It’s hard to disagree with the common sentiment that Apple’s smartwatch lineup is the top dog when we discuss wearables. Incompatibility with Android and a resurgent Wear OS headed by the Pixel Watch begs the question of just how far Google’s latest gadget stacks up against similarly new Apple Watch Series 8. Here’s everything you need to know.
For the purposes of this comparison, we’re comparing like-for-like or as close as we can get to that summation. At 41mm the Pixel Watch is small, so in the interest of fairness, we’re comparing it to the 41mm Apple Watch Series 8. That’s tougher than expected given the distinct differences in shape and overall size of each wearable.
Apple radically adjusted the familiar trope of circular wearables with a squared-off design that feels very much like the rest of the Apple lineup. The Series 8 doesn’t change a thing in terms of the chassis, but it looks very much like tech. The Google Pixel Watch is more traditional with a circular shape, and it looks at home with more outfits and looks.
Wear OS is loved and loathed for a number of reasons, but the variable form factors are certainly a strength. The Apple Watch hasn’t changed drastically over the past seven or eight years. Despite the similar 41mm chassis sizes, the displays differ quite substantially.
A lot of that is owed to Apple’s squared screen approach. The AMOLED panel on the 41mm Apple Watch Series 8 measures in at 1.7 inches while the Pixel Watch comes in at a paltry 1.2 inches. There are sizable bezels surrounding the circular display. In direct sunlight, these can be exacerbated, but in general use, you’ll barely notice. Aside from the screen size differences, the Pixel Watch and Apple Watch Series 8 displays are very close in terms of fidelity and both look pin sharp.
Google has certainly taken some design cues from the Apple Watch. The recycled stainless steel chassis has a knurled crown and a single side button for Assistant and Recent app menu access. This is practically identical to the Apple Watch, albeit with a slightly different placement in the squared-off case….