A smartwatch can be something that you didn't know you needed until you try one, with the emphasis being on the wear OS that you want to be as easy to use as possible.
But what about a smartwatch that has some of the functionality of your phone but can track your exercise and heart rate and can hold its battery well in those situations where you don't have your phone to hand?
With so many options out there, what watch is going to be most beneficial to you and your lifestyle?
In this guide, we'll provide the best 11 smartwatches for the Google Pixel phone models 4A, 4, 5, and 6.
We'll also give you some guidance on what to look out for when you're browsing these watches that you might want to keep in mind.
If you are in dire need of a watch upgrade, read on to find out more.
How Have We Picked Out These Smartwatches?
The first thing we've considered is the compatibility, as most modern Pixel phones run on Android 11 or 12 and use wear OS, so these watches will work with these plus older systems that may be running version 5 and above.
We've also looked at options if you want to customize the strap and have considered that there will be different use cases for these watches, whether you're at work or hitting the gym.
We've also considered battery life as this is going to be a deal breaker for a lot of people, and of course, we've looked at durability as these watches can be an investment for some, so we've got you covered here as well.
OUR TOP PICK
Here is a sleek-looking design with a blend of classy and techy feel about it, which is also water-resistant and has a sunlight-readable display.
If you're wondering about useability, you have the latest version of wear OS by Google, which has connectivity to apps such as Google pay, Viber, Spotify, Shazam, and health monitoring apps like Adidas running and Nike run club.
It also has packed into it a 1GB RAM capacity and ultra-fast wear 3100 processor, so you can flick between apps seamlessly and without much input delay, which is perfect in many different kinds of scenarios.
- The watch face is made of gorilla glass 3, so it can definitely take a beating if you happen to be like us and aren't strangers to dropping tech every so often.
- The battery can last between 16-24 hours even without turning everything off, so if you're a light user, you may get a lot of battery life out of this model.
- The watch base only comes in two colors, but the interchangeable straps that come with the watch offset this limitation slightly.
- It doesn't have LTE connectivity, so wi-fi and Bluetooth are your options if you want to access all of the watch's features, but this could depend on what region you live in.
The design philosophy behind this one is that fashion meets function with features that truly make this model stand out, such as the body composition analysis.
With this, you can get readings on body fat, skeletal muscle, body water level, metabolic rate, and body mass index, which will come really in handy to measure your health and fitness.
This watch also has accurate ECG monitoring to keep tabs on any issues such as irregular heart rhythms, and you can track all of this in the Samsung health monitor, which is a feature we believe is essential when talking about heart health.
- It has the option to use Bluetooth or LTE, so you can link your carrier data plan to the watch so that it can become an independent phone on its own.
- The native options regarding the style might look a bit basic for some, but this leaves you room to change the bands and use the Samsung wearable app to change the watch face as you see fit.
- This watch is designed with wear OS but might be trickier to integrate if you don't have a Samsung phone, and not all features might be available to Pixel phones.
- It doesn't have a blood pressure sensor if you're buying a US model, so you'll have to decide if this function is necessary for you or not.
A more familiar smartwatch brand, the 42mm touchscreen can also be used as a smartphone with Alexa built-in, contactless payments, and a speaker so you can make phone calls.
Its new Qualcomm 4100+ chipset brings enhanced performance, improved power, and a more reliable connection, with up to 4 times the range with Bluetooth 5.
The watch can also track activity goals and has a GPS integration that can keep you on the right track by showing you your distance and path, which can be a feature that's sometimes overlooked.
- The smartwatch is compatible with all makes of android phones, so if you have what we consider an older model of the pixel, like the 4 or 4A, you shouldn't find any problems with integration.
- Sleep tracking comes as a feature in this watch which can help you to optimize your sleeping experience and can help you determine how your sleeping patterns affect your overall health, so it could help you if you're struggling with sleep quality.
- The bulky dials on the side can be prone to getting caught on things like nicks of fabric and sometimes jewelry like necklaces, but as these are shortcuts, we can admit that this is a bit nitpicky.
