Google Pixel Watch 3 to Be Available in Two Different Sizes: Report

Google Pixel Watch 3 to Be Available in Two Different Sizes: Report

Google Pixel Watch 3 is likely to be launched in two different size variants, according to a new report. So far, Google launched its smartwatches in a single-size variant of 41mm diameter, unlike Apple and Samsung. The Apple Watch Series 9 and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 are both available in two different sizes. Now, the search giant is also reportedly working on bringing an additional Pixel Watch 3 variant with a larger case size. This development, if true, will address a long-time user complaint and enable the Pixel Watch 3 to better compete in the market.

A report by 9to5Google suggests that two different size variants of the Google Pixel Watch 3 are currently in development. The two variants are not expected to differ much in specifications, but the larger model may get a bigger display and a larger battery.

The report highlighted that the lack of options in watch sizes was a big complaint by the Google Pixel Watch and Pixel Watch 2 users as many users prefer a larger watch. If this report is true, then it appears that Google may have finally decided to address the size issue with the Google Pixel Watch 3.

At the moment, the details around the sizes are not known. It is expected that Google will keep its 41mm Pixel Watch smartwatch variant that already has familiarity and user affinity, and introduce a larger variant alongside. Apple Watch Series 9, for example, is available in two size variants of 41mm and 45mm, whereas Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 can be purchased in either 40mm or 44mm variants.

It is also not known whether a larger Pixel Watch 3 watch would mean a bigger display or larger bezels, although the latter would not address some of the user issues relating to better visibility and easier interaction with the smartwatch.

Earlier, a report had suggested that the Google Pixel Watch 3 could go buttonless with the debut of a new sensor technology. It would allow users to control the smartwatch entirely with gestures such as taps, long presses, pinches, and swipes. Whether this would result in the removal of the crown as well, is something that remains unknown for now.

 


 

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Google Pixel Watch 2 is cheaper than it was on Black Friday | Digital Trends

Google Pixel Watch 2 is cheaper than it was on Black Friday | Digital Trends

Joe Maring / Digital Trends

There was no chance to buy the Google Pixel Watch 2 with a discount from last Black Friday’s smartwatch deals, but you won’t have to wait any longer because it’s down to a cheaper price of $300 from Best Buy. The $50 discount on its original price of $350 further adds to the value of the wearable device, but you’re going to have to hurry with completing the purchase as stocks may already be running low. The offer may expire at any moment, so you need to push through with the transaction immediately.

Why you should buy the Google Pixel Watch 2

The Google Pixel Watch 2, launched a year after the Google Pixel Watch, is an Android-powered smartwatch with a circular display measuring 1.2 inches in diameter and peak brightness of 1,000 nits. It ships with Google’s Wear OS 4, comes with Google Assistant onboard, and lasts more than 24 hours on a single charge. You can use the Google Pixel Watch 2 to view notifications from your paired smartphone, and it can also access Google apps such as Gmail and Calendar.

In our Google Pixel Watch 2 versus Google Pixel Watch comparison, there were no noticeable changes in their designs and screens, but the newer model’s processor is upgraded to the quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon W5 Gen 1, resulting in faster execution of tasks and better battery health. The Google Pixel Watch 2 also gets a suite of new and improved sensors for fitness tracking that are adopted from the Fitbit Sense 2, which will help you stay on top of your health metrics and potentially identify any underlying medical conditions. This requires you to wear the smartwatch for most of the day, which won’t be a problem as it’s very comfortable.

The Google Pixel Watch 2 is on sale from Best Buy for just $300, which is cheaper than what it was going for last Black Friday. The $50 discount on its sticker price of $350 isn’t going to last forever though — in fact, it may be gone as soon as tomorrow — so if you want this wearable device on your wrist, it’s highly recommended that you take advantage of this offer immediately. Google Pixel deals usually get sold out quickly, and we’re expecting the same thing to happen with this bargain for the Google Pixel Watch 2.

Editors’ Recommendations






Google Pixel Watch 2 problems: 5 common issues and how to fix them | Digital Trends

Google Pixel Watch 2 problems: 5 common issues and how to fix them | Digital Trends

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Last year, the Google Pixel Watch 2 launched alongside the Google Pixel 8 series. The watch has been much better received than the first-generation model and is one of the best smartwatches released in the past year. The Pixel Watch 2 offers longer battery life, faster operation, reduced weight, and other improvements.

Despite these positives, the Pixel Watch 2 isn’t perfect. As such, you may run into some problems with the wearable device. Here are some common Pixel Watch 2 issues and how to fix them.

Pixel Watch 2 is not charging correctly

The Google Pixel Watch 2's charging puck.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The first issue experienced by some users goes entirely against the watch’s improved battery life. Some report that they can’t charge their watch with the newly designed charging system. Separately, others have noted they have experienced aggressive idle battery drain.

As we previously explained, though Google doesn’t specifically address the cause of Pixel Watch 2 battery issues, it has offered a dedicated support page for further assistance. The document titled “Fix a Google Pixel Watch that won’t charge” provides a few suggestions, including turning off the watch’s Battery Defender feature.

If your Google watch is not turning on, you should first try charging it again. To do this, connect the watch to the charging puck that came with it. Make sure that the pins on the puck match the back of the watch perfectly, as the charging puck for the Pixel Watch 2 is different than the one for the original Pixel Watch. This was also mentioned in our review of the Pixel Watch 2. Let it charge for at least 10 minutes.

You should eventually see a lightning bolt on the watch display followed by a low number percent. When the watch finally boots up, you should see a Google logo in the center of the display.

If your smartwatch’s battery percentage is stuck at 80%, Google recommends turning off the Battery Defender feature. This feature helps prolong the battery’s lifespan by stopping the watch from charging once it has been on the charger for four or more days. If you see a notification on your screen, the watch’s battery is not charging beyond 80%. To charge your watch to 100%, remove it from the charger and put it back on. This will turn off the Battery Defender feature, allowing the watch to charge fully.

Pixel Watch 2 screen burn-in

The Google Pixel Watch 2 resting on a stone fireplace.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Some Pixel Watch 2 users are experiencing a screen burn-in issue. Screen burn-in is when you see discoloration or afterimage on an electronic display. It can affect various types of devices, including OLED and CRT.

Fortunately, the issue does not appear permanent on the Pixel Watch 2. It seems to be a software problem, and Google is expected to release a fix for it soon. In the meantime, there are two options you can try to resolve the issue: turning off the always-on display option or using Bedtime mode to keep the screen off.

To turn off the always-on display, go to the watch settings and select Display. Then, toggle off the always-on screen setting. To use Bedtime mode, swipe from the top to activate the Quick Settings menu and tap the Bedtime mode icon. With Bedtime mode on, the watch’s tilt-to-wake option turns off.

Outdated Google Calendar notifications

Notifications shown on the Google Pixel Watch 2's screen.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

One issue you might experience with your Pixel Watch 2 is repetitive calendar notifications or notifications for events that have already passed. Even after deleting the event from the calendar, these notifications may still appear on your watch.

To resolve this issue, you can try restarting your watch. To do so, go to the Settings app and select System. From there, tap on Restart. Alternatively, you can hold the watch’s crown for five seconds and then reboot through the menu that appears.

