Google Pixel Watch 2 – a long-term review (wearables)

The Google Pixel Watch 2 looks just like the original Pixel Watch – so much so that we hesitated to put it to long-term use as the original is still going strong. We wanted to get a few firmware updates under its belt, too.

So, if you have the original, keep using it—it has many years of life left. If you are considering getting a smartwatch now, you have two choices: the original Wi-Fi/BT or LTE at $449/549 or the Watch 2 at $549/649, respectively.

The key differences are below, but first, we need to discriminate between ‘essential features’ and ‘nice to have but may never use them’. In essence, that describes both versions.

A smartwatch essentially should have (Pixel Watch original):

  • Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0 connection (to an Android phone), including mic and speaker call answering and SMS.
  • Uses Google Apps like Mail, Maps, Wallet, Contacts, Google Assistant, etc.
  • Use of Google Play Store Apps like Spotify and some fitness programs.
  • GPS.
  • Step counter (pedometer).
  • Heart rate.
  • Stress measurement.
  • Auto workout recognition to record different steps, laps, and climbed floors, among others.
  • Data feed to a free program like Google Fit.
  • SOS and fall detection.
  • Optionally some on-board storage for music using BT earphones (no need for a phone)
  • Sensors including Optical Heart rate, ECG, IR for Sp)2, Gyroscope, Altimeter, 3-axis accelerometer, e-compass, GPS, NFC and Ambient light.
  • IP68.

LTE eSIM adds 4G compatibility (Telstra One only) uses your existing mobile number for a $5 monthly plan. Some reviews have mentioned that the battery charge only lasts a day – valid. But so, too, does the newer Pixel Watch 2. Let’s face it – you need to charge most smartwatches daily.

In other words, the original and still available Pixel Watch is perfect unless you are into serious fitness tracking.

Nice to have includes all of the above plus (essentially Pixel Watch 2):

  • More advanced heart rate tracking.
  • Skin temperature sensing.
  • Irregular or high/low heartbeat notifications.
  • ECG app with AFib detection.
  • SpO2 nightly average, range, trends over time.
  • Blood glucose tracking.
  • Menstrual health tracking.
  • Mood.
  • Sleep insights.
  • Additional sensors: Continuous EDA detection, skin conductance (cEDA) for body response tracking, Skin temperature sensor, Red and infrared sensors for (SpO2).
  • There is a complete comparison of both Pixel Watch models here.

All of the fancy stuff requires the more fully featured Fitbit Premium (comparison between Free and paid app) at $14.99/month or $129.99/year

Australian Review: Google Pixel Watch 2

Price$549 Bluetooth/Wi-Fi
$649 4G LTE + Bluetooth/Wi-Fi
$45 30W charger
Bands from $69-119
Product pageHere
WarrantyTwo years
Made inChina
AboutGoogle is an American company most commonly known as a search engine. Although the company made its name as a search engine and most of its income comes from advertising, it has branched out into Made By Google Hardware.
MoreCyberShack Google news and reviews

We use Fail (below expectations), Pass (meets expectations) and Exceed (surpasses expectations or is the class leader) against many of the items below. We occasionally give a Pass(able) rating that is not as good as it should be and a Pass ‘+’ rating to show it is good but does not quite make it to Exceed. You can click on most images for an enlargement.

First Impression – a dead ringer for the original

It is a classy, understated, and minimalist 41-mm round watch in an aluminium case. The AMOLED 1000nit peak brightness daylight-readable display is covered in Gorilla Glass 5.

Colours include polished Silver/Bay, polished Silver/Porcelain, Matte Black/Obsidian and Champagne Gold/Hazel. A range of new Metal Slim and Active Sport bands allows you to customise the look. Or look on eBay for thousands of low-cost third-party bands (Watch and Watch 2 bands are the same).

A single crown and activation button control the watch menus, and you swipe up/down/left/right.

Elephant in the room – repairability

Pixel Watches are not repairable, and there is no Australian Care or extended warranty package. We have used the Pixel Watch daily since November 2022 and changed to the Pixel Watch 2 in November 2023. Neither shows any overt signs of wear, and the glass seems relatively scratch-resistant.

Google Pixel Watch 2 Tech Specs

  • Qualcomm W5+ Gen 1 quad core 4nm and 22nm 5100 Cortex M33 co-processor (the original Pixel used a Samsung Exynos processor).
  • Sensors Compass, Altimeter, Blood oxygen sensor, Multipurpose electrical sensor, Optical heart rate sensor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, and Ambient light sensor. Possibly UWB.
  • Side haptic crown and buttons.
  • 2/32GB eMMC
  • Wi-Fi 5 N 2.4GHz, BT 5.3, NFC (Google Pay)
  • Google Wear OS 4
  • Aluminium body
  • Speaker and Mic (Google Assistant built-in)
  • Same watch band system
  • 41mm, 450 x 450, 320ppi AMOLED screen (brightness boost to 1000 nits) with Gorilla Glass 5 protection
  • 1.2” 384 x 384 (round) AMOLED
  • A 306mAh battery and a 75-minute cabled pogo pin (not Qi) charge provide approximately 24 hours of always-on-display use (12-15 with GPS). No charger is supplied (Google recommends its 30W wall charger, which is overkill as 12.5W is all you need for a fast charge).
  • IP68 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes. 50m/5AATM water resistant
  • Some health monitoring features like ECG may require TGA certification.

