Your Pixel Watch could be massively overestimating how many calories you burn

Google Pixel Watch steps
(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

The Pixel Watch’s integration with Fitbit is having some teething problems, as some users are reporting the watch is massively overestimating the number of calories they burn, some by perhaps triple the amount they were used to. A post by Fitbit community moderator Rodrigo M. says the issue is affecting “many” users, but there’s a simple way to fix it.

One of the Pixel Watch’s main selling points is its integration with Fitbit’s health and fitness ecosystem, which collects data such as calories burned, heart rate, VO2 max, sleep tracking, and so on, presenting it in an accessible way. 

It means the Pixel Watch should be as good as the best Fitbit, and equal to many of the best running watches when it comes to its fitness credentials. That Fitbit integration is often the first thing shown on promotional materials for the Pixel Watch, but the fact many people are experiencing early issues with it shows the Google team may not have worked out all the kinks. 

One Fitbit community member said: “The Pixel Watch is massively overestimating my calorie burn.  I've changed from a charge 4 to the pixel watch and my Kj burned due to exercise has tripled for the same amount of steps.  A 5 km run at a ~30min pace with the charge 4 was about 400kj and with the pixel watch is over 900. Yesterday the watch said I burnt 5900 cal, despite walking only 7000 steps and not doing a workout.” 

Another user on the same thread said “My first full day with the Pixel Watch and I am comfortably 1500 calories over too”. These are the posts that prompted the response from Fitbit, stating this isn’t an uncommon issue and a fix is in the works.

Thankfully, if you’ve just bought a Pixel Watch, it’s good to know there’s a quick fix. Fitbit says you can restart your Pixel Watch using the instructions on Google’s WearOS support page, which should resolve the issue. 

Google Pixel Watch hands on quick settings

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

 Analysis: More Fitbit problems abound 

It seems like all Fitbit devices are known for experiencing some sort of software or hardware fault over their lifetimes. 

Whether it’s the high-profile story of Fitbit Ionics being recalled after users were physically burned by their bands overheating, the Charge 5’s Bluetooth disconnection and battery drain issues, or Versa models being blocked from the latest updates, there appears to be a recurring pattern. It’s not all devices in the range, but enough to hit the headlines.

The Pixel Watch is the first example of Fitbit technology being used on a WearOS watch, so it’s understandable there might be some teething issues here. Frankly, if it’s something a quick restart can fix rather than waiting for the Fitbit devs to roll out an update or recall the device, Pixel Watch users have gotten off easy. 

Matt Evans
Fitness, Wellness, and Wearables Editor

Matt is TechRadar's expert on all things fitness, wellness and wearable tech. A former staffer at Men's Health, he holds a Master's Degree in journalism from Cardiff and has written for brands like Runner's World, Women's Health, Men's Fitness, LiveScience and Fit&Well on everything fitness tech, exercise, nutrition and mental wellbeing.

Matt's a keen runner, ex-kickboxer, not averse to the odd yoga flow, and insists everyone should stretch every morning. When he’s not training or writing about health and fitness, he can be found reading doorstop-thick fantasy books with lots of fictional maps in them.