- The messaging application on this watch is a little finicky because it only allows you to respond to messages that come into your watch, and you might have to tweak your settings to come to some sort of fix.
Here is a traditional brand that you might recognize, with all the capabilities like apps, google assistant, heart rate, incoming messages, and calls.
You can have a lot of fun customizing your interface to match your style or activity, and you can choose what sub dials you want from the weather, fitness goals, dual time zones, reminders, and many more choices.
This is a good option for those who wish for a smart-looking watch that doesn't incorporate a techy or sleek design and works as a wellness device that can act as your mobile phone as well, so there is plenty to get invested in with this smartwatch.
- It only takes an hour for the watch to charge completely, so you can plug it in when you go to sleep or when you're not using it, and you can increase it to a multi-day extended mode for light use cases.
- It has a wide range of watch faces to choose from, with some being free so that you can go for a casual or smart-looking face that isn't limited, like some main-line smartwatches that fit into that techy category.
- This watch's connectivity isn't the best and can disconnect from your phone if you leave a distance between them and can extend to earphones with Bluetooth connectivity. So this watch isn't going to be able to completely replace your phone if that's what you're looking for.
- This watch has a bulkier design, so it's weightier on your wrist, which isn't ideal when you are in the middle of exercising, as you're going to notice this issue after a while.
Here we have a men's watch that has a battery life that is truly something to behold, as you can get up to 3 days of life in smart mode and up to an impressive 45 days in enhanced essential mode.
Not only this, it has the Qualcomm snapdragon wear 4100 platform and a Mobvoi dual-processor system that supports 1GB of RAM and 8G ROM for a smooth user experience where it's doubtful you'll notice any lagging.
It comes with a built-in GPS, barometer, and 24-hour heartbeat monitoring, with many more functions like stress monitoring and noise detection to help you make changes to your lifestyle.
- The watch connects almost instantly to features such as heartbeat and activity tracking so that you can switch from casual to heavy use quite seamlessly.
- This watch has a more prominent face which is ideal for those with bigger wrists, and its backlight feature makes it easier to see when you're on the move and want a quick glance at the face.
- Even though these watches are water-proof, any sustained use in places like saunas or hot showers is going to reduce the effectiveness of this feature significantly and can't be resealed to improve it.
- You might experience some issues with the hey Google function that has brought up issues with battery draining, but you can use the Google assistant as a workaround, but again is a bit nitpicky.
This watch has all the looks of a conventional smartwatch, but the pulse Ox, which can keep track of respiration, menstrual cycle, stress, sleep, hydration, and much more.
If you're looking for activity integration, this watch can record all of your exercises with over 20 preloaded GPS and indoor sports apps that you can use alongside exercises such as yoga, running, swimming, and pretty much any activity you can think of.
A feature we particularly liked was the safety and tracking features which can provide incident detection during your exercises and send your real-time location to your emergency contact, just as your regular phone can with its SOS functions.
- Suppose you have Move IQ and Auto activity start enabled. In that case, the watch will detect if you're walking or running for a certain length of time and will automatically begin an appropriate activity. This could be easier than setting it yourself if you don't have a solid exercise activity set.
- You can pretty much customize everything from the widgets you find on your primary display to downloading custom watch faces and adding data fields, so you will have a lot of choice in this regard, which we think is a significant plus.
- This device does measure your O2 levels during sleep but the reading can have mixed results, so if you're concerned about your levels, you should always seek help from your practitioner to get an accurate result from a specialist.
- In some workouts, the watch doesn't recognize the strength if you're using weights, for example, and you might have to manually enter them. This could be an issue for those whose exercise is exclusively aimed at weight training or where reps are involved.
This smartwatch is versatile as you can go from a simple black mesh design to something more formal like the smoke tan-looking strap, which is excellent for a multitude of scenarios.
You have an always-on display that is now brighter with more coloring and a higher pixel count, so you always have access to the time and activity readings.
This watch is also designed to keep you connected for longer, with notifications for calls, texts, and apps, and has automatic calendar and time zone syncing, so you don't have to rely on your phone that often.
