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Summary

  • Google uses proprietary straps for the Pixel Watch, meaning standard watch bands won't work. But there are plenty of dedicated Pixel Watch straps to choose from.
  • The decision to use proprietary straps was likely made to maintain the Pixel Watch's minimal design. Google emphasizes the importance of easily changing bands.
  • Google offers a variety of stylish and functional bands for the Pixel Watch, including silicone, fabric, leather, and metal options. Aftermarket vendors also provide additional strap choices.

Quick answer: No, Google uses a proprietary mechanism for straps compatible with the Pixel Watch and Pixel Watch 2, meaning you won't be able to use standard-lug watch bands with it. Instead, you'll have to buy special dedicated Pixel Watch straps, where you will find plenty of choices.

Google now has two smartwatches ,with the newer Pixel Watch 2 and previous Pixel Watch, all with a variety of stylish and functional bands to make either watch feel even more personalized. A lot has changed since the original Pixel Watch launched, where you can find Google's replacement straps costing anywhere from $50 to a whopping $200 for the Metal Links band.

What hasn't changed is the fact that you can't use a regular watch strap alongside your Pixel Watch.

Why did Google choose to do this?

Standard lugs would've interfered with the Pixel Watch's ultra-minimal design, and if you're thinking "You can still do standard lugs with an edge-to-edge design," early watches like the Moto 360 showed us the absolute pain that tends to be. We can't be entirely sure of Google's motives, but now that we're two generations in, Google continues to stress the importance of being able to easily change the Pixel Watch's band — likely a driving force beyond this decision.

While it can take a bit of practice, once the switching process clicks for you — for lack of a better term — swapping the bands become wonderfully easy to do for either Pixel Watch. The good news is there are a lot more options than there once was when Google first launched the first Pixel Watch. Even if you skipped that one and went straight to the Pixel Watch 2, all the bands are interchangeable.

What bands are available with the Google Pixel Watch?

Since the Pixel Watch first launched, Google has rolled out several different watch bands, including new ones after launching the Pixel Watch 2. Each type of band has a couple of colors or styles that you can choose from, so while there are only five different bands, you do have some freedom of customization.

Official Google Pixel Watch bands currently available right now:

  • Active Band ($50): The soft silicone strap that comes with the Pixel Watch
    • Lemongrass, Hazel, Chalk, Charcoal, Obsidian, Porcelain, Bay
  • Active Sport Band ($50): Soft silicone strap with perforations for extra durability.
    • Coral, Hazel, Moondust, Porcelain, Obsidian
  • Stretch Band ($60): A claspless fabric strap made of recycled yarn, available in five sizes
    • Linen, Rose, Obsidian, Sage, Bay, Coral, Porcelain
  • Woven Band ($60): A strikingly patterned fabric strap made of sustainable fibers with an adjustable clasp
    • Lemongrass, Coral, Ivy, Sage, Bay
  • Crafted Leather Band ($80): An authentic Italian leather band in a single, reserved color
    • Moondust, Obsidian, Ivy
  • Two-Tone Leather Band ($80): Another Italian leather strap, this time with each piece of the strap being slightly different shades of the same color
    • Bay, Porcelain, Charcoal
  • Metal Mesh Band ($130): A Milanese-style mesh loop strap with a magnetic clasp
    • Polished Silver, Matte Black, Champagne Gold
  • Metal Links Band ($200), A traditional stainless steel band with a deployant clasp and removable links to achieve a proper fit
    • Brushed Silver, Matte Black

The variety of these bands covers a lot of different styles and each has its own flair, particularly with the Woven Band and the Two-Tone Leather Band. So, while the Google Pixel Watch bands may not have the same standard quick-release straps commonly found in the best Android smartwatches, Google put thought into how they designed the various bands already available. A large number of aftermarket vendors have also made straps for both watches, increasing the sheer number of options available for your wrist.

Google Pixel Watch with a chalk positioned at an angle
Source: Google
Google Pixel Watch
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The Google Pixel Watch is designed around functionality, customization, and comfort. These bands are well crafted with a variety of different styles, so no matter what your look is, the Google Pixel Watch will always look great on you.