Google Pixel Watch 2 vs. Fitbit Sense 2: Which should you buy?

When the Pixel Watch was unveiled in 2022, one of the selling points was how Google planned to "deeply integrate" Fitbit into the device. Fast forward a year, and now the Pixel Watch 2 takes a lot of what made the Fitbit Sense 2 compelling, but offers it in a more powerful and elegant design.

Even still, that doesn't mean that you should immediately run away from the Sense 2, as the Pixel Watch 2 might not be the best option for you. Let's take a deeper look at these two flagship wearables from Google to help you make a decision on which is the best.

Google Pixel Watch 2 vs. Fitbit Sense 2: Design and hardware

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Google Pixel Watch 2 review

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Without burying the lede, the Pixel Watch 2 offers a much more elegant and beautiful design. The wearable is made from a combination of recycled aluminum and glass that looks more like a traditional watch with its round design.

It's also relying on a 1.2-inch AMOLED display, that can reach a peak brightness of 1,000 nits. This remedies the potential issue of not being able to actually see what's on your watch if you're out and about with the sun bearing down on you.

On the other side of the coin, the Fitbit Sense 2 is also comprised of aluminum, but sports more of a "squircle" design. This houses a 1.6-inch OLED display that gets quite bright in its own right but doesn't match up to what the Pixel Watch 2 offers.

Fitbit Sense 2 vs Google Pixel Watch comparison

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Outside of the touchscreens available on both of these wearables, the Pixel Watch 2 gains an advantage with its rotating crown paired with a button on the right side. With the Sense 2, Fitbit ditched the unreliable capacitive button from the original Sense in favor of a hardware button for making selections or long-pressing to invoke shortcuts.

As for battery life, there's really not much of a comparison here. While the Pixel Watch 2 features a larger 306mAh battery, it's only rated to last for up to 24 hours. This is still an improvement over its predecessor but pales in comparison.

Google Pixel Watch 2 review

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

The Sense 2 packs a paltry 162mAh battery, but is rated to last for up to six days with the always-on display turned off or up to three days with it enabled. Needless to say, if you care about battery life more than anything else, the Sense 2 is going to be the way to go.

It's also worth pointing out that Google changed up the charging method with the Watch 2. Instead of a Qi wireless charging puck, the Watch 2 now charges via four pogo pins on the bottom. In fact, if you already have a Versa or Sense charger, either of these will work to charge the Pixel Watch 2 without a hitch.

Google Pixel Watch 2 vs. Fitbit Sense 2: Software

Google Pixel Watch 2 hands-on

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The most obvious reason for the difference in battery life between the Pixel Watch 2 vs. Fitbit Sense 2 is the software. Google's Wear OS 4 is at the helm with the former, while the Sense 2 relies on Fitbit's proprietary software interface.

What's rather disappointing is that the decision was made to basically remove third-party apps from the Sense 2, something that had been a staple for years. This was likely done in an effort to stop Fitbit from stealing a bit of the Pixel Watch's thunder.

Google Maps on Fitbit Sense 2

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However, Sense 2 owners have been thrown a few bones here and there, as you can use Google Wallet and Google Maps on the Sense 2. Rather surprisingly, if you were hoping to see Google Assistant voice integration, all you'll find is Amazon Alexa.

With the Pixel Watch 2 and Wear OS 4, you can install as many apps as your watch can handle via the Play Store. Google Assistant can also be invoked in several different ways, so you won't need to grab your phone if you want to turn the lights on or off.

Lastly, the Sense 2 has one distinct advantage over the Watch 2, and that's compatibility. You can use the Sense 2 with either iOS or Android, while the Pixel Watch 2 is limited to only being used with the best Android phones.

Google Pixel Watch 2 vs. Fitbit Sense 2: Health and fitness

Google Pixel Watch 2 review

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

Things start to get more interesting when you compare the health and fitness capabilities of both of these wearables. It's fairly obvious that Google took all of the good things from the Sense 2, improved upon them, and then implemented these features into the Pixel Watch 2.

Both the Fitbit Sense 2 and Pixel Watch 2 offer a plethora of health sensors, including optical heart rate, SpO2, ECG, continuous EDA, and skin temperature sensors. With these, you can track everything from your workouts to sleep, and thanks to the cEDA sensor, you'll even get notified if your stress levels are too high.

All of the data collected is funneled into the redesigned Fitbit app and is laid out in an easy-to-understand fashion. In order to view all of the data and information offered, you'll have to subscribe to Fitbit Premium. However, Google includes six months of Premium for free when you purchase either the Sense 2 or Watch 2. Then, you'll have to decide whether the subscription is worth paying after that.

Google Pixel Watch 2 vs. Fitbit Sense 2: Which should you buy?

Google Pixel Watch 2 review

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

It's pretty obvious from the start that the Pixel Watch 2 is basically a supercharged Sense 2 in more ways than one. If you want the best all-around smartwatch and are using Android, then grab the Pixel Watch 2. It might not have the best battery life, but it'll still make it through the day with relative ease.

Those who are either on an iPhone or just want a really good (albeit expensive) fitness tracker will enjoy the Sense 2. Outside of lacking third-party apps and the inability to store music locally, Fitbit's best wearable is really quite excellent. Things just start to break down when you compare it to something like the Pixel Watch 2 or other smartwatches.

Andrew Myrick
Senior Editor - Chromebooks, tablets, and wearables

Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.

  • henderjr
    AC News said:
    If you're in the market for a new smartwatch and like what Google has to offer, then you're likely comparing the Pixel Watch 2 and Fitbit Sense 2. There are a lot of similarities, but a few key differences that make one of these much more compelling than the other.

    Google Pixel Watch 2 vs. Fitbit Sense 2: Which should you buy? : Read more
    Where the article shows the links to purchase it still says preorder for the Pixel Watch 2. Definitely past the preorder phase now....