The Google Pixel Watch is the company’s inaugural self-branded wearable, and despite being a first attempt, it scores high points in various areas. The watch’s exceptional and attractive design, along with remarkably responsive performance, despite Google choosing an older Samsung chipset to power it, makes it an excellent Wear OS option for those seeking style. Nonetheless, there is room for improvement, here is what we hope Google addresses in the Pixel Watch 2.
ANDROIDPOLICE VIDEO OF THE DAY
1 Better battery life
With few exceptions, current Wear OS smartwatches last a day or two on a single charge. However, the existing Pixel Watch falls at the lower end of the scale, managing about 24 hours of moderate use on a charge. Considering the premium price and emphasis on round-the-clock health tracking, this is less than ideal; many health trackers can go up to a week without the need for recharging.
In the Pixel Watch 2, the most critical aspect requiring improvement is battery life, either through a physically larger battery or smarter energy management, if not both. Even the option to turn off continuous heart-rate tracking would undoubtedly go a long way.
2 Smaller bezels
Wear OS typically implements a dark UI where feasible, and the nature of the Pixel Watch’s OLED display means that its bezels’ thickness is not as significant an issue as it may appear. Nonetheless, compared to the screen size, they are noticeable. Smaller bezels on the Pixel Watch 2 would provide more usable screen space in a device of the same size, making it a simple win.
3 A smoother display
Referring to the Pixel Watch’s display, we need to focus not only on its chunky bezels but also the next issue. Most of the best Wear OS devices offer 60Hz displays; however, the first-generation Pixel Watch is restricted to 30Hz.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5’s smooth 60Hz screen is among its best features, and Google’s competitors’ future watches will undoubtedly offer the same high refresh rate. At 30Hz, visuals still look decent, but with the slow refresh rate, it is a disadvantage in a watch that costs $350. Assuming the Pixel Watch 2 has a similar price, it needs a smoother screen (and, hopefully, not at the expense of battery life).
4 A larger size option
The current Pixel Watch comes in one size: 41mm. It is a decent medium-sized watch; however, on individuals with bigger wrists, it might appear somewhat small. Multiple-size options are standard on watches from competitors such as Apple and Samsung, with the Apple Watch Series 8 coming in 41mm and 45mm models, and the Galaxy Watch 5 being available in both 40mm and 42mm, to mention a few.
For big watch enthusiasts, a group in which many Android fans fall, Google must offer a larger size option in the Pixel Watch 2 to be appealing to them.
5 A newer chipset
Google’s choice of a years-old Samsung Exynos 9110 chipset, combined with a Cortex-M33 coprocessor, created mild controversy around the initial Pixel Watch. Given that the 9110 was used in the Tizen-powered Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 back in 2020, it is slightly surprising that the Pixel Watch’s performance is still somewhat comparable to other modern smartwatches.
In a potential Pixel Watch 2, a newer chipset might be able to provide the necessary horsepower to efficiently provide a higher refresh rate and improve battery life by leveraging generational gains in power efficiency. A safe request, as it would be undoubtedly unexpected to see Google reusing the same ageing hardware for two generations in a row.
6 Affordable band options
The Pixel Watch’s proprietary band connector, which appears to be inspired by the way lenses attach to camera bodies, is one of the more intriguing features of its hardware. However, it also implies that traditional watch bands are incompatible. Many Wear OS watches can utilize bands from regular timepieces, but only specially manufactured bands are compatible with the Pixel Watch. The bands that Google sells are expensive.
Google charges a whopping $50 for additional silicone bands similar to the one included with the Pixel Watch, with leather and metal options costing even more. This is steep, particularly considering that the Pixel Watch’s silicone bands cost about four dollars each to produce, according to a recent bill-of-materials analysis.
While Google offering more affordable band options for the Pixel Watch 2 may seem improbable, it would still be great to see. Alternatively, an adaptor to fit standard watch bands would suffice. Third parties did eventually provide adaptors to utilize normal bands, but Google would be wise to embrace this feature right out of the gate.
7 Improved durability
The Pixel Watch’s domed-glass design distinguishes it from other Wear OS watches, but it is also delicate. The edges of the display glass are unprotected, meaning that a hard knock against a table could shatter the screen. Reports of damaged display glass began surfacing before the Pixel Watch was even available for purchase, even though we have not experienced this ourselves at AP.
It is unclear whether Google can address this flaw in its upcoming Pixel Watch 2 without compromising its aesthetic appeal, but we can remain hopeful.
8 Functional Qi charging
The first-generation Pixel Watch detects when it comes into contact with a typical wireless charger, and it even displays the regular charging animation. However, the watch does not charge this way. Google has confirmed that the Pixel Watch does not officially support Qi charging, which is particularly irritating considering that the Google Pixel 7 supports reverse wireless charging for accessories like earbuds, which cannot be used to charge a Pixel-branded watch in the same way that it can for watches from Samsung and others.
The design of some of the original Pixel Watch’s bands necessitates their removal to place the watch flat on a charging surface, but Google could address this issue in its self-designed hardware, from the get-go.
Other future Google hardware
While the Pixel Watch 2 may or may not currently be in development (we certainly expect that it is), Google certainly has some thrilling hardware planned for release this year. We are keeping a close eye on both Google Pixel Tablet’s multifunctional variant and the yet-to-be-announced Google Pixel 7a. For all the latest, keep an eye on our coverage.
We’ve been waiting for Google to make a watch for the better part of a decade, and the Google Pixel Watch has finally arrived. The first Android smartwatch with Fitbit health tracking, the Pixel Watch aims to help you stay fit or get fit easily while Wear OS 3.5 brings us Google’s vision for a wearable UI and exclusive Wear OS apps for Google services like Google Home.