New Pixel Watch update means it works even when the battery is dead

Google Pixel Watch charging on the included magnetic dock
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Update 3/23/23: Google has split these updates into two sections. The March update includes the security patch and the "rotate crown to wake" feature, while the Feature Drop includes the new low battery mode and other feature additions.

What you need to know

  • Google is updating the Pixel Watch with the March 2023 security update and several new features.
  • A new low battery mode lets users see the time even when the watch is powered down.
  • All features from the March Feature Drop are now available, including fall detection.
  • The update for the alarm issues is still forthcoming.

One of the best reasons to choose a Pixel phone or watch is the update schedule. Like clockwork, Google updates its products every single month with security patches and bug fixes as well as quarterly Feature Drops, as the company calls them.

In a Google Community post, the company announced that the March update is now rolling out to Pixel Watch users worldwide and includes everything previously announced in the March Pixel Feature Drop. In short, that means fall detection, color blindness modes, and mono audio are now available.

But this update also includes several previously-unannounced features like a new low battery mode that lets users check the time even when the watch is powered down and presumably when the battery is "dead." In other words, your Pixel Watch will reserve a very small slice of the battery to ensure you can always check the time by tapping the crown, even when the red battery indicator is illuminated on the screen.

Fall detection interface on the Pixel Watch

(Image credit: Google)

Google has also improved the touch sensitivity of the device, which will no doubt help folks who have chosen one of the best Pixel Watch screen protectors to ward against scratches and glass breaks. Google also added a "turn crown to wake" feature so users can illuminate their Pixel Watch's display without raising their wrist or enabling AOD.

This update also includes several security and vulnerability patches. While this doesn't include patching the recent vulnerability discovered in Exynos processors that power phones, the Exynos processor in the Pixel Watch wasn't affected by that issue. A future app update for the alarm clock will resolve the issues some users have seen that causes the alarm to ring late when worn to bed.

Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu