So last week I picked up the new Google Pixel Watch alongside the newly released Google Pixel Pro 7. I have only used the Pixel Watch for the past few days so I will have to spend more time with it before I can give you a full review but here are some initial thoughts.
As with many smartwatches these days they are packed with features and the Google Pixel Watch is no exception. I have been on a bit of a smartwatches mission this past few months and I think that Google has undoubtedly covered the bases when it comes to the smartwatches features that people have come to expect. So what features do we have going on the Google Pixel watch.
Health and fitness features
Now, this is a key point for all smartwatches, having health and fitness features packed into them. Below are some of the features that I have had a chance to look at over the couple of days that I have been using the Google Pixel watch.
This is a biggy when it comes to what the consumer wants from a smartwatch. This is one of my favourite elements of the Apple watch and you can tell that it’s an area that they have thought about. Google clearly had Fitness tracking at the front of its mind when it created the Pixel watch as it integrated with Fitbit which is great.
You will get all of the standard exercises that you will see on all smartwatches but not as many as on the Samsung Galaxy Watch or the Apple Watch but hey this is the first generation of this watch so you would expect more to come as the Google Pixel Watch evolves.
It’s nice and easy to start a workout and you will get the standard metrics such as heart rate and distance. I tried it with an outdoor walk exercise and I couldn’t seem to get the time on the screen as well which was a bit annoying as I was on the school run and needed to keep a track of the time.
Another feature that a lot of people are keen on is sleep tracking to make sure that they are getting their 7 to hours of sleep. I found it very similar to the other smartwatches, just wear it to bed and it will monitor your sleep. You can then go into the Fitbit App to check out the details such as how long you were in each of the sleep stages. I also liked that it also gives you a sleep score which is not something I have seen on other smartwatches unless you download a specific sleep app.
Heart Rate Tracking
The Google Pixel watch also has heart rate tracking built into it, so it will track your heart rate throughout the day. So you will be able to check your resting heart rate as well as your heart during exercise. There is also an ECG app that you can use but I am yet to delve into that (will come in a more detailed review).
You will need to download the Fitbit app onto your phone to get all your fitness details tracked. The app is nice and you can do most things on the free Fitbit account but for other more detailed information, you will need a Fitbit premium account.
It is a bit annoying that you need two apps on your phone, one for fitness and the other for general watch settings and setup. It would be nice to have that all in one app.
My notifications come through nice and timely and are presented in a nice manner. I do like that you can pretty much read your whole message on the Pixel Watch unlike on the Apple Watch which is handy if you don’t have your smartphone to hand.
Google Pixel Watch Design
What I would say is that this has a small watch face especially compared to the Apple Watch Ultra, it felt like a child’s watch at first when I went from the Apple Watch Ultra but you do kind of get used to it. For me it’s too small, I like to have a big watch where I can see all my notifications and fitness tracking bits nice and clearly. So if you are like me and like to have a nice big watch face then this might not be the watch for you.
A lot has already been mentioned about the bezel on the Google Pixel Watch and it is big but it’s hidden well by the fact that most of the watch faces are quite dark so it’s not something I have really noticed a great deal but it will eat into the display space.
Google Pixel Watch Crown
On this watch, we do have a crown which feels nice and familiar coming from an Apple Watch Ultra. It is nice and smooth and is a nice alternative to having to scroll through the apps or notifications with your finger.
Just up from the crown, there is a button that opens the recent apps and takes you back to the home screen. I have found that it’s not in an easy place to get to as it’s slightly under the watch face and it does take a little while to get used to it.
Always on display
the Google Pixel Watch comes with an Always on display which is nice and pretty much the same as other android watches. This will affect your battery life but not dramatically from what I have read in other articles and blog posts. You can also set your watch to bedtime mode from the Pixel watch itself so it doesn’t disturb you when you are in bed and using it for sleep tracking.
Google state that you will get a full day of battery life which the Pixel watch and yes you or at least I have. I just about made it through 24hr and that was with me using the sleep tracking, you will need to charge it pretty much as soon as you wake up though. Charging speed is OK but not as quick as the Apple Watch Ultra.
Again going from the Apple Watch Ultra to having to charge the Google Pixel Watch daily is a bit annoying. I would suggest looking at Apple Watch (check out my first impression) or the Galaxy Pro 5 if you want more battery life from your smartwatch.
This should be a good experience and so far it’s been OK. I have found that it’s plenty quick enough and responsive. The animations are nice and smooth, is it as smooth as WatchOS I would say no for now but again I have only been using the Pixel Watch for a couple of days.
The interface is nice and is the only watch outside of the Samsung galaxy watches that is using Wear os 3.5 which you would expect with it being a google smartwatch. Google are clearly working on that ecosystem which will allow them to compete with Apple and Samsung.
One of the nice touches that I found when setting up the Pixel Watch was that it automatically came up on my Google Pixel 7 Pro, making the set up process nice and easy. This again leads back to a seamless ecosystem.
The Google Pixel Watch will set you back £349 so it’s a cheaper alternative to the Apple watch but a bit more than the Samsung galaxy watch 5. So it’s positioning itself in the middle of those two stable smartwatches.
I personally got the watch for free when I bought the Pixel 7 Pro. So if you are looking at getting into the ecosystem this is a great offer from Google. This is not something you will see from Apple so it’s a nice incentive.
my first impression of this watch is that it’s a nice smartwatch and great for the first generation. I personally would have liked to have seen the option to have a bigger size like other smartwatches out there, hopefully, this is something that we will see in future generations. The software feels good and will be interesting to see how it compares in the long run against the other watches out there.
I think it will appeal to a wide audience and will only get better with time. I am not going to say whether or not I recommend this watch yet as I want to use it for a longer period of time to really see what I think and if this could be the best smartwatch for android users out there. So keep a lookout for a more in-depth review in a few weeks when I have put the Google Pixel Watch through its paces a bit more.