Joe Fedewa / How-To Geek

Google released the long-awaited Pixel Watch in 2022, and the company is continuing to roll out new features for the smartwatch. It’s now one step closer to matching the Apple Watch with a new fall detection feature.

Google confirmed last year that it was working on a fall detection feature for the Pixel Watch, which was slated to arrive sometime in 2023. It’s now 2023, and sure enough, fall detection is now rolling out. It’s an optional feature that won’t automatically turn on, but Pixel Watch owners will see an alert about it starting today.

The feature aims to detect hard falls, and if no movement is detected after 30 seconds, the Pixel Watch will sound an alarm (with vibration) to check if you need help. If you don’t tap “I’m OK” on the watch within “about a minute,” it will call emergency services with an automated message. That’s close to the Apple Watch’s functionality, except the Apple Watch also sends a message to your emergency contacts with your location after the call ends.

Fall detection image

Google told How-To Geek, “This feature has been extensively tested to ensure your Pixel Watch knows the difference between taking a hard fall and performing a vigorous physical activity or even quickly recovering from a small stumble, so you don’t have to worry about burpees causing an accidental emergency call.”

Notably, the Pixel Watch is still missing any support for car crash detection, even though it is available on all modern Pixel phones (going back as far as the Pixel 3). Crash detection was added in the Apple Watch Series 8, released in 2022, but Apple’s implementation hasn’t been perfect — it often detects skiing or riding roller coasters as crash events.

The new feature is definitely good news for Pixel Watch owners, but it’s clear Google is still playing catch-up to its smartwatch competitors. We gave the Pixel Watch a 5/10 score in last year’s review, mostly due to its poor battery life, proprietary bands, and high price.

Profile Photo for Corbin Davenport Corbin Davenport
Corbin Davenport is the News Editor at How-To Geek, an independent software developer, and a podcaster. He previously worked at Android Police, PC Gamer, and XDA Developers.
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