The best Google Pixel Watch alternatives you can buy

Google Pixel Watch Crown

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

After years of speculation and seemingly endless rumor, customers can now get their hands on the Google Pixel Watch, announced alongside the new Pixel 7 series. The company’s first smartwatch worthy of the Google logo hopes to offer a quintessential Google experience on the wrist, with a dash of Fitbit’s fitness tracking and Wear OS app support. But if you weren’t rocked to your core by the Pixel Watch at launch, there are plenty of other stellar smartwatches to consider. Below, we round up the best Google Pixel Watch alternatives you can buy right now.

Buying the right Google Pixel Watch alternative

The Google Pixel Watch isn’t particularly unique in its smart or fitness feature set, but before buying any product it’s important you ask one question: What do you want from your smartwatch?

Do you chiefly require a smart wrist companion that can run plenty of apps and packs additional utility, or something that’ll augment your exercise experiences? Realistically, the Google Pixel Watch should serve both sets of users, but it’s by no means the best smartwatch in either category.

Google Pixel Watch watchface 3

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

If you’re specifically interested in the “smart” aspect of the smartwatch, look for a watch with a large OLED screen, an OS, and additional cellular connectivity options. These will allow you to get the most from the smartwatch-smartphone experience.

Runners, gym-goers, and more active users should look for built-in GPS, an array of sport tracking modes and metrics, and reliable sensors. These will help you to maximize your effort while pumping iron or eating up the miles.

The best Google Pixel Watch alternatives

  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 5: This is the best value Wear OS smartwatch, and arguably smartwatch, at the moment. Although it resembles its predecessor, it wears a more resistant shell, packs a larger battery, and has a skin temperature sensor.
  • Apple Watch Series 8: Apple’s Pixel Watch rival is exclusively for iPhone users, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider it as one of the best smartwatches money can buy, especially if you’re entrenched in Cupertino’s ecosystem.
  • Garmin Venu 2 Plus: This is hands-down Garmin’s best smartwatch to date, packing all the strong fitness features brought by the Venu 2 but with added smart features.
  • Fitbit Sense: This is Fitbit’s best smartwatch and seems likely to stay that way for some time. It’s a little older than other devices on this list, but that plays to its advantage when it comes to price.
  • Mobvoi TicWatch E3: Due to get a big Wear OS upgrade in the coming months, the TicWatch E3 is an outsider pick worth considering if you want a budget smartwatch running Google’s OS and nothing more.
  • Fitbit Charge 5: If you’re looking for a fitness tracker with ECG capabilities, the Charge 5 is among the cheapest choices you have. It also includes all the fitness tracking goodies of the Pixel Watch for much less.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5: The best Google Pixel Watch alternative

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

Supports last Wear OS version to date • Improved battery life • Solid GPS accuracy

Rugged, refined, and ready for adventure.

The Galaxy Watch 5 smartwatch offers a bigger battery, and this increase, Samsung claims, leads to ten extra hours of battery life. It supports Google Assistance and Google Maps navigation, and the health-tracking updates are outstanding.

Samsung’s latest smartwatch doesn’t bring any revolutionary features to the table, but it does further polish the already excellent formula used by the Galaxy Watch 4. The Galaxy Watch 5 retains plenty of its predecessor’s features, including the chipset, primary health tracking kit, and design. However, buyers will appreciate the tougher body and sapphire face, the larger battery, and the new skin temperature sensor.

Like the Pixel Watch, the Galaxy Watch 5 runs Wear OS 3.5 with One UI Watch providing a more Samsung-like look and feel. This means most of the Google services and apps available to Google’s smartwatch will run without issue on the Galaxy Watch 5. You also get the added bonus of Samsung features if you’re partial to the Korean company’s other products.

While there’s plenty to like about the Galaxy Watch 5, there are some downsides. For one, some features are only available to those running a Galaxy smartphone, including the ECG and blood pressure reader. The skin temperature sensor has also yet to be activated, and it’s unclear when Samsung will switch it on.

