Google’s Pixel Watch is finally coming to India and Android users will now have another option to choose from when buying a smartwatch. The first Pixel Watch didn’t launch in India and we only get the Pixel Watch 2, which I think was a good decision by Google. The Pixel Watch 2 is expected to launch alongside the Pixel 8 series at the upcoming Made by Google event scheduled for October 4. The first Pixel Watch, while a great looking smartwatch and a good first effort, has a few kinks. I’ve been using the Pixel Watch for the better part of a year and this is why I don’t think Google has brought it to India.
The Pixel Watch was announced at last year’s Made by Google event alongside the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. Google’s smartwatch has been in the works for quite some time, and when they finally unveiled it, most people loved the design, including myself. It has a very distinctive design with a domed glass and a round dial with a digital crown. It easily stands out from the rest of the smartwatches and looks beautiful. I honestly believe this is the best looking smartwatch on the market today.
It’s also a decent first effort from Google. The Pixel Watch isn’t the best when it comes to health tracking, but it kept pace with the latest Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 series and even the latest Apple Watch. I compared my Pixel Watch’s health data, like steps, exercise tracking, sleep monitoring and heart rate, and a few other metrics, to a Galaxy Watch 5 (Review) and an Apple Watch SE (2nd Gen), and the accuracy was spot on .
In terms of software, I found the Pixel Watch’s interface, which runs stock Wear OS 3.5, to be much smoother than the Galaxy Watch 5. However, battery life was its weakest point. On a full charge, the Pixel Watch lasted less than 16 hours with AOD enabled. With AOD turned off and other battery saving features enabled, I did get a day’s worth of battery life, but if you add a workout or two into the mix, you’ll need to charge it overnight.
Many users were also unhappy with the size of the screen, which was quite small compared to the Galaxy Watch 5 or the 40mm Apple Watch. Let’s also not forget the Pixel Watch’s bezels, which make the screen look even smaller. I didn’t mind the small watch face size or the bezels though, as Google has done a good job of hiding the bezels with some clever software. Almost all of the watch faces on the Pixel Watch have black borders, which blend in with that thick bezel.
The Pixel Watch isn’t particularly rugged either. The glossy finish dome glass meant that all the little scratches were clearly visible, and there’s also the huge problem of the glass cracking if you were to hit the sides against a table or wall. There was also no glass replacement, which meant you had to be very careful or slap on a glass protector, which I did as soon as I got the watch.
Google priced the Pixel Watch at $349.99 (approximately Rs. 28,700) for the non-LTE variant, while the LTE version was priced at $399.99 (approximately Rs. 32,800). In this price range, the Pixel Watch actually offered less compared to its competition.
Meanwhile, the smartwatch market in India is led by brands like BoAt, Fire-Boltt and Noise, which make affordable smartwatches. Therefore, despite all the shortcomings of the Pixel Watch, I think it was a good decision by Google not to launch in India. The search giant didn’t really have a presence in India either, as it had only launched the Pixel 6a in India since the Pixel 3. With the launch of the Pixel 7 series in India, Google probably wanted to test the markets. And now Google believes that users in India are ready for a Pixel Watch. That’s probably why the Pixel Watch 2 is being brought to India.
With the Pixel Watch 2, Google has likely had more time to refine and make its smartwatch better. Recent leaks have suggested that Google’s new smartwatch will look more or less the same as its predecessor. However, it is expected to offer improved health tracking, better performance with a newer chipset, more bands and longer battery life. The Pixel Watch 2 has been confirmed to be available on Flipkart from October 5.