Alongside the new Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro smartphones, as well as updates for the Pixel Buds Pro, Google has introduced its second-generation smartwatch, the Google Pixel Watch 2, which follows up to the Google Pixel Watch introduced last year.
The Google Pixel Watch 2 offers upgraded performance, an all-day battery that runs for that long even when the always-on display is active, new safety features, additional sensors for more health insights, and the most accurate heart tracking in the line.
The watch’s housing is made from 100% recycled aluminum which makes it 10% lighter than Pixel Watch, and thus more comfortable to wear all day, including while sleeping. The crown is also larger and more flush with the circular silhouette for easier access and navigation.
Inside, Pixel Watch 2 has a new, quad-core CPU for smoother and stronger performance. Together with the low-power co-processor, the new CPU gives the watch 24 hours of battery life, even with always-on display. This is combined with a faster charging rate that powers the watch to 50% in just 30 minutes.
There are three new sensors in the watch. There’s a new heart rate sensor with numerous LEDs (25 times more than the Pixel Watch) that works in tandem with the improved AI heart rate algorithm to produce a more accurate heart rate reading. Google says it’s 40% more accurate for vigorous activities like HIIT workouts, spinning, and rowing, which will translate to more accurate readings for things like calories burned, Active Zone Minutes, Daily Readiness Score (with Fitbit Premium) and sleep tracking.
Fitbit’s Body Response feature is now available on the Pixel Watch 2, powered by a new continuous electrodermal activity (cEDA) sensor. This new sensor can point to possible signs of stress using a machine learning algorithm that incorporates heart rate, heart rate variability, and skin temperature. When the algorithm picks up on physical indicators of positive and negative stress, including excitement, the Body Response feature will send you a notification. It will then prompt you to either reflect on how you feel at that moment or take actions to reduce your stress, like guided breathing or a mindfulness session. Reflecting on these moments may help you identify patterns to anticipate potential stress and plan ahead.
Finally, there’s a new new skin temperature sensor that tracks overnight to reveal insights into your sleep and monitor for changes in your overall wellness.
You can get other important health and fitness information using just your voice. Open the Google Assistant app and ask a question like “How did I sleep last night?” to get your daily Sleep Score or weekly average, or ask to start a workout. With the new Google Assistant tile, you can also set up shortcuts for your most-used queries.
New Heart Rate Zone Coaching and Pace Training features can help you stay on track with your workout goals, like alerting you to a heart rate zone change during a HIIT workout or offering real-time feedback on your pace goals while marathon training. Meanwhile, automatic workout start and stop reminders are available for seven exercises, including running and outdoor cycling, to help you stick to your schedule.
All the same Fitbit features from the original Pixel Watch will still be on Pixel Watch 2, including Daily Readiness Score and Sleep Profile (Fitbit Premium only), Sleep Score, Active Zone Minutes, 40 workout modes, and more.
There are new personal safety features as well. In addition to fall detection and Emergency SOS, which is available on Pixel Watch, there’s also Medical ID, Emergency Sharing, and Safety Check. With these features, you can get help even without your phone present. Safety Check, for example, lets you set a timer for an activity and when you plan to arrive at a destination or finish. Select up to 15 emergency contacts to send a text to, alerting them that you have begun. If you don’t check in once the activity is finished, they will receive a message advising of this and sharing your location on Google Maps.
You can also display Medical Info on your watch when it’s locked, or share it with participating emergency responders during a call to indicate important medical information like allergies, blood type, and pre-existing conditions. As an extra precaution, you can add the Medical ID Tag to your band so emergency services know there’s important information to check on your watch.
For LTE-enabled Pixel Watch 2 users with Fitbit Premium, Safety Signal allows you to use features like Safety Check and Emergency Location Sharing even if you’re not connected to a carrier yet.
Additionally, Pixel Watch 2 is offers all of Wear OS 4’s capabilities, including smarter notifications that show preview images and GIFs, and allow you to start a call or message or get directions in one tap from your notifications screen. Wear OS 4 also brings improved accessibility and customization, with features like bold text and better text-to-speech for faster screen reading. And when it’s time to switch to a new phone or watch, you can use watch transfer to pair to a new phone, or backup and restore to easily transfer your data and settings from your previous Pixel Watch.
Pixel Watch 2 also has new apps to help you get more done. With the new Gmail and Calendar apps, you can accept or decline events, and catch up on your inbox right from your wrist. There are improvements to existing apps, too: You’ll be able to listen to podcasts on YouTube Music and check nearby place information in Google Maps. More apps have been added to Google Play for Wear OS as well, including AllTrails, Audible and WhatsApp.
As with the original Google Pixel Watch, you can sync the Pixel Watch 2 to the newly redesigned Fitbit app on your phone to get a more comprehensive view of your health and wellness. The Watch comes with six months of Fitbit Premium which adds, in addition to Daily Readiness Score and Sleep Profile, a curated library of fitness and wellness content, and more detailed, personalized health insights.
Pixel Watch 2 pairs easily with other Pixel devices, too. Switch your audio from your watch to your headphones and find your phone when it’s gone missing with Find My Phone. With Automatic Call Screener for Dialer on Wear OS, coming later this year to Pixel Watch 2, Google Assistant can also screen unknown calls from your Pixel phone and show you transcripts right on your wrist.
The Pixel Watch 2 works with a selection of six new watch face families, ranging from simple and subtle to expressive and colorful. There are also new accessories for it in the Google tore, including new bands.
Starting today, you can pre-order Pixel Watch 2 for $480 for Bluetooth/Wi-Fi, and $550 for 4G LTE. It will be available in 30 countries on October 12.