Screen – Pass

There is the argument that a round screen is not as useful as a square one (a.k.a. Apple Watch), which is why Fitbit also has its square Sense 2 and Versa 4 models. Samsung spends considerable marketing dollars to convince you that the round is best. Let’s say that the 41mm (30mm viewable) screen is adequate for most users.

While it is a bright, colourful screen, it must be wound up to full brightness in direct sunlight. It is protected by Gorilla Glass 5. It is no surprise that it only has Dark Mode to save battery.

The AOD is a battery saver; you should use tilt (your arm) and tap to wake the setting instead.

Setup – Pass+

Download the Google Pixel Watch App from Google Play. You can accept all default settings, but we advise you to consider the privacy implications of location and sending usage and diagnostic reports to Google. Also, if you are not using it for phone calls, you may not wish to give it access to contacts and call logs.

It asks you to download the Fitbit app to monitor your health data. The free version does an adequate job but contains in-app purchases and requires a Fitbit account. Otherwise, it will integrate into Google’s free Fit app, and I recommend most users try that first.

You can select which wrist you’re wearing it on and what side the Digital Crown is on (under or over the wrist).

We tested with a Google Pixel 8 Pro and an OPPO FindX5 Pro – 100% success.

Workout identification – Pass+

It is a long list, but most of these activities are auto-identified for tracking.

Aerobics, Bike, Bootcamp, Canoeing, Circuit Training, Core Training, Cross-country Skiing, CrossFit, Dancing, Elliptical, Golf, HIIT, Hike, Indoor Climbing, Kayaking, Kickboxing, Martial Arts, Mountain Biking, Outdoor Workout, Paddleboarding (SUP), Pilates, Powerlifting, Rollerblading, Rowing Machine, Run, Skating, Skiing, Snowboarding, Spinning, Sport, Stair Climber, Strength Training, Surfing, Swim, Tennis, Treadmill, Walk, Weightlifting, Weights, Workout, Yoga


The Pixel Watch 2 is slightly more accurate for heart rate, but both watches are within a few percent of my doctor’s readings.

The single-band GPS is relatively accurate and fast to find satellites.

Smartwatch capabilities – Pass+

It is perhaps more of a seamless extension of my phone – more so than the Samsung Galaxy Watch.

It is easy to respond to a text on my watch with a voice-activated keyboard. Phone calls are adequate – loud enough to have a reasonable conversation.

Google apps like Maps are much easier than constantly looking at your smartphone. Wallet is simple for payment.

Battery – 306mAh – Pass

The more you do with a smartwatch, the more battery it uses. More fully featured ones, like the Google Pixel Watch 2 and Samsung watches, generally need a daily charge. GPS is a battery sucker.

Recharging with the USB-C Pogo pin dock is quick (it is incompatible with the original Pixel Watch). It will charge on any USB port with 5V/1A/5W or fast charge with 5V/2.5A/12.5W.

Summary: Rather than lamenting that it needs a daily charge, get over it and make it a habit.

IP68 – Pass+

It has a 5 ATM rating, but it is not waterproof. Water resistance is not permanent and decreases or is lost over time due to normal wear and tear or damage. It can be used in shallow water and should not be used for activities involving water at high velocity or high temperature.

In short, it is not for swimming or diving.

Google Assistant – Pass+

Unlike a Google Smart speaker, this requires a specific voice match and links to your mail, calendar, and more. A voice match is needed to prevent others from abusing the service. It also requires an internet connection.

CyberShack’s view – Google Pixel Watch 2 is more featured for those who need it

Original Pixel Watch owners – keep using it if you don’t need the additional Fitbit Premium features. Or if you want to save heaps, it is on MyDeal and Catch for <$300.

If you can use the extra features, then go for it. It is a lot easier to use than Samsung, and it is a Galaxy Health app that works on all Android 9 or later smart phones.

Would I buy it?

Yes. It is elegant, simple to use, and has everything I need. The Google Fit app is free and does what most people need. You can pay for Fitbit Premium, Strava, etc.

Perhaps I am a little wary of Samsung Galaxy watches after the Galaxy Watch Active and Active 2 had expanding battery issues, forcing the rear cover off, and the Watch 4 stopped working. In my opinion, the Samsung Health app asked for excessive permissions. And I need Google Wallet – not Samsung Wallet. Samsung is going down Apple’s walled garden path making it increasingly difficult to leave its ecosystem.


  • Features: 85 – it is all the casual smartwatch user needs. If you want to pay for Fitbit, it adds extra functionality.
  • Value: 85 – Samsung’s 43mm Watch6 Classic is $699, and its 40mm Watch 6 is $399 (as $599). As this is the only real alternative the Pixel Watch and Pixel Watch 2 are reasonable value.
  • Performance: 90 – Does what it claims with a decent all-day battery
  • Ease of Use: 85 – It loses points as it requires a paid App to unlock the additional features.
  • Design: 90 – It is round (do you need a square?) and well-made.

Google Pixel Watch 2

$549649 Bluetooth and Wi-Fi/LTE







Ease of Use





  • Yes, you get 18-24 hours and faster charging (with an optional 30W charger)
  • Feature improvements over original.
  • Google Assistant and great comms.
  • Design is comfortable and stylish.
  • Everything a non-professional user needs


  • 41mm screen (30mm viewable) is a wee bit small
  • Aggressive push to get you to buy Fitbit Premium.
  • No repairability out of warranty