Its an adequate first attempt at a smartwatch by Google for Pixel phone users who want a smartwatch.. But after six months, like most version one products, the Pixel Watch feels a bit incomplete.. There are a lot of quality of life features. People may be expecting with this watch that just arent there or dont work.. A perfect example of this is bedtime mode on the watch.. It turns the watchs display off, so it doesnt blind you or distract you, while youre wearing the watch and trying to sleep.. Now the Pixel phone has a feature that allows you to schedule when your bedtime mode on the phone turns on and off., And you would think that the same schedule would control bedtime mode on the watch. But youd be wrong. After six months of using this watch. That feature still hasnt been fixed.. You still have to manually turn on and off bedtime mode on this watch. Same thing for do not disturb by the way. Or you know, even a feature like unlocking your phone and your watch. If its on your wrist, it automatically unlocks as well. Thats, also missing. Its features like that that are at the core of my complaints with the first generation Pixel Watch., But for things like hardware design, UI, software, snappiness and overall aesthetics of the watch. I think Google actually nailed all of those.. The watchs design is simply stunning in person, even though the bezels of the screen are huge.
. You never really notice them on this watch unless you use the flashlight feature or in other apps. That really show them like scrolling through something on the Spotify app.. Google did a great job, designing the watchs UI in a way that doesnt constantly remind you how big the watchs bezels are., The stainless steel material of the watch looks great.. The digital crown works well and the watch band mechanism, which reviewers made way too big of a deal of when this watch first came out, is fine.. Is it as intuitive to use as the Apple Watchs slide in mechanism Id say no, but its not bad, and I like that it gives you this nice little firm click when the band is properly in place.. Another thing thats been great with the Pixel Watch, is actually its processor and overall performance. Google delivers a software experience that isnt laggy but snappy and overall great.. Another thing I think Google did a pretty good job of with this watch is watch face customizations.. While I know some may want fully customizable options, you can customize the watch faces to show a variety of colors different dashes for some of them and other elements.. And of course you can choose what complication youd like to have on the watch face display.. There are a lot of complications to choose from which is nice, but it did make me realize how many apps are lacking. Support for Wear OS right, now.
And I do wish there were more apps that supported, Wear OS like Pocket Casts heck. Even Google Podcasts. Theres. No watch app for it, but then at the same time there are a surprising amount of apps that actually do support Wear OS. At this point more than I was expecting like Peloton, Deezer, Amazon, Music, Home Assistant, the Roku, remote app, Calm, AccuWeather and many others.. But if you want great media controls when listening to a podcast on the Pixel Watch, youll probably want to use Spotify. Spotifys Wear OS app implementation is actually pretty good and you can download songs and podcasts to the watch itself and then pair. Your Pixel Buds Pro, which Ive recently reviewed to your watch and you can go for a run or walk without taking your phone with you., Since Google also makes a version of the watch that has cellular connectivity built in one frustrating thing is that if you use Another app for podcasts, like Pocket, Casts or even Google Podcasts, because there is no Wear OS app support, youre stuck using Googles, terrible media controls on the watch.. The buttons are too small and they dont give you any way to skip forward or back a certain amount of seconds like youd expect for a podcast and what you get on the Pixel phone itself. When you listen to a podcast. One feature, I was pleasantly surprised to see. Added to the watch is theater mode, which you can enable from the watchs control panel.
. The last thing Ive really liked about this watch is battery life, which did not impress me when I first got it. At first. I was running low on battery a lot, but over the first month, things stabilized and now the watch lasts me all day and I only charge it when Im in the shower in the morning andor at night. So, for me, it works well., But depending on when you plan to charge it, it may not be adequate. Thats, just because the Pixel Watch simply does not charge nearly as fast as something like the Apple Watch does. In terms of fitness tracking. The watch has done a pretty decent job, counting my steps tracking my hikes and my sleep. Overall, while its not quite as built out as the experience Im used to with an Apple Watch. It still gets the job done and is adequate for my fitness needs.. While I think some will really dig the smaller form factor, it does at times make it hard to actually hit a button on the watch.. I do wish that Google would make just a slightly larger version of this watch.. Another potential downside with a Pixel Watch is if youre specifically used to a sapphire crystal display on an Apple Watch or a regular watch.. Note that my Pixel Watchs surface has a good amount of scratches over the past six months.. If youre bothered by seeing scratches on a screen, you might want to opt for a screen protector with this watch.
