Google has just announced its latest wearable offering, the Pixel Watch 2, and looking at the stats, it's sure to become one of the best smartwatches of 2023. Building on two decades of Fitbit innovation (and health data) and the latest advancements in sensor technology, the latest Google wearable emphasises its stress-managing prowess by adding a new heart rate sensor and cEDA functionality.
Google claims that the new multi-path heart rate sensor can automatically switch between single and multi-path modes depending on what you do at any given point. For example, the Pixel Watch 2 might use multiple LEDs and photodiodes to measure the pulse signal from different angles and positions to provide multiple independent estimates of your pulse when working out.
Google also enhanced the AI heart rate algorithm introduced in the first generation of the Google Pixel Watch. As a result, the new wearable is said to offer Fitbit's most accurate heart rate tracking, even during vigorous exercise, sleep, and so on. More active users will appreciate the new Pace Training feature, which sends cues to help you stay on pace or get back to your ideal pace if you’ve fallen behind during training.
But the new watch isn't just about providing better heart rate readings during vigorous exercise – the second-generation Pixel Watch can also help you manage stress. Inherited from the excellent Fitbit Sense 2, the new Google watch's body-response tracking takes inputs from cEDA (continuous electrodermal activity – microscopic beads of sweat), heart rate variability, heart rate, and skin temperature to help identify acute body response moments.
These can be potential signs of stress throughout the day or from other things, including alcohol, caffeine, or illness. When a body response is detected, you'll receive a prompt to log your current mood and get suggestions for an intervention, like a guided breathing exercise or a walk, on your wrist and in the Fitbit app. Body-response tracking also shows trends to help you understand potential patterns and make meaningful changes to your routine.