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Pixel Watch 2 vs Pixel Watch – First or second gen?

Performance and new safety features
Last Updated on January 3, 2024
Pixel Watch 2 vs Pixel Watch – First or second gen?
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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.

SpecsPixel Watch 2Pixel Watch
ColorsPolished Silver
Matte Black
Champagne Gold
Matte Black
Polished Silver
Champagne Gold
Dimensions41 mm x 12.3 mm41 mm x 12.3 mm
Weight31 grams28 grams
ConnectivityLTE and UMTS
Bluetooth 5.0
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz
Bluetooth® 5.0
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz
Quasi-Zenith Satellite
CompatibilityAndroid 9.0 or newerAndroid 8.0 or newer
Display320 ppi AMOLED display with DCI-P3 colorAMOLED display with DCI-P3 color
BatteryUp to 24 hours with always-on displayUp to 24 hours
ChipQualcomm 5100 and Cortex M33 co-processorExynos 9110 SoC and Cortex M33 co-processor
OSWear OS 4.0Wear OS 3.5
Storage32 GB32GB
Red and infrared sensors
Multipurpose electrical sensors
Multi-path optical heart rate sensor
3-axis accelerometer
Ambient light sensor
Skin temperature sensor
Blood oxygen sensor
Multipurpose electrical sensor
Optical heart rate sensor
Ambient light sensor
FeaturesFitbit health tracking
Water-resistant up to 5 ATM
IP68 standard
Powered by Google AI
Google Assistant
Stress detection
Sleep habits tracking
Menstrual health tracking
Auto workout mode
Daily readiness score
Emergency SOS
Fitbit health and fitness
Always-on display
Google Maps
Google Wallet
Google Assistant
YouTube Music
Emergency SOS
International emergency calling
Water and fall resistance
Price$349 for Bluetooth/Wi-Fi and
$399 for LTE
From $349

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

Photo credits: PocketNow

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.

In summary

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.

Maria is a contributer to PC Guide, highly-interested in productivity and AI tools, and ensuring the inclusion of detailed product info and coverage across versus pieces.