Impressions with the Pixel Watch 2 (so far)

So, I have to admit, I wasn't really overly impressed by the Pixel Watch (1).  It was just a little too small, a little underpowered (battery and performance) and the screen scratched REALLY easily.

Getting my hands on the Pixel Watch 2 I was optimistic. It didn't look like much different - but they said it was under the hood or whatnot.  

So give it a try - aside from just completing the set of the Pixel lineup (Pixel Tablet, Pixel 8, Pixelbook, etc...), the fact that it's made to work together is the attractive feature.

First up, my biggest gripe with the PW1 was the screen.  Not the display, or the size, but how 'fragile' I'd found the screen.  

It's hard to photograph, but it has lots of scrapes on it actually, and not just tiny lines, they've got some depth.  Being told the new model has a stronger piece of glass on it I was very hopeful.

After a few weeks I've now had my first 'nick' in the glass.

Again, hard to really see, but there's a spot almost dead centre.  

I see it here and there in the right light, and at first I thought it was just a fleck of something, but you can feel it... just.

So, that's not instilling some confidence long term.  Keep in mind, I'm pretty absolutely careful with all my devices.  But, this is on my wrist and I do a lot of moving about and easy to swing about and you can't control if something pops against something.  Maybe I should look at a screen protector.

Then there's the charger.  Having a device that isn't wireless charging was very tough to deal with on the previous, so learning that the new model also was not going to have Qi was disappointing.  To add insult to injury, it's a different kinda charger from the PW1, it's got pins to worry about.

I was really hoping to leave my chargers where they were and just change the phone.  Nope.  And, on top of that, the 4 pins only orient on one specific way for the watch to lay and get charging based on the magnets.

Speaking of charging, the battery is a little better than the PW1.  At a normal day (with always on display) and a good 1 hr walk the watch was at 48% by day's end.  With the AOD turned off it'd be about 65%.

As I was always afraid of the battery, I never wore the PW1 to bed, but I thought I'd give it a try this time round (see if I couldn't get some sleep data).  And a feature I never noticed before, the 'bedtime mode'; where the watch display stays off, no notifications, but still measures (you could hit a button to bring the screen up).

Over a night sleep you'd lose about 10%, give or take.  Then, to worry about charging, it isn't an issue.  So if it's just under 40% I can plop it on the charger while I get up and have my shower and get dressed.  They tout that 30 minutes on the charger should give you about 12hrs of use, which is pretty good.  I'd finish breakfast and put the watch on and it'd be back at 95'ish%, good for another day.

That being said, let's take a look at what it's got inside.

Everything is really built for Fitbit, and I am NOT a fan of that app.  I wish you had the choice to get rid of it and just use Google Fit.  But things like the continuous measuring (it'll measure your temp and whatnot and let you know when you may be stressed) or the ECG, are all built for Fitbit.  I wish there were Google Fit options.

In fact, for the first week and a bit there was no Google Fit tile or home screen.

So there's a few issues I've had.  But, I've liked it despite them.

The watch is very responsive and fast, and the crown/dial is entirely smooth and feels more proper and fluid.  

you can feel the 'bumps' of the pins and ports

The back end has those pin 'ports' on top of more heartbeat sensors, which you can really feel on the back.  It doesn't make it being on the wrist any amount of uncomfortable tho'.

Overall, I like it.  It's still a little small, and I'm hoping that there are no more nicks and scratches, and I really wish it could stick with core Googley bits and not so Fitbit focused (yesh, I can't even get a map of my walks and bike rides with Fitbit... Google is so much better).