So the Pixel Watch landed just shy of a week ago and we’ve been lucky enough to have one on the test bench since. It’s far too early — with less than a week of testing — to be able to form a decent opinion on the device at this stage, but certainly enough time to share a bit of a first impression.
There has been some significant discussion in the lead-up to the release about bezels and battery life not being what it should be in this connected world. While on paper I agree with some of the comments, the bezels haven’t caused me any concern in my first week of use, in fact, I love the look of it. It looks sleek and well-defined, and the edges are soft and easy on the eyes. In particular, I find the rounded front to be easy on the eyes and the physical size of the watch to be near perfect to work for all genders.
As we covered as part of the release of the watch, it comes in Gold, Black and Silver. As you can see, our review unit is black.
The screen and navigation
There are a few areas with the screen that raise a few questions. The curved edge of the glass over the physical edge of the watch does a good job of hiding bezels. Particularly given the majority of the watch faces and UI navigation are in fact, dominantly black this contributes to the masking of the bezels.
If you get the right angle on the screen, you can see a fairly significant bezel. In total honesty though, unless I’m actively looking for it, I just don’t see it and that’s only after a week of use.
The screen itself is bright enough — max 1000 nits — for any situation, even in broad daylight it’s easily read; whether it’s the time, notifications or something more detailed like answering an email.
One thing I really like is that, with the colour choices, your watch can be either a feature of your daily carry or an inconspicuous tool for your use. With access to the changeable bands, the flexibility of your Pixel Watch to work in any situation is really broad from exercise, to casual and professional environments.
Navigating through the menus is really slick, with the menus scrolling quickly and smoothly either by the touch screen or using the crown to scroll. Both ways are extremely responsive without being oversensitive, which is a real treat.
Battery and Charging
In the early stages, the biggest concern for me is the “up to 24 hours” of battery life. While it’s certainly manageable it’s not going to get anyone particularly excited. I’ll again reiterate that it’s early days, but I’m seeing a battery life of between 26 and 30 hours per charge.
There are a few things to consider here though in how I’m getting that battery life. For starters, I’m not using always on display and I’m not connected via LTE on the watch. For a battery, this size, both of those features are going to make a significant dent in the battery life.
Thankfully though, the charging puck will deliver great charging speeds and if you can find a couple of 20 – 30 minute windows of time at the start and end of the day you’ll be fine. I’ve tried to establish a routine of charging when I go for a shower in the morning and for about 20 minutes at the end of the day when I’m winding down for bed.
This means I can wear the watch overnight and take advantage of the Fitbit Premium features you’ll get for 6 months as part of the purchase of the Pixel Watch. The Fitbit integration is working well here, with a lot of information available on the watch and plenty being fed into the app; something that will be explored further in the full review.
As a very early impression, if I was to give a score out of 10 to Google for what I’ve seen so far it would be a solid 7/10. In a few weeks when the full review goes live, we’ll see if that impression has changed.
If you’ve got questions about the Pixel Watch, drop them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them as part of the final review.