Google Pixel Watch vs Apple Watch 8

Google Pixel Watch was unveiled on 6th October and goes on sale from 13th October in nine countries. How does it compare with Apple Watch 8, the latest flagship Apple watch model?

iOS vs Android

Google Pixel Watch is based on the Wear OS 3.5. It can work with Android version 8 or higher devices. Pixel Watch is incompatible with iOS and cannot work with iPhones.

On a similar note, Apple Watch 8 is based on Apple’s Watch OS 9. It can only work with the iOS devices. An Apple Watch cannot work with Android mobile operating system.

Pixel Watch and Apple Watch 8 are mutually exclusive in terms of mobile operating system support for iOS and Android.

Heart and Health Monitoring

Significant differences exist between Google Pixel Watch and Apple Watch 8 for heart health monitoring and tracking.

Apple Watch 8 has a third generation optical sensor and an electrical sensor that can help in taking spot ECG readings. Apple Watch 8 can also send in high and low heart rate alerts. Apple Watches have always been very good in detecting and alerting AFib or Atrial Fibrillation conditions.

Google Pixel Watch has an ECG app and can track heart rate on a perpetual basis. But, it cannot alert you about AFib or Atrial Fibrillation. Pixel Watch is unable to send in high or low heart rate alerts.

SpO2 monitoring or blood oxygenation tracking is part of Apple Watch 8’s features. Pixel Watch does not track blood oxygen levels as of writing this. SpO2 tracking may be enabled at a later date on the Pixel Watch because Google does mention about SpO2 tracking on the specifications page.

Google Pixel Watch

Display and Casing

Pixel Watch comes in a single size of 41 mm. Google Pixel Watch has a steel casing while Apple Watch 8 has aluminum and stainless steel casing options.

Pixel Watch has an AMOLED display with 1000 nits screen brightness and pixel density of 320 ppi. The display lens is made of Corning Gorilla Glass 3. Pixel watch does support ‘AOD’ or ‘Always-on-Display’.

Apple Watch 8 comes in 41 mm and 45 mm sizes and has OLED display. It supports ‘Always on Display’ or AOD.

GPS

Apple Watch 8 supports GPS satellite systems of GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou and QZSS. Pixel Watch supports GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and BeiDou. QZSS is a Japanese satellite system that is not supported on Pixel Watch as of writing this.

Both watches support L1 GPS and do not have multi-band GPS capabilities.

LTE Connectivity

Apple Watch 8 and Google Pixel Watch support cellular connectivity through the LTE variants. Both watches have a 4G LTE chip and a wideband UMTS chip for cellular connectivity through the watch.

To avail cellular connectivity, you will need to have wireless subscription services from the telecom provider. On Google Pixel Watch, the watch and paired smartphone need to use the same wireless service provider.

Wireless Connectivity

Pixel Watch supports Bluetooth 5 and 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz while Apple Watch 8 supports Bluetooth 5.3 and 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Both watches do not support the wireless connectivity protocol of ANT+.

Bluetooth 5.3 promises more secured data transfer over the Bluetooth 5. Wi-Fi 5 GHz is much faster than the Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz. Apple Watch 8’s wireless connectivity is ahead of the Pixel Watch.

Fall Detection and Crash Detection

Apple Watch 8 supports fall detection and crash detection feature. Fall detection has been part of the Apple Watch specifications for quite sometime now. Upon detecting a fall, Apple Watches can send emergency notifications to the designated emergency contacts. The watch can also call the emergency services in supported countries.

Pixel Watch also comes with the fall detection feature.

Additionally, Apple Watch 8 comes with a much more accurate and robust accelerometer that can tracking force changes of up to 256g forces. This enables the Apple Watch 8 to detect car crash. The feature has been named crash detection.

If Apple Watch 8 detects a car crash, it can notify the designated emergency contacts and even call the emergency services in supported countries.

Crash detection is the newest feature for the smartwatches and as of writing this, only Apple Watch 8 and Apple Watch SE 2 (2022 edition) have this feature.

Quick reference table of comparison

You can checkout the main features of Apple Watch 8 and Google Pixel Watch in the quick reference comparison table below.

FeaturesApple Watch 8Google Pixel Watch
iOSYesNo
AndroidNoYes
DisplayOLEDAMOLED
Always on DisplayYesYes
Physical Size41 mm and 45 mm41 mm
Physical CaseAluminum and SteelSteel
Display LensApple Proprietary GlassCorning Gorilla Glass 3
Water Rating50 meters (equivalent to 5 ATM)5 ATM
Dust ProtectionIP68Unavailable
ECGYesYes
Blood Oxygen TrackingYesNo (as of now, not enabled)
LTE Connectivity4G LTE and UMTS4G LTE and UMTS
GPSGPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou and QZSSGPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou
Google Apps (in-built)Not AvailableGMail, Google Assistant, Google Wallet, Google Play Store, Google Home and Google Maps
Operating SystemWatch OS 9Wear OS 3.5
Fall DetectionYesYes
Crash DetectionYesYes

Availability

Apple Watch 8 is available all over the world through a well organized retail and online market places. Google Pixel Watch is currently limited to availability in only nine countries. Google Pixel Watch is available in US, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, France, Japan, Australia and Taiwan.

Closing thoughts

Apple Watch 8 is getting a competition with the launch of the Google Pixel Watch. In our opinion, Android users have reasons to cheer as Pixel Watch may emerge as one of the more credible Android smartwatches in the near future.

In our opinion, the iPhone users will continue to work with Apple Watches as the Apple eco-system offers more value for money wearable experience for the iPhone users.

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