs Google Pixel Watch 2: Should you upgrade?

google pixel watch 2 with fiber band
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Like any first draft, the original Google Pixel Watch featured some first-generation kinks. It was missing advanced sensors, its battery life was unfortunate, and it didn’t pack a few staple tools for active users. Many of these shortcomings are addressed in the new model (though certainly not at all). In short, the Pixel Watch 2 offers users a more powerful and refined wearable. With hardware and software upgrades, shoppers find a more comprehensive health and fitness tracking companion and a better Google Wear OS experience. Meanwhile, it’s still a highly attractive device with a unique look. If you’re a Pixel phone user, the watch is an even more attractive buy.

With that said, we’re still dubious about the device’s durability and desperate for true multi-day battery life. Given the many highly-rated competitors at this price point, it isn’t easy to recommend dropping roughly $350 for an imperfect upgrade. The biggest reason for average users to upgrade to the Pixel Watch 2 is for its powerful new chipset. The new model’s upgraded heart rate sensor and added stress management tools are also major selling points for anyone with health concerns. If none of these upgrades strike you as necessary, it may be worth hanging on to the original model for now.

Do you think it's worth upgrading from the Google Pixel Watch to the Pixel Watch 2?

124 votes

FAQS

Both the Google Pixel Watch and Pixel Watch 2 feature 5ATM water resistance ratings. This makes them each safe to wear while showering or swimming in depths less than 50 meters.

The Google Pixel Watch and Pixel Watch 2 will both work with Samsung phones. On the other hand, neither device will work with an iPhone.

The original Google Pixel Watch landed in October 2022. The Pixel Watch 2 come out in October 2023.

Both the Google Pixel Watch and Pixel Watch 2 come with a charging cable, however, neither one comes with a power adapter.

Yes, both the Google Pixel Watch and Pixel Watch 2 feature built-in GPS.