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The Pixel Watch 2 is the casual fitness watch I’ve been waiting for

 Google Pixel Watch 2 hands-on.

Google Pixel Watch 2 hands-on.

As long as I’ve been testing smartwatches, I’ve waited for one that bridges the gap between a watch designed for fitness and a true smartwatch that treats fitness as a secondary concern — something to be checked off a feature list. The Pixel Watch 2 may not strike that balance perfectly… but it’s about as close as I could hope for.

Sunday Runday

Lloyd, the Android Central mascot, break-dancing

Lloyd, the Android Central mascot, break-dancing

In his weekly column, our Senior Editor of Wearables and Fitness Michael Hicks talks about the world of wearables, apps, and fitness tech related to running and health, in his quest to get faster and more fit.

I’m not the only one looking for this mythical Goldilocks watch: I’ve heard from readers who tell me they’re tempted by Garmin watches but can’t get past the dumbed-down interface compared to Wear OS or Apple’s watchOS. At the same time, plenty of athletes I know would never even consider a traditional smartwatch because of the terrible battery life and cursory fitness tools.

The only exception thus far could be the Apple Watch Ultra 2, with its smarts combined with a fitness focus. But beyond the Ultra 2’s painfully high price tag, Apple just hasn’t reached the level where it can take your fitness and health data and provide actionable recommendations like a Garmin or Fitbit watch.

That’s why I’m thrilled that Google put plenty of effort into making the Pixel Watch 2 a proper Fitbit smartwatch instead of a smartwatch that happens to have Fitbit — which is how I perceived the original Pixel Watch.

Google Pixel Watch 2 hands-on

Google Pixel Watch 2 hands-on

The Pixel Watch 2 certainly doesn’t have the look of a typical rugged fitness watch. Its stylish round-edged display looks fantastic in person, but the lack

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