The Differences Between the Pixel Watch and Pixel Watch 2

The Differences Between the Pixel Watch and Pixel Watch 2

The Google Pixel Watch 2 looks to build off everything that Google did right with the original Pixel Watch, which was released in 2022. But how does the second generation of the wearable stand up against the first? Is it worth upgrading? Here are the big differences between the two Google-branded wearables.


When you’re looking at the Pixel Watch and Pixel Watch 2 side-by-side, you’re not going to see too many differences. Both devices feature the same 320 ppi AMOLED 3D Corning Gorilla Glass 5 display with up to 1,000 nits of brightness and a bubbled-out screen.

The 2023 device is also a little bit lighter, but that’s because Google has changed the overall make-up of the frame. The Pixel Watch 2 is 100 per cent recycled aluminium, whereas the original device was only 80 per cent recycled aluminium and featured a stainless steel back.

The back of the device also looks slightly different, as the Pixel Watch 2 has replaced wireless charging with contact pin-based charging, changing how you’ll charge the newer wearable. Aside from that, the two devices look almost identical when next to each other.

Hardware, software, and performance

There also isn’t much difference between the overall hardware of the two wearables, either. The Pixel Watch 2 utilizes a newer processor, the Qualcomm SW5100, which is a 4nm processor, and the original device uses a slightly older Samsung Exynos 9110, which is built on a 10nm process. Overall, though, there isn’t a huge leap in performance between the two devices, so don’t let that determine whether you should upgrade or not.

Software is very similar, too, with both the Pixel Watch and the new generation sporting WearOS, Google’s Android-based wearable operating system. The Pixel Watch 2 offers more functions you’d find on a Fitbit, as Google is slowly blending the two companies’ features within its wearables. This includes an array of new sensors compared to the original Pixel Watch.

Here’s a look at all the sensors you’ll find in the Pixel Watch:

  • Compass
  • Altimeter
  • Optical heart rate
  • Gyroscope
  • Accelerometer

Now, let’s look at what the Pixel Watch 2 offers:

  • Compass
  • Altimeter
  • Multi-path optical heart rate
  • Gyroscope
  • Electrical sensor for EDA
  • Skin temperature
  • Barometer
  • Magnetometer
  • Accelerometer


Meet Google Pixel Watch 2

Battery life and durability

The original watch offered solid battery life, with up to 24 hours of juice thanks to its 294mAh battery. Of course, getting that long out of the device required you to ditch Always On Display, which has become a mainstay in premium wearables, like the Apple Watch and Galaxy Watch. With the Pixel Watch 2, you can now expect up to 24 hours of battery life while using the Always On Display function, Google claims.

The change here is likely due to the improvements that Google has made within the software for the new device, as well as the larger 306mAh battery that is found in the Pixel Watch 2. The Pixel Watch 2 is also rated for 5 ATM water resistance and IP68 water and dust resistance, meaning you can easily wear it underwater for up to 50 meters, though I wouldn’t recommend pushing it too far.

The Pixel Watch, on the other hand, is only rated for 5 ATM water resistance. Neither device is waterproof, though, so you should limit exposure to water as much as possible, as the water resistance in these devices does wear down over time.

Should you buy a Pixel Watch 2?

Now that you have more of an idea of what to expect from the Pixel Watch 2, you can see it isn’t that much different from the original Pixel Watch. With that in mind, the new generation can be a solid purchase, especially if you want the latest and greatest Google device with Fitbit integrations.

However, if you already have the original Pixel Watch, I’d recommend holding off on upgrading, as the new generation just doesn’t offer enough to justify replacing your Pixel Watch just yet.

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