Google Pixel Watch 2 launched: Here are all the details (including first reactions)
Google unveiled the Pixel Watch 2, Pixel 8 and 8 Pro at its Made by Google event on October 4.
The latest watch boasts significant upgrades over its predecessor. It offers faster performance and includes additional safety features as well as health sensors for deeper health insights. Furthermore, it boasts the most precise heart rate monitoring ever seen on a tracker or smartwatch.
In this article, we’ll take a look at all the details about the Pixel Watch 2 along with some early impressions from reviewers and fans too.
All new features
Designed for prolonged wear, the Pixel Watch 2 is crafted from completely recycled aluminum, making it 10% lighter than the original Pixel Watch. The reduction in weight makes it more comfortable to wear, especially during sleep. The redesigned crown has also been seamlessly incorporated for easy access and navigation.
Even with a new quad-core CPU and an always-on display, the gadget manages to provide an impressive 24-hour battery life. And thanks to the quick charge feature, users can easily charge it to 50% within thirty minutes.
The Pixel Watch 2 introduces three new sensors that work together to give more accurate health insights. It also features an all-new heart rate sensor with multiple LEDs, which helps it measure parameters more precisely as compared to the previous generation.
The new sensor is up to 40% more accurate when utilized during intense activities like High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), spinning, and rowing. In addition, one can get more definite readings for metrics like Active Zone Minutes, calories burned, Daily Readiness Score, sleep, and much more.
The smartwatch also comes integrated with Fitbit’s Body Response function, powered by a new continuous electrodermal activity (cEDA) sensor. This sensor employs machine-learning algorithms that assess heart rate, heart rate variability, and skin temperature to detect signs of stress.
When stress indicators are recognized, the watch notifies the user and offers options like reflection or relaxation techniques to help manage stress. The embedded skin temperature sensor provides insights into one’s sleep patterns and overall wellness as well.
Along with this, the new Heart Rate Zone Coaching and Pace Training features help one stay on track with their workout goals.
Features and improvements Google showcased at the event
At the launch event, Google revealed that the device will come preloaded with Wear OS 4. The latest OS adds support for the Calendar and Gmail apps. This makes it easy to check and respond to their emails or view their daily schedule. It’s noteworthy that Wear OS 4 also brings improvements to Maps, Google Assistant, and YouTube Music.
Thanks to the enhanced safety features, the Pixel Watch 2 is also a great companion on any adventure. And if an individual ever witnesses an emergency situation, then they can swiftly share important information. Plus, the newly added Safety Check feature helps ensure peace of mind while out on a trail.
One can simply set a timer for when they anticipate returning home. And if they don’t check in after it expires, then watch will automatically share their location with the emergency contacts. Fitbit Premium subscribers can use such features even when the gadget is not connected to the internet.
Luckily, those who purchase the Pixel Watch 2 will also get a complimentary six-month subscription to Fitbit Premium.
Pricing and availability in the US
You can pre-order the smartwatch from the Google and Fitbit stores, as well as from various global retailers. You can purchase the Bluetooth or Wi-Fi version for $349 and the 4G LTE version for $399. The company also provides you with valuable trade-in deals.
For instance, you can trade in an old Pixel Watch for $150. On the other hand, you can exchange the Fitbit Sense 2 or Fitbit Versa series devices for $100. Also, one can buy additional bright and breathable bands that go well with a workout or a night out.
Notably, the Pixel Watch 2 will be available in 30 countries starting October 12.
Initial reactions from social media influencers and YouTubers
As the Pixel Watch 2 makes its debut in the tech sphere, influential figures on social media platforms are sharing their initial impressions, providing a first glimpse into Google’s latest wearable. These influential voices have delved into the features and functionalities of the Pixel Watch 2, sharing their views and opinions.
In his preliminary review, the popular YouTuber DC Rainmaker pointed out that the watch’s case size remains unchanged from previous models. This allows users to use their existing strap bands with the new device. He also highlights an improvement in the glass’s durability. The most significant visual changes, according to him, are on the backside of the watch.
The back sensor plate now features two components: the skin temperature sensor and the ECDA sensor. The ECDA sensor shows the stress levels in the Fitbit app via body responses. Additionally, Rainmaker observes that a background process quickly notifies users if their heart rate exceeds or falls below certain thresholds.
He is delighted with the enhancements made to the sports-related features, especially the automatic workout detection. However, he expresses disappointment over the absence of the heart rate broadcasting feature, which is available in the Fitbit Charge 6 but not in this watch.
On the other hand, Des Yap is happy with the new safety and fast charging features. He claims that one now needs to worry less about the battery levels before going to sleep. However, he is upset with the absence of larger options this year. He also contends that the older band mechanism used in the new watches can be a bit finicky to use.
According to Yap, several improvements have been made that were not explicitly requested by the userbase. For instance, he contends that one can get pretty accurate readings with the heart sensor in the old watch, and that too with hard-to-track activities.
He believes that Google should have introduced a larger size option to accommodate a wider range of wrists and offer an extended battery life.
The reveal of the Pixel Watch 2 has sparked mixed reactions owing to changes in materials, with concerns about aluminum replacing steel. The transition to aluminum has left some bewildered, especially given the watch’s pricing within the Wear OS market.
They consider the aluminum body to be a significant downgrade due to its lower strength and polishability. In addition, the lock mechanism’s durability has concerned many. Those who already own watches made of aluminum assert that the difference in durability is massive.
They claim that such devices scratch quickly. On the other hand, the case is not the same with the ones made with stainless steel. A handful of users are also unhappy, as they were anticipating enhanced swim tracking features and a larger screen size.
A section of user argues that the build quality is not that low. So, they believe that the durability concerns that people have are not as significant as some may think.
We’d like to hear your opinions on the new Pixel 2 smartwatch too. You may share them in the comments section below.
Note: There are more such stories in our dedicated Google section, so be sure to follow them as well.
Featured Image: Google Pixel Watch 2
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