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Google announced the Pixel Watch 2 at its "Made by Google" event on October 4, 2023 alongside the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. The device brings with it upgrades to internal hardware and new health & wellness capabilities, leveraging Fitbit's wealth of technology.

Here we will dive into differences between the Pixel Watch 2 and its predecessor to see how much of the wearable has improved and whether an upgrade is warranted for those who already own the first-generation.

Google Pixel Watch 2 vs. Pixel Watch (1st Gen): Technical Specifications

Category

Google Pixel Watch 2

Google Pixel Watch

Case

41mm, 31 grams, Aluminum

41mm, 36 grams, Stainless Steel

Display

1.2-inch, Custom Corning Gorilla Glass 5, 320ppi,(450 x 450 resolution)

1.2-inch, Custom Corning Gorilla Glass 5, 320ppi, (450 x 450 resolution)

Processor

Qualcomm Snapdragon W5 Gen 1

Samsung Exynos 9110

Internal Storage

32GB

32GB

RAM

2GB

2GB

Connectivity

LTE (optional), WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC

LTE (optional), WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC

Battery

306 mAh, 75 minutes for full charge

294 mAh, 150 minutes for full charge

Sensors

Compass, altimeter, multi-path optical heart rate, gyroscope, electrical sensor for EDA, skin temperature, barometer, magnetometer, accelerometer

Compass, altimeter, optical heart rate, gyroscope, accelerometer

Durability

5ATM

5ATM

Google Pixel Watch 2 vs. Pixel Watch (1st Gen): What's different?

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Google Pixel Watch 2, Jaime Rivera / Pocketnow

Focusing on its internals first, the Google Pixel Watch 2 shifts to the Qualcomm Snapdragon W5 processor from the generations-old Exynos 9110 that shipped in the first-generation Pixel Watch. The swap to newer hardware will not only bring better fluidity to the user experience, but it will also be responsible for several of the new health and wellness tracking features.

Leaning into the device's tracking capabilities, the Pixel Watch 2 has completely revamped its case-back, featuring a multi-path heart rate sensor that can automatically switch the tracking algorithms applied based on the intensity of activity. These are then run through the AI heart rate algorithms to deliver metrics, which Google says are 40% more accurate. The sensor array also enables other features from the Fitbit suite, the most notable one being Body Response, which can help with stress management.

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Google Pixel Watch 2, Jaime Rivera / Pocketnow

Battery performance with the Pixel Watch 2 also sees an improvement. Not only is the cell packaged into the wearable slightly larger — 306 mAh vs 294 mAh — but with the improved chipset Google claims you can experience 24 hours of use with Always-On display enabled. The original Pixel Watch claimed up to 24 hours without explicitly mentioning the use of the display feature.

Charging speeds are also significantly better, as Pixel Watch 2 will go from 0 to 100 in 75 minutes, which is half of the 150 minutes that the original Pixel Watch required.

Lastly, there's a change in casing material with this generation. The Google Pixel Watch 2 swaps over to recycled aluminum from the 80% percent stainless steel build on the first-generation watch. This shift brings about a 5 grams change in weight (without band) — down to 31 grams from 36 grams. The dome glass, constructed with Gorilla Glass 5 has also been modified, it's thinner and ties into the weight reduction of the wearable.

Google Pixel Watch 2 vs. Pixel Watch (1st Gen): What's the same?

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Google Pixel Watch 2, Jaime Rivera / Pocketnow

As you may have noticed from the images in this article, while there's a lot that's changing internally, when it comes to the external factors there's not much difference. The Google Pixel Watch 2 and the Pixel Watch look nearly identical, barring some differences that you may or may not notice in the colors of the device. The display bezels, which we hoped would have improved aren't any smaller too.

Fortunately, other factors, like the great 32GB of internal storage, 2GB of RAM, and strap system remain unchanged. So you'll still have plenty of space for apps or data and won't have to toss away your original band collection.

Google is also maintaining consistency with prices, as Pixel Watch 2 starts at $349 for its Wi-Fi only variant and $399 for the LTE model.

Google Pixel Watch 2 vs. Pixel Watch (1st Gen): Should you upgrade?

When you first take a look at the Pixel Watch 2, you'll think that there's not much difference, but this is only the situation for its design because internally and on its case-back, there are substantial differences. If you're someone who uses their smartwatch to stay on top of any illness or just manage your day-to-day activity, the Pixel Watch 2 is worth the upgrade. The improved performance, charging speed and battery life further sweeten the pot.

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Google Pixel Watch 2

The new Google Pixel Watch 2 features a 1.2-inch AMOLED display, the more powerful Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 chipset, and new sensors. The wearable comes with more advanced tracking, enabling users to accurately measure their heart rate, ECG, blood pressure, sleep, and various sports activities.