Google recently announced the Pixel Watch 2, the next generation of their smartwatch line. The original Pixel Watch was released in 2022, so the Pixel Watch 2 comes just a year later. These two smartwatches have a lot of similarities, but also some key differences. This article will compare the Pixel Watch 2 and the original Pixel Watch to help you decide which one is right for you.
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Design and Display
The overall design and look of the Pixel Watch 2 is very similar to the original. Both feature a circular domed display with a tactile crown and side button. They come in the same case sizes – 41mm and 46mm.
The displays are both AMOLED with scratch resistant Corning Gorilla Glass. The Pixel Watch has a resolution of 320 x 320 while the Pixel Watch 2 bumps this up slightly to 336 x 336. This results in higher pixel density for sharper images and text on the Pixel Watch 2.
Both watches have an always-on display option to keep basic info like the time visible at all times. This is convenient but does drain the battery faster when enabled.
Overall, the displays and design are very comparable between the two generations of Pixel Watch. The Pixel Watch 2 makes some minor improvements but keeps the same overall look and feel.
Battery Life and Charging
Battery life is one area where the Pixel Watch 2 has made notable improvements over the original. The 46mm Pixel Watch 2 can last up to 24 hours on a single charge with normal usage. The smaller 41mm model gets up to 18 hours.
In comparison, the 46mm Pixel Watch only promises up to 12 hours of battery life while the 41mm model maxes out at 10 hours.
This improved battery life is thanks to a more efficient processor and optimizations made in Watch OS. It allows the Pixel Watch 2 to go longer between charges, reducing battery anxiety.
Both generations of Pixel Watch charge via a magnetic puck that attaches to the back. Charging from 0-50% takes about 30 minutes on both models. Charging takes about an hour and a half to go from 0-100%. Overall the charging specs are the same, but the Pixel Watch 2 lasts significantly longer on a full charge.
Health and Fitness Tracking
For health and fitness tracking, the Pixel Watch and Pixel Watch 2 have an identical sensor array. This includes:
- Heart rate sensor
- Blood oxygen sensor
- ECG sensor
Both watches can track your heart rate, take an ECG, measure blood oxygen levels, count steps, detect workouts and more.
The Pixel Watch 2 pairs with the updated Google Fit app which has additional metrics like sleep tracking. But the core health and fitness capabilities are excellent on both generations of Pixel Watch.
Since the Pixel Watch 2 runs the latest version of Google’s smartwatch OS, it has some interface and feature improvements over the original. These include:
- Improved navigation and scrolling
- More app integrations and watch face options
- Enhanced voice commands with the Google Assistant
- Improved synchronization with Android devices
- Support for LTE cellular connectivity
The Pixel Watch pioneered the integration of Google services like Maps, Pay, Home and Assistant into a smartwatch OS. The Pixel Watch 2 builds on these foundations and streamlines the experience even further.
Overall the Pixel Watch 2 performs better as a smartwatch thanks to the OS updates and more capable hardware. But the original Pixel Watch also offers a full suite of smartwatch features and connectivity.
Price and Value
The Pixel Watch launched at $349 for the 41mm model and $399 for the 46mm size. The Pixel Watch 2 is priced at $399 and $449 for the two sizes.
This means you’ll pay about $50 more for either size of the Pixel Watch 2 over the equivalent original Pixel Watch. The extra cost appears justified given the improvements in battery life, display quality, and overall performance.
Both watches offer good value considering they undercut the pricing of competitors like the Apple Watch Series 8 while offering similar capabilities. But the Pixel Watch 2 delivers even better value with its enhancements over the original model.
The Pixel Watch 2 keeps everything great about the original Pixel Watch design while enhancing some key elements like battery life. It maintains Google’s vision for a stylish, circular smartwatch that seamlessly integrates with the Android ecosystem.
While the original Pixel Watch is still a capable device, the Pixel Watch 2 is worth the extra cost if you want the latest and greatest. With its modern processor, refined software and extended battery life, the Pixel Watch 2 is the best Wear OS smartwatch available today for Android users.