If you can look past the awkward Samsung oddities, the Galaxy Watch 5 is the best Wear OS experience you can have. And the real kicker is its price. It’s much, much cheaper than Google’s new challenger.

Our verdict: Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro review

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 closeup of buttons with green accent

Kris Carlon / Android Authority

Apple Watch Series 8: The best Google Pixel Watch alternative for iPhone users

Apple Watch Series 8 (Wi-Fi)

Apple Watch Series 8 (Wi-Fi)

Excellent Retina display • Premium design • Advanced tracking sensors

Doing just enough to stay ahead of the competition.

The Apple Watch Series 8 with Wi-Fi connectivity features a temperature sensor to monitor body variations and get better insights into women’s cycles. Apple designed the series 8 with a thick front crystal and a robust geometry to be more resistant, and the case is made of 100% recycled materials.

Another case of evolution over revolution, the Apple Watch Series 8 brings minor improvements to the Series 7’s package. The latest edition includes all the fan favorites seen in the last model, like the tougher and larger screen and slimmer bezels.

There are some new features never seen on an Apple Watch before. You’re getting a skin temperature sensor that informs smarter fertility cycle monitoring, more intuitive sleep tracking, and a low power mode that ekes out 36 hours of battery life from the refreshed chipset.

Of course, the Apple Watch line will never be a true alternative for Android smartphone users. You’ll need an iPhone to use the company’s watches. This automatically makes it a tough recommendation as a true Pixel Watch rival. However, if you are already invested in the Apple ecosystem, there’s no need to look over Google’s fence.

See also: Apple Watch Series 7 vs Series 8: Should you upgrade?

apple watch series 8 in hand

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Metropolitan Face

Garmin Venu 2 Plus: The best Google Pixel Watch alternative for fitness-conscious users

Garmin Venu 2 Plus

Garmin Venu 2 Plus

Excellent design and build quality • Features rapid charging technology • Accurate fitness and health tracking • Excellent phone call support

Garmin is trudging into true smartwatch territory with the Venu 2 Plus.

The Garmin Venu 2 was nearly crowned our favorite wearable of 2021. Its accurate fitness- and health-tracking features, as well as the company’s revamped software, made for an overall compelling package. But Garmin watches tend to fall far behind the competition when it comes to “smart” features. You can install third-party apps and watch faces, but there’s traditionally been no support for voice assistants, phone calls, or other smartwatch staples.

The Garmin Venu 2 Plus is the best Garmin smartwatch you can buy right now. On the surface, you’re getting a classically gorgeous watch with a bright OLED screen and typically solid build quality. But the Venu 2 Plus’ real allure lies beneath its skin.

It builds on the already excellent Venu 2 recipe which features the company’s remarkably accurate Body Battery energy meter, stellar sleep tracking, and Health Snapshot, in addition to smart fare like mobile payments and onboard music storage and streaming. If you’re wondering what the “Plus” is all about, it signals the addition of voice assistant support for whatever is used on your smartphone and support for taking calls on the wrist. These two minor additions make the Venu 2 Plus a much more useful smart companion.

It doesn’t solve all of its problems, though. Garmin’s biggest weakness remains its lack of app integration compared to the likes of Wear OS. The Pixel Watch should have a leg up there. It’s also particularly pricey when compared to its contemporaries, starting at $449. It’s unlikely you’ll find a more complete smartwatch experience anywhere else, so that premium is well worth paying.

Our verdict: Garmin Venu 2 Plus review

A Garmin Venu 2 Plus on the wrist showing the watch face and display

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Pros

  • Excellent design and build quality
  • Rapid charging helps make up for battery woes
  • Clear call quality on the wrist
  • Slow, but useful voice assistant support
  • Accurate fitness and health tracking

Cons

  • High price tag
  • Battery life shorter than Garmin’s claims
  • Heart rate sensor still has issues

Fitbit Sense: The best affordable Google Pixel Watch alternative

Fitbit Sense

Fitbit Sense

High-end, premium design • Improved quick-release straps • Accurate GPS and heart rate sensors • Detailed sleep tracking • ~6-day battery life

The Fitbit Sense delivers on the basics, but it’s clear some features need more work.

