Google’s first smartwatch offers health metric tracking, including an ECG app that detects signs of Atrial Fibrillation
Google has unveiled Pixel Watch, its first smartwatch, which combines all of Google’s best offerings with a focus on health and wellness and FitBit technology. The smartwatch, powered by Google’s Wear OS (Wear OS 3.5), is now available for pre-order.
The tech company has been concentrating on consumer health, having sought FDA approval to clear Fitbit for passive heart rhythm monitoring. The FDA approved Google’s AFib-detecting algorithm earlier this year. Google purchased the wearable device brand for $2.1 billion in 2019 to compete with Apple, which is also heavily invested in wearable health tech.
Google’s new Pixel Watch has a scratch-resistant 3D coverglass that comes in three finishes: black, silver, and gold. Users can personalize the watch face with their preferred interface. A specially-designed band mechanism allows users to easily switch bands with ease, with 20 band options currently available, ranging from $49 to $199. In the spring of 2023, Google says a metal option will become available.
With the integration of Fitbit, Google takes health and fitness to a new level, including what it says is its most accurate heart rate tracking yet. There are 40 exercise modes available for tracking workouts and activities such as steps, distance with GPS, and Active Zone Minutes.
An ECG app detects signs of Atrial Fibrillation, which the CDC estimates that 12.1 million people in the US will have in 2030. The Pixel Watch also provides a comprehensive understanding of sleep fitness with Sleep Score and Sleep Stages. The Pixel Watch’s Health Metrics Dashboard in the Fitbit app includes health metrics such as breathing and heart rate variability. Fitbit Premium users will have access to features such as Daily Readiness Score, which tells users whether they should push themselves during a workout or opt to rest and recover.
The Google Pixel Watch costs $349 for Bluetooth/Wi-Fi and $399 for 4G LTE, which includes six months of Fitbit Premium and three months of YouTube Music Premium.
With a battery life of 24 hours, the new smartwatch also works seamlessly with smart home devices via the Google Home App, and allows contactless payments with Google Wallet and navigation with Maps.
Google didn’t skimp on security with the new Pixel Watch. If the wearer is in an emergency, a feature alerts responders and trusted contacts, and Google plans to add fall detection next year. The fall detection system detects a hard fall and contacts emergency services, even auto-dialing responders if the user is unresponsive.
The Google Pixel Watch can be pre-ordered online at the Google Store, FitBit.com, and will launch at select retailers starting October 13.
Courtney Rehfeldt has worked in the broadcasting media industry since 2007 and has freelanced since 2012. Her work has been featured in Age of Awareness, Times Beacon Record, The New York Times, and she has an upcoming piece in Slate. She studied yoga & meditation under Beryl Bender Birch at The Hard & The Soft Yoga Institute. She enjoys hiking, being outdoors, and is an avid reader. Courtney has a BA in Media & Communications studies.