Google’s New Pixel Watch 2 Puts a Spotlight on Health and Safety





Google unveiled its new smartwatch, the Pixel Watch 2, along with the new Pixel 8 smartphone lineup at its “Made by Google” event today.

The model features a more durable glass cover, comfortable design as well as new bands and watch faces. Google said the recycled aluminum casing makes it 10% lighter than its predecessor. The company also made the device’s crown larger for easier access and navigation.

The Pixel Watch 2 runs on a new quad-core CPU for better performance and 24 hours of battery life, even if you’re using Always On display. Google said the watch also charges faster — in 30 minutes, you’ll be at 50% battery, or 12 hours of use. The new device supports the entirety of Wear OS 4’s capabilities for more customization, accessibility and ease of use. You can also access the Gmail and Calendar apps from the watch face.

Google’s new watch got a slew of updated fitness and health features, including a redesigned Fitbit app. The Pixel Watch 2 introduces three new sensors to monitor your heart rate, stress levels through Fitbit’s Body Response feature, and skin temperature for sleep insights.

Google says the new heart rate sensor has a quarter more LEDs than the original Pixel Watch and produces more accurate metrics about calories burned, Active Zone Minutes, Daily Readiness Score and sleep. The watch will alert users if their pulse goes above or below their resting heart rate, check for AFib from the ECG app, monitor blood oxygen levels, and notify the user if it picks up irregular heart rhythms.

The Pixel Watch 2’s Auto Workout mode automatically starts and stops activities and provides information about your pace, heart rate zones and the number of laps you’ve run. Google said all of the Fitbit features on the Pixel Watch will be available on the new device.

The Pixel Watch 2 can detect high stress levels with the Body Response feature by continuously monitoring your heart rate, heart rate variability and skin temperature. If the watch detects high stress levels — good or bad — it’ll prompt the user to take stock of how they feel in the moment and offer relaxation tips like guided breathing. The skin temperature sensors can also provide data about your sleep patterns with daily and weekly Sleep Scores.

The watch includes its predecessor’s fall detection and Emergency SOS and introduces a new Safety Check features. Google said you can set an alarm for the time you expect to arrive at your location. If you don’t check in on your watch, Google will send your location to up to 15 emergency contacts. Chosen contacts will be notified of your location and device battery level, and medical details.

The new watch offers Wi-Fi starting at $349.99 and LTE for $399.99. Preorders are open now and shipments start next week. Customers will also get six months of Fitbit Premium and one month of YouTube Music Premium with purchase. The watch is available in four different case and band color combinations — Polished Silver with a Bay band, Matte Black with an Obsidian band, Champagne Gold with a Hazel band, and Polished Silver with a Porcelain band.

Google originally showed off the Pixel 8 and Pixel Watch 2 last month, posting videos teasing the Pixel Watch 2, the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. Google also snuck in a few product-related puns like “you’re in for a good time” and “save the d8,” respectively. In the Watch’s teaser video, the back of the device features an IP68 listing, which is terminology for water and dust resistance.

Image credit: Google

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