Googles Pixel Watch Is An Elegant Smartwatch With Tons Of Fitness And Health Features

Googles Pixel Watch Is An Elegant Smartwatch With Tons Of Fitness And Health Features

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Wednesday 12 October 2022

After years of rumors, Google (GOOG, GOOGL) has finally launched the Pixel Watch.

The company entered the market by providing software to hardware partners such as Samsung and Michael Kors. But this is the first time that Google dominates the development of software and hardware.

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See, the Pixel Watch, which starts at $349 with Wi-Fi or $399 with LTE, is a cross between Google and Fitbit, which the tech giant will own for $2.1 billion by 2021. It's an interesting lineup on paper, and it comes down to Expectation Level and then some. It's easily the best-looking piece of hardware since Apple ( AAPL ) introduced the watch in 2015. They definitely have a lot of features for fitness and health tracking.

However, the always-on battery life isn't as good as the $279 Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 or the $399 Apple Watch. Although it seems to get better from time to time. The screen is characterized by a rather large ring that leaves space on the sides.

Overall, the Pixel Watch is a capable smartwatch with excellent design and software. The Apple Watch won't dethrone itself as the best smartwatch, but it will finally put Android watches on par with Apple's offering.

Peak in crowded market

Pixel Watch's design is very simple and compact. It has a standard circular body with a single button that displays recent apps and a digital crown to return to the apps page and the home screen. Overall, this is one of my favorite smartwatches. Samsung's Galaxy Watch 5 also has a round face, but Google uses polished materials to make the Pixel watch look like a high-tech trinket.

And while the Apple Watch looks great, the Pixel Watch is different enough to grab the attention of die-hard Apple fans. Heck, I just bought an Apple Watch Series 8 and felt guilty opening the Pixel Watch box.

While Apple offers two sizes for the Apple Watch, a 41mm option for those with smaller wrists and a 45mm option for larger wrists, the Pixel Watch comes in a 41mm size. I usually wear a 45mm Apple Watch, but I don't find the Pixel Watch particularly small. Text messages from Slack messages, emails or messages about Mets losses were clearly visible and the buttons were easily clickable.

My only criticism of the Pixel Watch's design is the large bezels. They are almost invisible when using most clocks when blended with a black background. But if you use a photophone, it will take up less space to display more text.

Samsung and Apple offer watches with smaller bezels, giving you more room to view content at once, which is useful if you want to check your watch while running.

Fitness with Fitbit

While the design of the Pixel Watch certainly deserves mention, the inclusion of Fitbit's fitness and health tracking software sets this watch apart from the competition. That means you'll get fitness tracking for a variety of workouts, from swimming and running to yoga and rowing.

As you exercise, you'll see your overall progress, including data such as heart rate zone, distance, calories burned and active zone minutes. Active Zone Minutes is Fitbit's fitness tracker that calculates the number of minutes your heart is working harder than usual based on your weight and other stats.

My only criticism of the Pixel Watch Workout Tracker is the inability to control the music while exercising from the Fitbit app. Instead, you have to press the recent apps button to open Spotify and change songs or increase or decrease the volume. It's not easy when you're on the road and you don't want to get stuck in traffic.

Google chooses Fitbit's readiness score as an important metric for Pixel Watch users. The feature takes into account things like your sleep patterns, recent workouts and heart rate fluctuations to let you know if you need more rest or if you're ready for a full workout. However, you must subscribe to Fitbit Premium to access the app-ready screen.

The service, which costs $9.99 a month or $79.99 a year, includes things like guided workouts, health stats for the past 90 days and sleep tracking. Google offers 6 months of Fitbit Premium for free, after which you need to save money. But you don't need Premium to use the watch's native features, just the Fitbit app.

Long battery life, like

This is where the Pixel Watch hits the wall. Google advertises the watch's 24-hour battery life with the screen off. And that's what I got. However, if you turn on the always-on display, you'll get more than 12 hours of battery life.

The Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 will last you all day and then some with always-on displays. To be clear, this isn't exactly a deal breaker, as the Pixel Watch still does everything you'd expect it to, but it's certainly hard to think of as an attractive watch. However, towards the end of my review I noticed a slight improvement in battery life.

In terms of performance, the Pixel Watch was just as fast as you'd expect from a smartwatch. I've noticed a few glitches here and there, like double-clicking recent apps or the crown to activate Google Pay, but they're rare.

You have to get it

The Pixel Watch is a great piece of technology with great fitness and health tracking capabilities. This ultimately makes Google a unique hardware manufacturer capable of making some serious gadgets. And sure, the edges could be smaller, but I'm not too focused on that.

However, the always-on display is active and the watch's battery is stronger, especially considering the watch's higher price tag. However, if you are an Android user and are looking for a strong smartwatch competitor, then Pixel Watch is definitely one of the best options compared to Samsung's offerings. It doesn't beat the Apple Watch as the best smartwatch, but it sure is close.

Daniel Hawley , technical writer for Yahoo Finance. To follow DanielHowley

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Google Pixel Watch is finally here! Great, but are there precautions?!