Ahead of the expected October launch of the Pixel Watch 2 9to5Google has learned that Google’s second smartwatch will include a thermometer and bring improvements to the Fitbit and Personal Safety wearables.
Last year’s Google Pixel Watch was sort of the start of a new product line for Fitbit, allowing health features to take a backseat to Google’s smarts and responsiveness. Meanwhile, the Sense line has remained Fitbit’s flagship, carrying the group’s most advanced set of sensors to measure your health and fitness.
According to our sources, the Pixel Watch 2 will get new capabilities that were first seen on the Fitbit Sense 2. As seen in the recent official trailer for the Pixel Watch 2, Google’s next smartwatch is set to upgrade the included sensors.
Text on the bottom revealed the presence of an electrodermal activity (EDA) sensor, which we previously reported would be used for stress management and tracking. Our sources have once again confirmed that the Pixel Watch 2 will include features to help wearers manage stress.
Another feature of the Pixel Watch 2 coming from the Fitbit Sense 2 is the addition of a skin temperature sensor, confirming our earlier reports. We’ve heard that owners can check their skin temperature on demand, while past data will be available in the Fitbit mobile app.
This even exceeds Sense 2, which currently only tracks fluctuations in your temperature at night as part of the bigger picture of your health.
Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Sense 2 use a dedicated sensor to estimate your skin temperature fluctuations each night. The Fitbit Charge 4, Fitbit Charge 5, Fitbit Inspire 2, Fitbit Inspire 3, Fitbit Luxe and Fitbit Versa series detect your skin’s nighttime temperature fluctuations through existing sensors.
One potential use for skin temperature sensing is to help track menstrual cycles, as seen on the Galaxy Watch 5/6, but our sources couldn’t confirm if the Pixel Watch 2 would match this capability.
Google appears to be making a wider push into body temperature measurement, as it has been repeatedly reported that the Pixel 8 Pro will include a thermometer. It is not yet clear how the two temperature sensors will interact or if they are even intended for similar purposes.
Additionally, our sources tell us that Fitbit’s workout UI on the watch is getting a makeover alongside the Pixel Watch 2. Where the current design shows your current stats like heart rate and distance in a simple and uncomplicated layout, the new design will be more consistent with Google’s smartwatch style.
We hear that the new workout design makes your current heart rate more engaging and encourages you to reach your desired zone. Meanwhile, other elements have been tweaked to be more visible, similar to the current Wear OS Google Fit design.
On the Pixel Watch today, Google’s Personal Emergency app can detect when you’ve fallen hard and call for help if needed. There is also an Emergency SOS function, which can be accessed by quickly pressing the crown five times. With the launch of the Pixel Watch 2, we’ve heard that Personal Insurance will get a major upgrade with three new features.
First, the Pixel Watch 2 will work in tandem with the car accident detection a feature available on Pixel phones. When your phone detects a crash, your basic health information will be displayed on your watch so emergency responders can easily find it.
Meanwhile, the wearable version of Personal Safety also gets full support for emergency sharing, allowing you to share your location with trusted emergency contacts. Importantly, Emergency Sharing will work without your phone if your Pixel Watch 2 is LTE-equipped and has an active data plan.
Similarly, we’ve heard you’ll be able to use the Pixel Watch 2 to schedule a security check that matches the Pixel phone’s functionality. On today’s phones, once your set timer expires, Emergency Security will try to verify that you’re OK, and if you don’t answer, your emergency contacts will be notified of your location. As you’d expect, using Safety Check on your watch also requires LTE and a data plan.
In the early days of Wear OS, Google offered a simple Google Translate app that allowed for quick translations right from your wrist. However, the company eventually discontinued the app and it became completely unavailable for modern watches.
Our sources tell us that Google is preparing to reintroduce translation features to Wear OS as part of the Pixel Watch 2 launch, but it likely won’t come in the form of a dedicated Google Translate app. Instead, we’re hearing that Google Assistant’s interpreter mode will handle translations just like it does on phones, tablets, and Nest hardware.
Curiously, in our testing, Interpreter mode seems to already work on the first-gen Pixel Watch, though none of the supporting documentation currently mentions smartwatch support. As expected, it seamlessly translates conversations to and from your default language and a second language of your choice, playing the translations out loud.
These new features, coupled with a significant internal hardware upgrade, make the Pixel Watch 2 a massive improvement over last year’s watch. A common theme among many of these features is their ability to let the Pixel Watch 2 work independently, so you can put your phone away more often. When it fully reveals the Pixel Watch 2 on October 4th, we’ll be interested to see how strongly Google pushes this story.
Abner Li & Dylan Roussel contributed to this article.
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