- When setting the smartwatch up, many have found the process was simple and informed them when an update is available, instead of having to go through the settings to check manually.
- With the implementation of a speaker and microphone, calls come through to your watch at good quality and don't experience much delay when speaking into the watch.
- If you have the watch set to always on, you'll get less than a day of battery life, which isn't ideal for some but can be improved by using the tilt to wake feature and disabling your other features, but it will depend on your use case.
- Some people have noticed issues with Bluetooth, which can disconnect from their devices now and again, so you might have to restart the watch to enable the Bluetooth to pick up a stable connection.
Even though this watch doesn't use wear OS, we can assure you that the Fitbit brand that you know well can support Android OS 7.0 and higher, which is suitable for all the Pixel models that we've mentioned thus far.
You have a watch that focuses on well-being, an EDA scan app that detects electrodermal activity, which can indicate your body's response to stress, and a built-in sensor that logs temperature variations.
You can also have your health metrics displayed on your dashboard in the app, where you can see changes in your well-being and can help to create an effective fitness plan.
- When choosing between your tracking options, you can easily switch the faces around to get to your desired tracking option watch face.
- With a watch that is focused on heart health and well-being, the list of these types of features is more extensive than what we see as top-of-the-line smartwatches.
- You have to subscribe to a Fitbit premium membership to fully access your insights, readiness, stress and mindfulness, and sleep tools. Of course, you can go for a free standard account, but then you're locked out of features such as stress management and wellness report.
- If you change the wristband of the watch, it changes the fit, which can affect readings like sleep quality scores and oxygen saturation levels. If you have sensitive or small wrists, the friction of the band can become noticeable in heavy use.
Another watch that comes from the TicWatch brand, we couldn't resist the sleek design that makes it even easier to track your movement and stay motivated, and has a simple face design that looks like your standard digital watch face.
The amount of applications for this watch is only restricted by what you can find on the Google Play store and isn't limited to Spotify, Facebook Messenger, and many Google services such as maps, assistants, and fitness tracking.
The inclusion of a second watch strap makes for good practice as you can swap them out for various tasks and exercises that you undergo every day, and with a 20mm width, it will comfortably fit most wrist sizes.
- The dials on the side of the watch's face can be personalized to start exercise, heart rate detection, and NFC payment, to name a few functions.
- When texts come through on this smartwatch, you can send quick replies, which can save you time if you don't want to break the flow of your exercises.
- To use services such as music and calls, you need your phone at hand, so it is pretty reliant on your phone, so you might want to avoid it if you want better smartphone capabilities.
- It doesn't measure oxygen levels, as some people might find these types of well-being trackers to be a deal breaker, so you might want to look at different models under this brand.
Here we have the upper end of sports smartwatches that has the option of stainless steel or titanium, which has access to more than 70 sports modes and has a 24mm band width.
This watch is highly recommended for sports or fitness fanatics as it has tracking features that can keep tabs on your sports, daily activity, sleep, training, and recovery to keep everything in balance so you can plan your lifestyle more easily.
You can connect to most sports apps that you frequently use, where you can receive the best in training analysis and guidance, so it's very much like having a portable trainer on your wrist.
- It's water-proof for up to 50 meters, meaning you can perform better without worrying about any exposure from shallow to moderately deep pools.
- You can get up to 12 hours of battery life in time mode with GPS turned on. It can be extended up to 2 days if you have it on time mode and turn off notifications and any background apps, which is excellent for a sports watch that you're going to be doing a lot of intense movement for an extended period.
- The inclusion of a heatmap is only going to benefit those who are using the watch outdoors, so it might be a bit overboard if you're looking for a simple, high-end watch.
- Compared to something like a Fitbit, this watch isn't the best at tracking steps, so you might have to re-sync it up on occasion, so this might be an inconvenience if this is the main activity you decide to use the watch for.
This watch has a minimalist design that still is the right combination of techy and casual, making it versatile, with a 42mm black ion-plated stainless steel case with a ceramic case back and round digital touchscreen dial.