If the problem persists, you can try clearing the Calendar app cache. To do so, go to Settings, then choose Apps and Notifications > App Info > System apps > Calendar > App Info > Clear cache.

Too many passcode requests

Google Maps navigation screen on the Google Pixel Watch 2.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

To ensure maximum security and comply with the requirements of using Google Wallet with your watch, you must set up a PIN or pattern during the initial setup process. You only need to enter this information again when you use Google Wallet or put your watch back on your wrist.

Some Pixel Watch 2 users have noted online that they are being asked to add their PIN or pattern multiple times. This issue can most likely be resolved by ensuring your watch band is slightly more secure. This will make it more likely the watch knows the band is snug.

Turning off the PIN or pattern is another solution, but then you’ll lose the ability to use Google Wallet.

Media controls that don’t work

The side of the Google Pixel Watch 2, on a person's wrist.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Your watch can play and handle different media types, such as music, podcasts, etc. These controls are designed to launch automatically when needed. However, some users have reported that these media controls sometimes don’t work as expected or disappear randomly.

To fix this issue, you can try rebooting the Pixel Watch 2. Another solution is to toggle the Autolaunch Media Controls feature on/off. Go to the watch settings and select Apps and Notifications > App Info > System apps > Media Controls to do this. Then, turn off the feature and enable it from the same screen again.

When in doubt

Made by Google logo at an event venue.
Andrew Martonik / Digital Trends

If you encounter any issue with your Pixel Watch 2 not mentioned in this list, other users face the same problem. Google is probably already working on a software solution to fix the issue and make it available soon.

Additionally, if you have an issue and nothing seems to fix it, it never hurts to contact Google’s support team to see your what options are.

We will keep updating this post as necessary when any new problems with the Pixel Watch 2 are reported.

Editors’ Recommendations






Does the Google Pixel Watch 2 have wireless charging? | Digital Trends

Does the Google Pixel Watch 2 have wireless charging? | Digital Trends

Joe Maring / Digital Trends

If you have bought or are planning to buy a Google Pixel Watch 2, you might be curious to know if it supports wireless charging like its predecessor, which used a proprietary wireless charger. The answer to this question might surprise you.

The second Pixel Watch was introduced in October 2023, alongside the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, to mostly positive reviews. The Pixel Watch 2 is considered a worthy update to the sometimes maligned first-generation model that launched the year before.

Does the Pixel Watch 2 have wireless charging?

A person wearing the Google Pixel Watch 2.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

One of the notable differences between the Pixel Watch 2 and its predecessor is that it does not support wireless charging. This has been a letdown for some users who found the convenience of wireless charging to be a significant advantage with the previous model.

However, it’s worth noting that the Pixel Watch 2 has some impressive features that make it stand out, including an extended battery life, a brighter display, and improved sensors for better fitness tracking.

How does the Pixel Watch 2 charge?

The Google Pixel Watch 2's charging puck.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The Pixel Watch 2 has a USB-C fast-charging cable with a four-pin dock at one end. This pin system is similar to the ones found on some Garmin and Fitbit products, including the Fitbit Sense 2.

Position the watch on the charging dock with the crown facing the cable’s connector. Once securely placed on the charging dock, you’ll see information about the charging status onscreen: percentage of charge, current date, and time.

How is this different than the first Pixel Watch?

Google Pixel Watch with its charging puck.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The original Pixel Watch had a USB-C charging cable with a smooth puck on one end. The watch begins to charge simply by attaching the back to the puck in any direction. The Apple Watch uses a similar mechanism for wireless charging.

By opting for pogo pin charging on the Pixel Watch 2, Google was able to add more sensors for improved heart rate accuracy. Another upside is that the magnetic four-pin charging cradle has reduced overheating and enhanced overall charging.

Google says 30 minutes of charging will give the watch a 50% charge, while 75 minutes will generate a 24-hour charge. Our Pixel Watch 2 review found better results, even with the always-on display activated.

The Pixel Watch 2, despite the lack of wireless charging, is still a winner and one of the best smartwatches of 2023.

With the Pixel Watch 2, you can track workouts, sleep, steps, heart rate, and other basic metrics that you’d expect from a smartwatch and a fitness tracker. Best of all, it integrates with Fitbit Premium, which offers guided workouts and programs, personalized fitness insights and reports, and more. Fitbit was purchased by Google in 2021.

Editors’ Recommendations






Google Pixel Watch 2 vs. Apple Watch Series 9: a new king? | Digital Trends

Google Pixel Watch 2 vs. Apple Watch Series 9: a new king? | Digital Trends

Google Pixel Watch 2 (left) and Apple Watch Series 9 Digital Trends

It’s simple: Say “smartwatch,” and most people will think of an Apple Watch. As a result, Apple’s wearable has become the standard by which all other smartwatches and fitness trackers are judged, and it’s easy to see why. The latest addition to the line, the Apple Watch Series 9, is a masterclass of form and function — as it has been for a long time, to be entirely fair. As a result, the Series 9’s lack of changes belies an admission from Apple that “what ain’t broke shouldn’t be fixed,” and while that gives you little reason to upgrade from an older Apple Watch, it’s also a testament to Apple’s reluctance to upset the apple cart with a big redesign.

Because of the Apple Watch’s dominance, other smartwatches can have a tough time making an impact on the scene. Google attempted to make headway into the smartwatch market with the Pixel Watch, but it’s only with this year’s Google Pixel Watch 2 that it’s really making a strong go of it. While the first Pixel Watch was a disappointment, the Pixel Watch 2 is actually a good wearable device and genuinely a product you should consider buying.

The Palette watch face on the Apple Watch Series 9.
Palette watch face Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Normally, at this point, we’d explain that we’re putting these two head-to-head so you can decide which you should buy. Except that doesn’t really apply here. The Pixel Watch only pairs with Android phones. The Apple Watch only pairs with iPhones.

Instead, think of this as a geekier version of bashing toys together. It’s a playground argument in the same vein as The Undertaker vs. Sting: it will never happen, but we’ll argue about it until the cows come home.

Here’s how the Google Pixel Watch 2 measures up against the Apple Watch Series 9, just for fun.

Google Pixel Watch 2 vs. Apple Watch Series 9: specs

Google Pixel Watch 2 Apple Watch Series 9
Materials Aluminum with Gorilla Glass 5 front glass Aluminum with Ion-X front glass

Stainless Steel with Sapphire front crystal

Dimensions and weight 41 x 41 x 12.3 mm, 31 grams 41mm: 41 x 35 x 10.7 mm, 31.9–42.3 grams

45mm: 45 x 38 x 10.7 mm, 38.7–51.5 grams

Colors Polished Silver, Matte Black, Champagne Gold Aluminum: Midnight, Starlight, Silver, Pink, (Product)Red

Stainless Steel: Gold, Silver, Graphite

Display Always-on AMOLED

1,000 nits peak brightness

Always-on Retina LTPO OLED

2,000 nits peak brightness, 1 nit lowlight

Processor Snapdragon Qualcomm 5100 S8 SiP with 64-bit dual-core processor with 4-core Neural Engine
Sensors Blood oxygen sensor

