Pixel Watch Review: First Gen Fumbles!
lets talk about this Google pixel watch, so the first generation of any uh new piece of tech is always interesting. You know this is Googles. First pixel, Smart Watch. We have the Google pixel phones and the pixel Buds and the pixel tablet coming later. That could be fun too, but yeah. This is their first crack at a pixel, Smart Watch, so I know Im not the only one who was very curious just waiting for this thing to see what it would look like what features they would include how well it would work together, what the design would Be – and I also know that Im not the only one whos disappointed in a lot of this stuff lets talk about it. So when you first buy a pixel watch for 350, you get a small 41 millimeter circular, smart watch. It comes in this one size but theres, three colors black silver or gold, the black being the best, in my opinion, because it is matte black, while the other two are very much glossy and the front glass curves way over into a dome shape, made of Gorilla Glass, 5., its like a Sleek little Pebble; well, not a Pebble Smartwatch, but a literal Pebble, a very lightweight weight, Pebble and theres, only two buttons, the crown that rotates and pushes in and then a button right above it. The crown, I think, is really good. It sticks out enough its usable everywhere. It has haptics when you scroll with it nice and clicky the button above it not so much.
Its pretty small doesnt have much travel its still clicky, but because of the domed glass, its pushed fairly far back kind of close to your wrist. Luckily, you dont really use it that much and then connecting the watch. Bands at the top and bottom happens through this clever little push and slide system its clever. I say because it can connect bands in this really seamless, looking way without any lugs or bulky connections, and the first party watch bands do a really good job of looking like they just jut out of the side of the watch, which is pretty cool. You might not care about this at all if you never change watch bands, but as somebody who changes watch bands every single day to sleep in a different band. I just get used to this motion a lot, and so I find it good when its good – and this is also something very important – to get right in the first generation, because you dont really want to have to change it three years in because that makes everyones Watch bands that they just bought for the past three years, incompatible so theyre trying to keep this for a long time. So Hardware wise. I think this thing is actually pretty beautiful. I love the simple Circle. You can easily dress it down and keep it subtle or you can just go sports band or fabric band. It seems to fit right into a lot of different places.
Its stainless steel, its water resistant up to 50 meters and the back happens to be pretty simple, too its just a heart rate sensor, blood, oxygen sensor and the ECG and up front. This is a thousand nit OLED display, with a mostly black background through most of the software, so it just kind of feels like a black disc floating on your wrist, its nice. The only thing I wish is that it was bigger or if there was a larger version, so I dont even have that big of a wrist, but this thing is just its pretty small which some people will like, but I just wish I had a larger screen. This watch is a 41 millimeter watch, but that measurement is just of the actual outside of the casing. When you actually get a look at this thing, the bezels are pretty substantial, and so the screen is down to about 29 millimeters across now. I dont actually hate these bezels, I think its its kind of like the notch on a phone. You know a lot of people who dont actually use it can make a big deal about it, because if you just look at them, they look silly, but the mostly black background throughout the UI does a good job of hiding them, and you really only see them When youre looking for them or if you set a photo as a watch face, but I really think a bigger watch would feel even more modern for the computer on the wrist nerds like me, and it would also solve the number one problem of this Hardware, which Is battery life because the battery life is trash, its bad, its its just, not good at all.
So on stage Google said: what did they say up to 24 hours was their claim, which probably should have been the first red flag, because if you think about it, 24 hours is like 8 A.M. One day to 8 A.M, the next day so one day and one night, but thats the maximum its up to 24 hours, so the always on display is off. By default out of the box, I turned that on and its literally measuring your heart rate, every single second, all day, every day, every single second thats, a lot of heart rate measurements. So just for context. The Apple watch, for example, is checking periodically through the day and every five seconds, while youre sleeping so now, here, Im getting more like 18 hours tops, which is not quite enough to go all day and then do a full night of sleep tracking. So if you wanted to sleep tracking like me, basically you have to charge it twice a day every day, sometime in the morning, when you wake up and then again sometime in the afternoon before you go to sleep or its just gon na die. If the thing drains about 20 to 25 battery, just during one night of sleep tracking, now measuring your heart rate, every single second to the second is actually kind of sick. Like its pretty cool, there is a complication. They showed it on stage two of just the watch telling you every second updating what your heart rate is like Ive, never seen anything like it, its the most accurate heart rate tracking Ive ever tried in a wearable its great for tracking workouts heart rate recovery.
You know this: this is the Fitbit prowess going to work, no doubt, but the other smart watches that are now years in you know the Samsung Galaxy watch 5 and the Apple Watch series 8.. Theyve all realized by this point that the way you save battery is by pinging all these sensors. Less often like the battery saver mode on the new Apple watch literally, is just pinging heart rate and GPS less and turning off things like the always on display and the blood oxygen readings that are going on all the time. In the background, thats how you save battery, so the fact that this watch does it all the time can be cool but also can nuke your battery all the time when I go to bedtime mode and just turn on like the sleep mode, it doesnt say its Stopping those heart rate measurements it continues to measure my heart rate constantly. I will say, though, the Saving Grace that makes it usable is that it does charge up very fast. It does come with this plastic Puck charger in the box with a pretty weak magnet that feels like it could easily fall off also very first gen feeling, but it could go from like 10 to 40 percent in like 15 minutes, which is amazing, and it can Go from zero to a hundred in about an hour but okay, all that being said, the most clumsy thing about the pixel watch for sure is the fact that its also a Fitbit or let me rephrase that Fitbit isnt built into the watch so much as its Like bolted on to the side, so wear OS 3.
