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Should you buy a Pixel Watch 2 or wait for the Pixel Watch 3?

Want a larger watch? The Pixel Watch 3 may be worth the wait.
By

Published onJuly 2, 2024

google pixel watch wear os watch face sg128 1
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

In 2023, Google introduced the Pixel Watch 2, significantly upgrading the company’s first smartwatch. The wearable improved the on-wrist experience and gave potential buyers a viable alternative to the Samsung Galaxy Watch series. While we gave it a solid review, we highlighted the vast room for improvement.

We expect Google to launch the Pixel Watch 3 later this year. The company’s next wearable could address several of our issues and further build on its solid wearable base. But what if you’re itching for a new smartwatch? Should you buy a Pixel Watch 2 or wait for the Pixel Watch 3?

Pixel Watch 2 vs Pixel Watch 3: What are the biggest differences we can expect?

google pixel watch 2 left next to pixel watch 1 right
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

We’re still a few months away from the Pixel Watch 3’s likely launch window, so there are plenty of gaps in the information available. However, there’s enough to construct a decent framework for Google’s plans.

We don’t expect Google to revolutionize its smartwatch design, but that’s a good thing. The current watch’s aesthetics count in its favor, boasting a curved glass face and a two-tone body. Based on leaked images, the Pixel Watch 3 should present a similar visual, although a larger 45mm, 1.45-inch Pixel 3 XL model could be in the offing. This would be a boon for those reluctant to snag a Pixel Watch because of its smaller footprint. There may still be a standard Pixel Watch 3 and coverage for smaller watch lovers, too.

We don't expect Google to revolutionize its smartwatch design, but that's a good thing.

There’s a good chance that the Pixel Watch 3 will debut with Wear OS 5. The software’s developer preview is currently available, which suggests an imminent launch on the forthcoming Galaxy Watch 7 series and, later, the Pixel Watch 3. We expect the Pixel Watch 2 to remain on Wear OS 4 for a few months afterward. Wear OS 5 brings several updates, including an Android-like Privacy Dashboard, media output selection, a new grid-based app launcher, and Watch Face Format filetype improvements. Google also discusses Wear OS 5’s overall efficiency improvements, which should lead to longer battery life on the Pixel Watch 3.

You may be interested in potential UWB support if you own a new flagship phone. This could theoretically allow the Pixel Watch 3 to plug into Google’s Find My network and fuel other short-range communication features.

Beyond these potential additions, you can expect the Pixel Watch 3 to boast a fitness feature set similar to its sibling’s, including functionality through the Fitbit app.

Should you wait for the Pixel Watch 3?

Deciding whether to buy a current model or wait for the next is never easy. Newer may often mean better, but that’s not always the case. Following Google’s previous launches, we could expect the Pixel Watch 3 to land in October. In this sense, waiting out the next few months might be best, especially if you don’t need a smartwatch this instant.

There are several other reasons why you might want to hold your horses. If the rumors are true, a larger Pixel Watch 3 XL might be perfect for those with thicker wrists or who want a bigger watch. The Pixel Watch 2 won’t offer you this choice. Claims of a bigger battery and new software will entice those seeking a longer-lasting smartwatch, while UWB support will improve the watch’s usefulness with its smartphone companion. The newer watch will also offer a software support period that extends a year beyond (or potentially more) the Pixel Watch 2’s.

A larger Pixel Watch 3 XL might be perfect for those with thicker wrists or who want a bigger watch.

More importantly for your wallet, the Pixel Watch 3 may cost the same as the Pixel Watch 2. Rumors suggest that Google may not deviate from its $349 launch price for the base model, which would make it a far better value proposition than its predecessor. However, there’s always the possibility that Google will keep the Pixel Watch 2 in the lineup and drop its base price. If this is the case, waiting for the Pixel Watch 3 could bag you a cheaper Pixel Watch 2.

Suppose you need a smartwatch immediately and aren’t convinced by Google’s current and future watches. In that case, there are plenty of options available. You might consider the Garmin Venu 3 ($449.99 at Amazon) for more intuitive wellness and fitness tracking or the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 ($299.99 at Samsung) for better integration with Samsung smartphones. If you’re thinking beyond Android, the Apple Watch Series 9 ($392.67 at Amazon) is the best smartwatch to pair with an iPhone.

Is there any reason to pick up the Pixel Watch 2 at all?

Google Pixel Watch 2
Google 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.

Yes, buying a Pixel Watch 2 makes sense for plenty of reasons. Again, if you want Google’s latest and greatest smartwatch, the Pixel Watch 2 is your best option. It’s also worth considering if you don’t need a larger watch or aren’t interested in new features or specs. It’s also a worthy upgrade if you’re a Fitbit Sense or Versa user left stranded without a natural upgrade path.

Of course, you can always purchase the Pixel Watch 2 now and sell it later if you’re not convinced or see the Pixel Watch 3 as a viable upgrade.

But what do you think? Are you willing to wait for Google’s next smartwatch? Be sure to vote in our poll below.

Is it worth buying the Pixel Watch 2 now, or should you wait for the Pixel Watch 3?

420 votes
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