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The Pixel Watch 2’s switch to pin charging highlights wearable design challenges

Sensor array on the Pixel Watch 2
There’s contact pin charging now. | Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

Unlike the smooth puck used with the first-gen Pixel Watch, Google’s new Pixel Watch 2 has switched to a charger with pogo pins — a design used by Fitbit on all of its fitness trackers and smartwatches. Complicating matters, it also looks like first-gen Pixel Watch cases aren’t compatible with the new watch, either. All this can be frustrating from a user standpoint, but it highlights why smartwatches and wearables will rely on proprietary accessories for a good long while.

Switching to pogo pin charging might seem like a step back, but it’s a functional choice. With the Pixel Watch 2, Google and Fitbit opted to add a new multipath sensor instead of the single strip of LEDs on the first watch. The upside is the additional sensors will…

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