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PSA: The Pixel Watch 2 can't use cases meant for the first-gen Pixel Watch

The Pixel Watch 2 comes with a slightly bigger crown, and slight difference in position of the side button and speaker.
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Published onOctober 6, 2023

google pixel watch 2 angled
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • The Pixel Watch 2 makes subtle design changes that make it incompatible with cases meant for the first-gen Pixel Watch.
  • The crown is slightly bigger, and the button and speaker holes are positioned slightly differently.

The Google Pixel Watch 2 is the company’s second smartwatch in recent years. It’s on its way to becoming a recommended smartwatch for Android phones. The newest generation Watch looks much like the outgoing first-gen Pixel Watch, but it isn’t completely identical, and that seems to have caught people off-guard. If you plan to reuse a case from the older watch onto the newer one, note that it will fit.

As spotted by 9to5Google, the new Pixel Watch 2 has subtle changes to its body that render it incompatible with first-gen Pixel Watch cases. Case makers have begun adding disclaimers, noting that cases for “Pixel Watch” (the first generation) are incompatible with the Pixel Watch 2.

google pixel watch 2 crown and button
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

If the case meant for the first-gen Pixel Watch includes cutouts or other elements that rely on the crown, button, or speaker, then the case will not be compatible with the new smartwatch. The new Pixel Watch 2 has a slightly bigger crown, and there is a slight change in the positioning of the side button. Even the speaker cutout has been slightly repositioned.

If you want to buy a case for the new watch, we’d recommend waiting a bit for compatible cases to arrive in the market.

 

Some of these changes are not surprising since the Pixel Watch 2 uses aluminum for its casing compared to the stainless steel case on the first-gen and uses a pin-based charger as against a wireless charger. You can read more about the differences in our Pixel Watch vs Pixel Watch 2 comparison.

The situation is better with straps, though. The Pixel Watch 2 retains strap compatibility with the first-gen Pixel Watch, so you can use older straps with the new watch and vice-versa.