I am a Google Pixel owner and here are the Black Friday smartwatch deals I want

Google Pixel 7 with foliage behind
(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

When I got my Google Pixel 7 from Google, I also got a Pixel Watch, and it’s one of the best smartwatches I’ve used. It’s stylish and slick, but unfortunately, it’s not the most reliable smartwatch. The battery could be better, and I don’t trust the step count. That’s why I’m looking at Black Friday smartwatch deals for a wearable to use with my newest Android phone. 

Google originally sold the Pixel Watch as a bundle with the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, but that offer ended with the pre-order season. Now that the luster has worn off Google’s first big smartwatch, it’s time to consider some alternatives.

Google Pixel Watch

Google Pixel Watch (Image credit: Future)

The Pixel phone is compatible with a wide range of watches, and I’m open to a wide range of options for something to wear. As a Samsung Galaxy owner, I’ve already considered the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro to accompany my Galaxy Z Flip 4 work phone. For the Pixel, I need something different.

My Pixel 7 is for travel, photos, and fun. I want a watch that fits that lifestyle. I’ll be using this on hikes and in the woods, but also in the city and on business trips. I want something with a bit of style or something that offers a useful feature if it can’t look cool.

A Fossil watch would be a stylish Black Friday deal

I’m curious about the Fossil watches running Wear OS, like the Fossil Gen 6 smartwatch and the new Wellness Edition. Those watches run Wear OS 3, though I hear some features are missing, like Assistant. I use Google Assistant on my watch to control my lights and TV, so I would miss that feature, but I’m guessing it will be here soon. 

Fossil Gen 6

Fossil Gen 6 smartwatch (Image credit: Future)

The latest Wear OS 3 was co-designed by Samsung and Google together, but it should run the same on any smartwatch. Fossil makes an interesting selection of watches, and they all look like normal watches, not like a technology platform running a wearable OS on your wrist. The difference isn’t subtle.

I have a fancy watch that I wear often, and it would be a pleasure to have a smartwatch with a metal band, for instance, or at least a look that doesn’t telegraph my geekiness. Sometimes I want to show off my tech, and sometimes I don’t want to stand out.

Right now the Fossil smartwatches running Wear OS are not part of the company’s Black Friday deals. You can buy a hybrid watch, sort of a normal watch with a basic smartwatch hidden under the watch hands. I want something more robust, running Google’s Wear OS, to complement my Pixel.

The Fitbit Sense 2 gives me features I stress about

Another option I like is the Fitbit Sense 2. Admittedly, the Fitbit doesn’t run a full smartwatch OS like Wear OS, but it does come from Google, which bought Fitbit early in 2021. Fitbit wearables are compatible with all of the best iPhones and best Android devices, so it will work great with my Pixel phone. 

The Fitbit Sense 2 costs much less than the Pixel Watch, but it has more fitness and wellness features built in. The Sense 2 has a skin temperature sensing feature, for instance, though it won’t actually tell you your body temperature, it just shows you temperature changes over time.

Fitbit Sense 2 on a person's wrist as they write in a notebook

Fitbit Sense 2 (Image credit: Fitbit)

What I like about the Sense 2 is its ability to track stress and mood changes. Over the summer, I trained to recertify as a Red Cross lifeguard for the first time since college. I wore a simpler Garmin Swim 2, followed by a Galaxy Watch 5, and I’ve loved looking back over my heart rate data, not just while I was swimming, but in between my swim workouts, as well.

I love looking for specific moments represented in the health data. Over these months, I’ve started a relationship, interviewed for and accepted a new job, and moved to a new city. I’ve been wearing smartwatches the whole time, and so many key moments in my life are apparent in the health graph.

I’d like a wearable that takes the graph to the next level. I was already associating my mood with my health data. The Fitbit Sense 2 just makes this a primary feature. I’m a believer in the usefulness of this tracking, so I’m willing to give up some smart features for a watch that tracks my stress and mood especially well.

Bottom line: If the Sense 2 price drops, buy it

Sadly, I may have missed my best chance for an amazing Black Friday deal on the Sense 2, but I’m hopeful. Amazon sold the Sense 2 for under $80 in the US for one day, and now the price has stayed under $200 since the start of November. Sorry, UK friends, that £269.99 original price has remained constant. 

I’ll be frank, I have too many wearables to spend more on a watch I don’t need, but if Amazon or another retailer drops the Sense 2 to that rock-bottom price again, I may find it too stressful to pass up that deal. 

Philip Berne
US Mobiles Editor

Phil Berne is a preeminent voice in consumer electronics reviews, having reviewed his first device (the Sony D-EJ01 Discman) more than 20 years ago for eTown.com. He has been writing about phones and mobile technology, since before the iPhone, for a variety of sites including PCMag, infoSync, PhoneScoop, and Slashgear. He holds an M.A. in Cultural Theory from Carnegie Mellon University. 

Phil was the internal reviewer for Samsung Mobile, writing opinions and review predictions about top secret new devices months before launch. He left in 2017. He worked at an Apple Store near Boston, MA, at the height of iPod popularity. He has been a High School English teacher at Title I schools, and is a certified Lifeguard. His passion is smartphones and wearables, and he is sure that the next big thing will be phones we wear on our faces.