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Google Pixel Watch 5 Months Later: Still the Best-Looking Android

Although the Pixel Watch stands out for its sleek design, there are still some shortcomings.

Android consumers don’t have many options when seeking for a fashionable, all-purpose smartwatch. Even while the Pixel Watch doesn’t accomplish everything perfectly, it does manage to check that box. The Pixel Watch is still a popular option for Android owners who want something more stylish than a fitness watch but more practical than a hybrid watch thanks to its elegant design and curved glass sides.

Five months after the Pixel Watch’s debut, I’ve started using it again, and most of my first thoughts are still valid. Beyond its stylish design, Google’s first smartwatch shines for its user-friendly software and broad range of Fitbit health measures. The battery life isn’t as long as I would like it to be, which is another drawback.

It’s still the best-looking Android Watch, with some caveats

The Pixel Watch’s best quality remains its appealing look. That’s crucial since a piece of equipment worn all day (and night) long needs to be appealing to the eye and comfortable to wear. In comparison to the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 or the Fitbit Sense 2, it has a more polished appearance thanks to the rounded glass borders, stainless steel components, and soft pebble-like shape. The Pixel Watch fits my little wrists better than most other smartwatches I’ve worn.

But some trade-offs are necessary to obtain those advantages. Because there is just one size of the Pixel Watch, individuals with large wrists or those who prefer larger screens may find it inappropriate. Despite the fact that I enjoy the small size of the Pixel Watch, I do wish the screen were a little bit bigger so that I could fit more complexities on it. When using an iPhone, I normally wear a 45-millimeter Apple Watch Series 6 with a screen that can display six complications simultaneously. I can only fit three on the face of my favorite Pixel Watch.

The Pixel Watch’s bezels, as I noted in my initial review, can occasionally detract from the design, which is a more significant issue. The software’s black background typically matches the watch bezels well. Nevertheless, if you’re using a vibrant app or the Photos watch face, you can definitely notice the bezels.

Battery life is about the same as rivals

I had hoped that the Pixel Watch would carry over Fitbit’s excellent battery life before Google revealed it. Regrettably, it didn’t work out that way. According to my personal experience, the battery life of the Pixel Watch is comparable to that of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and the Apple Watch Series 8. For instance, my watch’s battery had 12% of its capacity left after around 27 hours of use.

With the exception of a few short trips outside, I used the watch primarily to capture indoor exercises that didn’t require a GPS connection while turning off the always-on display. You’ll get less use out of the watch if you use either of those capabilities because they normally drain the battery more quickly.

If you plan to charge your watch overnight, this isn’t a big issue. But lately, I’ve been attempting to sleep more, so I’ve been using Fitbit’s comprehensive sleep tracking feature. This has made it challenging for me to schedule time to charge my Pixel Watch. On one occasion, I even had to work out without my Pixel Watch while it was charging, which made me feel like I wasn’t getting credit for my session of indoor cycling.

Pixel Watch works great with non-Pixel Android phones

The Pixel Watch is intended to be a Pixel phone companion, although it also functions with other Android devices. In my previous evaluation of the Pixel Watch in October, I wore it with a Pixel 7, but this time I wore it with a Galaxy S23 Plus before switching to a Galaxy Z Fold 4. You configure and control the watch via the Google Watch app, regardless of the phone you’re using, while I used the Fitbit app to monitor my health-related statistics.

Starting up the watch on a Samsung phone was exactly as simple as starting it up on a Pixel 7. My Samsung devices were able to recognise the Pixel Watch as soon as I got it close to my phone because it supports Google’s Quick Pair function, which prompted me to download the Watch app right away.

It also means that there isn’t really anything about the Pixel Watch that draws people into Google’s exclusive Pixel ecosystem. This makes the Pixel Watch appealing to a wider population of Android users. On the other hand, Samsung exclusively allows owners of Galaxy phones to use the ECG feature of the Galaxy Watch.

Naturally, iPhones are incompatible with the Pixel Watch. Fossil, among other Wear OS watch manufacturers, offers support for iOS.

The same downsides still exist, possibly with some new ones

There are two flaws, besides the battery life and the bezel, that may be significant to individuals who frequently use their watch for tracking their health and fitness.

The Pixel Watch, for starters, cannot identify and start a workout automatically while it is on your wrist or provide notifications for high and low heart rates. For individuals who want to keep a closer watch on their cardiac health, that can be crucial to take into account.

These were issues upon launch, however some users have since reported more problems. According to 9to5Google, a few Pixel Watch owners have complained that alarms set on the device have gone off minutes after they were supposed to. For what it’s worth, I frequently use the Pixel Watch’s alarm feature, and I haven’t had this issue. According to a Google spokesman, the firm will be fixing these alarm difficulties in the upcoming weeks by updating the Clock app for the Pixel Watch through the Play Store.

Pixel Watch will evolve over time

The fact that the Pixel Watch will continue to develop over time, much like Google’s Pixel phones, is perhaps the biggest bombshell that has emerged over the past few months. Fall detection and Fitbit’s Sleep Profiles, which are only accessible to Fitbit Premium users and offer a more in-depth analysis of your sleeping habits, are two of the new features that Google has included. But, rather than bringing the Pixel Watch up to par with competing watches like Apple and Fitbit, these features actually only do that.

The main message is that, rather of relying solely on hardware, businesses like Google, Apple, and Samsung are all discovering innovative methods to add interesting functionality to their own smartwatches through software updates. For instance, Apple’s WatchOS 9 upgrade from last fall added better sleep tracking and more running data. Samsung, on the other hand, upgraded the Galaxy Watch 5’s camera remote controls and will soon introduce cycle tracking.

The elegant appearance of the Pixel Watch and Fitbit health tracking continue to make it a standout option for owners of Android devices. Even though it’s far from ideal, I’m interested to see where Google takes it next.