Google Pixel Watch test: a real competitor to the Apple Watch?

The Pixel Watch is Google’s first attempt at creating a smartwatch under its own brand. Its design is simple and elegant, and its dimensions are small enough to fit on most wrists. However, the real highlight is the integration of Fitbit technologies (owned by Google). This allows you to take advantage of health monitoring features.

No matter what, let’s face it, the Pixel Watch isn’t going to replace a Garmin watch or an outdoor sports watch. I think the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is still the best choice for this target audience. The Google Watch won’t satisfy demanding users who want long battery life and advanced sports tracking features either. Rather, they aim to be smartwatches for Android users, like the Apple Watch is for the iPhone.


  • Screen : 320ppi AMOLED touchscreen
  • CPU : Samsung Exynos 9110
  • materials : 80% recycled stainless steel and Gorilla Glass 5.
  • RAM/Storage : 2 GB/32 GB
  • Connection : WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS/GLONASS/Galileo/BeiDou, LTE (optional)
  • Sensors : accelerometer, altimeter, compass, optical heart rate monitor, blood oxygen sensor, gyroscope, light sensor.
  • Battery : 294 mAh, up to 24 hours of normal use.
  • Dimensions/weight : 41 x 41 x 12.3 mm and 36 grams (without bracelet).
  • Price : €379.99 / €429.99 (4G)

Made by Google

At first glance, the Google Pixel Watch appears to be a simple domed round screen that fits into a stainless steel case. The front is very beautiful and perfectly matte. What worries me is what is said about its ability to withstand blows and the vicissitudes of life (if you hit it against a wall while being carried, for example). There is nothing to protect the screen from shock. Therefore, I would never wear it during a sports session that shakes.

The screen is quite small as the watch is only 41mm in diameter. The black border around the screen, which everyone was talking about when the watch came out, is very present. However, you don’t really notice it, especially if you’re using a dark themed watch face.

google-pixel clock-10

Image: Matthew Miller/ZDNET

The right button and the rotating crown work perfectly. The rotation of the latter is also easy thanks to the stripes that are carved there. The rounded back with heart rate sensor also fits comfortably on the wrist. Overall, Google has bent the Pixel Watch just enough to optimize comfort and ease of use, which manufacturers don’t always manage to do.


Image: Matthew Miller/ZDNET

During the presentation of the accessory, I found it difficult to remove and change the straps on the watch, so a little practice is needed if you often change the straps. The key is to press the release button along with the bracelet when you put it back on. To remove it, a slight rotation does the trick. According to Google, the mechanism is based on how camera lenses are attached and removed. Like camera lenses, the watch strap attaches securely to the base. I tested the Pixel Watch with a plastic strap, but fabric, leather, and metal strap versions are also available.

google-pixel clock-16

Image: Matthew Miller/ZDNET

Familiar Wear OS interface

The Google Pixel Watch has the same interface as the Fitbit Sense 2. It has been designed to help you quickly and easily access the main features of the watch. A quick access panel with notifications and moving between tiles can be found with a simple swipe. Meanwhile, the rotating crown comes in handy for bringing up the app launcher and Google Wallet.


Image: Matthew Miller/ZDNET

As with all Wear OS smartwatches, you can download many third-party apps and services through the Play Store. Just be aware that additional tiles will appear in your carousel as they load, and not all apps have dedicated tiles.

However, there is still work to be done, even with Google apps. Some restrictions remain, such as the Google Home app, which simply shows you have a camera in your home but requires you to raise your smartphone if you want to see what’s going on. On my Apple Watch Ultra, when I send a notification, screenshots from the camera appear. Too often the Pixel Watch says “open on phone”.

The Pixel Watch app, which should not be confused with the Google Wear OS app, is used to manage your device’s settings. This includes customizing your watch face, managing tiles, connecting to a mobile network, and more to customize your Pixel Watch to your liking.

Fitbit DNA is everywhere

The Fitbit DNA is present in every Pixel Watch. All the features of the Fitbit Sense 2 are present, except for electroskin activity detection and skin temperature detection. Oxygen saturation is also not currently measured, but this feature should come in a future update.

Otherwise, all other functions are present: sleep tracking, heart rate, etc. Simply put, the Pixel Watch offers all the features of Fitbit. GPS is also built into the watch, so you can track your outdoor activities and even get personalized readings. As I mentioned earlier, the collected data is not as reliable and detailed as, say, Garmin or Amazfit bracelets, but it is enough if you need simple measurements.

While running, you can choose to display four stats on the screen with options including distance, elapsed time, heart rate, pace, and altitude. The Pixel Watch is a very basic sports watch, like other Fitbit products, but should cater to the needs of the average athlete.

google-pixel clock-6

Image: Matthew Miller/ZDNET

Integration with Fitbit is most evident in the data the Pixel Watch collects 24/7, as well as Fitbit Premium features (which include personalized workouts). The Pixel Watch comes with a free 6-month Fitbit Premium subscription, but after that you’ll have to pay.

Still, it’s nice to have support for Fitbit features and a whole galaxy of Google services like Assistant and Wallet. However, other Pixel Watch software could be improved, such as Google Maps, which is limited to mirroring the phone’s navigation screen. Google Home functionality is also very basic, with no support for security cameras.


Google touts the Pixel Watch’s 24-hour battery life as long as the always-on display isn’t turned on. During the week of testing, I see battery drain of about 2% per hour during the night, 4% per hour with indoor training, and 20% per hour with GPS/heart rate tracking outdoors. The Pixel Watch clearly doesn’t have the week-long battery life you can get on Fitbit devices, or even the two-to-three-day battery life you can find on the latest Samsung or Apple watches. At the same time, Pixel Watch charges very quickly.


Image: Matthew Miller/ZDNET

Is the Pixel Watch Worth Considering?

If you’re thinking about buying a Pixel Watch, here are a few things to get you thinking. Please note that there is no comparison with the Apple Watch as the gadgets do not belong to the same ecosystems.

You should buy a Pixel Watch if…

  • You need the latest technology from Google, especially if you have a Pixel phone.
  • You want a Fitbit watch with the benefits of a smartwatch
  • You want a comfortable watch that can be worn 24/7.

You should consider alternatives if…

  • You want the best battery life.
  • Sports data is important to you.
  • You need a watch that can withstand shock.


The Pixel Watch has been rumored for years, and now Google is poised to make a name for itself in the wearable market. Fitbit integration is a key element in making the watch more attractive, but Google still has a lot of work to do to make it easier to use smartwatches. In particular, Google Fit, which has nothing to do with Fitbit services, is a pretty bad app.

The Pixel Watch is the perfect size for people with small wrists. This makes the watch more affordable than bulky wearables that are hitting the market. Part of the camp that favors sturdy and bulky watches, the Pixel Watch won’t stay on my wrist after this test. If Google decides to release a “Pro” variant with more endurance and impact resistance, then the discussion could resume.

Google Pixel Watch

Google Pixel Watch – best prices:

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The Google Pixel Watch isn’t the only Wear OS option available for Android users.

Source: “.com”

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