Electrical heart sensor

Body temperature sensor,

Compass

Always-on altimeter

Ambient light sensor

Skin conductance

Blood oxygen sensor

Electrical heart sensor

Body temperature sensor,

Compass

Always-on altimeter

Ambient light sensor

GPS GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS, QZSS L1 GPS, GNSS, Galileo, and BeiDou
Connectivity LTE (some models), Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n), Bluetooth 5.3 LTE (some models), Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n), Bluetooth 5.3
Ultra Wideband Yes Second-generation Ultra Wideband chip with Precision Finding for iPhone 15
Battery life Li-Ion 306 mAh 41mm: Li-Ion 282 mAh

45mm: Li-Ion 308 mAh

Fast charging Yes Yes
Software Wear OS 4 watchOS 10
Durability
50m/5ATM water resistant

Certified IP68 dust and water resistance

50-meter water resistance (ISO standard 22810:2010

Certified IP6X dust resistance

Price Starting from $349 Starting at $399

Google Pixel Watch 2 vs. Apple Watch Series 9: design and display

Neither of these smartwatches makes significant changes from its previous version, so both may look a little familiar. The Pixel Watch 2 comes in a single 41mm size, which is disappointing if you have larger wrists. The aluminum build means it’s lightweight, and the gently curved dome screen and back plate mean it’s a comfortable smartwatch that’s perfect for 24/7 wear. Unfortunately, it’s not a particularly high-quality build, and there’s no option for a tougher stainless steel build with sapphire glass, unlike the Apple Watch. It’s a design that’s … fine. There’s not much to dislike about the Pixel Watch 2, but that also means there’s not much to love either.

That’s not something you can say about the Apple Watch. While there will obviously be people who don’t like the design, if you do, you’re going to find something you love. It comes in two case sizes and also has the option to upgrade the body to a stainless steel frame and sapphire glass. It’s extremely comfortable, probably being one of the most wearable wearables you can find.

A big advantage the Apple Watch has over the Pixel Watch is the much, much smaller bezel around the display. The Pixel Watch has a thick black border around its screen, and that’s simply not the case with the Apple Watch.

The Pixel Watch’s AMOLED display is quite small for the watch’s size, at 1.2 inches, though it does have a strong 320 pixel-per-inch (ppi) pixel density and a maximum brightness of 1,000 nits. It’s put to shame by the Apple Watch’s OLED display, though. The ppi is similar at 326, but the similarly sized 41mm frame has a much larger 1.69-inch display, while the 45mm variant has a much larger 1.9-inch display. It also has a maximum brightness of 2,000 nits, making it much brighter than Google’s watch, giving it a serious advantage under strong lights.

This is a no-contest: the Apple Watch Series 9 wins here.

Winner: Apple Watch Series 9

Google Pixel Watch 2 vs. Apple Watch Series 9: performance, battery life, and charging

The Google Pixel Watch 2's charging puck.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Performance isn’t as big a metric on smartwatches as it is on smartphones because, well, you’re unlikely to be playing Resident Evil Village in teeny-weeny-vision on your watch. But a strong processor still makes a difference, as it’s the difference between your device feeling swift and snappy and laggy and unresponsive. Both of these watches are winners in this regard.

Whether it’s the Apple Watch’s S9 dual-core System-in-Package (SiP) or the Pixel Watch’s Qualcomm Snapdragon W5 processor, performance is smooth and fast. The Apple Watch is likely the more powerful of the two chips here, but that won’t be obvious in your day-to-day use.

It’s a similar story where the battery life is concerned. Both watches last around a day and a half, while the Apple Watch can stretch to the end of the second day, but only with very minimal use and no sleep tracking. Both will also recharge in around an hour, putting them on roughly even footing once again. The Apple Watch’s charging puck is higher quality than the Pixel Watch’s, but that’s the only real advantage it has here.

It’s a bit of a surprise, to be sure, but this is a tie.

Winner: Tie

Google Pixel Watch 2 vs. Apple Watch Series 9: software and features

The Apple Watch Series 9 showing apps on the screen.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Here’s where the two devices diverge again, as you get different operating systems on both, and one is distinctly better than the other. Wear OS 4 on the Pixel Watch works well — except, that is, for when it doesn’t. Notifications would regularly stop working, and it even randomly restarted itself a few times during our review period. As improved as Wear OS is (and it has improved a lot), it’s still not comparable to the excellent watchOS 10. The Apple Watch’s operating system is fast and fluid, and everything is well-placed and sized to make interacting with it on your wrist as easy as it can be.

Notifications shown on the Google Pixel Watch 2's screen.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

In terms of features, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the voice assistants. Siri has been through some tweaks since its early days and works very well on the Apple Watch. The Google Assistant on the Pixel Watch 2 isn’t particularly improved over previous implementations, but it’s still as good as Google’s voice assistant always is. The Apple Watch also has the Double Tap feature, which lets you control your watch with hand gestures — though the jury’s still out on whether this meets the hype or not.

But the Apple Watch doesn’t need Double-tap to win here. When it comes to smartwatch software, Apple is king. The Apple Watch takes this.

Winner: Apple Watch Series 9

Google Pixel Watch 2 vs. Apple Watch Series 9: fitness and health tracking

The main workout screen on the Google Pixel Watch 2.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

We’ve reached the point in wearable tech where tracking now comes in two distinct types: Fitness and health tracking. These devices have gone in hard on both types of tracking, and you’re not going to be let down by either one.

Smartwatches of this price basically have all the same fitness tracking options now, including all the usual walking, running, swimming, cycling, and other sports options included. Both also have automatic fitness tracking for a number of workouts, so it’ll pick up if you’re running and start tracking even if you forget. Handy!

Exercise data showing on the Apple Watch Series 9.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Both also have tracking for sleep and stress, 24/7 heart monitoring (including alerts for irregular heart rhythms and high and low rates), and blood oxygen. Both also have some impressive safety features too, including fall detection that notices if you’ve taken a heavy shock and an emergency broadcast if you’re in trouble. But only the Apple Watch has car crash detection, which is a big plus.

Both of these devices are pretty similar here. And really, that’s how it should be. But there’s one big fly in the Pixel Watch’s ointment. The Pixel Watch uses Fitbit for its fitness and health tracking, and while that means you get some powerful tracking tools, it also means you’re saddled with a subscription fee if you want to access all of the analysis. This is the data that Apple (and most other manufacturers) gives you for free, and it’s a pretty glaring issue when you’re comparing the tracking abilities of these two devices. Unfortunately for The Pixel Watch 2, that’s enough for us to tip this over into the Apple Watch’s favor.

Winner: Apple Watch Series 9

Google Pixel Watch 2 vs. Apple Watch Series 9: price and availability

The Nike Globe watch face on the Apple Watch Series 9.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The Google Pixel Watch 2 is currently available from Google and a number of retailers and phone carriers. It’s only available in one case size but does come in Polished Silver, Matte Black, and Champagne Gold. Prices start from $349 and come in Wi-Fi and LTE versions.

The Apple Watch Series 9 is also available now and isn’t as straightforward an offering. You get to choose between 41mm and 45mm case sizes but also have to choose whether you get the (much pricier) stainless steel and sapphire variants, which also have their own color schemes. Prices for these can get very high, and like the Pixel Watch above, you also get to pick between Wi-Fi and LTE-enabled versions. You can buy the Apple Watch Series 9 from Apple and a number of retailers and carriers. Prices start from $399.

