Pixel Watch 1 or 2? You might want to wait til Black Friday to decide

Close-up on Pixel Watch 2 sitting on keyboard
(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

Some questions answer themselves. It's early November. We're just weeks away from the biggest sale of the year, a sale that's well-known for heavy discounts on electronics that everyone wants. So why wouldn't you wait until Black Friday to buy a Pixel Watch 2?

Because the original Pixel Watch is on sale for 50% less than a Google Pixel Watch 2, of course. The original Pixel Watch remains my favorite smartwatch since the Huawei Watch — and the OG Moto 360 before it — and I'm still wearing it well over a year after it first came out.

But there are still reasons to pick up a Pixel Watch 2, instead, and even more reasons to wait until Black Friday to do it.

What makes it better?

Band adapter for Pixel Watch 2 with Samsung watch band

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

Like most Apple Watch releases, it's hard to tell the difference between the Pixel Watch and the Pixel Watch 2. Both utilize the same beautiful circular raised glass design, the same excellent easy-swap band clasps, and almost the same digital crown.

That digital crown is where things start to change a bit, as Google made the Pixel Watch 2's slightly larger and improved the haptic feedback when interacting with UI elements.

Then, there's the heart rate sensor which has seen a massive improvement on the Pixel Watch 2. Check out the differences between the two below to see what I'm talking about. In the photo, the original Pixel Watch uses the orange band while the Pixel Watch 2 uses the grey/hazel band.

Comparing heart rate tracking on the Pixel Watch and Pixel Watch 2

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

I had this photo taken after a few minutes into the workout when I noticed a huge disparity between the two watch readings. More than once throughout the past year, I wondered why it seemed to take so long for the original Pixel Watch to get accurate readings.

Turns out, Google didn't include enough LEDs for the watch to get accurate readings in a short period of time. Amazingly enough, the Pixel Watch 2 contains 25 times more LEDs on the underside versus the original Pixel Watch, meaning it takes far more accurate measurements in far less time.

Scrolling over to the graph shows that, over time, the original Pixel Watch seems to deliver a similar-looking heart rate graph at the end of the workout but it fails to accurately log the highest peak heart rate times during my workout.

For me, this is a critical difference that makes upgrading to the Pixel Watch 2 worth it. Plus, the Pixel Watch 2 has a stress sensor on the back, a much faster processor that ensures snappiness no matter what you're doing, and better battery life.

That newer processor also enables use of the always-on display, meaning you don't have to flick your wrist just to check the time or your current heart rate. It's always displaying information throughout the day and, yet, still manages to get better battery life than the original Pixel Watch with the same feature disabled.

If you as me, these are all great reasons to wait until Black Friday to get a Google Pixel Watch 2. Plus, you should expect that it'll go for a lower price than you can get it right now, so the wait will surely be worth it.

Google Pixel Watch (Wi-Fi): $349.99$199.99 at Amazon

Google Pixel Watch (Wi-Fi): $349.99 $199.99 at Amazon

Don't call it old! Last year's watch is still a great experience and it's selling for an even better price this year.

Google Pixel Watch 2: Starting at $349 at Best Buy

Google Pixel Watch 2: Starting at $349 at Best Buy

The latest and greatest is still at its launch price but that should all be changing quite soon if you can wait until a great Pixel Watch 2 Black Friday deal lands.

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