The Fitbit Sense is Fitbit’s flagship health-focused smartwatch. It has built-in ECG, GPS, and heart rate sensors, plus a new EDA Scan app that measures your body’s stress levels. This is by far Fitbit’s most advanced health watch so far.

The best Fitbit smartwatch you can buy is also the most affordable alternative for serious Google Pixel Watch buyers. This wasn’t always the case, but the Sense’s relatively recent price drops put it well within reach of most buyers and makes it a sensible value offering.

So, what can it offer that the Pixel Watch can’t? While the Pixel Watch has Fitbit software onboard, it lacks some of the Sense’s health tracking hardware. For starters, the Sense features an EDA sensor that allows for more accurate stress monitoring. You’re also getting a skin temperature sensor that keeps tabs on your baseline temp while asleep. It’s particularly handy for monitoring a fever, too. Speaking of sleep, the Sense lands with Fitbit’s stellar shuteye tracking and a host of tracking modes for enthusiastic sports people.

As for the “smart” experience, the Sense is found wanting. While it supports Google Assistant and Spotify from the wrist, it lacks support for a host of apps and services.

If you’re wondering why the newer Fitbit Sense 2 doesn’t make the cut, the answer lies in its stripped-down smart feature list. No Google Assistant support and the lack of third-party apps are just two negatives that make the Sense 2 feel more like a fitness tracker than ever before. Its predecessor is by far the better smartwatch.

Our verdict: Fitbit Sense review

fitbit sense review design display watch face 3

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Pros

  • High-end, premium design
  • Improved quick-release straps
  • (Mostly) accurate GPS and heart rate sensors
  • Skin temp sensor provides useful data
  • Detailed sleep tracking
  • ~6-day battery life

Cons

  • Bad inductive button
  • SpO2 tracking requires a dedicated watch face
  • EDA and ECG sensors need refining
  • Fitbit OS still needs work

Mobvoi Ticwatch E3: The best pure Wear OS watch on a budget

Mobvoi TicWatch E3

Mobvoi TicWatch E3

Well-built hardware • Good display • Decent battery life

The Mobvoi TicWatch E3 is a better Wear OS smartwatch than it is a fitness companion.

The Mobvoi TicWatch E3 is perhaps a better smartwatch than it is a fitness companion thanks to less-than-perfect tracking abilities. The Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 platform and solid battery life together, however, make the E3 a decent wearable that covers the essentials with ease.

The Ticwatch E3 might not be an obvious Pixel Watch alternative, but it is in line to receive an update to Wear OS 3 at some point this year. With this in mind, we think this might be the best bang for your buck if you want a pure Wear OS smartwatch.

So what does the Ticwatch E3 have going for it? It’s pretty attractive and can challenge the Pixel Watch on aesthetics alone. You’re also getting a bright 1.39-inch OLED screen, an IP68-rated body, and the usual Wear OS fare. Hilariously, you’ll also find a more modern chipset in the Ticwatch E3 than in the Google Pixel Watch. The cherry on top is its two days of battery life per charge thanks to the larger battery.

However, we should stress that the Ticwatch E3 does come with its fair share of negatives. For one, we don’t recommend it as a fitness tracker, as its sleep and general activity tracking is disappointing. There’s also no word when the Wear OS update will land. Buying this watch before the update is a risk, but if you don’t have an extra $150 to spend on a smartwatch for a pure Wear OS experience, this is a gamble worth considering.

Our verdict: Mobvoi Ticwatch E3 review

Mobvoi TicWatch E3 watch face

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Pros

  • Well-built hardware
  • Good display
  • Decent battery life
  • IP68 rated
  • NFC and Google Pay

Cons

  • Iffy automatic activity tracking
  • Inconsistent sleep tracking
  • Wear OS 2 is aging
  • Cheap strap

Fitbit Charge 5: The best Google Pixel Watch fitness tracker alternative

Fitbit Charge 5

Fitbit Charge 5

Bright, beautiful full-color OLED display • EDA, SpO2, and skin temperature tracking • Excellent tracking accuracy

Fitbit has launched a good fitness tracker at a very high price. The question is: why?

