With the first-gen Pixel Watch, Google had to prove it could make a premium smartwatch as glitzy as its iOS counterpart. A year later, the stakes aren’t as high but the challenge of working out how to build an even better wearable remains.
The second-generation Pixel Watch looks almost identical to its predecessor. At 1.2-inches, the AMOLED screen here is the same size as the one found in the first Pixel Watch. However, the buttons are more tightly integrated and the digital crown-like dial on the side of the wearable has been ever so slightly tucked in.
The hardware here is powered by WearOS 4, which features redesigned health and fitness coaching and improved integration with Google apps like Gmail, Google Assistant and Google Calendar.
The Pixel Watch 2 will share the same watchband mechanisms as its predecessor (meaning that it will be backwards compatible with older accessories) but should also introduce six new watchfaces and a trio of new health tracking sensors, including a skin temperature, multi-path heart rate tracker and new cEDA electrodes.
Battery life is one of Google's big callouts this time around. The new Pixel Watch 2 will boast up to 24 hours of battery life on a single charge with the always-on display enabled. This is poised to be an improvement on the 24 hours with a big asterisk seen in the first Pixel Watch. The wearable also features fast charging that should see it top itself back up to 50% in about thirty minutes.
Unfortunately, repairability seems to be less of a priority. The first-generation Pixel Watch was particularly bad on this front, with no repair options available for those who bought one but ended up with a damaged screen for whatever reason.
Speakling to Reviews.org, Google confirmed that the new Pixel Watch 2 would be subject to this same shortcoming. A Google representative told us that the company will work with those who have a damaged Pixel Watch, but that a screen repair would not be possible due to the integrated nature of the display.
The Pixel Watch 2 will be available in three colors – matte black, champagine gold and polished silver – and two variants. One is priced at $649 and comes with both WiFi and LTE connectivity. The other has just the first one, but a slightly cheaper price-point of $549.
Every Pixel Watch 2 comes arrives with a free six months of Fitbit Premium.
In Australia, the PIxel Watch 2 will be available for pre-order from the 5th of October ahead of an October 12 launch through Telstra, Optus, Officeworks, Harvey JB Hi-Fi and the Google Store.