Google Pixel Watch 2: The Long-Awaited, Functional, Yet Small Smartwatch with Underutilized Screen

Google Pixel Watch 2: The Long-Awaited, Functional, Yet Small Smartwatch with Underutilized Screen

The Google Pixel Watch 2, which entered the Spanish market in early October this year, features a sleek and comfortable design and delivers a smooth user experience. However, the watch’s bezel is thicker than its size warrants, indicating a missed opportunity for better design.

The Google Pixel Watch’s second generation has been eagerly awaited this year, especially since its predecessor never made it to Europe despite the high anticipation it had generated with its U.S. launch.

The Pixel Watch 2, which arrived in October, resembles the original with its round face, but offers a wider range of straps made from different materials. These include silicone straps in colors such as sky blue, lichen green, obsidian, and porcelain, as well as fabric and metal options. The watch’s software has also been improved.

The watch, which weighs 31 grams without the strap, comes with an AMOLED screen, 3D Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protective glass, and a single size of 41 mm sphere. Its 100 percent recycled aluminum chassis may be a bit small for those with thicker wrists or those who prefer a larger screen for daily use.

However, it does come with two sizes of sports strap that are suitable for small wrists (130 to 175 mm in circumference) and large wrists (165 to 210 mm). The straps can be easily removed and attached with a dedicated button on the ‘smartwatch’.

The device’s panel, however, falls short given the thickness of its bezels, which make the ‘smartwatch’ seem even smaller.

The watch features a sliding crown that can be used to activate the screen (if the Always On Display (AOD) option is not selected) and access installed apps, settings, and other options. Another button allows users to activate the Assistant and access recent apps, such as Fitbit Today, Exercise Fitbit, Google Wallet, YouTube Music, Messages, and Emergencies, among others.

The application experience is smooth, thanks to the Qualcomm 5100 chip and the Cortex M33 coprocessor. The watch shines in its sports and physical activity section, offering a wide range of exercises, from aerobics and martial arts to dance, ‘bootcamp’, core training, and indoor climbing.

For example, when using the Run option, the watch displays information about the intensity of the exercise, as well as general statistics like time spent, distance covered, heart rate, calories burned, steps taken, and altitude reached.

Metrics can be customized to provide all necessary information during the exercise, which can be paused or stopped at any time by sliding the screen to the right.

One of the key features of the latest Pixel watch is its battery life, which lasts more than 24 hours. With reduced screen brightness and minimal use, the watch can last up to a day and a half without charging. The charging process is relatively fast, taking about half an hour to reach 50 percent and a bit longer to reach 100 percent.

The watch’s 300mAh battery offers a decent battery life, but its charging system is less impressive, requiring a USB-C connector and a pin format that must align perfectly with the four connectors on the back of the sphere. This design could lead to charging issues if the watch is not connected properly. This problem could be solved with Qi wireless charging, a feature that was included in the previous Pixel Watch model.

The Google Pixel Watch 2 requires the Watch app to fully utilize its features. The app allows users to customize the watch faces, manage shortcut cards, set up notifications for each application, and adjust the services offered by the ‘smartwatch’.

Despite its numerous metrics, the Pixel Watch 2 has been known to overestimate the number of steps taken. For instance, a brief walk around Madrid was recorded as climbing 11 floors of stairs. It’s unclear if this issue is a manufacturing error, but it’s noteworthy that both watches we tested at Portaltic multiplied the steps when we only raised our arms without moving the rest of our body.

Considering its price of 349 euros, the Google Pixel Watch 2 faces stiff competition from similar ‘smartwatch’ models on the market that offer comparable features and simpler interfaces thanks to Wear OS 4.0. For instance, the Samsung Galaxy Watch6, which is similar in format and functionality, offers two dial size options and a more optimized panel with thinner edges, all for a lower price of 249 euros.

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