Much Better Than I Expected!
It’s been around a month since I swapped my Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 for the Pixel Watch and what a switch it has been!
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 was the second WearOS smartwatch I have daily driven since I moved to what I call a multi-platform ecosystem. It’s basically an ecosystem where brand and system doesn’t necessarily matter.
Back to the topic at hand, (yes I know that was a poor attempt at a pun), I’ve been hearing a lot of positives from people who own the watch and a lot of negatives from people who don’t. So naturally, I decided to buy the watch to test it out myself. I went with Obsidian, the non-LTE version
Before we continue to dig deeper into this article, I have a confession to make, I too was a bit sceptical about this watch, especially considering its price, older hardware and the rumoured battery life.
I was wrong! Let me explain…
Watch Size and Style
I wanted to start talking about the size and style of the Pixel Watch. I think that the watch is incredibly stylish and I would say that in terms of style, it is in a league of its own! It just looks incredible!
As someone who came from the 44mm Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, the watch did feel small, to begin with, however, I was able to get used to the size quickly and I think it’s actually the perfect size for my wrist.
When I initially saw mock-ups of the watch being blasted all over social media, I was actually surprised at how big the bezels were, but let me tell you, they look nothing like the mock-ups! The bezels look just right for the size of the watch.
One of the other topics that were and still are heavily debated online is the battery life, it was another reason why I was sceptical about the Pixel Watch. But the thing is, it’s actually not that bad.
I would even go as far as saying that the battery life is quite standard for a smartwatch and doesn’t differ much from the battery life of my Apple Watch SE. On a typical day of my life, I am comfortably able to get one and a half day worth of battery.
I’m in the middle of doing a video for my YouTube channel where I test the battery on an above-average day of my life where I used the watch for GPS activities, as well as a handful of other tasks and the watch has lasted me around 16 hours!
I left the house yesterday at 7.30 am with the watch fully charged and I put it on charge again at 12.04 pm the following day. But the watch still indicated that it had 4% of the charge left!
On a side note, this morning was far less busy compared to yesterday, so I imagine that if my day was the same, the watch would have run out of battery this morning.
I was seriously concerned to learn that the watch was using a 4-year-old chip that was used in the first-generation Samsung Galaxy Watch, which was launched in 2018.
Having owned the original Samsung Galaxy Watch, I knew that the watch performed well back in its day. But the fact that it was running Tizen fed my concerns about the performance of this modern-day smartwatch running Android.
The good news is that Google decided to ass a co-processor, which I think was a great idea as the watch really does feel snappy!
I was very excited to learn that Google acquired FitBit, I don’t know what it was but when I first heard of it I just knew that Google was working on something really cool.
Personally, I haven’t used a Fitbit device in years! I remember the last Fitbit I owned and used was the Fitbit Blaze and I had a lot of good things to say about it, but that was a while ago.
I also remember being excited because I thought that they were going to integrate the Google Fit app with the Fitbit app and combine all the features into one. Sadly this hasn’t happened yet and somehow I doubt it will happen any time soon. But it would be interesting to find out what will happen to the Google Fit app in the future.
I’m happy to say that the Fitbit integration is a really nice touch! I mean it works really well and just makes sense.
After completing identical activities on my Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and Pixel watch the results including the number of steps, calories burned and distance are very similar. The same can be said for sleep tracking.
At the time of purchasing the watch, I received a 6-month trial of Fitbit Premium which I’m currently using. I think that the features that the premium subscription provides are very useful in helping me understand my health.
But priced at £7.99 per month or £79.99 annually at the time of writing this article, I think that it’s too pricey for what you’re getting. I would happily spend £4.99 per month for the subscription.
My 1-Month Verdict
After using the watch for a month, I was wrong!
I thought that this was going to be another one of those situations where the first version was going to be bad but the second would be exceptional.
But, I feel that the Pixel Watch has excelled my expectations in every way and I’m happy to use it as my everyday watch!
Who’s it for?
I think that this watch is perfect if you are an Android user looking for a new everyday smartwatch, especially if you are into your health and fitness and want to use the watch to track your activities.
However, I don’t think I can recommend the watch if you are going out in the wilderness as well as in other more demanding outdoor activities. Based on my experience, I recommend something like the Garmin Instinct for these types of activities.
Unfortunately, after looking online, I found that it doesn’t seem to support iPhones. But it’s not something I can confirm from personal experience as I don’t currently own an iPhone.
✅ 4 Things I Like
- The look and feel of the watch
- The performance
- Fitbit integration
- It feels comfortable to wear
❌ 4 Things I Don’t Like
- I can’t charge it using my Pixel 7 Pro or any other wireless charger I find
- Fitbit Premium seems too pricey for what you’re getting
- There still aren’t many Google WearOS apps available – I would like to see a better Calendar and email app
- Out of the box, it doesn’t support universal straps