Google Pixel Watch 2: the options we need to see
Android fans had a lot to like about the Google Pixel Watch when it landed in October: a minimal design, slick Fitbit integration, and the best version of the firm’s Wear OS software to date. Google’s first wearable effort wasn’t perfect, though. Battery life was a real downer, and the “one size fits all” approach was off-kilter with the rest of the smartwatch world. That leaves plenty of areas for a Pixel Watch 2 to improve upon.
Given the OG Pixel Watch has only just landed, there’s going to be a long wait before a successor turns up – but that doesn’t mean we can’t look to the future, or come up with a laundry list of things we’d like to see make the cut by the time it does.
Google Pixel Watch 2 likely release date
Let’s face it, the Pixel Watch 2 isn’t going to land until 2023 at the earliest. The first-gen Pixel Watch is still fresh-faced, having only been around for a month or two at the time of writing, and Google has yet to even confirm whether it’ll see annual updates like its Pixel smartphones.
With Apple and Samsung both plowing on with new models every twelve months, though, it’s a safe bet that Google will follow suit. That means we can expect the Pixel Watch 2 to arrive in October 2023, barring any delays.
Pricing is more of an unknown. You can pick up a Pixel Watch for £339, but while Google managed to match the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro’s prices to their predecessors, there’s currently no indication it will try to do the same for its wearable line-up. General cost of living increases over the next twelve months might make that impossible, anyway. Estimating the cost of a larger model, should the firm offer one, would also be a total shot in the dark.
Once the first leaks and rumors start appearing, we’ll be sure to bring them to you here.
Google Pixel Watch 2 software changes
With the OG Pixel Watch running Wear OS 3, you can bet any features that debut on the second-gen watch will also make their way backwards – eventually. Google has already set a precedent, adding fall detection to the Pixel Watch post-launch to help it keep pace with rivals from Samsung and Apple.
If the new Watch has a more powerful CPU, though, Google could be forced to keep certain goodies for the newer model. Improved health tracking sensors could also give it an edge, although everything is still very much in the rumors stage for now.
Google Pixel Watch 2 feature wish list
We gave the Pixel Watch four stars in our review, praising its appearance and fitness tracking abilities but noting it fell short of more established rivals. Wondering what could have bumped it up to a full five stars? A few of the following making an appearance for the sequel should do the trick….
Two screen size options
With a 41mm screen, there’s no question the Pixel Watch can look a little… dainty on larger wrists. It’s perfect for smaller ones, though, so we wouldn’t want to see Google simply increase the size for 2023 and call it a day. Better to follow Apple and Samsung in offering a second, larger screen option. That’ll let customers decide which works best for them, and should make it possible to squeeze a bigger battery inside (more on that below).
If that means having to pay a little more, so be it – the 45mm Apple Watch Series 8 carries a £40 premium over the 41mm version, but it doesn’t seem to have hurt Apple’s sales numbers.
(Much) better battery life
Longevity is easily the Pixel Watch’s biggest weakness. It can barely last a full day on a single charge once you do a bit of exercise tracking, and using the always-on display can sometimes mean having to top up twice to make it through the night. The Apple Watch fares a lot better, and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 can now manage two to three days without much trouble. Google needs to do better for the next-gen version.
Whether that’s by using a more efficient processor (the one it uses right now is several years behind the latest Qualcomm 4100, which itself is due to an upgrade within the next year or so), or by increasing battery size won’t really matter to customers . As long as they aren’t tethered to a plug socket at least once a day, that’ll count as a win.
Banish the bezels
We’re big fans of circular smartwatches, and the Pixel Watch’s glass dome face is a real peach – until you spot just how thick its bezel is. The black ring is usually disguised by the WearOS interface using mostly black backgrounds, and the OLED screen being a perfect color match – but it still cheapens the look of what’s otherwise a premium gadget. Skinnier bezels are a must if Google wants to go toe-to-toe with Apple and Samsung in the design stakes.