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Google Pixel Watch vs. Apple Watch 8: Which smartwatch is best?


The Google PIxel Watch and Apple Watch 8 are two of the latest smartwatch releases, but which one is best? They are ultimately both excellent smartwatches, but that doesn't mean that they're each a good fit for everyone. Keep reading to find out how to find out which smartwatch to buy based on your own preferences and needs.

Top products in this article:

Apple Watch 8 (41mm), $389

Google Pixel Watch, $350 

The Google PIxel Watch was released earlier this month, just in time for the holidays. If you're looking to buy yourself a new smartwatch or are planning to give one as a gift for the holidays, you may be wondering whether to buy the brand-new Google Pixel Watch or the popular Apple Watch 8.

Both smartwatches provide fitness tracking and music playback and can pair with your phone. If you're having trouble deciding which one to buy, we're here to help. Keep reading to find out whether the Google Pixel Watch or the Apple Watch 8 is the best smartwatch for you.

Why the Apple Watch Series 8 may be the best smartwatch for you

Why the Apple Watch Series 7 is the best smartwatch for you

If you're an Apple iOS-friendly household, then the Apple Watch Series 8 is a no-brainer. You're already set up to integrate your smartwatch with your Apple devices. This should make tracking your fitness goals via your iPhone a breeze. Pairing your new Apple Watch with an iPhone is a simple, quick process, too.

The Apple Watch Series 8 comes in two sizes: the 41mm and the 45mm. Sizing generally comes down to personal preference, though it's important to note that some designer women's watchbands are compatible only with the smaller, 41mm size. (For more on Apple Watch sizing, check out our guide on how to pick the right Apple Watch size for you.)

Apple Watch Series 8 (41mm)

Apple Watch Series 7 (41mm)
Apple via Amazon

The Apple Watch Series 8 is a durable smartwatch that is swim-proof, dust-proof and crack-resistant. It also comes with a new crash detection feature, which detects when the wearer is in a severe car crash and alerts emergency services of their location.

The Apple Watch 8 has a number of health-tracking features, including an optical heart sensor, electrical heart sensor for ECG, blood oxygen sensor and a new body temperature sensor. You can also tap into yoga, meditation and other workout programs via Apple Fitness+. (Apple Fitness+ is a subscription service. It costs $9.99 a month; Apple Watch buyers get the first month free.) 

Apple Watch 8 (41mm), $389

Apple Watch Series 8, GPS + Cellular (41mm), $490

Apple Watch Series 8 (45mm)

Apple Watch Series 7 (45mm)

The 45mm version of the Apple Watch Series 8 does everything the 41mm version does, except it does it bigger. Both the 41mm and 45mm versions are compatible with a number of sold-separately, cool-looking Apple Watch bands. (Click here for our guide to our favorite Apple Watch bands and deals.) 

Apple Watch Series 8 (45mm), $419

Apple Watch Series 8, GPS + Cellular (45mm), $490 (reduced from $529)

Apple Watch Ultra


The Apple Watch Ultra (GPS + Cellular) is designed to be a more rugged and durable option for athletes and adventurers. It is an upgraded model comparable to the Samsung Watch 5 Pro. The Apple Watch Ultra provides up to 36 hours of life on a single charge with standard use or 60 hours of battery life with the soon-to-be-released battery optimization setting. It is made with a stronger titanium alloy material for improved impact resistance. It also offers a brighter display and a second speaker for better sound and display visibility during outdoor use. 

The Apple Watch Ultra provides enhanced GPS functionality to trace your steps and improve navigation for outdoor expeditions. There is also an action button that can be used to more accurately track your workouts by marking segments of your workout. The new wearable is currently the only Apple Watch to feature Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity.

The Apple Watch Ultra features a large 49mm display screen. 

Apple Watch Ultra, GPS + Cellular (49mm), $799

Why the Google Pixel Watch may be the best smartwatch for you

Why a Garmin smartwatch is the best smartwatch for you

If you're an Android owner, a Google Pixel Watch is a more practical choice. The smartwatch can pair with any device running Android OS 8.0 or later, including Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy smartphones.

 Google Pixel Watch

Best Buy

The Google Pixel Watch features a round face with customizable watch faces and tons of band options. It offers an all-day battery life, with up to 24 hours on a single charge. The Watch includes the Google Home App to adjust your thermostat or connect to your smart home devices. Users can play music, track fitness activity and receive notifications from their connected phone. 

The Google Pixel Watch is the first Android smartwatch to include integrated Fitbit features. The watch's health features include heart-rate monitoring, workout tracking, sleep tracking and more. Google advised that fall detection will be available in 2023. The watch comes with a free six-month subscription to Fitbit premium and three months of YouTube Premium.

The Watch comes in black, silver and gold.

Google Pixel Watch, $350 

Google Pixel Watch vs. Apple Watch 8: which should you buy?

Still trying to decide between the  Google Pixel Watch and the Apple Watch 8? Consider these key features and differentiators to decide which smartwatch is right for you.

Operating system and phone compatibility 

Whether you're buying a watch for yourself or giving one as a gift, it's important to consider the intended recipient's preferred operating system. The Apple Watch 8 syncs with the iPhone 14 and other Apple products, making it the best smartwatch for iPhone users. Because the Apple Watch 8 does not sync with Android phones, it is not an ideal choice for Android users. The Google Pixel Watch is a particularly great fit for Google Pixel smartphone users but also works well with any Android device, including Samsung smartphones.

Watch options and pricing    

The Apple Watch 8 and Google Pixel Watch retail for about the same price. However, the Apple Watch does offer three different smartwatch models at three different price points. Even with the standard Apple Watch 8 model, you still have two screen sizing options to choose from (41mm and 45mm), while the Google Pixel Watch only comes in 41mm. This extra versatility within the lineup can make the Apple Watch 8 a stronger option, especially if you are shopping for the holidays. The Apple Watch SE is a more affordable, child-friendly option that's great for kids or teens asking for a smartwatch for the holidays. Meanwhile, the Apple Watch Ultra is a more luxurious gift that is great for outdoor enthusiasts. 

Smartwatch durability 

Both the Google Pixel Watch and the Apple Watch 8 are designed for durability with scratch-resistant screens and strong casings.  The Google Pixel Watch features scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass. The Apple Watch 8 features a crack-resistant, front crystal display. Both are durable and can be safely submerged in water.

Battery Life

Apple says that the Apple Watch 8 should offer 18 hours of battery life with standard usage. The Apple Watch Ultra offers up to 36 hours of battery life with standard usage but can provide up to 60 hours of usage on low-power mode. Google reports that the Google Pixel Watch provides up to 24 hours of battery life with standard usage.

Customer reviews 

The Apple Watch 8 currently has a 4.6-star rating on Amazon, with 516 customer reviews. The Google Pixel Watch is a new release and only has 64 Amazon reviews right now, but it currently holds a 3.4-star rating. The Google Pixel Watch has only been out for about a month, so it's understandable that it has not amassed a ton of reviews yet. However, it is worth noting that some reviewers have complained that the battery life of the Google Pixel Watch is shorter than expected.

Health features

Both smartwatches offer solid health features. The Google Pixel Watch includes Fitbit health features, making it an excellent choice for health enthusiasts. The Apple Watch 8 comes with Apple Health and a variety of fitness features. Both watches including heart-rate monitoring, sleep tracking, workout tracking and ECG functionality. The Apple Watch 8 currently includes fall detection, but Google does plan to add this feature to the Google Pixel Watch next year.

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