Through its software part and its smartwatches, Google is now a key player in the connected watch market. After its first half-hearted Pixel Watch, both promising but also suffering from design difficulties, the brand returns this year with its Pixel Watch 2. If it wants to correct the faults of its predecessor, in particular with better autonomy, new features and many more, is it significantly better? To answer this question, we tested it for you.
A Perfectly Circular Pebble-Shaped Design
At first glance, the Google Pixel Watch 2 has the same design as that of the first model but with some modifications, notably in terms of its weight and the crown. In fact, it has been reworked to present more rounded shapes compared to its predecessor. We, therefore, remain on a small, perfectly circular dial with a diameter of 41 mm and a thickness of 12.3 mm with a rotating crown and a button accessible from its edges.
As a note, this relatively small format puts it at a disadvantage compared to other connected watches on the market, such as the Apple Watch 9 (45 mm) or the Galaxy Watch 6 (44 mm). Its steel shell is abandoned in favor of recycled aluminum, which results in it losing 5 grams. Thirty-one grams compared to 36 grams for the Pixel Watch, a weight loss that is not particularly felt on the wrist.
The Pixel Watch 2 has been designed to meet a waterproof rating of 5 ATM, so it can withstand diving up to 50 meters. This smartwatch is a natural everyday accessory. With six new families of dials, ranging from simple to subtle to expressive and colorful, you can personalize it according to your style and taste and let your personality shine.
An Unchanged Screen
As with the first generation, the Pixel Watch 2 is equipped with a round OLED panel with a resolution of 450 x 450 pixels, or 320 PPI. Its screen is protected by slightly refined Gorilla Glass 5 3D. However, we notice that the borders remain as thick as in the initial model, which is unpleasant.
Able to go up to 1,000 cd/m 2, it is easily readable, even in direct sunlight, but still cannot challenge the models offered by Samsung or Apple. Moreover, the Cupertino giant has set new standards with its Apple Watch 9, which can reach up to 2,000 cd/m 2.
Although it is small, the Pixel Watch 2 has a lot under the hood! Indeed, it is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 5100 chip as well as a Cortex-M33 processor. It also offers 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage, which allows you to manage data from different sensors.
With Google’s connected watch, precision and versatility are there because its heart rate and electrodermal activity sensors are more advanced. What’s more, they are supported by improved algorithms.
Running on Wear OS 4.0 and coupled with the Fitbit ecosystem, we are dealing with a perfect system here. Not only is the Pixel Watch 2 easy to use, but it is more customizable, and its accessibility is significantly improved. It now offers features like bold text and better text-to-speech, as well as new apps that help you get more done.
Among the new applications it integrates, Gmail and Calendar are some of the most exciting and helpful on a daily basis. It actually allows you to accept or decline events. You can also check your inbox anywhere, directly from your smartwatch.
New Safety Features And Sensors For Optimal Health Monitoring
A connected watch must be at least sport and health-oriented, something that the first generation was unable to do. However, Google has made improvements to its Pixel Watch 2 to make it an excellent companion for both regular users and athletes. In this regard, it offers more than 70 exercises here with personalized monitoring, voice and haptic alerts that guide you during your activity.
As mentioned above, the Pixel Watch 2 features a new multi-point sensor. To improve its precision, it is therefore capable of automatically switching from one to several LEDs depending on the intensity of the effort. Comparing it with an abdominal heart rate belt, the result is impressive, as it follows the rhythm precisely. Even if there are very slight differences, we find the same variations, the same average and the same maximum on the two devices.
New features that we find super interesting with Google’s smartwatch are its fall detection and emergency SOS functions. In the event of a sudden fall, your watch can effectively provide first aid. It also gives you the possibility of sharing medical data in the event of an emergency. However, it should be noted that this option is only available in some countries and depends on network connectivity and many other factors.
Last but not least, the element to mention about the Pixel Watch 2 is its stress detection function. By tracking your body’s responses, it helps you identify potential signs of stress. To determine your pressure peaks is based on continuous electrodermal activity, variations in heart rate and skin temperature. In the event of an anomaly, it sends you a notification, which allows you to react quickly.
Improved Battery Life
One of the most significant weaknesses of the first generation of Google smartwatches is undoubtedly its autonomy. But don’t worry! This time, the American giant has made significant progress with its Pixel Watch 2. With a 306 mAh battery, compared to 294 mAh for the previous model, it can last up to 24 hours in use, but with the ‘Always-On activated.
A small change has also been made to the charger. Unlike the magnet of its predecessor, it now has four small pins that help hold the watch in place. Moreover, it imposes a direction on the clock; that is to say, if the back of the eye is not correctly positioned facing the coils, the charger will push it back. Still, on this subject, the Pixel Watch 2 is capable of fully recharging after an hour and a quarter.
What We Liked The Most
- More performance
- A well-kept and elegant design
- An exact heart sensor
- A complete Fitbit app
- A new range of applications
- A rich Wear OS ecosystem
What We Liked Least
- Fairly fair autonomy
- Quite a small size
- Slightly thick screen borders
- No standard bracelet
- Two accounts are required for use (Google and Fitbit)
After the first generation, which served as a rough draft, Google has put all the effort into its new connected watch by correcting all the errors of the first generation. Thanks to its new Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 5100 chip, the Pixel Watch 2 is now smoother. Its applications, therefore, open more quickly for a better user experience.
Added to this is its autonomy, which can exceed an entire day, but also its sensors, which demonstrate advanced precision, the complete Fitbit application and the incredible richness of the Wear OS ecosystem. Thus, the Pixel Watch 2 is suitable for both application and sports uses. With the release of this smartwatch, the American brand is on the right track, but we still hope for further improvements, thinner screen borders and, of course, new sizes for future models.
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