I walked 5,500 steps with the Google Pixel Watch 2 and Fitbit Charge 6 — here’s which was more accurate

a photo of the Google Pixel Watch 2 and Fitbit Charge 6
(Image credit: Future)

If you’re looking to upgrade your fitness tracker, you might be wondering whether it’s worth sticking with one of the best Fitbits, or investing in the Google Pixel Watch 2, which has Fitbit built-in. The answer could be an obvious one — if you’re an iPhone user, go for a Fitbit, as you won’t be able to use the Google Pixel Watch 2. However, if you’re looking to compare the pedometers, you’ve come to the right place. Here, I put one of the best Fitbits, the Fitbit Charge 6, and the Google Pixel Watch 2 head-to-head. Read on to find out what happened. 

Of course, Fitbit doesn’t recommend wearing two watches at the same time — when I walked 7,000 steps with the Fitbit Charge 6 and the Fitbit Inspire 3, the brand reached out to Tom’s Guide to say as much. When I’m not testing watches, I don’t wear two at the same time. Both the Charge 6 and the Pixel Watch 2 have built-in GPS, and for this challenge I had my Fitbit Charge 6 connected to my iPhone 14 and my Pixel Watch 2 connected to my Pixel 7. 

Both fitness trackers use an internal accelerometer to measure the swing of your arm. Each swing counts for two steps. It doesn’t matter whether you wear your watch on your dominant or non-dominant hand, or whether you’re walking with your hands in your pockets, or holding something, the accelerometer should still measure your body’s movement. 

I walked 5,500 steps with the Google Pixel Watch 2 and Fitbit Charge 6 — here’s which was more accurate 

Fans of the Tom’s Guide fitness pages will know this isn’t my first step-count challenge — I’ve completed similar walks looking at the accuracy of the Apple Watch 9 and Fitbit Charge 6. To do these challenges, I typically wear a fitness tracker on each wrist, and carry a $7.99 tally counter tool from Amazon, manually clicking every time I take a step. When I get home, I download data from both of the watches and compare them. 

To make things easier, I used two different Fitbit accounts for this challenge, as I’ve found from completing similar challenges in the past, workout apps don’t love duplicate uploads.

Here are the results: 

The results

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Steps counted
Manual tracker5,500
Google Pixel Watch 25,336
Fitbit Charge 65,461

This one surprised me — while neither watch was drastically different from my manual recording, the Fitbit Charge 6 only missed 39 steps, whereas the Google Pixel Watch 2 missed 164. That said, no fitness tracker will ever be 100% accurate, and 164 steps over the 2.5-mile walk isn’t all that many. It’s certainly not enough to write the Google Pixel Watch 2 off, but it is impressive that the affordable Fitbit Charge 6 was equally, if not more accurate. 

Of course, the two watches have very different price points — the Google Pixel Watch 2 costs $349 for the Wi-Fi model and $399 for the LTE model. The Fitbit Charge 6, on the other hand, costs $159.95, but doesn’t have anywhere near as many smartwatch features as the Pixel Watch 2. For both, you’ll need to pay for a Fitbit Premium membership. You get 6 months free when you register your new device, but after that, you’ll have to pay $9.99 per month, or $80 a year.

It’s also worth mentioning that both trackers do an awful lot more than count your steps, and counting steps isn’t the best metric when it comes to getting fitter and losing weight. That said, it’s a good place to start. There are several benefits to getting more steps, from weight loss to building muscle, and feeling less stressed. Here’s what 30-minutes of walking each day can do for your body, and how to lose weight and get in shape by walking. Getting more steps can be as simple as taking the stairs not the elevator, getting off the subway a stop early when commuting to the office, or even investing in one of the best under-desk treadmills and walking while you work.  

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Jane McGuire
Fitness editor

Jane McGuire is Tom's Guide's Fitness editor, which means she looks after everything fitness related - from running gear to yoga mats. An avid runner, Jane has tested and reviewed fitness products for the past five years, so knows what to look for when finding a good running watch or a pair of shorts with pockets big enough for your smartphone. When she's not pounding the pavements, you'll find Jane striding round the Surrey Hills, taking far too many photos of her puppy. 

  • Boopero
    Pixel Watch 2 and Inspire 3 do not require a subscription to Premium to do step counts! That's only for readiness score, advanced sleep stats etc. No Fitbit needs a subscription to get steps, heart rate, calories, active zone minutes etc.
  • M_M
    Exactly. I'm honestly shocked by these reviews. Another ("I walked more than 10,000 steps with the Apple Watch Series 9 and the Fitbit Inspire 3 — and one was way more accurate") has a click bait title when then the results showed neither was more accurate. They each "won" depending on the walk.