Google Pixel Watch 2 vs. Apple Watch Series 9: verdict

The curved screen on the Apple Watch Series 9.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

We’d be lying if we didn’t say the Google Pixel Watch 2 isn’t an enormous improvement over the first Pixel Watch. It’s simply better in every way, but does that make it good enough to compete with the Apple Watch Series 9? Unfortunately, no. When it comes to smartwatch supremacy, the Apple Watch continues to rule. Across the design, software, fitness and health tracking, and even just how good it feels, the Apple Watch Series 9 wins this comparison hands-down.

But Google’s star is very clearly on the rise. Just as it took the Pixel smartphone line a little while to really get going, you’d be a fool to dismiss the Pixel Watch as an emerging force within the smartwatch zone. And that’s good because nothing makes sure the best keeps getting better than a snappy young upstart closing in on it from behind.

The Apple Watch Series 9 wins here, but for how long will Apple continue to rule? Only time will tell.


Editors’ Recommendations






Check your Google Pixel Watch now for a big software update | Digital Trends

Check your Google Pixel Watch now for a big software update | Digital Trends

Joe Maring / Digital Trends

The Google Pixel Watch 2 (and its less successful predecessor) are both getting a significant software update, which has begun rolling out today. It doesn’t overhaul the Pixel Watch experience, but it adds some very welcome new features.

One of the most interesting features included in this update is Call Screen. If you’re using your Pixel Watch with a Pixel smartphone that has a Tensor processor — like the Google Pixel 8 or Pixel 8 Pro — you’ll now see a transcript of the person who’s calling you so you can decide if you want to pick up the call or ignore it. Pixel phones have had Call Screen for years now, but with this update, it’s finally coming to your wrist. It works for both the first Pixel Watch and the Pixel Watch 2.

The other big feature is Watch Unlock. Similar to how the Apple Watch can unlock your iPhone, you can have your Pixel Watch unlock your phone (so long as that phone is a Pixel). You’ll need to enable Watch Unlock for it to work, but the process is simple: open the Watch app on your phone, tap Watch preferences, tap Security, and you should find the setting there. You’ll get a warning that Watch Unlock can reduce your Pixel Watch’s battery, so keep that in mind before you enable it.

The crown on the Google Pixel Watch.
Google Pixel Watch Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

If you’re still rocking a first-gen Pixel Watch, this update now syncs your Do Not Disturb and Bedtime Modes across your smartwatch and Pixel phone. If you enable Bedtime Mode on your Pixel Watch, for example, it also gets toggled on your phone. This has been available on the Pixel Watch 2 since its release, and I can personally vouch for how incredibly useful it is.

Don’t Miss:

This update also includes a fix for an “image retention” issue that some Pixel Watch 2 owners have previously complained about. Finally, your Pixel Watch’s security patch will be increased to December 5, 2023.

You should receive the update automatically, but if you want to check for yourself, open the Settings app on your Pixel Watch, tap System, and then tap System updates. 9to5Google notes that tapping the button multiple times should eventually trigger the update to become available, but your mileage may vary. This update also comes just days after Google started rolling out charged battery notifications for the Pixel Watch. Safe to say, Pixel Watch users are eating good this month.

Editors’ Recommendations






Google Pixel devices could do something incredible in 2024 | Digital Trends

Google Pixel devices could do something incredible in 2024 | Digital Trends

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

We’re quickly nearing the end of what was a (mostly) incredible year for Google’s Pixel devices. From excellent flagship phones, a great first folding phone, and a vastly improved smartwatch, Google did a lot right with the Pixel brand in 2023.

With 2024 right around the corner, I’ve been thinking about what I want from Google Pixel in the new year. Should Google play it safe? Make drastic changes? Create new products? Maybe kill some less successful ones?

I think it’s a mix of everything, and if Google plays its cards right, 2024 could be an even better one for Pixel fans.

Don’t mess with the Google Pixel 9

Someone holding the blue Pixel 8 Pro outdoors.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

My first request for Google is a simple one: don’t do too much with the Pixel 9 and Pixel 9 Pro.

I’m all for Google innovating with the Pixel series, but I don’t think the Pixel 9 and 9 Pro are the devices that need drastic changes next year. Why? The Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are already two of the best phones you can buy today. Sure, there are upgrades I hope Google makes, but the foundation we have right now is as close to perfect as Google has ever gotten.

There are subtle changes I’d love to see next year. I hope the regular Pixel 9 gets a higher-quality ultrawide camera, as the one on the Pixel 8 is showing its age. Similarly, I’d love to see the Pixel 9 Pro get a more powerful telephoto camera — possibly with a 10x optical zoom range. Google should also use the Pixel 9 series to increase its charging speed and improve battery life to match competing Android phones.

These are my only complaints with the current Pixel 8 family, and they shouldn’t be difficult issues to address with the Pixel 9. If Google fixes these things and keeps everything else that works so well, the Pixel 9 and Pixel 9 Pro are all but guaranteed recipes for success.

Tensor G4 needs to be the real deal

Google Pixel 6 Pro tensor silicon
Google

The Google Pixel 9 series will presumably be powered by Google’s next-generation Tensor chip — likely called “Tensor G4.” Tensor G3 did a good job of addressing overheating and performance issues of previous Tensor chips, but it’s still noticeably behind competing chips from Qualcomm and MediaTek.

Google is still in the early days of creating in-house silicon, so it’s perhaps naive to think that the Tensor G4 will go toe-to-toe with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 and Dimensity 9300. I’m fine with another year of performance differences and lower benchmark scores, but Google has to make its Tensor G4 chip as polished as can be. Eradicate the overheating issues for good, improve the power efficiency so two-day battery life can become a reality, and completely thwart the ongoing cell reception issues that still plague some Pixel users.

Google’s Tensor chips are the reason Pixel phones have so many of the impressive AI features that just aren’t possible on other Android phones. But they also consistently drop the ball in other departments, and that’s not something Google can afford in 2024.

Give the Pixel Watch 3 a big refresh

The Google Pixel Watch 2 resting on a stone fireplace.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

The Google Pixel Watch 2 was a big surprise. I didn’t think I’d like the Pixel Watch 2 one bit, but as fate would have it, it actually ended up being one of 2023’s best smartwatches. Google listened to (most) our complaints about the first Pixel Watch and addressed them head-on — and the year-over-year improvements are easy to see.

But Google’s work for the Pixel Watch isn’t done. As much as I like the Pixel Watch 2, there are a lot of changes I’d like to see for the inevitable Pixel Watch 3.

The main thing Google needs to address is the Pixel Watch’s size. The 41mm case is great if you have small wrists or prefer compact watches, but watches are very much not one-size-fits-all products. The solution? Make a larger version of the Pixel Watch. Apple does this with the Apple Watch. Samsung does it with the Galaxy Watch. Most smartwatch makers do this. Google is the outlier in this regard, and there’s no reason for it not to fix this in 2024.

Something else that needs fixing is the Pixel Watch’s display bezels. The gargantuan bezels from the first Pixel Watch didn’t shrink at all on the Pixel Watch 2, and while not a deal-breaker, they do severely impact how much you can see on the screen at once. I think the Pixel Watch 2 looks good, but having countless UI elements cut off by large, chunky bezels is the opposite of stylish.

