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Since acquiring Fitbit, Google has been making strides in wearable technology. It first released the Google Pixel Watch, and now the Pixel Watch 2 is coming on October 13, 2023. The first generation was a big hit, with over 800,000 units sold in 2022 Q4.
Now, Google made its Google Pixel Watch 2 available for pre-order on October 4, 2023. The second-generation watches will be available and shipping from October 12, 2023. Now that the second generation is out, do you need to upgrade? Pixel Watch 2 vs. Pixel Watch: which generation should you go with?
Specs comparison: Pixel Watch 2 vs Pixel Watch
Design and build quality
The Pixel Watch 2 comes in three refined colors: polished silver, matte black, and champagne gold. It keeps the same dimensions as the first-gen Pixel Watch, measuring 41 mm x 12.3 mm, but tips the scale slightly higher at 31 grams compared to the original’s 28 grams. This minor weight increase is hardly noticeable. Both models offer cases in aluminum and stainless steel, allowing you to choose based on your style preferences.
Connectivity and display
In terms of connectivity, both generations of Pixel Watches are well-equipped. They offer Bluetooth, WiFi, and cellular LTE options. The display technology is also consistent across both models, featuring an AMOLED screen with DCI-P3 color. This ensures vibrant visuals whether you’re using the first or second generation.
Performance and OS
This is where the Pixel Watch 2 gains an edge. While the original Pixel Watch operated on an Exynos 9110 SoC and Cortex M33 co-processor, the Pixel Watch 2 is powered by a Qualcomm 5100 chipset and Cortex M33 co-processor. This hardware upgrade translates to faster processing speeds and improved performance.
Wear OS upgrades
The OS has seen an upgrade from Wear OS 3.5 in the first-gen Pixel Watch to Wear OS 4.0 in the Pixel Watch 2. This new version allows for enhanced customization, including previews of images and GIFs directly from the notifications screen. You can also interact more directly with notifications, whether it’s making calls, sending messages, or getting directions.
New features and safety measures
The Pixel Watch 2 introduces three new sensors and incorporates safety features like Medical ID, Emergency Sharing, and Safety Check. These additions allow you to set emergency contacts and enable fall detection, enhancing your overall safety.
Timer and water resistance
Both watches come equipped with a timer feature and offer water resistance up to a certain number of meters, making them suitable for workouts and various outdoor activities.
Active band and RAM
The Pixel Watch 2 features an “Active Band,” designed to withstand elements like dust and water. Additionally, the RAM in the Pixel Watch 2 has been upgraded, facilitating smoother multitasking and app usage.
Both the Pixel Watch and Pixel Watch 2 offer robust features and solid performance. However, the second-generation watch takes the lead in terms of OS, performance, and added safety features. Whether you’re interested in hardware upgrades or new software capabilities, the Pixel Watch 2 seems to offer a more comprehensive package.
|Pixel Watch 2
|41 mm x 12.3 mm
|41 mm x 12.3 mm
|LTE and UMTS
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz
|4G LTE and UMTS
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz
|Android 9.0 or newer
|Android 8.0 or newer
|320 ppi AMOLED display with DCI-P3 color
|AMOLED display with DCI-P3 color
|Up to 24 hours with always-on display
|Up to 24 hours
|Qualcomm 5100 and Cortex M33 co-processor
|Exynos 9110 SoC and Cortex M33 co-processor
|Wear OS 4.0
|Wear OS 3.5
Red and infrared sensors
Multipurpose electrical sensors
Multi-path optical heart rate sensor
Ambient light sensor
Skin temperature sensor
Blood oxygen sensor
Multipurpose electrical sensor
Optical heart rate sensor
Ambient light sensor
|Fitbit health tracking
Water-resistant up to 5 ATM
Powered by Google AI
Sleep habits tracking
Menstrual health tracking
Auto workout mode
Daily readiness score
|Fitbit health and fitness
International emergency calling
Water and fall resistance
|$349 for Bluetooth/Wi-Fi and
$399 for LTE
Battery life: A tie in power efficiency
Both the Pixel Watch and Pixel Watch 2 offer up to 24 hours of battery life, even when using the always-on display feature. This is particularly impressive for the new Pixel Watch, as it manages to maintain this level of power efficiency despite its enhanced performance and display quality.
Gorilla Glass and display efficiency
It’s worth noting that both watches feature Gorilla Glass, which adds to the durability and contributes to power efficiency by optimizing display technology.
Price: Value for your money
The Pixel Watch 2 is priced at $349 for the Bluetooth/Wi-Fi variant and $399 for the LTE version. Interestingly, the original Pixel Watch was also launched at $349. This consistent pricing strategy indicates that Google is offering the upgraded features of the Pixel Watch 2 without any additional financial burden on the consumer.
Final verdict: Pixel Watch 2 vs. Pixel Watch
When it comes to the Pixel Watch 2 vs. Pixel Watch debate, the second-generation device clearly stands out with its substantial improvements in performance, health-tracking sensors, and new safety features.
The Pixel Watch 2 offers a more accurate heart rate measurement, thanks to its multi-path heart rate sensor. This makes it an excellent choice for those who are serious about their fitness and perhaps even use Fitbit Premium for more detailed health insights.
For those who rely heavily on Google services like Google Calendar and Gmail, the Pixel Watch 2 offers seamless integration, allowing you to stay updated right from your wrist.
The Pixel Watch 2 also offers various material finishes including porcelain, obsidian, and hazel, giving you more options to match your style.
While the original Pixel Watch remains a robust and reliable choice, the Pixel Watch 2 takes it up a notch, especially for users who prioritize having the latest technology in their wearables. Ultimately, your choice between these two impressive devices should be based on your specific needs, preferences, and budget.