Google recently unveiled the long-awaited Pixel Watch 2, successor to the iconic Pixel Watch range. This smartwatch arrives on the already hotly contested market for wearable devices, with a clear aim: to rival Apple’s Apple Watch 9, which debuted in September 2023. The battle between Google and Apple in the world of smartwatches has users excited, with each offering unique features and innovations.
In this article, we dive into an in-depth comparison of the Pixel Watch 2 and Apple Watch 9, exploring their respective features, designs and performance. As the competition heats up, let’s find out how these two behemoths stand out in the world of smartwatches.
Design and Screen – Pixel Watch 2 vs. Apple Watch 9
What you need to know about the Pixel Watch 2:
The Pixel Watch 2 features a sleek design with durable material choices, but it has some limitations in terms of available sizes and screen features.
- Curved Recycled Aluminium Case: The curved case made from 100% recycled aluminium offers a stylish aesthetic and a reduced environmental footprint.
- One size fits all: Available in a single 41mm size, which may be a limitation for users with wider wrists.
- 1.2-inch AMOLED screen: The 1.2-inch AMOLED screen offers vibrant display quality with a maximum brightness of 1,000 nits, ensuring visibility even in direct sunlight.
- Always On Option: The ability to keep the screen always on enhances usability for quick reference.
Points to consider:
- One Size Fits All: Availability in one size may not suit all users, especially those with preferences for different sized watches.
What you need to know about the Apple Watch 9:
The Apple Watch 9 offers a variety of sizes, materials and screen features, catering to a wide range of preferences.
- Square Case and Size Options: The square case with smooth, rounded corners is available in two sizes, 41mm and 45mm, offering more choice to fit different wrists.
- Varied materials: Available in 100% recycled aluminium or stainless steel, offering a wide range of material choices to suit user preferences.
- Brighter, more durable screen: The brighter, darker screen, combined with the stainless steel version with sapphire crystal display, ensures greater visibility and durability.
- Water Resistant to 50 m: Offers resistance to deeper water up to 50 metres, ideal for water sports activities.
Points to consider:
- Price Variable: Stainless steel models can be more expensive, which can influence choice depending on budget.
- Size Diversity: While some may prefer size diversity, others may find the choice between two sizes more limited than the variety of sizes available from the competition.
Software and Features – Pixel Watch 2 vs. Apple Watch 9
Pixel Watch 2:
The Pixel Watch 2 runs Google’s Wear OS operating system, offering a unique experience with significant improvements over its previous version, Wear OS 3.
- Wear OS 4: Incorporates significant upgrades over the previous version, offering a more fluid and responsive user experience.
- Enhanced Applications: Benefits from improved app support, including the addition of popular apps such as WhatsApp, which are not available on the Apple Watch.
- Seamless Integration: Seamlessly integrates Google services such as Google Assistant, Maps and Calendar, improving connectivity and ease of use.
Things to consider:
- Limited Ecosystem: While Wear OS offers an enhanced experience, it may not be as integrated with the Android ecosystem as WatchOS is with the Apple ecosystem.
Apple Watch 9:
Apple Watch 9 is powered by WatchOS, Apple’s dedicated operating system, which has been a cornerstone of the Apple Watch’s popularity.
- WatchOS 10: Version 10 offers a wide range of apps, aesthetically pleasing watch faces and deep integration with the iPhone, reinforcing the consistency of the Apple ecosystem.
- Deep Integration: Takes advantage of deep integration with Apple products, leveraging exclusive features like seamless syncing with the iPhone.
- Abundant applications: Benefits from a wide range of applications available on the App Store, offering functional diversity.
Points to consider :
- Limitations for Non-iPhone Users: Deep integration with the iPhone can limit the experience for those who don’t use Apple devices.
If you’re a keen user of the Google ecosystem, the Pixel Watch 2 with Wear OS 4 offers significant improvements and seamless integration with Google’s services.
On the other hand, the Apple Watch 9 with WatchOS 10 remains unrivalled for iPhone users, benefiting from tight integration and an abundance of apps in the App Store.
Fitness and Health Tracking – Pixel Watch 2 vs. Apple Watch 9
The Pixel Watch 2 stands out as a solid smartwatch offering fitness and health tracking, primarily managed by Fitbit, a Google acquisition. Here’s a detailed look at the features:
- Fitbit Integration: Management by Fitbit provides a great platform for tracking daily activities and progress.
- Peak Sensors: Incorporating sensors such as GPS, VO2 Max and a multi-trajectory optical heart rate sensor, the Pixel Watch 2 ensures accurate measurements.
- Automatic Exercise Tracking: The watch now offers automatic exercise tracking, making it easier to keep track of your daily physical activities.
- Steps and Calories focus: Although focusing on step and calorie tracking, it offers basic fitness measurements.
Health Tracking :
- Stress Management: Includes stress monitoring, providing useful data for managing mental wellbeing.
- Skin Temperature Sensors: Skin temperature sensors enhance health monitoring.
- Sleep Tracking: Provides comprehensive sleep tracking, contributing to better rest management.
Aspects of fitness and health tracking are locked behind the Fitbit Premium paywall, providing a complete experience for subscribers.
The Apple Watch 9 also stands out for its fitness and health tracking features. Here’s what it offers:
- Comprehensible Sensors: Incorporates sensors such as GPS, heart rate, blood oxygen and a temperature sensor for tracking the female cycle.
- ECG Application: Includes an ECG application, adding a dimension to heart health monitoring.
- Car Accident Detection: Automatic car accident detection functionality, adding a layer of safety.
- Wide Range of Training Options: Offers a variety of workout options, with additions like cycling in WatchOS 10.
- Visualisation of Movement Goals: Ideal for tracking daily movement goals.
- Varied Training Options: A diverse range of training options, offering flexibility for different types of physical activity.
- Sleep Tracking: Also includes sleep tracking functionality, contributing to a deeper understanding of sleep patterns.
Apple Watch 9 excels in the variety of sensors and health features, reinforcing its position as a versatile watch.
In summary, the Pixel Watch 2 and Apple Watch 9 offer comprehensive fitness and health tracking functionality. The choice between the two will depend on individual preferences, desired user experience and health tracking priorities. The Pixel Watch 2 features Fitbit for detailed tracking, while the Apple Watch 9 offers an extensive range of sensors and integrated health features.
Final verdict: Pixel Watch 2 vs. Apple Watch 9
Having taken a close look at Google’s Pixel Watch 2 and Apple’s Apple Watch 9, it’s time to give our verdict. The Pixel Watch 2 launched in October 2023 with a starting price of $349/£349/€399 for the Wi-Fi only model, while the Apple Watch 9, which arrived a month earlier in September 2023, starts at $399/£399/€449 for the 41mm aluminium model without cellular, placing it as the more expensive option with a $50/£50/€50 difference.
While the Pixel Watch 2 offers a more affordable alternative, it doesn’t compromise on quality or functionality. For budget-conscious users, the Pixel Watch 2 could be the smart choice, offering a complete smart experience without the hefty price tag associated with some other brands. However, for those looking for the ultimate in design, functionality and integration with the Apple ecosystem, the Apple Watch 9 remains the clear leader, despite costing slightly more. Ultimately, the choice between the Pixel Watch 2 and the Apple Watch 9 will depend on your personal preferences, your specific needs and, of course, your available budget.
By the way: