Pixel Watch hands-on: Possibly the prettiest smartwatch I’ve touched
We’ve been ready and for the Pixel Watch to lastly be actual. As a result of it’s taken so lengthy for Google to point out us its personal smartwatch, expectations are excessive for the corporate to ship one thing spectacular. We have been capable of get a preview of the Pixel Watch forward of its full launch on the Made By Google occasion in Brooklyn immediately, and truthfully I’m very taken by its design.
The system is barely accessible in a single measurement: 41mm, although there are numerous band choices. It’s pretty dainty, at about the identical measurement because the small Apple Watch, however even on wrists bigger than mine it didn’t look comically tiny. Extra importantly, its design is clear and engaging. The case with out its strap appears like a refined pebble and I flipped it time and again in my hand, all whereas caressing its easy edges and curves. I didn’t try and scratch or break the display throughout my time with it, however the truth that it’s lined in a customized “3D Corning Gorilla Glass 5” provides me some assurance that it’ll survive a fall.
The case by itself has no lugs. To connect straps, you’ll must twist attachments into grooves on the facet such as you’re screwing a lens onto a DSLR’s physique. You’ll have to seek out the spot the place they line up, push the top of the band barely into the slot, then slide it in horizontally. It takes a little bit of studying, however when you get it the motion is straightforward to grasp.
As a result of it doesn’t have lugs, the Pixel Watch provides loads of variation in design and can even match extra snugly in your wrist. The chrome steel case is offered in matte black, polished silver and champagne gold, and the final one is my favourite. A great deal of straps can be found too, from the standard rubbery sports activities bands to these constituted of leather-based, metallic mesh and hyperlinks. A few of these include lugs, so you’ll be able to add a traditional contact again to the timepiece.
Google’s stretch/woven band is fairly low profile, and sporting it’s like gluing a pebble onto a rubber band and pulling it over your wrist, besides elegant. I appreciated this mix — not solely was it simple to put on, it was additionally gentle sufficient that I think about it could be comfy to put on to mattress.
That’s vital as a result of Google has inbuilt sleep-tracking options to the Pixel Watch, which runs what the corporate calls Put on OS 3.5. It’s a variation of the software program that it co-engineered with Samsung final yr, with some tweaks that incorporate Fitbit’s well being and health monitoring instruments. You’ll get background coronary heart fee monitoring at a fee of as soon as each second, auto exercise detection and extra, due to the onboard blood oxygen sensor and a “multipurpose electrical sensor.”
However that’s not all that’s completely different about Put on OS 3.5. Google has made some new watch faces — 18 households altogether — that enable for various views and customizable problems. You may add issues like your steps progress, the climate and extra. Options you’d count on, like GPS, LTE, Google Pay and third-party app assist are all accessible. There’s additionally an At all times On Show, and regardless of this and the upper fee of pulse studying, Google says the Pixel Watch’s 294 mAh battery ought to final 24 hours, due to a devoted low-power co-processor for a majority of these duties. Whenever you run out of juice, the Pixel Watch ought to rise up to 50 % charged in half-hour, utilizing Google’s USB-C magnetic cable.
For extra intensive actions, the Watch faucets its Exynos 9110 processor, and with 32GB of storage onboard, there’s loads of room for apps or saving music for offline playback.
From my transient time with the Pixel Watch to this point, the brand new Put on OS feels similar to Apple’s watchOS. That’s not a foul factor — Android customers have lengthy lacked a smartwatch that’s akin to the Apple Watch. Although Google’s Watch works greatest with Pixel telephones, it’s additionally appropriate with telephones working Android 8 or newer.
To this point, the Pixel Watch is likely one of the most lovely smartwatches I’ve seen, and I’ve seen many. Although some Fossil wearables look nicer, I’m excited by what Google is providing with the brand new Put on OS and Fitbit app. We’ll have to spend extra time with it in the actual world for me to know if it’s a good Apple Watch competitor, however for now, colour me intrigued.
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