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Google Pixel Watch vs Fitbit Sense 2: Which should you buy?

Which of Google's two new smartwatches should you consider?
By
October 9, 2022
fitbit sense 2 vs google pixel watch held below
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Whether Google admits it or not, the Pixel Watch is ostensibly this year’s Fitbit flagship. The watch comes toting Fitbit’s health and fitness features, albeit wrapped up in a stylish Wear OS cocoon. So how does the Fitbit Sense 2 fare against in-house competition? Read on for our Google Pixel Watch vs Fitbit Sense 2 comparison.


Google Pixel Watch vs Fitbit Sense 2


Design

Fitbit’s smartwatches will be familiar to most at this point. Since the first Versa launched in the late 2010s, the company has used a squared design akin to the Apple Watch. The Sense 2 is no exception to this rule, but does feel decidedly modern. Perhaps it’s the fetching ECG ring around the screen. Either way, it’s Fitbit’s most attractive smartwatch yet.

Making a welcome return is a physical button mounted on the Sense 2’s left-hand side, replacing the unreliable touch groove on the original Sense. It’s also positioned slightly higher up the body, making it a little easier to spot and press. There are no rotating crowns or smart bezels here. Honestly, the Fitbit Sense 2’s UI doesn’t require either, and we appreciate the simplicity.

The Sense 2 is also lighter and thinner than its predecessor, shedding pounds from your wrist and making overall wear more comfortable. And thankfully, older Fitbit bands from the Versa 3 and original Sense will fasten to the new watch without fuss. We love backward compatibility like this, and so will those with a sizeable band collection.

The Sense 2 is also lighter and thinner than its predecessor, shedding pounds from your wrist and making overall wear more comfortable.

What about the Google Pixel Watch? Honestly, it’s not too shabby itself. Its circular, shiny pebble-like design makes it one of the most distinctive smartwatches on the market today. You might not like its sizeable bezels or the way round displays cut off the edge of menu items, but from afar, it’s a good-looking device. It, too, relies on a physical button on its right-hand flank lurking above a rotating crown. This little addition should make navigating Wear OS a breeze and adds classic watch appeal to the package.

fitbit sense 2 vs google pixel watch band connectors
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Google made a particularly curious decision regarding watch straps. Unlike Samsung, Garmin, and Apple, which use standardized bands, the Pixel Watch relies on a proprietary design. You won’t be able to use your extensive strap collection with this watch. You’ll have to go through Google for more bands.

Overall, the Fitbit Sense 2 and Google Pixel Watch are alluring in distinct ways. Whether you like a square or round screen will likely be a key determining factor in your buying decision.


Features

fitbit sense 2 vs google pixel watch held above
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Let’s look at raw specs first. Fitbit Sense 2 users gain a larger 1.58-inch AMOLED screen that’s deep and clear. It’s housed in an IPX8-rated body that’s water resistant up to 50 meters. The Pixel Watch packs a smaller screen but also employs AMOLED technology. Google claims a brightness of up to 1,000 nits, so it should be as legible outside as the Fitbit Sense line. It is also water resistant up to 50 meters, and it packs 32GB of storage for music and other files. The Fitbit Sense 2 does not include onboard music storage facilities. That’s a big win for the Pixel Watch.

For those who must have LTE connectivity, the Pixel Watch is the only watch that’ll sate your appetite. You’ll also get on-wrist calls alongside emergency SOS and emergency international calling features. Google’s also planning to introduce fall detection to the Pixel Watch this winter, something all Fitbit devices lack.

For those who must have LTE connectivity, the Pixel Watch is the only watch that'll sate your appetite.

Now for fitness features. We billed the original Fitbit Sense as a feature-packed smartwatch loaded with sensors to augment health tracking. Its sequel lives up to these expectations, packing the same ECG, SpO2, and heart rate tracking smarts as before. Interestingly, it makes some advancements to stress tracking. It now includes a Body Response sensor that continuously samples the wearer’s electrodermal activity and gauges stress level. It’s an intriguing addition but does chew through battery life.

The Pixel Watch lacks health features compared to its Fitbit rival. You won’t find any stress tracking sensor or body temperature monitor onboard, but you will get the same capabilities as the Sense 2 minus stress monitoring smarts and functional SpO2 sensor. This combo should suffice for most mildly active users, but it’s nothing special. The Sense 2 remains the better fitness product.

Both watches include Fitbit Premium trials, allowing access to more meaningful health stats and guided workouts. Be aware that the trial lasts only six months on both devices, after which you’ll have to pay $9.99 monthly to continue access.

fitbit sense 2 vs google pixel watch on wrist
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The Fitbit Sense also gains some Wear OS-inspired design additions, including tiles, bolder fonts, and brighter icons. You’ll still have to contend with Fitbit OS and its limitations. You won’t find the array of apps on the Fitbit Sense 2 that you would on the Wear OS-powered Pixel Watch. That’s true for third-party apps and Google-made services.

Speaking of the latter, while Fitbit does promise Google Maps and Google Wallet support on the Fitbit Sense, the features have yet to arrive on the watch. Additionally, its predecessor packed Google Assistant support as one of its big-ticket features, but it’s nowhere to be found on the Sense 2. Google claims it has no plans to support Assistant on the watch, a huge miss for those upgrading to the Sense 2 from older Fitbit products.

As for the Pixel Watch, Wear OS gives it access to a broad list of third-party apps, making it a more useful smartwatch. You’re also getting Google support and services, from the new Google Home app and Google Maps support to Find My Phone smarts. For those who rely on Google apps daily, the Pixel Watch is the no-brainer option of the two.

