What’s the story?
The tech giant showed off a smartwatch that looks similar to the previous model (read our Pixel Watch review for more on that), but which promises to be smarter and longer lasting than its predecessor. Preorders are now live and the Pixel Watch 2 will start shipping on October 12. Prices start from $349 / £349 for the Wi-Fi model and $399 / £399 for the LTE version; prices in Australia have yet to be revealed to us.
What do I need to know about it?
Google has refined the Pixel Watch 2 – while it looks pretty much the same as its predecessor on the outside, there are a few minor design tweaks such as the use of more recycled aluminum to make the watch lighter, alongside a thinner glass cover.
On the inside, the smartwatch now has a more powerful chipset, while the battery life has been boosted to deliver a full day of use. Charging has also been improved to juice the watch to 50% capacity in 30 minutes.
But the biggest improvements come in the form of the Pixel Watch 2’s software capabilities. Coming with Wear OS 4 out of the box, it enables more to be done with native apps such as Gmail and Google Calendar directly on the smartwatch, while Google Assistant can better deal with health-related queries such as using sleep data to answer questions about how well a wearer slept.
Speaking of sleep, a new skin-temperature sensor can better read the heat of one’s skin and provide improved data on things like sleep tracking. Plus, heart-rate tracking has been improved thanks to a trio of new sensors. There are also smart features such as body response monitoring to detect signs of stress, auto exercise detection, and smart coaching features including haptic feedback to nudge wearers into meeting their pace while running.
For people who exercise alone, the new Safety Check feature allows you to schedule a timer for specific situations where you might want your friends or family to know your location. When the timer expires, Safety Check will prompt you to confirm you’re OK, or if you’d like to start sharing your location or contact emergency services. If it gets no response, Safety Check will trigger Emergency Sharing, which shares your real-time location and situation with your pre-selected emergency contacts.
What do we think of it?
Our early impressions of the Pixel Watch 2 are positive, given Google has taken the formula of a rather nicely designed and keenly priced smartwatch and refined it.
It’s not going to bother the likes of the Apple Watch Ultra 2. But for people looking at getting their first smartwatch and who have one of the best Android phones (or indeed any Android phone), the Pixel Watch 2 could be worth keeping an eye on – check back with TechRadar for our full review coming soon.