Owning a smartphone that isn’t a Samsung or an Apple one means that you will always have to check the compatibility of any app or accessory you want to buy.
Reading this article probably means you have a Google Pixel, so you’ve likely been searching for your phone’s model on the compatibility list of any smartwatch you had your eyes on.
However, you shouldn’t lose hope in finding the best smartwatch for your Google Pixel phone.
On this list, I’ve gathered the top options you’ll find on the market, which won’t force you to compromise any of your watch’s capabilities or functions when paired with a Google Pixel phone.
List of Best Google Pixel Smartwatches in 2020
- Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle – Best Overall
- Samsung Gear S3 Frontier – Most Durable
- TicWatch Pro 4G LTE Cellular Smartwatch – Standalone Smartwatch
- Samsung Galaxy Watch Active – Bang for the Buck
- TicWatch E2 – Best Display
Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle
1 -2 days
Samsung Gear S3 Frontier
2 – 3 days
TicWatch Pro 4G LTE
2 – 30 days
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active
3 – 4 days
1 – 2 days
The smart timepieces listed in this article are compatible with the below-listed models:
- Google Pixel 4 Series
- Latest Google Pixel 3A Series (2019): Pixel 3A, 3A XL
- Google Pixel 3 Series (2018): Pixel 3, 3XL
- Google Pixel 2 Series (2017): Pixel 2, Pixel 2XL
- Oldest Google Pixel Series (2016): Pixel, Pixel XL
The 5 Best Smartwatches for Google Pixel in 2020
1. Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle – Best Overall
Running on Wear OS, the Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle gives you access to a vast base of apps that you can download to your watch’s massive 8GB storage. It also runs on the Snapdragon 3100 processor and one full GB of RAMs to help the Gen 5 run as smooth as silk, especially with compatible Android phones like a lot of the Google Pixel ones.
The Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle enjoys a stylish round design with a 1.28-inch AMOLED screen and a resolution of 416 x 416 pixels, which makes everything pretty clear to see.
It’s equipped with a heart-rate sensor that monitors your pulse and GPS to track the distance you’ve covered during runs or walks. It’s also water-resistant up to 3 ATM (100 feet) and uses Google Pay to allow you to make online mobile payments.
Under heavy use, it can last between 1 or 2 days. Fortunately, you can extend the battery by customizing the battery settings and turning off the non-essential functions. What’s more, the Carlyle can charge up to 80 percent under an hour with the magnetic USB rapid charger that comes with it.
Finally, it comes with built-in speakers to allow you to interact with audible alerts and an in-built microphone so you can give voice commands, send texts, as well as make and receive phone calls.
- Huge RAM and internal memory
- Built-in speaker and microphone
- Smooth design with a big screen
- Google Pay
- Battery modes can be customized
- Offline Spotify playback is not available
- Screen hard to read in direct sunlight
The Fossil Gen 5 comes with a stylish round design and an AMOLED display through which you can enjoy the smooth operations of the watch. Since it runs on Wear OS, it’s highly compatible with Google Pixel phones. The battery life is not its strongest point, but you can improve it using the different battery modes to extend its functionality.
2. Samsung Gear S3 Frontier – Most Durable
The Frontier enjoys a black 22mm silicone band, a 1.3-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 360 x 360, and weighs 63 grams. The watch’s big screen makes it easier to navigate, especially with the featured rotating bezel to swipe through apps. But some find it to be a little too big for people with small wrists.
Running on Tizen OS, the Gear S3 doesn’t have a lot of apps available for you to choose from. However, it is packed with sensors; coming with a heart rate monitor, altimeter, barometer, and GPS to help you track your fitness progress as well as provide you with detailed logs of your activities.
Most functions should work just fine, but perhaps the only shortcoming is that you can’t see a history of your texts like you would if you paired the watch with a Samsung smartphone. There could be some issues with the music transfer process as well.
It’s treated with Corning Gorilla Glass SR+, though, which makes it super durable and enables it to resist shocks and scratches. What’s more, it’s IP68 rated, which means that it’s dust-proof and water-resistant.
Moreover, the watch can run for two or three days on a single charge based on your usage and the battery modes you choose. You can easily recharge the watch by the wireless charging dock and display stand.
You also get Samsung Pay by registering your card(s) in the Gear app you download to your smartphone. The watch has good built-in speakers and a microphone so you can communicate with it using voice commands.
- Built-in Wi-Fi allows running apps independent of the smartphone
- Built-in speaker and microphone for voice commands
- Good water and dust resistance
- Acceptable battery life
- Built-in GPS
- Great interface coupled with the rotating bezel
- Apps selection is minimal compared to other smartwatches
- Bulky and heavy
In terms of operating systems, the Samsung Gear S3 and Google Pixel aren’t worlds apart. They’re compatible and provide you with all the functions the watch has to offer. However, there could be some minor issues with music transfer or viewing older notifications, nothing that seems like a deal-breaker.
3. TicWatch Pro 4G LTE Cellular Smartwatch – Standalone Smartwatch
Since the TicWatch Pro 4G LTE is a standalone smartwatch, you don’t even need to check its compatibility with your smartphone. However, if you decide to use it without syncing it to your smartphone, you will have to get a sim card to make use of the cellular connectivity.
Like the Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle, the TicWatch Pro 4 runs on Wear OS. Although the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 is a bit out of date, it’s still able to run your operations flawlessly.
The cellular connectivity means that you get to treat the smartwatch exactly like a phone, you can make phone calls and receive them, send text messages, and even activate SOS auto-dial calls if your heart rate goes way up or down. Unfortunately, it is limited only to Verizon.
If you choose to skip on that and pair it to a Google Pixel phone, you won’t have any trouble enjoying its functionality as these phones are perfectly compatible with Wear OS.
The case of the TicWatch Pro 4G is made out of polyamide and glass fiber, and it comes with a 22mm silicone strap.
The watch is packed with many sensors, including an accelerometer, a PPG heart rate sensor, an e-compass, a low latency off-body sensor, and a gyroscope. This means all-inclusive activity tracking, be it during the day or as you sleep at night.
It’s equipped with a 1.39-inch dual-layer AMOLED display. The duality allows you to run it on the smart mode to get access to all the features of the smartwatch, in which case it can function for two to five days on a single charge.
Alternatively, you can utilize the essential mode where the LCD is active and which extends battery life up to 30 days by minimizing the features enabled, as well as boosts the resolution to 400 x 400 pixels and minimize the features enabled.
- Cellular connectivity option
- Decent storage
- Great battery life and battery modes
- Find My Phone feature
- Dual display (second screen with an always-on option)
- NFC and built-in GPS
- LTE is limited only to Verizon
- Design is quite bulky
- Limited instructions provided
The TicWatch Pro 4G/LTE offers a wonderful battery life, with a cellular connectivity feature, dual display, multiple sensors, and sufficient storage for all your apps. It is a great choice for those who want a smartwatch that can work both with or independently of their smartphone.
4. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active – Bang for the Buck
Weighing only 25 grams, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active is a very compact and lightweight smartwatch. Yet, with an aluminum casing size of 40mm, it’s far from fragile. It’s equipped with a Super AMOLED 1.1-inch display with a 360 x 360-pixel resolution and gives you all these specs at an impressively affordable price.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active runs on Tizen OS, like the Samsung Gear S3. However, it doesn’t have much support for third-party apps. The 1.15GHz Exynos 9110 chipset works on running your apps very smoothly.
As the “Active” in its name implies, this watch is more inclined towards fitness and health tracking, and it packs multiple sensors to support that. It keeps track of your exercise routine and can automatically detect six exercises as well as track 39 more after syncing.
Its heart-rate readings are quite accurate, and it even provides you with real-time alerts when it detects a rate that’s higher or lower than a specific average.
What’s more, it’s also water and dust-resistant and comes with a sleep tracker to help you achieve a more well-rested sleep.
The Galaxy Watch Active syncs with your phone, delivers all your notifications right to your wrist, and allows you to stream all your music for a more enjoyable workout.
It has an impressive battery life that lasts around 45 hours of high usage, or 90 hours of low to moderate usage. You can easily recharge it using the wireless charger that comes with it.
- Decent battery life
- Lightweight and compact
- Sleek and durable design
- Great fitness tracking capabilities
- Sleep tracking
- Samsung Pay
- Lacks Samsung rotating control bezel
- Limited support for third-party apps
- Not as feature-packed as its competitors
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active is a great choice for Google Pixel users who are more interested in a smartwatch that is able to help them track their fitness progress and monitor their health with real-time alerts. If you’re on a tight budget, it’s the ideal choice and an excellent bang for your buck.
5. TicWatch E2 – Best Display
The TicWatch E2 runs on Wear OS, which makes it a great candidate for a Google Pixel phone as the two operating systems are highly compatible.
