The new Pixel Watch 2 is expected to arrive in October, but even months before the official announcement, leaked details reveal a lot about the upcoming watch.
First, Google is expected to address the biggest pain point of the original watch: the battery life. The new Pixel Watch 2 has only slightly larger battery, but the bigger difference maker is the new Snapdragon W5 chip which is far more efficient.
But let’s explore what else has changed and whether the Pixel Watch 2 has fixed all of the flaws of the original.
Google Pixel Watch 2 vs Pixel Watch 1: differences
- Very similar design
- One size
- Pixel Watch 2 has newer processor
- Pixel Watch 2 uses aluminum instead of stainless steel body
- Slightly larger battery size
- “Coach” workouts
- cEDA sensor for stress tracking
- New watch faces
Table of Contents:
Design & Sizes
Same look, slight differences
The Pixel Watch 2 is expected to look extremely similar to the first-gen Pixel Watch, with a round body and the same, smallish 41mm size.
Unfortunately, Google is expected to release only one size of the Pixel Watch 2, and just turn a blind eye to all those people who wanted to see a bigger sized version. Maybe next year.
The overall design remains unchanged: you have a digital crown and above it one button that shows you recently used apps with one press, while holding it starts the Google Assistant. You also have a speaker, so the Google Assistant will voice its replies using it. That speaker, however, will not play music.
New bands expected
Another thing that remains unchanged in the second gen Pixel Watch is the band swap system.
Google introduced its own quick swap system where you kind of press and turn a hidden button on the side of the watch to insert bands, and this system has received mixed reviews. We don’t mind it, but some other people find it hard to get used to. At the end of the day, it’s not changing.
Software & Features
Slight improvements, new Coach feature
So Google relies on a tight Fitbit integration to give you a bunch of health and fitness data, but it locks a few features behind a monthly subscription.
Most of those are really advanced features, so a Fitbit Premium subscription just does not make a lot of sense for most people at the moment.
One new feature coming to the Pixel Watch 2 is coaching, which will help you hit your workout goals. We still don’t know whether this will be a Fitbit Premium feature, or whether it will be free for everyone to access, but we will keep you posted when we learn more.
One new sensor is also coming to the Pixel Watch 2 and that is a cEDA (continuous electrodermal activity) sensor for stress tracking.
This one is interesting and it’s already present on some Fitbit devices like the Sense 2. What it does is examine sweat levels, heart rate, heart rate variability (HRV), skin temperature and sleep data and then running all that data through an algorithm, which looks for sudden changes in these measurements. If it detects such a change, you get a prompt so you can know when you are stressed and possibly take action such as breathe or take a walks. You also have a Fitbit Stress Management Score if you want to see a number.
We are yet to learn about changes to workout and sleep tracking, and we will be updating this article with more information as it comes in.
Battery and Charging
New chip and slightly larger battery make the difference
The battery life of the original Pixel Watch was definitely one of its weak sides and many users complained about it.
The new Pixel Watch 2 makes some changes with the big difference maker being the more power efficient Snapdragon W5 chip, but also a small 4% increase in battery size. Here are the numbers:
- Pixel Watch 2 41mm battery size: 306 mAh (+4%)
- Pixel Watch 1 41mm battery size: 294 mAh
- Galaxy Watch 6 40mm battery size: 300 mAh (+5.6%)
- Galaxy Watch 5 40mm battery size: 284 mAh
- Apple Watch Series 8 41mm battery size: 282 mAh
What does this mean in real life? Well, too early to tell.
The first-gen Pixel Watch was rated for 24 hours in smartwatch mode and 12 hours in GPS mode, but in real life use it barely lasted a full day when you work out.
We would not expect miracles out of the second-gen, but you should at least be able to go through a full day easier.
The Pixel Watch 2 is expected to use the same magnetic charging puck as the first one, and that one was a bit of a paint. The magnetic connection was just too weak and it was almost impossible to have the watch laying flat when charging, it had to be tilted to the side.
Google does not seem to be changing the pricing of the Pixel Watch 2, and just like the original you should expect to pay $350 for the Wi-Fi version and $400 for the cellular model.
At this price, the Pixel Watch is more expensive than a Galaxy Watch 6 of a similar size, and is just a bit cheaper than an Apple Watch. It has to improve significantly in order to justify that price.
Voice Calls and Haptics
Both the Pixel Watch 2 and the first-gen model can make and take calls, which is a nice convenience to have.
Haptics were quite pleasant on the first generation, so we don’t expect much to change.
Here is an overview of the Pixel Watch 2 vs Pixel Watch 1 specs:
The noticeable changes here are the new processor and slightly larger battery size.
At the end of the day, the Pixel Watch 2 definitely shapes up to be that mature Google watch that the first generation wasn’t.
It aims to fix the battery life issue, and it improves upon of number of other features, but with no larger version, it’s still held back by its own design.
Would you finally jump on the Pixel Watch band wagon with the second generation? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.