It has all the features you can expect from Wear OS, with all your emails, calls, and texts all in one place, and with the inclusion of Google pay, your options just got more advanced.
With programmable pushers to set your activity markers, it's even easier to get going in your exercise routine.
- The watch surface is made of gorilla glass crystal which can withstand day-to-day drops or accidents and prevent deep chips and scratching.
- There are complaints that the watch's battery drains a little bit quicker than you'd like, so you might have to be mindful of what applications you have running when using the watch.
We've offered here the best Wear OS smartwatches that are available right now, and there's no doubt that you're going to have a checklist of all the features that are a must for you.
You might be looking for something more stylish, versatile, or a bit of both, but what is certain is that as smartwatches generally last around 4-5 years, you don't want to be swapping and changing models too often.
Below are some other considerations that you want to take into consideration before you set your sights on a particular smartwatch.
This will be a sticking point for some people, as there is a gap between entry-level models, which you can pick up for under $100, and the multipurpose smartwatches that can be priced for more than $150.
If you're looking for a budget option, you'll find that there are some limitations as not all types of activity will be measured, and the phone and messaging applications will be basic at best, and that's even if they have that capability.
With budget smartwatches also come with the problem of the OS, which in some cases isn't supported by Google's Wear OS and requires you to download an app instead to be able to integrate your phone to the watch.
Even though the Pixel phone uses the Google play store, you might find issues connecting the watch as the setup process will involve the app trying to locate your watch, which isn't always a seamless solution.
It could help if you also considered that some of these budget smartwatches might not be compatible with newer pixel models like the Pixel 6.
If you have an older model, you might be able to get away with a cheaper option, but you are limited in some ways, and the watch serves as more of a Fitbit than an excellent accompaniment to your phone.
The battery of your watch is another non-negotiable, so you don't want to accept any type of watch with a battery life under 12 hours.
Otherwise, it's going to spend half of its life just sitting on a dock.
Like with smartphones, you can adjust the functionality of your watch so that it preserves battery life like the TicWatch Pro 3, which, as we have said, can last up to 45 days if you're using its essential mode.
As good as this feature is, it can make using some applications tricky, as battery preservation tends to minimize or completely close any background applications, so you'll have to decide which ones you're going to need most.
Of course, in most use cases, we can just dock the smartwatch overnight, and it'll be ready to use the day after, but of course, some features like virtual assistants like Alexa on smartwatches could throttle the battery as they are constantly active for when you speak into the microphone.
To determine your use case, if you're a casual or fitness fanatic and scale down your options to fit your needs, but anything over the 20-hour mark should work for most people who tab in and out of it in moderation.
One of the biggest complaints with smartwatches is the strap that, like regular watches, can either be too big and need adjusting, or the strap is too small, and you need to add more notches to your strap.
You also don't want a watch face that is going to swallow the entirety of your wrist because, after a while, you're going to notice the weight, and this can put some people off wearing them.
A good all-rounder pick for this issue is the Fossil Gen 6, which you can pick from a silver mesh or silicone mesh strap on your model, plus, we have found that you get a spare set in the box.
We found that either material is quite flexible but durable so that you can use them under heavy types of exercises such as weightlifting or warm-up activities such as push-ups and squat jumps.
Be aware that if you need to buy a replacement strap, you should check the watch case to see the band's width so you won't be disappointed, as older models won't have the exact same measurements as the newer models.
You should also ensure that the watch can be secured easily and won't slip around, as the sensor on the watch's base needs to have significant contact with your wrist to get a plausible reading.
Customization And Other Accessories
We know that a lot of customization is going to come from the watch's OS, but once you start it up, if you haven't used a smartwatch before, you might find the UI to be a bit overwhelming.
This can come from the possibility that a flick of your finger can open up an app, or the movement of your wrist can activate certain features such as sleep mode or start tracking activity, for example.
For this, you want to make sure that you take some time to go over the user manual, which could work in your favor as you could discover a feature that you didn't pick up when going through the watch's features.
When picking up earphones, you'll be bombarded with different makes that range from below $50 to the more premium brands that can cost anywhere between $100 and $200.