These won’t be easy changes to make, but they’re ones that need to happen for Google’s third-generation smartwatch. They arguably should have happened with the Pixel Watch 2, so Google has its work cut out for it here.

What about the Pixel Tablet 2?

Google Pixel Tablet on its charging dock.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

It’s pretty clear-cut what Google needs to do with the Pixel 9 and Pixel Watch 3 in 2024. But what about the Pixel Tablet 2? What about the Pixel Tablet 2, indeed.

There’s a lot wrong with the current Google Pixel Tablet. The 60Hz LCD display doesn’t look particularly great, the speakers are too easy to distort, the Tensor G2 processor heats up quickly, and the charging dock doesn’t always do a good job of holding the tablet in place. And that’s not to mention the myriad of software issues with the tablet. On paper, I love the idea of a tablet and smart display hybrid device. But, at least with the Pixel Tablet, it ends up not being particularly good at either one.

It’s hard to say if we’ll get another Pixel Tablet in 2024. The Pixel Watch has become a yearly release for Google, but Google’s smart home devices are updated far less frequently. If Google does release a Pixel Tablet 2 in 2024, I desperately hope it finds a way to upgrade the hardware specs and fix the ongoing software issues without increasing the already steep $499 asking price. But I also wouldn’t be devastated if Google cooled off on the Pixel Tablet for a year, took some time to regroup, and really thought about whether this is a product line it wants to commit to. I think there’s a world where the Pixel Tablet can succeed, but a rushed successor isn’t the way to go about it.

Make the Google Pixel Flip

The Motorola Razr Plus with its display half-shut.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

The Google Pixel Fold was a big step for Google. Not only did it provide U.S. shoppers with a proper alternative to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold, but it also showed techies that — yes — Google still knows how to have fun and innovate in the mobile tech space.

I’m sure Google will continue to refine the Pixel Fold with future generations to come, but I also hope the company finds the time to go in the opposite direction and release a Google Pixel Flip. Flip-phone style foldables had a big year in 2023 thanks to releases like the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Motorola Razr Plus. Google was compltely absent from the flip-phone conversation, and I’d like to see that change next year.

The Pixel Fold was a strong first foldable from Google, but it could appeal to a totally different demographic with a Pixel Flip. Google would have a foldable option that’s more stylish and affordable, and it’d give U.S. shoppers yet another folding phone to choose from. I may be bias as someone who prefers the flip-phone form factor, but I would love to see what Google could do here.

2024 will be an interesting one for Google

Made by Google logo at an event venue.
Andrew Martonik / Digital Trends

Whether these requests come true or not, it’s safe to say that 2024 will be an interesting one for the Google Pixel brand. 2023 was a much stronger year than 2022 for Google in more ways than one, and the company has an opportunity to keep riding that momentum and make 2024 even more noteworthy.

Will that be what actually happens? Will Google find a way to fall on its face instead? It’s impossible to say for certain. Whatever happens, I’ll eagerly be waiting with a front row seat to see what goes down.

Editors’ Recommendations






2023 was the best year for Google Pixel devices yet | Digital Trends

2023 was the best year for Google Pixel devices yet | Digital Trends

Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Almost all of Google’s Pixel device releases in 2023 have been winners, making this the best year for Pixel yet.

Don’t believe me? It’s true! Here’s what Google has done with its mobile hardware and software over the past months that allows me to make such a bold claim.

This isn’t about the Pixel 7 series

The Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7a held in a person's hand.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends / Digital Trends

The best year for Pixels? Surely I’m joking, right? I get this claim may result in some angry emails, as although the Google Pixel 7 and Google Pixel 7 Pro were released in 2022, most will have spent 2023 with them. I know these two had problems, and people didn’t always have the best experience with these two devices. But the trouble is, mine, for the most part, were fine. Better than fine.

When I reviewed the Pixel 7 at the end of 2022, I didn’t have any reliability problems, and apart from a few battery life issues later in its life, the Pixel 7 Pro has been the same when I’ve used it at various times throughout the year. The cameras are excellent, the software clean and simple, and the design is still cool today. It’s hard to take against phones too much when your personal experience has been largely very positive. However, I’ll concede that if these two had been the 2023 models, I wouldn’t have written this article.

It’s a good thing, then, that the true 2023 Pixel phones are the Google Pixel 8 and Google Pixel 8 Pro, which don’t seem to have suffered anywhere near as much as the Pixel 7 in terms of reliability and ownership woes. The Tensor G2 chip seems to be less problematic, the battery life is more linear and reliable, and the cameras are equally as brilliant. The AI features spread throughout are technically astounding, and although it’s never good when prices go up, you are very obviously getting superior devices this time around — in all respects.

The Pixel 8 turned things around

Someone holding the Google Pixel 8 Pro in front of a colorful background.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

While the 2023 Pixel devices have impressed, it’s hard to forget (and for some, forgive) the issues around the Pixel 7. It has been several months since the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro were released, and so far, neither has attracted the same kind of negative attention that made the Pixel 7 series such a risk. All the mobile team at Digital Trends (plus a few outside the team) have used one or both of the new Pixel 8 models, and no one has been compelled to write anything particularly damning about the experience yet.

Although the Pixel overlords took care of me in 2022 and supplied me with Pixel 7 phones that had no issues, others weren’t so lucky. Stories, internally and externally, spread about serious unreliability, and it was a challenge not to add a caveat to a Pixel 7 recommendation every time. The phone you bought would probably be fine, but there was also a chance it would be anything but that, and that’s not a good thought to have in your mind when splashing out on an expensive product.

However, the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro don’t seem to have suffered in the same way. No phone is perfect, and there will always be some bad ones hanging around, but for the most part, Google seems to have sorted out its reliability problems for 2023 and the Pixel 8 series. A company of its size and resources shouldn’t be making bad phones at all, so saying congratulations isn’t the right response. But Google’s efforts are a big part of why this year has ended up being so much better for the range than the last.

The Pixel Fold and Pixel Watch 2

Google Pixel Fold in Obsidian in Reverse Selfie Camera mode.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

The Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are the obvious choices when talking about why 2023 has been the best year for Pixel devices yet, and while they’re very good indeed, they’re not all that unique. Instead, they are the backbone of Pixel greatness in 2023, and the real stars of the show are the Google Pixel Fold and the Google Pixel Watch 2.

Google’s first folding smartphone is a massive deal. It hit the scene and became only the second big-screen foldable you could officially buy in the U.S., and with it came fantastic software and an enviable camera. It gave Google some much-needed mobile tech credibility, showing it’s still capable of making cutting-edge mobile devices and not just wheeling out a trio of Pixel slabs each year.

A person wearing the Google Pixel Watch 2.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

But the real surprise was the Pixel Watch 2. The first Google Pixel Watch wrapped its disappointing performance and short battery life into a bland, minimalist, single-size case and then charged top money for the pleasure of owning it. It didn’t change the design or add a case size for its successor, which is a serious oversight, but it did maximize performance and increase battery life, making it a usable everyday smartwatch for anyone who was happy with the size and design. In the same way the Pixel 8 exorcised the Pixel 7’s demons, the Pixel Watch 2 helped forgive the Pixel Watch’s shortcomings.

