With its smooth design and Fitbit’s suite of well being monitoring instruments, the Pixel Watch has the potential to develop into the very best Android smartwatch on the market. However at its core, the Pixel Watch nonetheless seems very very like a solution to the Apple Watch and different in style smartwatches.
It meets, and in some methods exceeds, expectations for a smartwatch at its value. Nevertheless, it does not essentially do a lot to push the smartwatch business ahead, nor does it overwhelmingly persuade you to aspect with the Pixel over a less expensive Samsung or Fitbit watch.
The Pixel Watch is actually a Fitbit wrapped in a extra enticing bundle designed by Google. however with Pixel Watch 2, which is able to debut on October 4, I need to see Google’s smartwatch acquire its personal identification. That is essential for Google now that utilities like watches and earbuds signify an even bigger a part of Android’s future route.
Google ought to copy the Pixel telephone technique
There’s lots the Pixel Watch does proper, from its smooth, curved edges to its easy-to-use software program and complete train monitoring. However for a wearable to actually stand out, Google must take a web page from its Pixel playbook.
As I’ve written up to now, I would wish to see Google develop sensible options for the Pixel Watch that resolve actual annoyances. Pixel telephones, for instance, have telephony instruments to let Google’s digital assistant wait in your behalf. Additionally they have attention-grabbing photograph modifying options, similar to the power to boost previous images which may be out of focus. Google is clearly specializing in two of the first duties folks use their telephones for: making calls and taking images. These options together with the Pixel’s nice digicam are what make it stand out.
However Google has already launched seven generations of its Pixel telephones, which implies it is had time to refine its method and see what works. The unique Pixel telephone from 2016 was a skeleton of at this time’s units; It had present Pixel parts, like a pointy design that rivaled that of the iPhone, a premium digicam and Google Assistant. Nevertheless it took years for Google to get its Pixel telephone technique in place. The case will seemingly be the identical for the Pixel Watch.
It is exhausting to say precisely what that may seem like. Health and well being appear to be the most important areas the place smartwatches are rising at this time and enhancing throughout the business. Google’s progress in these areas is essentially as a consequence of Fitbit, which pioneered the digital well being motion however now faces rising competitors from Apple. This rivalry is prone to escalate within the coming years, given Apple It said Engaged on new well being options, together with an AI-powered wellness coach, temper trackers, and blood strain monitoring.
Well being monitoring apart, I would wish to see extra options that make the Pixel Watch a extra essential a part of the Android ecosystem. Given the progress Google has made with Google Assistant, I hoped Google’s digital assistant would play an even bigger position within the Pixel Watch. Sure, you are able to do all the fundamental belongings you’d anticipate, like make calls, begin timers, play music, and management sensible dwelling units together with your voice.
However I would wish to see new options that appear extra particular to the Pixel Watch. Since smartwatches aren’t preferrred for lengthy interactions with touchscreens, there is a massive alternative for Google to make use of Google Assistant to show contextual data in new methods. Hopefully we’ll see extra of that sooner or later as Google deepens its AI efforts.
Pixel Watch rising pains
Whereas Google figures out the long-term route of the Pixel Watch, there are a number of near-term fixes it will possibly make to maneuver the Pixel Watch ahead.
Longer battery life is on the prime of my listing. To be truthful, Google is just not alone on this regard; Main smartwatches from Apple and Samsung sometimes solely final one to 2 days on a single cost. This can be passable when you plan to cost your watch in a single day, but it surely makes it troublesome to trace sleep frequently.
Though I praised the Pixel Watch’s smooth, pebble-like design, its black body continues to be very noticeable towards sure backgrounds — particularly colourful ones just like the Photograph watch face. This may distract from the Pixel Watch’s attractive design.
For its value, the Pixel Watch must also supply all the identical well being options because the Fitbit Sense 2. In comparison with the Sense 2, the Pixel Watch lacks irregular coronary heart charge alerts, excessive and low coronary heart charge notifications, and temperature sensing. . . The Pixel Watch can also’t routinely detect and begin a exercise in your wrist.
I notice that Google must make some compromises to distinguish the Sense 2 from the Pixel Watch. However Google already does it effectively sufficient with the Pixel Watch’s extra premium design and the extra options that include smartphones, like Google Play Retailer assist.
In relation to the buyer electronics market, Google is in a singular place. It has to steadiness differentiating its Pixel merchandise with enhancing your complete Android ecosystem — together with Android devices made by firms it competes with, like Samsung. Google is preventing two battles: Android versus iPhone, and Pixel versus everybody else. Generally this seems of their merchandise.