Ive also had this odd screen bug on my Pixel Watch for several months., The watch screen will just go to static and the only way to fix It is to restart the watch.. Another thing I wish Google would change is how you can trigger the Google Assistant on the watch.. Currently, you have to long press the side button., But I find it much easier to just put my finger over the digital crown.. I wish you could just long press the digital crown to wake the assistant.. Last night. I found another downside with this watch. I looked over at my husbands, Pixel Watch and noticed that the back cover was loose.. I was like Hey. Can you take your watch off for a second, He said Sure. I took the watch and the back cover just came off. I was like Well. This is another example of a first generation product.. Another thing I think Google could improve with the Pixel Watch. Experience is their support. Experience., We tried calling the Pixel or Google support number, but of course we got disconnected before even getting to anyone.. So we tried the Google support, chat which did work. Everyone we interacted with was great, but we got passed off to three different people before we got to someone who could actually help us., We had to take photos of the watch from three different angles and give Them all of our information, like the serial number and order number.
. I had all of that information readily available since I ordered the watch.. It took like 30 minutes to finally get an answer that said Its going to take about 24 to 48 hours. To get you authorization so that we can then send you a new watch and you can send the broken one back.. I was like Really. We just spent 30 minutes over chat just to get an answer. Thats going to take 24 to 48 hours. I guess youre going to be put in a queue.. There are other people ahead of you that also have issues with the Pixel Watch.. I definitely think that support experience could be improved.. Another real downside to this watch is the Fitbit app, which has many analysis, features hidden behind the Fitbit Premium, paywall. Youre already paying several hundred dollars for this watch. And to me it seems a bit much to then turn around and ask for more money to unlock Features that are standard on competing watches like the Apple Watch., For example. It tracks more things like hearing health, SpO2 cycle, tracking etc. and it doesnt put any of its tracking behind a paywall.. But the Pixel Watch by having that Fitbit Premium, paywall kind of goes against Googles strategy, historically with a Pixel line of products which are products that provide a tremendous amount of value to their users at a lower cost than the competition. Having a paywall for tracking features. On a watch that doesnt cost significantly less than its competition is a bit perplexing.
. So overall I do recommend the Pixel Watch for any Android user, not just a Pixel phone user who wants a smartwatch with the aesthetic of the Pixel Watch.. Now, if you have an iPhone – and if you like the aesthetic of the Pixel Watch, unfortunately its just not for you., It can only work with Android.. If you have an iPhone, you should get an Apple Watch.. It is the best smartwatch for an iPhone by a mile. Id recommend, looking at an Apple Watch Series 8, which Ive also reviewed if youre an iPhone user.. Now, given its been six months, though, if youre looking at a Pixel Watch, but you could wait another six months, my guess is a lot of the issues Ive mentioned with my Pixel Watch will get ironed out with the next generation of Wear OS, which the Gen 1 Pixel should support.. You could also wait for the Gen 2 Pixel Watch.. It might have some additional hardware features and improvements that youre just not going to see via a software update on the Gen 1 Pixel Watch.. So those are my thoughts on whether you should get one now or wait. And to see my thoughts on the phones that Google, built to perfectly pair with the Pixel Watch check out my long term. Reviews of phones like the Pixel, 6a Pixel, 7, Pixel, 7, Pro and other Pixel accessories that work with all of these devices as well.. You can get to all of those long term reviews by clicking on the playlists above.
And consider giving this video a thumbs up. If you liked it and found it helpful. For six months later, Im Josh Teder.swumOHnA2S8