The Fitbit Charge 5 is a major update from its predecessor. Not only does it have a color AMOLED display, it’s the first tracker to come with Fitbit’s Daily Readiness Score — a feature that aims to predict how much activity or rest you should take on for the day.

If you were only interested in the Google Pixel Watch’s Fitbit features, there’s no need to spend $350 to get them. The Fitbit Charge 5 should suit you just fine. Fitbit’s premier fitness band comes prerolled with an ECG, an EDA sensor for stress monitoring, and a skin temperature sensor. In essence, it’s a more slender, cheaper Fitbit Sense.

The Charge 5 isn’t infallible, though. You forego an altimeter, which makes it a less attractive prospect for hikers. The GPS performance, heart rate accuracy, and battery life have all come under scrutiny from users online. Battery life, which is usually a Fitbit strength, is something of an issue on the Charge 5.

However, we think you can look past these problems when you factor in its regular appearance in stock dump sales and its current low list price.

See also: Fitbit Charge 5 review

A Fitbit Charge 5 rests on its side on a cement surface.

C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

Pros

  • Bright, beautiful full-color OLED display
  • Smaller and slimmer than Charge 4
  • EDA, SpO2, and skin temperature tracking
  • Usual quality of Fitbit tracking accuracy

Cons

  • Battery life isn’t great
  • No altimeter

Honorable mentions

That’s it for our list of Google Pixel Watch alternatives. We’re only just scratching the surface of what’s available. If you’re looking for a left-field pick or something that fits your niche, browse the honorable mentions below.

  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: Samsung’s premier smartwatch brings a titanium body, a massive battery that’s good for three days, and some nifty features trail runners and cyclists will love. The only downside? It’s pricey.
  • Apple Watch Ultra: Speaking of pricey, Apple’s range-topping smartwatch blows the Pixel Watch’s feature list out of the water. Literally. This watch includes a depth sensor for divers, and a programmable action button to go with its upgraded battery and massive 49mm face.
  • Garmin Forerunner 255: If you’re looking for a watch chiefly for running, look no further. The Forerunner 255 improves on Garmin’s already excellent running watch formula, packing in NFC for payments on the go and upgraded sensors.
  • Fossil Gen 6: Another pure Wear OS watch worth mentioning. We don’t think the Gen 6 is quite worth its $299 asking price, but that value proposition should change once it receives its long-awaited Wear OS upgrade.
  • Montblanc Summit 3: The Montblanc Summit 3 is immensely overpriced. Realistically, you shouldn’t buy this watch even if you can afford it, but we are listing it here as it’s the only other pure Wear OS 3.5 smartwatch available at the time of this writing.
  • Withings ScanWatch: Our long-time favorite hybrid watch packs medical-grade ECG and blood oxygen monitoring tech, a classic analog watch aesthetic, and a price that won’t make your eyes water.
  • Fitbit Inspire 3: Fitbit’s latest budget tracker rights the wrongs of its predecessor with a bright, colorful screen and useful fitness tracking suite.

Top Google Pixel Watch questions and answers

The Google Pixel Watch starts at $349 for the Wi-Fi model and $399 for the LTE alternative.

Yes. The Pixel Watch runs a pure version of Wear OS 3.5. It’s the same OS you’ll find on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and 5, although Samsung skins the OS with its One UI Watch overlay.

No. You can only use the Pixel Watch with an Android phone. It seems unlikely that Google will bake in iPhone support to the Pixel Watch series. However, the Montblanc Summit 3 proves that Wear OS 3.5 has the ability to connect to iPhones.

The Google Pixel Watch has a 5ATM water resistance rating, which means you’re safe up to depths of 50 meters.

No, but you’ll need an Android smartphone running at least Android 8.0 to use the Pixel Watch.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *