WIN A VICTRIX PRO BFG CONTROLLER
Google Pixel Watch 2 Review

Google Pixel Watch 2 Review – A Solid Step Forward

Some good improvements!

I was a big fan of the Google Pixel Watch last year. It went in a totally different direction design-wise, with its circular design, and paired really nicely with the Google Pixel to provide a great experience for those that owned both devices, but it definitely had some shortcomings.

A lot of those have been largely rectified this year for a much more refined experience that feels more in-line with other premium smart watch experiences.

Not that I had a huge issue with the physical design of the Watch last year, the Watch 2 is 10% lighter than last year’s model due to the fact that it’s made from 100% recycled aluminium, and has a larger crown that feels a little bit more grippier and easier to grab onto for cycling through screens.

Google Pixel Watch 2 Review

One of the main issues last year that I had with the design, was that the screen looked fantastic when it was on, but due to the poor battery life, to utilise the always-on display, you had to severely sacrifice battery life to the point that it wasn’t turned on by default.

That’s no longer an issue with the Pixel Watch 2. Out of the box, the always-on display is turned on by default, and you can expect close to 24 hours of battery life with it turned on which is a huge, huge improvement over last year’s model and puts it in-line with the best watches from other brands.

READ OUR PIXEL 8/8 PRO REVIEW HERE

This goes a long way to helping the overall design of the watch and in my opinion, really helps it become one of the best looking smart watches among the board. I really like the colourful watch faces that Google has introduced this year, in-line with what’s available in the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro.

Google Pixel Watch 2 Review

Just like last year, the pairing process between the Pixel 8 Pro and the Pixel Watch 2 was seamless, with me just having to bring the devices together, getting my apps installed and getting it all updated. From this moment, I was then able to then customise the experience from the Pixel 8 Pro with ease.

@shannongrixti

The Google Pixel 8 & 8 Pro are the smartest phones that I’ve used with some insanely bright displays as well #GooglePixel #GooglePixel8 #GooglePixel8Pro #Google #Unboxing #MobilePhone #Smartphone #Unboxing #Tech

♬ original sound – Shannon Grixti | Gaming & Tech

I said it last year, but I still really love the Tiles feature. Whilst swiping left and right on the Apple Watch display just takes you between watch faces, Google has cleverly made it so swiping left and right from the watch face on the Pixel Watch takes you between tiles that are basically full screen glances on things such as weather, Google Maps (with favourite destinations), your Google Home app, FitBit sleep/fitness measurements, calendar appointments and a timer to name a few.

Google Pixel Watch 2 Review

It’s still a huge advantage that you can ask Google anything on your watch and it delivers with super helpful responses in a timely fashion. It’s unmatched by any other assistant on your wrist. There’s a couple of new apps out of the box as well with Gmail letting you read your emails on your watch and Calendar letting you accept or decline events too. Looking back, I’m a little surprised these weren’t on the watch last year, but they’re great additions.

Smart watches are used to measure health more than anything else these days, and the Pixel Watch 2 has made some big improvements here as well. There’s three new sensors all which go a long way to help your measure your health. The first is a new heart rate sensor that produces more accurate heart rate readings (Google says 40% more accurate for exercises such as HIIT or rowing) which results in more accurate readings for the likes of calories burned to daily readiness score.

Fibit’s Body Response feature also comes to the Pixel Watch 2 thanks to the cEDA sensor. This can detect signs of stress taking into account heart rate, heart rate variability and skin temperature, with the watch sending you a notification when it feels that you’re feeling positive or negative emotions, so that you can reflect on these and maybe identify what’s causing them.

Google Pixel Watch 2 Review

In-line with other smart watches, the Pixel Watch 2 also has a temperature sensor which isn’t really supposed to be used to measure your temperature all-day, every day, but rather over time with it tracking your temperature whilst you sleep to give you a long-term indication.

In terms of exercise, there’s new features including the ability to automatically start and stop exercises including running and outdoor cycling and new heart rate zone coaching and pace training features to stay on track with your workout goals by offering you real-time feedback as you train.

I still find the integration of Fitbit a tiny bit clunky on the Pixel Watch 2. It’s fine and totally works, but it doesn’t feel as integrated as say the Apple Watch and Health do. All the information is there, but it doesn’t totally feel like one unified Google experience.

Google Pixel Watch 2 Review

Safety is such an important part of any tech experience these days and the Pixel Watch 2 has made some improvements here too. Medical ID lets you put important medical information on your wrist so that if you’re in an emergency people have access to your allergies, blood types and other pre-existing conditions, but a fantastic feature is Safety Check.

This allows you to basically choose an activity and set a timer for the length you expect it to take, before you then send a message to up to 15 contacts so that they know what you’re doing and for how long. If you don’t check in once the timer is up, your contacts will get an alert along with your location on Google Maps, so that you can feel safe in whatever activity you’re performing and your loved ones can feel safe with that knowledge too.

All-in-all, the Pixel Watch 2 feels like a really solid improvement on last year’s model and if you’re someone that uses it daily and enjoys the experience, I would recommend updating for the battery life improvements alone.

Google Pixel Watch 2 Review
CONCLUSION
The Google Pixel Watch 2 improves in many areas that the original model lacked in. It has a much better battery life which lets the always-on display shine and new health and safety features that make it worthy of sitting on your wrist.
Loved
Always-On Display Now Actually Useable
Better Battery Life
More Health Features
New Safety Apps Are Great
Didn't Love
Fitbit Integration Still Feels A Little Distant