Wednesday, July 24, 2024

One big change and one small fitness upgrade tipped for Google’s upcoming Pixel Watch 2

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Unlike, say, the original Pixel Buds, which needed two years to receive a sequel, or 2018’s Pixel Slate, which was left for dead after just one generation before eventually spawning a follow-up effort of sorts under a different name this year, the first-gen Pixel Watch will swiftly get a second edition.

Goodbye, steel, hello, aluminum!

In addition to stepping things up in the raw power, battery life, and health monitoring departments, Google’s next-gen Apple Watch rival is expected to look (slightly) different from its predecessor on the outside as well, at least if you squint hard enough or if you compare how the two devices feel in the hand (and on your wrist).
That’s right, the Pixel Watch 2 is tipped to revise its forerunner’s build materials, trading stainless steel for aluminum. That may sound like a potential downgrade in terms of durability and “premium” feel, but at the same time, it could help the search giant reduce the wearable’s weight without sacrificing screen real estate or battery capacity.
At 36 grams, the OG Pixel Watch is not exactly cumbersome, although it does exceed the weight numbers of both the 40 and 44mm Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, not to mention the 26-gram Fitbit Sense 2 featherweight. It’s hard to say how drastically Big G will be able to reduce that figure with the help of an aluminum case, but the Pixel Watch 2 could definitely feel similar on the wrist as the 32-gram 41mm Apple Watch Series 8.

The first-gen Pixel Watch, remember, comes in a single 41mm case size, and the same is likely to be true for its fast-approaching sequel. Similar to the stainless steel body of the 2022 generation, the aluminum case of the 2023 edition should be wrapped in shiny glass, which means that you’re unlikely to notice the build quality “downgrade” while almost certainly sensing the weight reduction right away.

In other words, this sounds like good news to us, especially when considering the durability of something like the aforementioned Galaxy Watch 5 or the most affordable Apple Watch Series 8 models. Those are made from aluminum and very much feel and look like aluminum too, which is however not a bad thing in the slightest.

Put me in, coach!

With a newer and faster processor under the hood expected to contribute to much better battery endurance scores, an expanded health and fitness tracking arsenal, and a slightly lower-quality build (at least in theory), the Pixel Watch 2 could well retain its predecessor’s pricing structure.

Google’s most optimistic fans, of course, might even hope to see the $350 starting price go down this time around, although that seems highly unlikely to us. Not when the search giant is expected to vastly improve both its smartwatch’s hardware capabilities and software skills, the latter department with even more help from daughter company Fitbit.

One of the new skills tipped for the Pixel Watch 2 is reportedly named Fitbit Coach, aiming to provide similar insight into your workout routines and fitness level as the current Fitbit Premium toolset. Hopefully, this will prove to be more than a simple rebranding effort after all, although it’s probably wise not to expect too much just yet in this particular field from Google’s next big candidate for the title of best smartwatch in the world.

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