After years of rumours, Pixel Watch is finally here. Let’s see if matches the high expectations.
Firstly, this is a review from sport / runner perspective, and I will focus mainly on that side of the watch and trying to answer most important question for me: can this watch provide me with accurate data and help me train.
The watch is pretty small, slick and very minimalistic, it's barely noticeable on my wrist, here are quick specs:
Pixel Watch utilizes Fitbit for sport and exercise, it comes with 40 sports modes, like Run, Bike, Swim and a few others like Yoga and Functional training, unfortunately, there is no Triathlon yet.
The data which you can see and track on the watch during a run is quite limited, you have only 1 screen with the option to configure 4 fields with the fallowing options: distance , elapsed time, heart rate, pace, pace avg, calories burned, steps, elevation, elevation gain and active zone minutes.
If you want to see any other data-field during exercise there is a way to do that, you need to swipe right, and you can see the rest of data in a list manner, but that is kind of difficult to do when you are running. I personaly would love adding option for multiple configurable screens like Garmin or any other sport watch.
There is an option to set a goal, like distance, time or calories but not for interval training or structured workouts, I couldn’t find any other application that supports this functionality. On top of that external sensors are not supported natively and you have to use an external app, at least in that case there are a few options, but more on that later.
So the watch can collect your data like GPS and HR, but is it accurate, lets's find out:
For accuracy testing and comparison I did a few runs with Garmin Fenix 7, a smartphone which support dual-frequency satellite and the Pixel Watch.
All devices seems to cut corners, but the pixel watch does not look worse than my Garmin and smartphone.
Here the pixel is the closes to the path I actually took, I did not run on the street.
My smartphone is way off, and the Garmin is showing the right path, the Pixel is between and eventily down the road, the Garmin and the Pixel aligned.
And between the buildings the Pixel is again the most accurate one.
for that comparison I used Garmin Fenix 7 with Polar H9 chest strap.
Apart from the very beginning where is kind of normal for optical heart rate sensors to struggle for the first few minutes, the rest of the time it matches the chest strap. In general, I am pretty happy and even surprised with the accuracy. Obviously there are differences of few beats here and there but that’s totally acceptable, the whole trend is pretty equal with my chest strap.
As always if you want to have better HR you need to connect external chest strap, which Pixel Watch does not support out of the box, but on that read next part.
As I said external sensors are not supported by Fitbit app, but you can use one of the folling apps to achieve that:
If you want to check more details about graphs and maps here are links to comparison data sets:
Here is a list of stuff that I expect from a running / sport watch:
on the well-being side, the pixel watch provides quite a lot of useful features, mainly via the Fitbit app:
Apart from the fitness app, Wear OS is the second-best watch operation system after Apple’s one. There are plenty of apps in Google Play Store.
First of all, this is a smartwatch which runs a full functional operation system, similar to Apple Watch OS, having this kind of OS means you can’t expect the watch to last for longer, here is how the battery works for me:
So it is exactly the same as google advertise it: up to 24h, which means you have to charge it every day. Charging times are pretty good though, and they are what Google says as well: 30 minutes to 50%; 80 minutes to 100%.
The Pixel Watch works well for me, I am very happy with the GPS and HR accuracy. The battery is not great and I need to charge it every day but that is the cost of having a full-featured smartwatch. Wellbeing functions are really good. The only real downside is the lack of a good running app that supports training plans and structured workouts, which honestly can be sorted by some smart developer, and it's just a matter of time.
If you are a very active runner or biker who trains and follow training plans, I would not recommend the watch at this point, for the rest, that is a very decent first smartwatch from Google and probably the best Wear OS watch till now.
As a dedicated runner, finding the perfect training partner to help you reach your goals can make all the difference.
Two running pods that provide very similar data, but what's the difference?
Data comparing from running, sleep, hrv, hr, steps and everything that can be compared.