The Pixel Watch is Google’s first smartwatch, but should users consider it over the older (and cheaper) Samsung Galaxy Watch 4? Google released the Pixel Watch in October 2022, alongside the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. On the other hand, the Watch 4 came out in August 2021. Despite being an older device, the Galaxy Watch 4 doesn’t fall short of features. Both watches are capable devices that can measure several health-related metrics, and are excellent companions to Android smartphones.
The Pixel Watch has a 1.2-inch AMOLED display that’s housed in a 41mm case, with no other size options available. The Galaxy Watch 4, on the other hand, comes in two sizes – a 40mm variant with a 1.2-inch display and a 44mm variant with a 1.4-inch display, both AMOLED. Other specifications, such as the pixel density (320 ppi) and the peak brightness (1,000 nits), are identical on both watches. Even so, with the curved display and the absence of the metallic rotating bezel, the Pixel Watch looks nothing like the Galaxy Watch 4.
Pixel Watch Has A Four-Year-Old Chipset
Under the hood, the Pixel Watch is powered by Samsung’s Exynos 9110 (10nm) SoC, a four-year-old chipset. In comparison, the Galaxy Watch 4 features the Exynos W920 (5nm), a relatively newer processor. The drawbacks of using an outdated processor also reflect in the effective battery life of the Pixel Watch. Though Google promises up to 24-hour battery life on the device, it doesn’t quite make it there. In Screen Rant‘s Pixel Watch review, the battery lasted a little over 17 hours.
In contrast, Samsung promises up to 40-hour battery life on the Galaxy Watch 4. However, per several reviews, the watch barely crosses the 24-hour mark with an always-on display, GPS, and activity tracking. Nevertheless, the Galaxy Watch 4 still offers better battery life than the Pixel Watch. Another aspect where the Pixel Watch falls behind is the execution of apps. Even with 2GB of SDRAM, which is more than the 1.5GB of RAM on the Galaxy Watch 4, the watch takes a while to open and load apps. Nevertheless, Google’s smartwatch offers 32GB of internal storage, double that of the Galaxy Watch 4.
Both Watches Run Wear OS
Regarding fitness tracking, the Google Pixel Watch offers essential activity and heart rate tracking, also available on the Galaxy Watch 4. Google’s smartwatch has the required hardware for measuring blood oxygen levels, but the feature isn’t available at the moment. If that’s important for buyers, the Galaxy Watch 4 should be the go-to option. On the bright side, Pixel Watch comes with Fitbit’s premium suite of features, including sleep tracking analysis, wellness reports, a Daily Readiness Score, and more. In addition, those who purchase the device get six months of Fitbit Premium for free.
For those who like to keep track of their body composition, the Galaxy Watch 4 also has a BioActive sensor capable of measuring users’ BMI, skeletal muscles, and body fat percentage. Both the Pixel Watch and the Galaxy Watch 4 can record ECGs. The Galaxy Watch 4 can also measure blood pressure, but this feature isn’t available in the U.S. at the moment. Coming to the software, both smartwatches run Wear OS 3.5. The Pixel Watch shipped with the software, while the Galaxy Watch 4 received the update with One UI Watch 4.5 on top. As a result, both smartwatches offer deep integration with Google services such as Maps, Calendar, Pay, Assistant, and more.
On Google’s official website, the Pixel Watch (Bluetooth/Wi-Fi) is available for $349. The 40mm Galaxy Watch 4 (Bluetooth/Wi-Fi) is about half the price at $169. Both smartwatches are pretty much on par with regard to features, but the Pixel Watch has the upper hand with Fitbit integration. The Galaxy Watch 4 offers better performance and better battery life, and with the same software as the Pixel Watch, it’s also the better option for anyone who’s on a budget.
At I/O 2023, Google previewed some upgrades coming to Wear OS that could bring major improvements to the experience on both watches. For one, Wear OS 4 is touted to boost battery life. It’ll also finally allow users to backup their data and restore that information so it’s not lost if they need to reset the device or get a new one. Wear OS 4 will also introduce Tiles, which will give users at-a-glance information from apps, with quick actions for convenience. According to Google, Wear OS 4 will make for a more customizable experience. Whether one chooses the Pixel Watch or Galaxy Watch, they’ll have access to the new OS when it launches later in 2023.
Source: Google, Samsung