You want to ensure that the earphones you get have a good Bluetooth connection and are easily adjustable, and if you're not really sure, you could get a pair of Google Pixel buds that you know will work with your phone and, as a result, your smartwatch.
An important feature is spatial awareness which is great for those intense exercises, but features such as noise cancellation should be used with caution, especially if you're running and there is a lot of vehicle traffic around your chosen path.
If you have an issue with your smartwatch, you want to know that the company that has provided the product is going to be able to solve any problems you may have further down the line.
A watch from Samsung, for example, is a well-recognized brand that has decent customer support with a troubleshooting page, where you can call, text, or even use the automated chat service to resolve your issue.
Of course, not everyone's experience is going to be positive, so if you're really unsure, be on the lookout for any warranty that comes with a watch that can cover any issues and offers you to send it back or swap it for something else if you've already paid the total cost.
Be aware that warranties don't cover all types of issues, such as water damage, so be sure to read the full terms of the warranty to see what is covered, and you should be offered at least a year's worth of cover.
Smartwatches these days can have anywhere between 500MB and 1.5GB of RAM, so models such as the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 have this higher RAM capability.
This, of course, can change as the smartwatch market improves as Google makes strides in this area to have a wearable to accompany their new Pixel 7 phone.
With the increasing amount of applications, we like to see means-tested watches that can both store many applications while operating seamlessly without any throttling or lagging of their useability in general.
If you are hoping to get a lot of use out of your watch's applications, be aware of your memory capabilities, as you might have a great playlist that you would like to install into the watch.
You also want the ability to listen to your songs offline, so you do not have to share your files to and from your phone each time, so give the internal memory a good look over before you settle on any watch.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I Get A Smartwatch?
In brief, it depends on what you want to get out of a smartwatch, as they can be great at tracking your vitals and activity, so if you're watching your health, you could definitely go for a mid-range watch or something more straightforward if you want to spend less than $100.
If you happen to be in a workplace that either doesn't allow phones or you're too distracted by yours, you can use a smartwatch to send you alerts or notifications that can be responded to quicker.
This leaves you more time to get more productive and can even help you get a better night's sleep as well.
Can I Use My Smartwatch instead Of My Phone?
If you have a model of smartwatch that is connected to a stable wi-fi connection via your phone's wi-fi connection or cellular network connection, you can leave your smartphone at home and take your smartwatch anywhere you like.
When looking at smartwatches, you want to look out for wi-fi or cellular capabilities, which most branded watches like Samsung usually come with as standard.
Some models allow you to choose between Bluetooth or LTE, but if you're going for LTE, you should be wary of the rise in cost for this functionality.
Is Having All These Features Good For My Health?
While it's good to be able to have vitals such as blood pressure, O2 levels, and heartbeat, they shouldn't be used as a means of making diagnoses, as they aren't 100% accurate and can't detect issues such as blood clots, heart attacks, or sleep apnea.
This over-reliance on these readings can cause some to develop anxiety and misdiagnose themselves, causing unnecessary visits to the emergency room.
It's a great way to be able to measure your health in this way, which can help you make better choices in your exercise and diet.
If you're still anxious about these readings, you should consider check-ups with your practitioner for more peace of mind.
With your sights set on a new smartwatch, the only thing left now is to consider the potential benefits of such a watch, but if you're still unsure of which model to get for your Pixel phone, perhaps a friend or family member of yours has a smartwatch you could try out.
This way, you can get a hands-on review of what it's like to use the watch day-to-day, and it will give you an idea of how the features of the watch can be fully utilized, but if not, you could always find a review online.
It also helps for you to compare health tracking features so you find a watch that fits with your requirements exactly.
Our selection offers a range of different models that can work with just about any use case, as we know that not everyone's lifestyles are the same, as some are more on the move, while others might be more conscious of their blood pressure or sleeping habits so they can make changes.
You're going to be owning and using your smartwatch for a considerable amount of time, so you want a model that has features and connectivity that you want and a style that you can style up or down for any occasion.
Thank you for reading.
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