Google Pixel Watch may have disappointing battery life ⁠— here's why

Google Pixel Watch
(Image credit: Google)

Update: The Google Pixel Watch may borrow a stylistic feature from Apple Watch, with a report claiming a range of swappable bands are on the way

There’s a lot we still don’t know about the Google Pixel Watch, which is due to arrive sometime in the fall. But a new rumor might have revealed a few details about the smartwatch’s battery; unfortunately it doesn’t sound like anything particularly special.

According to a source speaking to 9to5Google, the Pixel Watch will have a battery “just under 300 mAh." That's not an enormous amount, sitting between the 40mm and 44mm Galaxy Watch 4 models, which each have respective 247 mAh and 361 mAh battery capacity.

If this rumor is true, it would also means the Pixel Watch comes in slightly below the Apple Watch 7. According to iFixit's teardown, the 41mm and 45mm models come with a respective 303.8 mAh and 309 mAh batteries.

According to the source, Google is aiming to get a full day’s worth of use out of the Pixel Watch. The idea is that the watch will be sleek and elegant-looking, without sacrificing any of the features that you’d expect from any wrist-borne wearable.

Unfortunately, we don’t know what conditions would have to be met to hit the full day on a single charge. An always-on display, for example, might cause the battery to drain more quickly, as might extended workout sessions or GPS usage.

If the Pixel Watch's consumption is anything like the Apple Watch 7, we might be looking at a battery life under 24 hours. While the latest Apple wearable can last up to two days, you have to skip over most of the useful features to get there. During our testing the watch lasted around 18 hours when using the always-on display, daily activity tracking and answering some calls.

However, the Apple Watch 7, when paired with a 20W charger and USB-C cable, can hit 80% charge in 45 minutes and 100% capacity in 75 minutes. That's 33% faster than the previous model. Meanwhile the 300 mAh Fossil Gen 6, which runs Wear OS, can hit 80% in half an hour.

9to5Google reports that the Pixel Watch won't enjoy such speedy charging. The magnetic charger apparently doesn’t offer fast charging, and is rumored to take slightly longer than the 110 minutes it takes to recharge a Galaxy Watch 4.

Both figures aren’t the end of the world, but it is a particularly annoying flaw ⁠— and one that’s all too common with smartwatches and wearables. Having to recharge your watch every night means you can’t take advantage of sleep tracking features, and slower recharging means you can’t quickly top it up to get yourself through the night.

It’s worth noting that the Pixel Watch is still in the pre-production stage, and these estimates may well change once the final model hits shop shelves.

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.