The Pixel 7a and Google’s software

The Google Pixel 7a face down on a table.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

I liked the Pixel Fold and Pixel Watch 2, but the regular Pixel phone that sticks in my mind most is the Google Pixel 7a. It came out at the beginning of 2023, and I was so surprised to find how little I missed using more expensive devices when I used the 7a daily. It’s an incredibly capable, very easy-to-own smartphone that doesn’t cost a fortune to buy, and unless you want all the AI features in the Pixel 8, it’s the cheap Pixel to buy this year.

AI is one of 2023’s big trends, and Google included a host of AI features (some still coming soon) on the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, with the Magic Editor really standing out. Aside from removing unwanted distractions in your photos more effectively than Magic Eraser, it could transform the look and composition with a few taps of the screen, too. It’s astonishingly powerful and a lot of fun to experiment with.

Android 14 logo on the Google Pixel 8 Pro.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

For the Pixel 8 series, Google also extended its software updated commitment, so if you buy one this year, it will receive updates until 2030. This beats Samsung and OnePlus’s four and five-year commitments and takes on the Fairphone for potential longevity.

Unfortunately, the commitment doesn’t retroactively apply to devices launched before the Pixel 8, so the Pixel Fold and the Pixel 7a will only get three years of updates. This aside, Google has pushed its software forward in a meaningful way in 2023, providing not only new and interesting features — but also encouraging us to keep our phones for longer.

Google’s one misstep in 2023

Google Pixel Tablet in white, attached to the dock.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Five excellent Pixel devices were launched in 2023. Google did the right thing and provided longer software support for two of them, and it gave us fun AI features that anyone could use and enjoy. No serious, deal-breaking issues have been reported so far, and I’ve enjoyed all of the Pixels I’ve used in 2023 a great deal. It has been an awesome year for Pixel.

Except for one Pixel product.

There’s always a “but” in these situations, and the one new-for-2023 Pixel that still hasn’t quite gelled is the Google Pixel Tablet. I’ve been using it since release, and although it did surprisingly well when I tried to replace my Apple iPad Pro, it was actually surpassed by the superb (and much better value) Amazon Fire Max 11 tablet at doing so. The lack of an official keyboard accessory and an affordable case really hurts it.

I use the Pixel Tablet mostly as a smart screen in my kitchen, where Google Assistant is required a lot. Unfortunately, Assistant has become so unreliable — even more so with Android 14 installed — that I hardly bother with it anymore, as it usually fails to recognize instructions or it activates features on other Google Home devices for no reason. Siri is much more useful and reliable. The Pixel Tablet isn’t terrible, but it does feel a bit out of place and is the least desirable of the Pixel products I’ve used this year.

What Google needs to do in 2024

The Google Pixel 8 Pro and Google Pixel 7 Pro being held next to each other.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

The fact that 2023 Pixel devices have been so good makes Google’s job in 2024 difficult. It needs to build on this and not just carry on as usual. While not an easy task, there are some obvious changes it can make to make 2024 even better for Pixel devices. These include making the Pixel Watch 3 in different case sizes, lowering the price of the Pixel Fold 2, and introducing a compact folding phone to the range.

When the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro came along, they breathed new life into the Pixel phone range, but Google was in danger of throwing it all away when the Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro, and Pixel Watch all disappointed in some way. It has managed to avoid disaster this year with a host of brilliant new devices, but it can’t let the pendulum swing back in the opposite direction for 2024.

Editors’ Recommendations






The best Fitbits in 2023: 6 best watches and trackers | Digital Trends

The best Fitbits in 2023: 6 best watches and trackers | Digital Trends

If you’ve been thinking of buying a new fitness tracker, you have a wide selection of options to choose from. Fitbit is a name you’re bound to have heard of, as it’s one of the top brands in the fitness industry, with more than a dozen varieties of fitness trackers and smartwatches to suit different needs.

With that number of devices to choose from, it’s not hard to see why people might become overwhelmed when choosing between them. Thankfully, there are definitely Fitbits that excel in certain areas, and as such, it’s not too hard to narrow down your choice to find the best Fitbit for you. We’ve done a bit of the work for you here by gathering some of the best Fitbit options around, breaking them down, and pointing out what makes them so special.

Before we start, keep in mind that there’s a downside that all Fitbit models share, whether fitness tracker or smartwatch: the Fitbit subscription. While not required, if you want to access the best analysis and breakdowns of your data, you will need to pay for a Fitbit subscription after any free trials have concluded. This isn’t the case with many competitors, including Apple, Samsung, and Garmin, and it can be a reason to avoid Fitbit for many. But there are still many reasons Fitbit is one of the top fitness-tracking brands around. Here are the best Fitbits for 2023.

Looking to widen your vision past just Fitbit? We’ve got lists of the best smartwatches, and the best fitness trackers too!


Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Fitbit Charge 6

The best Fitbit overall

Pros

  • Lightweight and comfortable to wear
  • Robust health-tracking tools
  • Built-in GPS
  • Google apps work well
  • Fast, responsive software
  • Nearly a week of battery life

Cons

  • Unreliable notifications
  • No local music storage
  • Many features require Fitbit Premium

Why you should buy this: It’s got a bit of everything that makes Fitbit so great.

Who it’s for: Anyone who knows you don’t have to pay a lot to get a great fitness tracker.

Why we picked the Fitbit Charge 6:

Fitbit’s catalog is large and it has models to cover almost every niche, from pure fitness to mental wellness, so finding a great middle ground option that covers all the bases can seem like a challenge. Thankfully, it isn’t, as the Fitbit Charge 6 is simply the best Fitbit overall that you can buy in 2023.

It’s a fitness tracker-style device, so if you’re looking for a smartwatch, this may not be the device for you. However, you should still consider the Charge 6, as it’s one of the most comfortable, nonintrusive wearables you can buy. The 1.04-inch display is an AMOLED panel, so it has vibrant colors and deep inky blacks, and the performance is swift and snappy. It’s quite similar to the Charge 5, with the exception of the reintroduction of a side button, and a new heart rate sensor, which Fitbit claims is 60% more accurate than previous versions.

The heart rate sensor forms the backbone of Fitbit’s fitness tracking. It’s excellent, as you might have expected. The Charge 6 has over 40 trackable workouts, with a number of those being automatically recognized and tracked. It also tracks sleep, SpO2 levels, and heart rate variability. It has an ECG and EDA (for stress), and it’ll notify you if it notices an irregular or high or low heartbeat rate. It’s a solid, all-in-one suite that offers everything you’re going to need from a fitness tracker.

Its use as a smart device is one of the wearable’s few failings, unfortunately. Setting up notifications involves diving into the app’s settings (which it doesn’t tell you about), and even when enabled, notifications are very unreliable — with notifications not being sent at all on some days. There’s also no local storage for music files, which limits how phone-free you’re able to go during workouts.

Thankfully, the battery life is another big win for the Fitbit Charge 6. It lasted almost an entire week before needing charging at 16%, and that figure included sleep tracking every night and six workouts. Granted, that’s also with the always-on display turned off, but the lift-to-wake function is good enough that you probably don’t need that on. If you do turn it on, expect to see the battery life drop.