It combines its built-in GPS with the TicMotion to track your progress in running or swimming and even surfing. It’s also equipped with a heart rate monitor that measures your pulse at all times to give you instant feedback on how your daily activities are affecting your blood circulation.
With a 5 ATM rating, the TicWatch E2 is definitely waterproof since it markets itself as a fitness and swimming smartwatch, and the watch’s polycarbonate case further enhances its water resistance.
It has a 22mm silicone strap and a 1.39-inch AMOLED of 400 x 400-pixel resolution where you can see all your stats clearly and vibrantly, with multiple clock faces to choose from.
The battery life of the E2 varies between one day and three days. It could easily last three days with the always-on screen option disabled, and two days with the option enabled.
Although the somewhat older Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 chip could make the app launching a bit sluggish, it’s still good enough for running plenty of apps. It does deliver all your phone notifications quite smoothly.
However, if you start using the fitness-tracking features, you will drain the battery faster. It’s still able to last about 24 hours, which is enough for you to put it to recharge at the end of the day, which is convenient as it lacks sleep tracking anyway.
- Large screen with good resolution
- Reasonable price tag
- Tracks swimming and surfing
- No NFC for Google Pay
- Battery life is not that great
- Not lightweight enough for a fitness inspired watch
- Lacks sleep tracking
The TicWatch E2 is one of the best smartwatches for Google Pixel users who enjoy a good swimming exercise. It’s waterproof and comes with heart rate monitoring and GPS capabilities to help you regulate your daily exercises.
How to Choose The Best Smartwatch for Google Pixel?
When you’re shopping for a smartwatch, there are a couple of aspects which you have to pay close attention to in order to get the one that best suits your needs. Here are the most crucial ones:
The first thing to check for is the compatibility of the smartwatch with your own smartphone. You could skip that step if it’s a standalone smartwatch. Other than that, buying a watch that isn’t compatible with your smartphone will render it useless.
All the smartwatches mentioned in this list are compatible with Google Pixel phones; consequently, you won’t have to give up on any of the functions.
If you only want a smartwatch to just strap around your wrist and use its functions without caring about how it looks, then probably skip this point.
However, if you care about its customization to fit your taste and style, then you should probably take a look at the available replacement straps and bands, and if there are different designs for the same model.
There are also different designs of the watch’s case itself. Some offer you both a classic round-faced design to look more elegant and stylish or an alternative, square-shaped screen design for more straightforward navigation.
The features you find on a smartwatch are typically divided into health and fitness ones and smart ones.
Essential health and fitness features would include step-counting, calorie tracking, and heart rate monitoring. But a lot of options are starting to integrate basic activity tracking, including running, cycling, and even swimming if the watch is water-resistant.
As for the smart features, make sure that your watch delivers all your smartphone and app notifications to give you the best experience a smartwatch can. This brings us to the next point.
4. Notifications, Alerts, and App Availability
As you don’t want to miss any of the incoming notifications from your email, texts on your phones, or incoming phone calls, you should check the notifications and alert system on the smartwatch. Some would give you a buzz on your wrist; others might use a sound notification to alert you.
You should also check for social network integration as you want to be notified of the latest updates from your social media feed.
Something else to check is the ability to navigate the notifications by swiping through them and checking if you can customize their settings from an app on your phone or from the smartwatch directly.
Things like this would be affected by how compatible the smartwatch is with your phone, and that’s why you should make compatibility a top priority.
Checking you the smartwatch has support for third-party apps is quite important, as a large number of available apps on the store positively affects your experience, and might add to the functionality of the smartwatch itself.
5. Battery Life
Battery life is affected by what features your smartwatch has and which of them you choose to enable. Most modern smartwatches have batteries that last between two and four days.
A great smartwatch would have different battery modes, like normal mode where most functionalities are present, and a power-saving mode where just the essential functions are enabled.
Although some smartwatches can provide a long battery life with most features on, that would be reflected in the high price. So, in short, the longer the battery life, the fewer features available, and vice versa.
All the smartwatches mentioned on the list can be considered the best smartwatch for Google Pixel phone. But, admittedly, the Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle pairs and operates very smoothly with those phones, which is quite natural as it runs on Wear OS.
The TicWatch Pro 4G LTE will be the ideal choice if you want to skip the hassle of compatibility and pairing. This is because it’s a standalone smartwatch, which is equivalent to having a smartphone on your wrist.
Finally, if you’re on a rather tight budget but are still looking for the best option 200 bucks can buy, you should opt for the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active. It has plenty to offer in terms of smart and fitness features, yet it doesn’t break the bank.