The Google Pixel Watch 2 Hopes to Win You Over With Improved Health and Fitness Features

The Google Pixel Watch 2 Hopes to Win You Over With Improved Health and Fitness Features

The 2022 Pixel Watch was Google’s first smartwatch attempt, one that had been heavily anticipated since the company scooped up Fitbit back in 2019. The watch didn’t have the most favourable reception among the Google die-hards, however, and we couldn’t crown it as the best Android smartwatch either, considering the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 outperformed it in every category. But Google has given it another go, this morning announcing the Pixel Watch 2.

The Pixel Watch 2 has a few improvements over the 1 – but the one we were hoping most for was at least a doubling in battery life. While Google hasn’t exactly delivered here, it has elsewhere.

Google Pixel Watch 2

The watch still looks the same as last year’s model, but it uses a lighter, 100 per cent recycled aluminium housing. It still looks like a blob of water has coagulated to form a perfect soft spherical shape. The buttons are more thought out this year, sitting more flush with the edges of the watch. The Pixel Watch 2 comes in four colours: Polished Silver/Bay, Polished Silver/Porcelain, Matte Black/Obsidian, and Champagne Gold/Hazel. Battery life this year is 24 hours versus the “up to” 24-hour life it had last year.

Specs at a glance

  • Diameter: 41 mm
  • Height: 12.3 mm
  • Weight:31 g (without band)
  • Battery: 24 hours (with always on)
  • Power: 306 mAh
  • Guts: Qualcomm SW5100, Cortex M33 co-processor
  • Sensors: Compass, Altimeter, Red and infrared sensors for oxygen saturation (SpO2) monitoring, Multipurpose electrical sensors compatible with ECG app, Multi-path optical heart rate sensor, 3-axis accelerometer, Gyroscope, Ambient light sensor, Electrical sensor to measure skin conductance (cEDA) for body response tracking, Skin temperature sensor, Barometer, Magnetometer
  • Compatibility: Android 8.0 or newer
  • Runs on: WearOS 4
  • Display: 3D Corning Gorilla Glass 5, 320 ppi AMOLED, always-on
  • Bands: Small and large band sizes included (small fits wrists 130-175 mm around, large fits wrists 165-210 mm around).
google pixel watch 2
Image: Google

What’s new?

Google said the Pixel Watch 2 has been “completely upgraded, inside and out”. The Watch has three sensors, including what Google is calling a “multi-path heart-rate sensor”, which will give it an advanced heart-rate tracking capability that also powers health and fitness features like sleep tracking, high and low heart rate notifications, and Daily Readiness Score. Daily Readiness Score is a Fitbit feature that requires a Fitbit Premium membership, but, you will get six months free if you buy the new watch.

There’s also the addition of a body-response sensor and skin temperature sensor that promises to deliver better insights into your sleep and overall wellness, and Google reckons the Pixel Watch 2 also has Fitbit’s most advanced stress-management features thanks to a new continuous electrodermal activity sensor (CEDA sensor). While the Watch 2 can detect moments when you’re stressed or excited, it will also offer interventions to de-stress and then afterwards prompt you to reflect on your day/week to help you better understand and manage your stress in the future.

These sensors, and the use of “advanced AI”, makes it what Google is labelling as the most advanced Fitbit device yet. The Watch 2 promises 40 per cent more accurate heart rate readings during vigorous exercise, too.

On the Watch 2, all Fitbit fitness features can now be queried – ie, you can ask the Google Assistant via the watch how you slept last night – and the Watch now has more access to Google apps like Gmail and Calendar (including the ability to reply to emails from your wrist).

The Google Pixel Watch 2 also ships with advanced safety features including emergency location sharing and medical information. There are a few things you can do with Safety Check, but one example is if you set out on a hike, with an expected return time of say 10am, if you don’t check in after it expires, Safety Check will share your location with your emergency contacts automatically.

The Pixel Watch 2 boasts an all-new quad core CPU and Google’s low-power co-processor that the company reckons will give you smooth performance and the ability to have a 24-hour battery life even with an Always On display. 30 minutes of charge will give you 50 per cent battery from dead.

You’ll also have access to six new clock faces (because remember, this thing also tells the time).

Google Pixel Watch 2
Image: Google

Google Pixel Watch 2 Australian pricing and availability

The Google Pixel Watch 2 will set you back $549 for the Wi-Fi model, $649 for 4G LTE. It is available for presale now via the Google Store, JB Hi-Fi, Officeworks, and Harvey Norman. The 4G LTE version is available through the Google Store, Telstra, JB Hi-Fi, and Optus.

Last year, the Pixel Watch debuted at the same price for both Wi-Fi and LTE models.

At its Made By Google event, Google announced the Pixel 8, Pixel 8 Pro, Pixel Watch 2, and two new colour options for the Pixel Buds. While you’re here, why not check out our daily tech deals, our guide to the best value for money NBN plans, and info on the latest phones from Apple and Samsung. Head to our dedicated Mobile tab for more. Stay tuned for our review of the new Google Pixel Watch 2.

Image: Asha Barbaschow/Gizmodo Australia

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