Home Ideas How to Choose Between the OnePlus Watch 2 and the Pixel Watch...

How to Choose Between the OnePlus Watch 2 and the Pixel Watch 2

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There are several great Android smartwatches on the market, and I’ve spent a lot of time with many of them, putting them through their paces and trying them out in everyday life. Two of the best options, the Google Pixel Watch 2 and the soon-to-be-released OnePlus Watch 2, both offer similar specs in similar packages, which can make it tricky to decide between them. After regularly using both devices, I’m confident in saying that neither device wholly shines brighter than the other, but depending on what you’re looking for—like a longer battery life or a more polished user experience—one is likely to emerge as the better choice.

Specs

Let’s get this out of the way right away. The specs on the OnePlus Watch 2, and Pixel Watch 2 both look great on paper. They both offer 32GB of internal storage and 2GB of RAM, and both come equipped with Wear OS 4. From there, though, the similarities start to show. Let’s take a closer look at each one below.

OnePlus Watch 2 specs:

  • Size: 47mm x 46.6mm x 12.1mm

  • Weight: 49g without strap

  • Display: 1.43-inch AMOLED panel at 60Hz, 1,000 nit brightness, 466 x 466 resolution

  • Case: Stainless steel

  • Chipset: Dual Engine Architecture SnapdragonTM W5 + BES2700

  • Storage: 32GB

  • RAM: 2GB

  • Sensors: Acceleration, Gyroscope, Optical Heart Rate, Optical Pulse Oximeter, Geomagnetic, Light, Barometer, Dual-frequency L1 + L5, Beidou, GPS, Galileo, GLONASS, QZSS

  • LTE: No

  • Battery size: 500mAh

  • Protection: 5ATM, IP68, MIL-STD-810H, 2.5D sapphire crystal glass

  • OS: Wear OS 4 + RTOS

  • Compatible Phones: Android 8.0 and up, GMS 23.45.23 or later

Pixel Watch 2 specs:

  • Size: 41 x 41 x 12.3mm

  • Weight: 31g without strap

  • Display: 1.2-inch AMOLED panel at 60Hz, 1,000 nit brightness, 384×384 resolution

  • Case: Aluminum

  • Chipset: Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 + Cortex M33 MCU

  • Storage: 32GB

  • Ram: 2GB

  • Sensors: Accelerometer, altimeter, ambient light, cEDA, compass, ECG, gyroscope, magnetometer, optical heart rate, skin temperature, SpO2

  • LTE: Yes

  • Battery Size: 306mAh

  • Protection: Gorilla Glass 5; 5ATM; IP68

  • OS: Wear OS 4

  • Compatible Phones: Android 8.0 or up

Both have solid specs, great displays, and plenty of sensors to go around. Of course, the Pixel Watch 2 does come with more health-based features, as Google started leaning into its Fitbit components here. It also provides slightly more accurate sensor data than the OnePlus Watch 2, so if you care about the most accurate sensors, that is something to keep in mind.

Design

Pixel Watch 2 next to OnePlus Watch 2
Pixel Watch 2 (left), OnePlus Watch 2 (right)
Credit: Joshua Hawkins

The OnePlus Watch 2 takes on a more traditional sports watch appearance, with a flat display, while the Pixel Watch 2 has the unique and beautiful bubbly pebble-like display that helps make it stand out from other smartwatches on the market.

The OnePlus Watch 2 is also bigger and heavier than the Pixel Watch 2, which means smaller wrists will likely find the Pixel Watch 2 more comfortable to wear for long periods of time. The Pixel Watch 2 is made of an aluminum case, which is more lightweight, but has been known to be less durable than the stainless steel found on the original Pixel Watch. Meanwhile, the OnePlus Watch 2 features a full stainless steel design that has even been rated for MIL-STD-810H standards, making it statistically more durable than the Pixel Watch 2.

Ultimately, deciding on the design is all about figuring out which will be the most comfortable. Personally, I prefer the larger watch design of the OnePlus Watch 2, and the bigger display means it is easier to get around the watch and look through my various notifications. For smaller wrists, though, the Pixel Watch 2 will still be one of the best Android smartwatch options, especially if you want to keep that pure Google experience going on.

Battery life

OnePlus Watch 2 on blue and black background

Credit: OnePlus

Now let’s talk about the elephant in the room: battery life. It’s no secret that the Pixel Watch 2 has some of the worst battery life that you’ll find in a smartwatch. Yes, it is better than the battery life found in the original Pixel Watch, but it is still a far cry from the longstanding battery life of the Galaxy Watch 6 or several other options on the market right now. When using Always-on-Display, the Pixel Watch 2 typically reaches around 24 hours of battery life.

That isn’t great, especially for a smartwatch that you might want to use for tracking your sleep and other health parameters. The OnePlus Watch 2, on the other hand, is rated to last up to 100 hours on a single charge. That’s a massive difference, and even in my testing, I was able to use the OnePlus Watch 2 in Smart Mode (which OnePlus recommends) with Always-on-Display for almost four days without having to worry about charging it.

This provided me with more usage options, as I didn’t need to worry about keeping my charger nearby or throwing my watch on the charger in between errands. So, if battery life is what matters most, the OnePlus Watch 2 is going to be your best option here.

Charging speeds on the OnePlus Watch 2 are also extremely impressive, especially when using one of the company’s OnePlus power bricks—I was able to charge my watch up from 9 percent to 100 percent in less than 30 minutes. The Pixel Watch 2 charges relatively fast, too, and both watches use pin-connected proprietary chargers.

Performance

Pixel Watch 2 on surface of table

Credit: Joshua Hawkins

So the OnePlus Watch 2 is going to offer the best battery life, but things get a little cloudier when looking at performance. Sure, Wear OS 4 is a bit smoother on the Pixel Watch 2. But both the smartwatches utilize similar chipset designs, with the OnePlus Watch 2 sporting a Snapdragon W5 for most of its heavy lifting and a BES 2700 MCU for the rest of its power-saving features.

The Pixel Watch 2, on the other hand, comes with a Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 for most of its heavy lifting and the Cortex M33 MCU to help with other processing features. The result is a really smooth Wear OS experience, exactly something you’d expect from the company behind Android and Wear OS.

However, daily usage with these two devices results in similar performance most of the time. I did notice some lag in different apps when using the OnePlus Watch 2, but it was never anything that got in the way of what I was doing. Otherwise, both smartwatches deliver snappy feedback to your touches, and they’re both really easy to navigate and work with.

One key difference between the two is that the OnePlus Watch 2 relies on RTOS for many of its basic applications and notifications. This can be frustrating, as it does make things a bit needlessly complicated. But once you get the hang of things, it isn’t that bad. The Pixel Watch 2 is pure Wear OS 4, though, so it doesn’t have to switch between operating systems, which can make it feel a bit smoother, especially since it has more polish overall.

But which is better?

Those looking for a cheaper but larger and still premium experience will find the $299 price tag of the OnePlus Watch 2 extremely appealing. It’s a great smartwatch that showcases the dedication OnePlus has made to bettering its devices, and it stands strong as a contender for one of the best smartwatches on the market right now.

On the other hand, the Pixel Watch 2 is only $50 more expensive (most times, it can be found on sale for the same price) and offers more polish and a more unique design for $349.99. If you want a smaller, more polished Android smartwatch, then the Pixel Watch 2 is the way to go.

The battery also plays an important part in this decision, and since both devices will perform similarly, those looking for a longer-lasting battery should seriously consider the OnePlus Watch 2 and its 100+ hours of battery life.

Source: LifeHacker.com