Following a veritable tidal wave of leaks, Google has officially unveiled its first smartwatch, the Pixel Watch.
It teased the device a few months ago, but has been working on it for a few years. Naturally, it runs the company’s own Wear OS software that third-party watch makers have used for a long while. But now Pixel owners, and Android owners in general, can buy a device where both software and hardware are made by Google.
There’s also deep integration with Fitbit, making this both a competent fitness tracker and smartwatch. You can pair it with the Fitbit app and get detailed analysis of your sleep and activity.
How much does the Pixel Watch cost?
Wi-Fi only: $349.99 / £339
Wi-Fi + 4G LTE: $399.99 / £379
There are two versions, much like the Apple Watch, with the option of paying extra for built-in 4G. That means the Pixel Watch can still be used for phone calls and messages even without your phone present.
Unlike the Apple Watch, Google is keeping pricing simple with one size – 41mm diameter – and three stainless steel case colours, all of which cost the same.
The options are: matte black, polished silver and champagne gold.
At launch, there’s a choice of 20 bands including woven, stretch, active and leather styles, with metal bands coming in spring 2023. They start from $49/£49.
You can buy a Pixel Watch from the Google Store, Fitbit.com and other retailers. It will also be available from mobile operators and carriers, though we’re yet to find out which ones will sell it.
At launch, the Pixel Watch is available in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Japan, France, Germany and Taiwan.
You can pre-order a Pixel Watch now, and Google is offering various bundle deals if you buy one with a Pixel Phone and Pixel Buds.
What features and specs does the Pixel Watch have?
Here are some of the key features:
Up to 24 hours of battery life
Water-resistant to 5ATM / 50m
19 customisable watch faces
Crown for scrolling
Side button for accessing apps
Built-in Google Assistant (hands-free)
Turn-by-turn directions in Google Maps
Google Wallet for contactless payments
32GB of storage for music and apps
Fast Pair and handoff
Fall detection (coming in 2023)
40 workout modes (Fitbit)
Continuous heart rate monitoring
ECG app for detecting atrial fibrillation
The Pixel Watch has an OLED screen that’s capable of up to 1000 nits. It has an always-on mode so you can see the time (and other information) at a glance. It’s protected by a domed piece of Gorilla Glass 5.
Out of the box, the Pixel Watch runs Wear OS 3.5. It has the Google Play Store so you can install apps such as Strava, Spotify, MyFitnessPal and more.
Three months of YouTube Music Premium are included, as are six-months’ access to Fitbit Premium for in-depth analysis of your sleep, fitness and wellbeing.
There are 19 watch faces to choose between and you can customise their colours and the information you see. If you like, you can set it to show your favourite photos from Google Photos.
Fast Pair means the Pixel Buds will automatically pair with the Watch once paired with your phone. And handoff means you can start a call on the Watch and continue on your phone. Similarly, you can continue listening to music or follow Maps directions on the Pixel Watch after starting on your phone.
The Pixel Watch is effectively a Fitbit, too, and shares many of the features of the Versa 4 and other Fitbits.
You can pick between 40 exercise modes and see how many active zone minutes you’ve achieved, as well as see how your heart rate has varied throughout the day.
The Pixel Watch will work with Android phones with Android 8 or later: it doesn’t have to be paired with a Pixel phone.
Google says the battery will last up to 24 hours, but will charge from 0-50% in 30 minutes. It will remind you to charge before bed if the battery is too low, in order to track your sleep. A full charge takes 80 minutes. There’s no charger included in the box: just the magnetic USB-C cable.
Google offers a two-year warranty, but only in the EU and Australia. In the other countries it’s sold, including the US and UK, you get only one year.