Fitbit app accidentally hints at disappointing Pixel Watch battery life

Google Pixel Watch
(Image credit: Google)

While Google has confirmed that the Pixel Watch is on the way, it hasn't really said too much else about it – and that means we're still relying on rumors and leaks, with the latest one proving rather disappointing.

The team at 9to5Google have done some digging into the Fitbit app for Android, coming across references to sleep tracking on the Pixel Watch, and the following message: "You'll need at least 30% charge to track a full night's sleep".

Around eight hours is the standard recommendation for sleep duration, and if 30% of the smartwatch's battery life is enough to cover that, then we could well be looking at 24 hours between charges for the Google Pixel Watch, which would make it quite similar to the Apple Watch, and certainly not troubling the top of the list of the best smartwatches.

There's an app for that

Google now owns Fitbit of course, but it's not been all that clear about how much support the Fitbit app would have for the upcoming watch. There have been indications that Google would launch a dedicated Pixel Watch app for managing the device.

It doesn't look as though Google Fit is going anywhere either, based on what little information we have, which opens up the possibility that you could end up using three different apps to manage everything that's happening on the Pixel Watch.

We're hoping the situation becomes clearer when the Pixel Watch finally goes on sale. The actual launch date is something else we're not sure on, but the wearable is widely expected to appear alongside the Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro around October time.

Analysis: 24 hours is the bare minimum

When it comes to smartwatches, a day of battery life is just about the bare minimum that manufacturers can get away with. It's difficult to imagine anyone wanting to buy a wearable that needs charging up during the day as well as overnight.

While 24 hours between charges is somewhat disappointing, it's around what you'll get from the Apple Watch. That hasn't really changed since the first version of the wearable was released, and it hasn't hurt sales too much.

However, Apple (and perhaps now Google) are in danger of being left behind in terms of battery life. Smartwatches from Garmin and Samsung (including the new Galaxy Watch 5) are typically able to get two days or more between charges.

Larger batteries, more efficient components and software tweaks can all help in squeezing more life out of wearables, but for anything approaching impressive battery life from a Google smartwatch, it looks as though we might have to wait for the Pixel Watch 2.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.