Pixel Watch appears to have the same Fitbit sensor as the Charge 5

With the design fully leaked, questions about Google’s Pixel Watch turn to the software and internal hardware specs. One clue to the health capabilities is how the Pixel Watch’s rear sensors are very similar, if not identical, to those found on the Fitbit Charge 5 and Luxe.

The Pixel Watch’s health sensor consists of four cutouts. The second rectangle from the left is white, has two squares at the bottom, and is slightly narrower than the other three. This setting matches the sensor used by Fitbit in its latest non-smartwatch fitness trackers.

Charge 5 and Luxe feature an optical heart rate monitor, red and infrared sensors to monitor oxygen saturation (SpO2), and a temperature sensor for overnight skin tracking. Enables features like 24/7 heart rate variability and tracking, cardiovascular fitness level (VO2 max), and more

Meanwhile, the separate semicircles surrounding the centered sensor could be the back glass electrodes needed to read the heart’s electrical impulses for the electrocardiogram (ECG). Other watches that offer ECGs also require you to make contact with another point on the watch case to take a reading. That second sensor could be part of the top button on the sole or the bottle cap-shaped crown.

LR: Pixel Watch, Fitbit Charge 5, Luxe

If Google really is repurposing a Fitbit sensor for the Pixel Watch, that could result in cost savings, as the Fitbit Luxe is $129 and the Charge 5 $149. That would create nice synergy from the 2021 acquisition, and it could suggest that the development of the Pixel Watch was still active last January when the deal was closed.

Both trackers offer a good health monitoring experience, while Fitbit is able to preserve and maintain the quality of data coming into its app (and displayed on the watch) by using existing hardware. After all, we already know that the Fitbit dashboard UI found on the Fitbit Sense and Versa 3 is coming to Wear OS 3.

The Pixel Watch hardware that leaked over the weekend seems almost final, but the Fitbit sensor may have only been used for that prototype. That said, the reuse of components between Google and Fitbit makes a lot of sense.

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