Google’s Pixel Watch is getting three health and fitness updates that could help bring it up to speed with the Apple Watch and other smartwatch rivals. Those additions include blood oxygen saturation measurements that take advantage of the Pixel Watch’s SpO2 sensor, high and low heart rate notifications, and the ability to automatically pause certain workouts.
When the update arrives, the Pixel Watch will be able to issue an alert if your heart rate falls outside of your normal thresholds. It’ll also be capable of checking nighttime blood oxygen saturation, a feature that was mentioned at launch but will now be activated. Both features are available on other wearables in Google’s product lineup like the Fitbit Sense 2 and Fitbit Charge 5, but have been absent from the Pixel Watch until this update.
The Pixel Watch is also getting the ability to automatically pause and resume running, walking and biking workouts. That should make it easier to accurately track these types of workouts, since it provides a more convenient way to account for breaks. However, it’s unclear whether this update will enable the Pixel Watch to automatically start a workout on the wrist, which is another capability Google’s watch has been missing.
The Pixel Watch, which launched in October, is Google’s first consumer smartwatch. It relies heavily on Fitbit’s health tracking features but stands out among other Android watches for its sleek design. When I reviewed the Pixel Watch in 2022, I praised the watch for its attractive curved display and premium feel.
However, the watch has some notable shortcomings, namely its lack of high and low heart rate notifications and inability to automatically launch workouts on the wrist. With the Pixel Watch’s forthcoming update, Google is addressing at least some of those setbacks.
In addition to adding these features to the Pixel Watch, Google is also announcing a few Fitbit and Pixel phone updates. Fitbit users will be able to see their daily readiness score, manage menstrual health settings and choose new clock faces from the wrist, although support may vary depending on which device you have. On Pixel devices, Google is introducing more emergency and safety tools, emoji wallpapers and a new macro focus video mode for the Pixel 7 Pro among other features.
Watch this: Pixel Watch Review: Google’s Answer to the Apple Watch