5 here is its fine, its pretty familiar its still intuitive youve got your watch face with a swipe down to get to all your customizable Quick Settings, thats nice, and then you swipe up to get to your notifications. Your list of apps is one click of the crown away, but your recent apps is behind that secondary button that I find I almost never use. Then you can swipe sideways between a predetermined set of tiles that you can organize in the phone app, and these are like these big, quick shortcuts to screens that you might use a lot ongoing background. Things will show up at the bottom. So if you have a notification, theres a little dot for your notification dot if theres a music playing itll show a little animation for that and if youre, in the middle of something like a workout and a new notification comes in itll show the logo down there. For that too, so to control any of the normal watch faces and complications, which I really like a lot of them. You go through the Watch. App makes perfect sense, but then for the fitness stuff thats, where Fitbit, which Google acquired in 2019, comes into play. So when you set up the watch, you actually make a Fitbit account and it starts you off with 6 free of Fitbit premium, which is a subscription service. So as a smart watch, Ive mostly enjoyed using its been fine like its smooth.
It has a good performance, but it does feel disjointed sometimes in ways where, like youd expect it to sync more things with the phone, but it doesnt like. For example, when I put my pixel phone, my pixel phone in Do Not Disturb mode. The watch does not go to do not disturb mode; it keeps buzzing, it has its own separate, Do Not Disturb mode basic stuff like it feels like it should work together, more than just being a Bluetooth accessory connected to your phone, but then you do a bunch Of Fitness, stuff, a bunch of workouts or whatever sleep tracking, and then the watch dumps all of that Fitness data into the Fitbit app. Now there is still a Google Fit app by the way the watch doesnt really talk to it at all. So what does that mean for the future of the Google Fit app? I dont know your phone can still talk to it and dump like step counting in there, but then youre using two different apps to track Fitness. So I I dont know and then even throughout the watch UI all the Fitbit stuff its in there, but it also it kind of just feels like they just dropped it in there, on top like, instead of ECG, its Fitbit ECG and a set of exercise, its Fitbit exercise and then you start using these features and the free six month trial before you realize a ton of the stuff its collecting and that youre, using like the breathing rate, heart rate variation, sleep stage, tracking and sleep scores.
All of that goes behind a Fitbit. 10, a month subscription paywall when the free trial is over. It feels like you, can see the Arc of the thinking where, like Google, wanted people to use a Google watch, so they bought Fitbit and then, as I integrated it, they realized. Oh people love the Fitbit name and they still want a Fitbit, so you cant remove that name or that branding. So people now get the Google watch that has Fitbit in it and they use the Fitbit app, but then theres also Google fit in the background that they hopefully also choose to use sometimes, and they all dont really talk to each other. Now all this stuff, you know it doesnt make the rest of the parts of the watch worst use. It all still works its just. It adds to this first gen feeling here, where you can tell that there is a lot that can get better, and this is the funny thing about reviewing products that youre like hoping to be good. You end up sounding really harsh, like a disappointed, parent or something. Basically, I think this whole pixel watch thing has a lot of potential and I really do enjoy parts of it. Having Google assistant on my wrist everywhere is awesome, downloading music to stream offline. The turn, by turn, navigation with maps The Voice to Text, to respond to Notifications – all that is great, but they clearly still have some first gen learnings to do like the the charger, the heart rate, monitoring that is constant, that doesnt seem to have any adjusting ability.
Uh the Fitbit integration, even the connectivity problems, Ive had a little bit of connectivity issues with mine here and there, but some of my friends who are also reviewing this watch right now have had a nightmare of a time just keeping it connected to their phone, so Ill, let them talk about that in their reviews. So, like I was hoping this would be. Some amazing watch straight from the start, which I should know better right like first gen stuff, is never amazing right from the go, but you know its starting from zero here, like theres, not a lot of bands, theres, not a lot of accessories for this its 350 And for that money you could get a more mature version of a smart watch that has more features that has better battery life. That has things that arent behind a subscription paywall and that, ultimately, will probably be a better experience. But for now its fine for their first foray into forearm, Fitness and fashion, but functionally its still far from finished. Oh hey! Look! A notification from this video sponsor rocket money. You might heard of them theyre previously known as true bill thats. When I signed up, I had this service for years, but this is an all in one Finance platform that helps you keep track of your finances and also helps you manage your money too, but actually my favorite feature of Rocket money is that it helps. You cancel unwanted subscriptions, which can kind of just like pile up in the background, so you connect your bank account it scans through all of your charges, and then it puts all in one place.
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