Google should have released a larger Pixel Watch
It's just too small for bigger wrists.
When it comes to something being subjectively or objectively better than a comparable device, we strive to focus on taking an objective approach, especially when it comes to our reviews. Just because I think the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is the best smartphone ever made, doesn't mean that it's the best Android phone for anyone else.
This same mentality applies to everything that I get my hands on, ranging from tablets, accessories, and the topic of today, smartwatches. In my Google Pixel Watch review (opens in new tab), I stated that despite it being expensive and relying on proprietary bands, it's still worth the steep price tag. Something that I didn't really get into much was the actual size of the thing, as that's a subjective opinion that doesn't really detract from the overall package that Google has delivered.
Size mostly doesn't matter
Take one look at any of the best smartwatches or fitness trackers that I've reviewed here, and you'll quickly notice that I don't have the smallest of wrists. Dainty wearables that are lightweight and make me forget that they are even there aren't really my style. And for as much as I absolutely adore the Pixel Watch, it, unfortunately, falls into this category.
By comparison, I also own the Apple Watch Ultra with its 49mm case size, along with the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro which sports a 45mm case. And when it comes to purchasing my own wearables, I always go for the largest size possible, just because the smaller wearables simply don't look right on my wrist. At least in my own eyes.
Compare that to the 41mm case size of the Pixel Watch, and it's simply a night and day difference on my wrist. It's almost to the point that it looks comical, but still looks much better (on me) than the Garmin Vivosmart 5 that I reviewed earlier this year.
I've been one of those nerds who has been impatiently awaiting the arrival of Google's own smartwatch ever since Android Wear was introduced. The rumor mill got me excited more than a few times, only for Google to let me down. That is, until I/O 2022 when the Pixel Watch was first shown off.
Seeing the press renders of a device is one thing, but I went a bit overboard trying to get a close-up look at the Pixel Watch on Rick Osterloh's wrist during the announcement. Never having met the individual, it didn't really help all that much while I was trying to figure out whether it would look good or not on my own wrist.
Alas, the beans were finally spilled and I managed to get the Pixel Watch slapped onto my big ole' wrist, only to find myself conflicted. I don't care about the massive bezels because Google's built-in watch faces do a great job of hiding them from me. I also don't have much of an opinion on the rotating crown, as this is a necessity for any smartwatch that doesn't want to force you to touch the screen just to scroll.
Honestly, more smartwatches should offer this, even Samsung's Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro. But with the Pixel Watch, I almost exclusively use the digital crown as my fat fingers hide the majority of the screen while scrolling through the various menus.
Pixel Watch 2 needs to come in more sizes
Assuming that Google is already finalizing the design for its next smartwatch, and it doesn't find itself on the chopping block, I'm really hoping that the Pixel Watch 2 comes in more than just one size. Google doesn't need to take the Apple Watch approach, offering a total of four different smartwatches, all tailored to different price brackets.
Instead, just take a page out of Apple and Samsung's book, making the Pixel Watch 2 available in 41mm and 45mm case sizes. Let those of us who want a bigger smartwatch enjoy the larger screen, regardless of whether battery life remains the same.
It's important to point out that I don't have any insider information about what's to come in Google's product line. But I would definitely say that there's an argument to be made about having multiple options, besides colors and bands, for Google's next wearable.
Google still made the right decision
All that being said, I still firmly believe that Google made the right decision by playing it safe. A smartwatch with a 41mm case size is likely the most commonly sold model, regardless of who makes it.
"Playing it safe" meaning that Google didn't try to come out swinging for the proverbial fences. Release the smaller-sized one, with a few different colors, a few different bands, and then go from there. Gauge how the market reacts, and see what the end result is before making any final decisions on whether there will be a successor.
I still use and wear the Pixel Watch more than the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, simply because I enjoy the interface a bit more. It may not look as great on me, but I still prefer Google's vision of Wear OS over any of the other best smartwatch makers. And that's kind of the point, isn't it?
The Google Pixel Watch may not have the same overall polish of the Galaxy Watch 5 or Apple Watch. But Google's take on Wear OS 3.5, paired with the elegant design, make for an excellent smartwatch experience.
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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.