The best part of all this is the price: The Fitbit Charge 6 costs just $160, making it a very reasonable prospect for a fitness tracker. Granted, it has some downsides, chief of which being its inability to masquerade as a smartwatch, but the upsides make it more than worth it for most people.

Fitbit Charge 6

Fitbit Charge 6

The best Fitbit overall

fitbit inspire 3 review  7

Andy Zahn / Digital Trends

Fitbit Inspire 3

The best value Fitbit

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Very comfortable
  • Accurate fitness sensors
  • Battery lasts over a week without a recharge
  • Affordable price point

Cons

  • Lacks an altimeter
  • Charger is tricky to disconnect

Why you should buy this: It’s an excellent “put it on and forget it” fitness tracker, at an amazing price.

Who it’s for: Someone who doesn’t like to be reminded they’re wearing a tracker, and wants one at a great price.

Why we picked the Fitbit Inspire 3:

The Fitbit Inspire 3 is a great cheap fitness tracker, but that’s not what makes it amazing. Instead, it’s one of the most subtle, discreet trackers you’ll come across. It shines as a device you can forget about for long periods of time, thanks to its light and comfortable build and 10-day battery life. Yes, 10 days. Combine that with an AMOLED display that’s bright and colorful, and you have a real winner.

Fitness tracking doesn’t let it down, thankfully. The heart rate tracker is reliable and accurate, and so is sleep tracking. There’s no altimeter, which may disappoint the hikers among us, but there’s a relaxation mode that can help you get over that, and it’s great when you’re feeling a little stressed.

The Fitbit Inspire 3 is a simple device, but that’s what makes it so good. There’s little here to obsess on — you simply put it on and forget about it. Best of all, the rock-bottom price means it’s a tempting device.

Fitbit Inspire 3

Fitbit Inspire 3

The best value Fitbit

fitbit ace 3 review lifestyle images of 4

Fitbit

Fitbit Ace 3

The best Fitbit for kids

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Comfortable, kid-sized fit
  • Engaging, animated interface
  • Fun, family challenges

Cons

  • Clasp can break
  • Works best with a parental Fitbit

Why you should buy this: You want a great Fitbit tracker for a child.

Who it’s for: Any active kid.

Why we picked the Fitbit Ace 3:

Kid-friendly fitness trackers are curiously few and far between. It’s curious because there are few people as active as the average child, and if you’re as data-hungry as most of us, you might want to know exactly how active your child is. The Ace 3 is a tracker unit held in a silicone band, and as such, it’s durable and simple to keep clean. it’s also easy to swap in a new strap if your child wants something a bit more grown-up.

In terms of tracking, the Ace 3 is similar to Fitbit’s other fitness trackers, just with some elements turned off for privacy’s sake. The heart rate sensor is turned off, but it has sleep and step tracking, though not much in the way of actual workout tracking. It tracks “active minutes” as a whole though, and it has a swimming mode through the Water Lock setting.

Stats are presented in a fun and engaging way, and the animations that change as steps get closer to the target are a particular hit with younger kids, though older ones may find them childish. Either way, this is an excellent choice if you want a fitness tracker for a child, and it’s available at a fantastic price.

Fitbit Ace 3

Fitbit Ace 3

The best Fitbit for kids

google pixel watch 2 review pocket

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Google Pixel Watch 2

The best Fitbit smartwatch

Pros

  • Battery lasts more than 24 hours
  • One hour battery charge
  • Slick, fast performance
  • Comprehensive fitness tracking
  • Comfortable to wear 24/7

Cons

  • Only one case size
  • Subscription required for all fitness data
  • Small screen, big bezel

Why you should buy this: Google’s second go turned out to be a pretty good smartwatch.

Who it’s for: Anyone who wants Fitbit’s fitness suite in a solid smartwatch.

Why we picked the Google Pixel Watch 2:

After a disappointing first act, Google bounced back with the Google Pixel Watch 2. With Fitbit-powered fitness capabilities, the Pixel Watch 2 is an excellent Wear OS smartwatch that more than deserves to be on this list, and should be the first port of call for anyone looking for a Fitbit smartwatch.

The design isn’t a particular high point of the watch, as it seems to straddle the line between fitness tracker and smartwatch. It’s not as attractive or stylish as many smartwatches, but also not as subtle and easy for forget as most trackers. It’s a weird place to find a wearable, and a lot will come down to whether you like the design or not. It’s only available in one size, so it’s worth checking out in person before you buy it.

It’s fast though. The Pixel Watch 2 uses the Snapdragon W5 processor, and it really shows how much Google has learned from the hitches on the original Pixel Watch. While not as quick as some competitors, it’s noticeably faster than the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6, and it loads apps fast. Battery life has also improved, lasting between 24 and 36 hours on a single, and a full recharge takes less than an hour. That’s longer and faster than Google’s claims, which is a rather nice surprise.

The Pixel Watch 2 has more or less the same fitness and health tracking software you’ll find in other current Fitbit devices, including automatic workout tracking, tracking for over 40 exercises, sleep and stress tracking, and heart rate tracking. It’s a comprehensive and complete package, but keep in mind that despite not being a Fitbit-branded device, it still uses Fitbit’s analysis software, and still needs a Fitbit subscription for the most comprehensive breakdowns of data.

The Google Pixel Watch 2 is a good choice if you want a Fitbit smartwatch, and it’s definitely a huge step up from last year’s Pixel Watch. It starts from $349, with the LTE model costing $399.

Google Pixel Watch 2

Google Pixel Watch 2

The best Fitbit smartwatch

fitbit sense 2 review  9

Andy Zahn / Digital Trends

Fitbit Sense 2

The best Fitbit smartwatch runner-up

Pros

  • Highly responsive interface
  • Excellent display
  • Rugged and highly water resistant
  • Advanced fitness and health tracking
  • Comfortable to wear

Cons

  • A bit pricey
  • Audio quality for calls isn’t great

Why you should buy this: It’s a great all-around smartwatch and fitness tracker from Fitbit.

Who it’s for: Someone who wants a strong best-of-both-worlds approach.

Why we picked the Fitbit Sense 2:

The Fitbit Sense 2 is one of Fitbit’s smartwatch options, and it is an excellent smartwatch by most metrics. It looks classy and elegant, and while the squared design means it won’t pass as a normal watch, it looks good enough that you might not care. It’s comfortable to wear too, and the strap-swapping system is extremely easy to use.

But the meat of any Fitbit device comes from its fitness tracking, and the Sense 2 is not lacking here. It tracks steps and heart rate, as well as your stress levels over time, helping you pinpoint your stress triggers. Also included is an ECG app, as well as comprehensive food and drink tracking too, which makes your health tracking even more accurate. It’s tough and durable and came out of our strenuous test trip without a scratch. Add in a six-day battery life, and you’ve got a winner on your hands.

It’s not perfect, however. The built-in microphone and speaker aren’t great for calls, and it’s certainly on the pricey side as far as these gadgets go. At this price, the Apple Watch SE is a strong competitor, and it’s hard for Fitbit to match that level of support. But even with that in mind, this is an excellent device, and should be high up your list to consider.

Fitbit Sense 2

Fitbit Sense 2

The best Fitbit smartwatch runner-up

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best Fitbit for me?