More reading: The Pixel Watch is the reason your new Fitbit smartwatch is dumber


Price and colors

Google Pixel Watch settings menu
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority
  • Google Pixel Watch (Wi-Fi): $349 / €379
  • Google Pixel Watch (LTE): $399 / €429
  • Fitbit Sense 2: $299 / £269 / €299

The Fitbit Sense 2 is available in a single guise, but buyers can choose from an array of body finishes and band colors. Shadow Grey, Lunar White, and Blue Mist are the bands on offer alongside Graphite, Platinum, and Soft Gold case shades.

Pricing is pegged at $299 for the Fitbit Sense 2, shading its predecessor’s launch price. It’s still substantially cheaper than the Pixel Watch, but it’s a less appealing proposition than its now more affordable and smarter predecessor.

Fitbit Sense 2
Fitbit Sense 2
Excellent display • Hard to beat battery-life • Reliable SoC
A smartwatch with an impressive endurance.
The Sense 2 is an even more powerful health tool than the original with its latest version of EDA technology providing more accurate results. It is also equipped with a better fast-charging battery and it'll last nearly a whole week without charging.

The Pixel Watch is available with LTE or in a Wi-Fi-only variant. The former is priced at $399, putting it some $100 beyond the Fitbit Sense 2. The cheaper Wi-Fi-only model comes in at $349. Case colors include Matte Black, Polished Silver, and Champagne Gold, with bands landing in Obsidian, Charcoal, Chalk, Lemongrass, and Hazel. Additional woven, stretch, and leather bands will also be on offer as premium accessories.

Notably, Google’s planning a limited rollout for the Pixel Watch, but it will see official availability in Australia, Canada, the EU, Japan, Taiwan, the United States, and the UK.

Google 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.

Interestingly, both Fitbit and Google watches are markedly more expensive than direct competition from Samsung and in some cases, Garmin and Apple. This makes the Pixel Watch and Fitbit Sense 2 tough to recommend in the smartwatch space.


Google Pixel Watch vs Fitbit Sense 2 specs

Fitbit Sense 2Google Pixel Watch
Display
Fitbit Sense 2
1.58-inch AMOLED
336 x 336 resolution
Always-on display supported
Google Pixel Watch
41mm
320ppi AMOLED display with DCI-P3 color
Custom 3D Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Brightness boost up to 1000 nits
Always-on display supported
Dimensions and weight
Fitbit Sense 2
40.5 x 40.5 x 11.2mm
46g
Google Pixel Watch
41mm diameter
12.3mm height
36g
Colors and materials
Fitbit Sense 2
Aluminum case
Shadow Grey band / Graphite Aluminum case
Lunar White band / Platinum Aluminum case
Blue Mist band / Soft Gold Aluminum case
Google Pixel Watch
80% recycled stainless steel case
Matte Black case / Obsidian band
Polished Silver case / Charcoal or Chalk band Champagne Gold case / Hazel band
Battery
Fitbit Sense 2
162mAh
Charge time (0-100%): Two hours
Google Pixel Watch
294mAh
Up to 24 hours
USB-C magnetic charging cable
Storage
Fitbit Sense 2
4GB (OS only)
Google Pixel Watch
32GB
Connectivity
Fitbit Sense 2
NFC
Built-in GPS / GLONASS
Bluetooth 5.0
Google Pixel Watch
4G LTE and UMTS
Bluetooth 5.0
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz
NFC
GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo
Sensors
Fitbit Sense 2
Microphone
Heart rate
EDA / cEDA
ECG (in select areas)
SpO2
Gyroscope
Altimeter
3-axis accelerometer
Skin temperature
Ambient light
Google Pixel Watch
Compass
Altimeter
Blood oxygen sensor (inactive)
Multipurpose electrical sensor
Optical heart rate sensor
Accelerometer
Gyroscope
Ambient light sensor
Durability
Fitbit Sense 2
IPX8
5ATM water resistance
Google Pixel Watch
5ATM water resistance
Software
Fitbit Sense 2
Fitbit OS
Google Pixel Watch
Wear OS 3.5
Compatibility
Fitbit Sense 2
Android and iOS
Google Pixel Watch
Android 8.0 and newer

Google Pixel Watch vs Fitbit Sense 2: Which should you buy?

Realistically? You shouldn’t buy either watch. The Fitbit Sense 2 has flaws that its new fitness features can’t outweigh. The Google Pixel Watch, although the latest flavor in the smartwatch world, isn’t quite the value proposition we were hoping it would be. Yes, it has the best loadout of Google services and apps for your wrist with Fitbit’s health tracking smarts playing support. Still, its meager battery life promise, outdated chipset, and lofty price make it far less attractive than the Samsung Galaxy Watch line.

If you were forced to pick between the Fitbit Sense 2 and the Google Pixel Watch, you’d need to ask yourself what you want from a smartwatch.

The Fitbit Sense 2 has more advanced health tracking features, with continuous stress monitoring, skin temperature and heart rate monitoring, and a built-in ECG. This part of the Fitbit experience is tried and trusted, too, while Google’s implementation of Fitbit will still require some thorough testing. On paper, the Sense 2 is the better fitness watch.

fitbit sense 2 vs google pixel watch buttons
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

However, if you’re interested in a smartwatch for the “smart” aspect, the Google Pixel Watch should be your first choice. With its deep Google service integration, ability to store and play music offline, LTE connectivity, and built-in Google Assistant smarts, it’s the sensible option.

Read more: Google Pixel Watch vs Samsung Galaxy Watch lineup


Which smartwatch do you think wins between the Google Pixel Watch and the Fitbit Sense 2? And which are you more likely to buy? Be sure to let us know in the poll below.

Will you be buying the Google Pixel Watch or the Fitbit Sense 2?

422 votes