Google Pixel Watch fitness tracking — Fitbit features you get (and don't get)

Google Pixel Watch
(Image credit: Future)

The Google Pixel Watch seems to be as much a Fitbit smartwatch as it is a Wear OS smartwatch. With Fitbit supporting the fitness tracking experience in Google’s first in-brand smartwatch, it’s worth taking a look at which of the best Fitbit features have been included in the Pixel Watch — as well as the ones that have been left out. 

Many of the features you’ll find on the Fitbit smartwatches and activity bands appear in the Google Pixel Watch, as per this spec comparison chart available on Google’s online store. The chart compares the Pixel Watch to the Fitbit Sense 2 and Fitbit Versa 4, the two new Fitbit smartwatches available this year. 

While the sensors outfitted in the three watches vary, so do the Fitbit activity tracking, heart health and sleep tracking tools. Notably, there’s a few features that didn’t make the cut for the Pixel Watch, even for those with a Fitbit Premium membership. As a reminder, the Pixel Watch comes with 6 months free of Fitbit Premium but after that, a membership costs $9.99/£7.99 per month, or $80/£79.99 per year.

If you're interested in buying the Pixel Watch, you'll want to know which Fitbit features you'll get and which you'll miss out on. Here’s an overview of which Fitbit features are and aren’t available for the Google Pixel Watch in the key areas of health tracking.

Google Pixel Watch activity tracking features

The Pixel Watch has all-day activity tracking, which means the smartwatch is tracking your movement such as steps walked, floors climbed and calories burned whether or not you’re working out. When you do begin a formal workout, the Pixel Watch has 40 pre-loaded activity modes, from basics like running and biking to sports like rollerblading and golf. 

Perhaps the biggest workout feature missing on the Pixel Watch is automatic workout tracking. A familiar tool on many of the best smartwatches like the Apple Watch Series 8 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, automatic workout tracking will launch certain workout types after a couple of minutes of you moving.

Either way, working out earns you Active Zone Minutes, a feature available on all Fitbit devices since the Fitbit Charge 4. Your goal is to spend either 150 minutes at a moderate activity level or 75 minutes at an intense activity level to meet the standards suggested by the WHO. Your Pixel Watch can send reminders to help you get moving and meet your goals.

Those with Fitbit Premium benefit from the Daily Readiness Score feature, too. Daily Readiness Score is a grade determined by your sleep quality and activity trends in recent days. This score is designed to encourage recovery, so that you’re not overtraining or overexerting yourself.

Google Pixel Watch heart health features

The Google Pixel Watch sports a continuous heart rate monitor that claims to read your heart rate every second, 24/7. Whether you have a watch face with a heart rate complication or are working out, you should see your heart rate update constantly.

In addition to heart rate readings, the Pixel Watch can take electrocardiograms (ECGs) with the ECG app. ECGs can detect signs of atrial fibrillation (AFib), a heart condition that the CDC says impacts up to 6.1 million people in the United States. The Fitbit Sense 2 and Fitbit Charge 5 are the only other current Fitbit trackers that have the ability to detect AFib.

That said, the Google Pixel Watch does not offer any kind of heart rate notifications, including high or low alerts. Even with an ECG reader, it won’t alert you to irregular heart rhythms. 

Google Pixel Watch sleep tracking features

When it comes to sleep tracking, the Pixel Watch can be worn overnight to give you an overview of how well or not you slept. The data collected by the watch can differentiate your sleep stages and assign you a sleep score based on the quality of your rest. 

Over time, you can get sleep insights to help you better understand your sleep habits compared to those from other Fitbit users around the world. 

Pixel Watch users will now get Sleep Profiles, which is a newer Fitbit feature that correlates sleeping behaviors to animals. Sleep Profiles might make your sleeping habits more digestible than the typical charts available through sleep insights.

The Pixel Watch still does not support Fitbit’s mindfulness content for sleep or the SmartWake alarm feature on other Fitbit smartwatches. SmartWake alarm actively analyzes your sleep stages to wake you at the optimal point of your cycle in a given time window. 

Next: Here's why I bought a Fitbit Versa 4 instead of the Google Pixel Watch.

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.