How can you find the best Fitbit for you? It all comes down to your needs. Ask yourself the following questions to find a suitable Fitbit device for your needs.

  • What do I need from a fitness tracker?
  • Which features are the most important to me?
  • Which features are good-to-have, but can be sacrificed to save money?
  • How do I plan to use this device? Do I need a waterproof model for swimming?
  • What’s my budget for a new fitness tracker?

Once you understand your needs, it becomes easier to compare different Fitbit models and find which one best suits your preferences. While top-end Fitbits tend to excel in a number of areas, sometimes there’s no reason to pay top dollar if a lower-priced option gives you everything you need.

At the end of the day, your choice of Fitbit depends on what you need from a fitness tracker. If you feel stuck, revisit the questions below to understand which features you need, which ones are good to have, and which ones you don’t care about at this time. Hopefully, this will help you to find the best Fitbit device for you.

What are the best Fitbit features for workouts?

If you are a runner or exercise often, there are some features you’ll want to keep an eye out for. These apply whether you’re a professional athlete with years of experience behind you, or a complete newbie still aiming for their first mile.

  • GPS (for mapping your route).
  • Music player/streaming.
  • Step and distance tracking.

Beyond these basics, here are some extra features that make workouts more effective and fun:

  • SmartTrack: With SmartTrack, your Fitbit can automatically identify and record your workouts, and track your stats, like workout duration, calories burned, and heart rate zones. This feature is super helpful for users who don’t remember to start tracking, or switch between tracking modes when exercising.

  • Oxygen Saturation (SpO2) monitoring: This feature monitors the level of oxygen in your blood, which can add nuance to your workout stats, and detect any respiratory issues.

  • Active Zone Minutes (AZM): AZM tracking helps you understand how you are moving, how often, and how intensely. This is great if you want to meet specific activity goals, like having a certain number of active minutes per day.

What are the best Fitbit features for mental health?

While Fitbit devices are most commonly used for fitness tracking, the latest versions have started offering more lifestyle-oriented features for stress management and improving overall well-being.

If you’re in the market for a Fitbit device to help you manage anxiety and stress, here are some mental health-focused features to look out for:

  • Stress monitoring: Some Fitbit devices measure stress through electrodermal activity (EDA), heart rate variability, and sleep monitoring. These features are key for busy individuals who frequently work in fast-paced environments.
  • Guided meditations: Having guided meditations at hand (literally) goes well with stress-monitoring features. Whenever you see your stress score go up, simply check out a meditation or two for relief on the go.
  • Music: For many people, music is a huge part of managing their mental health. If this is you, having a robust music player or online streaming on your Fitbit device can really help.

What are the best Fitbit features for casual use?

If you want to use a Fitbit device casually, look for options offering decent features at an affordable price.

Some features to look out for include:

  • Step counting
  • Workout tracking
  • Sleep monitoring
  • Heart rate monitoring
  • Music functions
  • Smartphone notifications
  • Water-resistance
  • Decent battery life

Other semi-advanced “good-to-have” features include:

  • On-screen workouts
  • Guided meditations
  • Stress score
  • Music storage
  • Voice assistant

Editors’ Recommendations






Google’s AI-Driven December Pixel Feature Drop Arrives: What’s New

Google’s AI-Driven December Pixel Feature Drop Arrives: What’s New

Google’s last Pixel Feature Drop for 2023, has finally arrived. It brings a ton of new features that will arrive on new and recent Pixel smartphones. Some of these updates also have features that trickle down to other Pixel ecosystem devices. While the highlight of this update includes some new generative AI features that use Google’s recently announced Gemini Nano AI model, these are currently tied down to the Pixel 8 Pro only. Still, there’s plenty to look forward to for those who own older Pixel devices as well.

Google today introduced its new Gemini AI model which has been made available in three different sizes – Ultra, Pro and Nano. According to Google, Gemini Nano is the most efficient model and is the one being used in the Pixel 8 Pro in particular to handle some AI generated tasks locally on the smartphone, without the need to be connected to the internet or the cloud. This includes a new Summarise feature in the Recorder app, which will deliver summaries of recorded conversations, interviews and more without connecting to the internet. Another Gemini Nano AI-driven feature is Smart Reply which has been made available in the GBoard keyboard app. The feature is currently available as a developer preview and works with certain apps only (will be coming to more apps next year). Pixel 8 Pro owners can demo the feature in WhatsApp currently letting them automatically generate replies based on the current chat conversation.

Moving away from the Gemini Nano model, the Pixel 8 Pro gains another feature that according to Google utilises its Tensor G3 processor. Video Boost will now be available for Pixel 8 Pro owners. After enabling the feature in the camera app, all users have to do is shoot a video like they normally would, while Google saves a separate copy of the same video in a different format. Once both videos are uploaded to the cloud, Google’s computational photography models will adjust parameters like colour, lighting, stabilisation, and graininess, helping make videos appear better. Video Boost also works with Night Sight video (once again on Pixel 8 Pro) resulting in videos that have richer colour and more detail once processed in the cloud. The end product is then downloaded back to the phone and replaces the original recorded video on it.

The new Smart Reply feature works with WhatsApp
Photo Credit: Google

 

Both Pixel 8 Pro and the Pixel 8 owners will also get access to a new Night Sight timelapse feature (found in the same camera mode) letting them shoot timelapse videos with better dynamic range and overall clarity.

The Pixel Fold, apart from the new tools mentioned above, also gets access to a Dual Screen Preview. It lets your subjects view themselves when shooting a photo by looking at themselves in the second preview on the Fold’s cover display.

Moving to older devices (Pixel 7 Pro up to the Pixel 6a), a new Portrait Light tool is available in the Photos app that lets users get rid of harsh shadows and improve the overall lighting of any photos that are stored on the same app, regardless of whether it was shot on a Pixel or not. The Photo Unblur tool also gets some added functionality and now works with dogs and cats as well. Once again, this works regardless of where the source image comes from. Users can also use their Pixel phones as webcam by simply plugging in the USB cable into a computer and selecting ‘Webcam’ in USB preferences. There’s also a Clean feature which can help remove smudges, stains and more from scanned documents.

pixel feature drop december 2023 repair mode ndtv PixelFeatureDrop  Google

Repair Mode finally comes to Pixel devices
Photo Credit: Google

 

Photo and camera-centric features aside, Google’s push for passkeys gets stronger with Password Manager now being able to identify apps, services or accounts that support the same, letting you add them when available.

Call Screen, a feature that’s not available in India yet, now makes its way to the Pixel Watch. Owners of the Pixel Watch can now also automatically unlock other Pixel devices when nearby, reducing the need to manually enter a password to unlock them, in case your hands are busy. Users of the first gen Pixel Watch can now also sync their Do Not Disturb and Bedtime Modes from one device to the other. Pixel Tablet also gets AI-enhanced Clear Calling and now supports spatial audio with head tracking when connected to Pixel Buds Pro.

Last but not the least comes the much-awaited Repair Mode. The feature basically keeps your personal data protected when handing over your Pixel device to a service centre for repairs. It mainly reduces the need for users to format or erase their devices when getting them serviced.

You can head here to check whether your Pixel device supports a particular feature from the December Feature Drop. The update is rolling out gradually and will reach supported Pixel devices over the next weeks.


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