July 17, 2024
I used to be fully fallacious concerning the Google Pixel Watch 2
I used to be fully fallacious concerning the Google Pixel Watch 2
A top view of someone wearing the Google Pixel Watch 2.
Joe Maring / Digital Tendencies

As a tech reviewer, a part of my job is to assessment/take a look at each new gadget with as a lot of a good, unbiased perspective as I can. However I’ve a confession to make: I actually didn’t need to use the Google Pixel Watch 2 after I obtained my assessment unit.

Why? I didn’t like the primary Pixel Watch in any respect. I hated the big bezels, the efficiency was dangerous, the battery didn’t final lengthy sufficient, and it was lacking important well being/health options. When Google introduced the Pixel Watch 2, I went into the watch assuming I’d hate it simply as a lot as the primary one.

What truly occurred was the polar reverse. I’ve been carrying the Pixel Watch 2 for over a month and have had a beautiful time with it. It’s by no means what I anticipated it to be, and I’m so, so completely satisfied I used to be fallacious about it.

The Pixel Watch design is rising on me

The Google Pixel Watch 2 resting on a stone fireplace.
Joe Maring / Digital Tendencies

So many issues concerning the Pixel Watch 2 have been stunning — one of many largest being its design. The Pixel Watch 2 seems to be nearly equivalent to its predecessor, that includes the identical small case measurement and huge show bezels. However for no matter motive, I prefer it much more this yr.

Though I’d nonetheless love for Google to supply extra case sizes with the Pixel Watch 3, the present 41mm physique is rising on me. Going to it from the Apple Watch Extremely 2 was a shock at first, however I’ve come round to fairly liking how the Pixel Watch 2 seems to be on my wrist. It’s smooth and refined, and the domed glass across the display screen actually is attractive. The bezels are nonetheless annoying, sure, however in addition they haven’t been a deal-breaker over the previous month.

A close-up view of someone wearing the Google Pixel Watch 2, showing the rotating crown.
Joe Maring / Digital Tendencies

And whereas the general design isn’t all that totally different, Google did make some small (however vital) {hardware} upgrades this yr. The rotating crown, which felt low cost and stiff on the primary Pixel Watch, feels a lot higher on the Pixel Watch 2. It rotates easily, the haptic suggestions is nice, and the best way menus/lists scroll if you use the crown is extra pure, too. It’s nonetheless no Apple Watch Digital Crown, but it surely’s a large year-over-year enchancment.

There’s one other change I fairly like, although it’s one you possibly can’t see. As a substitute of utilizing chrome steel prefer it did final yr, the physique of the Pixel Watch 2 is made out of 100% recycled aluminum. It nonetheless has a shiny end and appears like chrome steel at first look, but it surely’s lighter than earlier than and has been (for my part) barely extra comfy to put on.

Dangerous battery life? What dangerous battery life?

The Google Pixel Watch 2's charging puck.
Andy Boxall / Digital Tendencies

The primary Pixel Watch garnered fairly cut up opinions relating to its design, however there’s one factor everybody might agree on: it didn’t have significantly good battery life. Google used a processor from 2018 in final yr’s Pixel Watch, and it confirmed. The Pixel Watch might get via a full day of use, however simply barely. And in the event you needed to put on it to trace your sleep, you have been usually compelled to cost it earlier than mattress. It wasn’t an excellent expertise.

Throughout my testing, the Google Pixel Watch 2 has been considerably higher. When utilizing the Pixel Watch 2 to trace exercises and obtain dozens of notifications all through the day, I usually don’t must cost the watch till the late morning or early afternoon of my second day carrying it. And that features having the always-on show enabled and utilizing it for sleep monitoring. It’s actually fairly spectacular.

Someone wearing the Google Pixel Watch 2 with a yellow/green fabric band.
Joe Maring / Digital Tendencies

I’ve additionally been pleasantly pleased with the brand new charger. As a substitute of a wi-fi charging puck like its predecessor used, the Pixel Watch 2 opts for a magnetic four-pin charging cradle. The charger itself feels a bit low cost, but it surely latches on to the Pixel Watch 2 securely, doesn’t make the watch too heat, and fills up the battery shortly.

Battery life was one of many most important issues that stored me away from the unique Pixel Watch, however amazingly, Google fully resolved these complaints with the Pixel Watch 2. Bravo, Google. Bravo.

The Fitbit expertise is getting there

The back of the Google Pixel Watch 2.
Joe Maring / Digital Tendencies

I additionally want to offer props to how a lot Google has improved the Fitbit aspect of the Pixel Watch 2. The primary Pixel Watch was high quality for primary well being/health monitoring, but it surely additionally lacked lots of actually key options, with automated exercise detection being certainly one of them.

As soon as once more, Google addressed my complaints head-on with the Pixel Watch 2. The Pixel Watch 2 does help automated exercise monitoring, and it really works rather well — typically even higher than my Apple Watch. The pores and skin temperature sensor has additionally been a welcome addition, as has the cEDA sensor. If I’m feeling confused, excited, or nervous about one thing, the Pixel Watch 2 does an excellent job of detecting these modifications in my physique and alerting me to them. It’s not all the time probably the most useful factor, but it surely’s a pleasant addition that I’ll miss when utilizing different wearables.

The home page of the Fitbit app on an Android phone.
Joe Maring / Digital Tendencies

Equally, I’m a giant fan of the redesigned Fitbit app. It has an interface that now feels proper at dwelling with different Google apps, and whereas the structure/data is essentially the identical, it feels extra organized and fewer daunting than it used to.

I’m nonetheless not an enormous fan of what number of options are locked behind Fitbit Premium, however the general health package deal is a notable improve in comparison with final yr. Google’s heading in the right direction right here, and I’m excited to see the way it retains rising within the months/years forward.

I can’t imagine how good the Pixel Watch 2 is

A person sitting down and wearing the Google Pixel Watch 2.
Joe Maring / Digital Tendencies

Once I wore the unique Google Pixel Watch, I shortly discovered myself counting down the times till I’d have the ability to take it off. I attempted my finest to love it and provides it the good thing about the doubt, but it surely’s not a smartwatch I ever really loved. In the meantime, the Pixel Watch 2 has been extraordinarily easygoing.

I exploit the Pixel Watch 2 to trace my sleep and exercises, hold tabs on my notifications, set timers, and so forth. I’m doing all of this with out excited about how dangerous the crown is, how horrible the battery life is, or how I’m lacking health options that I’d actually prefer to have. It’s an incredibly nice person expertise, and it’s actually caught me off guard by way of how a lot I’ve favored dwelling with the smartwatch.

The Pixel Watch 2 fully modified my opinion of the Pixel Watch as an entire.

I feel that’s what’s caught out to me most concerning the Pixel Watch 2. I’m going via every day with it on my wrist with nary a criticism. That by no means occurred with the Pixel Watch 1, however that’s been a recurring expertise with its successor. The Google Pixel Watch 2 isn’t a game-changer within the smartwatch panorama, however it’s a surprisingly glorious gadget.

The Pixel Watch 2 managed to fully change my opinion of the Pixel Watch as an entire, and as we head into 2024, I genuinely can’t wait to see what Google does with the following technology. I don’t usually like being confirmed fallacious, however on this case, I’m thrilled that I used to be.

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