It’s Actually A Great Watch, But…
The Google Pixel Watch has been my daily driver for almost 6 months and I think that it’s a brilliant watch.
As it’s almost the 6-month mark, you would likely expect me to write a 6-month review, but I want to do something more! I want to share what it’s like to daily drive the watch from a user’s perspective.
I want to give you an idea of how I’m finding the watch in my daily life and there’s a lot to talk about!
So without any further ado, here’s how I find the watch in my everyday life…
A Day With The Pixel Watch
A usual day of my life with the Pixel Watch begins with me waking up and putting the watch on charge while I go about my morning routine.
Charging The Watch
For context, I usually wake up at 6 am and leave the house by around 7.20 am. This gives the watch plenty of time to charge. Whether it charges to 100% or not depends on what the percentage was like when I put the watch on charge.
I’m confident to say that even with the battery fully dead, I usually get between 90 and 100% worth of charge before I leave the house. On some rare occasions, I get less, but I guess that depends on how long the watch has been dead for.
When it comes to charging the watch, one of my biggest complaints is the fact that I can only charge it using the dedicated charger, which at £29 is a bit pricy. I would love to be able to wirelessly charge the watch using my Pixel 7 Pro.
Hopefully, that’s something that they will bring in on future versions of the watch.
Depending on the day, I usually catch the train to work. I usually like to walk down to the train station. I don’t know what it is about walking, but there’s something therapeutic about it and it prepares me for a busy day ahead.
On other days, when I’m running late, I tend to rent an e-scooter or catch the bus if the weather is really bad. By the way, have you checked out my video about the Zwing Scooter rentals? You can check it out here.
Back to the topic at hand, I use my morning walk as a great excuse to record an activity using the Fitbit integration, which brings me on to my next topic.
If truth be told, I don’t know what to think about Fitbit as a whole. It has definitely changed a lot since I last used it in Fitbit’s early days, but after almost 6-months it hasn’t really impressed me and I’m not really sure whether I need Fitbit Premium.
I really want to like Fitbit, but I’m finding it hard to. I mean, I found it very disappointing that they discontinued the social part of the app. I found it very motivational, especially when competing with friends who also had a Fitbit.
I also find the watch app to be a little too basic. For comparison, one of the best built-in health apps I ever used was on the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra. I mean, it even gave me a little map for GPS activities. The same can be said for the Samsung Health app.
As for the smartphone app itself, I feel that it is full of missed opportunities. For example, at present in order to record how I’m feeling I have to open the smartphone app, go into Stress Management and press a button to record my reflection.
At present, I very rarely use this feature as I forget that it’s there, I mean it’s such a long-winded process! I think it would be much better if it appeared as a notification on my watch as I would be more likely to record how I am feeling.
I also feel that the premium subscription isn’t offering me with much value, especially since some of the premium features are free on the Apple Watch and the Samsung Galaxy Watch.
How I Use the Watch Throughout the Day
Throughout the day, I tend to use the watch for viewing notifications. However, I wish I could use it for more than that! I want to be able to use the watch as a substitute for my smartphone when connected to the WiFi. For context, I’m using the WiFi version of the watch.
I feel that not enough of the mainstream apps support the WearOS platform. I would love there to be a decent email app so that I can quickly go through my emails. In all fairness, I think that Microsoft did a great job with the Outlook app which I currently use. I guess the point I’m trying to make is that other popular services such as Gmail don’t support the platform.
I’ve recently been trying out Google Tasks as my default To Do list app and I feel that it is a brilliant app, but there is no WearOS integration so I can’t tick things off without going onto my phone. At present, the availability of To Do list apps is actually rather poor and out of the ones that are available, I feel like they don’t have enough features. On the Any.do app, at present, you can only add tasks, which is useful, but I also want to be able to see tasks.
To be fair to the Pixel Watch, most of the things I discussed in this section, aren’t a limitation to the watch itself, but the WearOS platform, which is still rather new in terms of the availability of the smartwatch market. I mean I’m thrilled that WhatsApp will release an app. It’s a service that we tend to use a lot here in the UK.
I know that there’s been a lot of mixed feelings about the battery life on the Pixel Watch, but I actually find it pretty impressive. I mean after charging it in the morning before I leave for work, I usually charge it the following morning and I use the sleep tracking feature throughout the night.
Last month, I did something incredibly stupid! I put the watch on charge only to find that when I got on the train, the battery was at 18%. It turned out that I attempted to charge the watch without actually plugging it in!
Being an optimist, I decided to make the most out of the situation and I decided to turn it into a test and the results were surprising! You can read more about the test here.
So I can comfortably say that with my usage and charging pattern, the watch will last throughout the day and the entire night.
In terms of activities, the battery doesn’t go down as much as I thought it would, particularly when it comes to GPS activities. I have yet to test the watch on a longer GPS activity, but when I will I will definitely create content on it.
I find the sleep tracking function to be incredibly good on Fitbit, but I think it’s a shame that you only get basic sleep tracking in the free version.
I like the fact that it gives you a sleep score and tells you whether it’s good or not. I know that many don’t use this feature, but I find it incredibly helpful, especially if we combine it with the daily readiness score as it helps me be prepared throughout the day.
For example, if the readiness score tells me that it’s low, I will try to tackle my biggest tasks of the day first. In all fairness, it’s something I tend to do anyway when I have a lot of things to do throughout the day.
There’s a really good book I recommend reading called Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy, which talks about eating that frog first or in other words do the ugliest, biggest task first. It really is worth the read and best of all the book isn’t that long, so it won’t take up much of your time.
The last thing I wanted to talk about in this blog post is how it performs throughout the day and I’m pleased to say that it actually performs incredibly well.
When I say performance, I don’t mean the battery life, I am actually referring to the performance of the system.
While I wish the watch had a newer chip, I don’t tend to experience any system lag. From time to time I do experience a bit of stuttering when launching certain apps, but that is sorted by the app launching fast. I think that a newer chip will sort this out.
As of yet, I have yet to experience the watch freezing or even restarting itself, something that I’ve seen on other smartwatches such as the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra, but even then it was a one-off experience with the TicWatch.
After daily driving the watch for almost 6 months I think that the Google Pixel Watch is a great watch full of potential, but I think that it still requires work from Google to make it even better.
I’m mainly talking here about the WearOS platform because I find it incredibly surprising that Google hasn’t developed many of their own apps to support it, which would make the overall experience so much better. I’m talking about a Google Tasks app, a Gmail app as well as an improved calendar app.
I mean the Agenda app is pretty good, but I wish it worked more like a calendar app.
In terms of charging, I seriously think it’s a shame that I can’t charge the watch using my Google Pixel 7 Pro, it would have saved me from carrying another cable in my tech bag.
I seriously think that Fitbit needs more work, I mean health and fitness apps like that really, do motivate me to live a healthier and more active lifestyle. But I do feel that the subscription is too expensive. I wouldn’t mind paying £5 or less but I don’t think £7.99 per month is too reasonable, maybe if they brought in more features to it then by all means.
It’s important not to forget that Fitbit is being merged into Google Fit and that Google are still actively developing the app, so I’m not giving up on the app just yet!
Overall, I think that the Google Pixel Watch is a brilliant everyday watch and I can’t wait to see Google further develop the system and apps to make the whole WearOS experience even better!