One of the biggest complaints with the Pixel Watch is that Google is using a proprietary band system that limits choices drastically. But Google is actually offering a way to use any third-party 20mm band with the Pixel Watch with an adapter – here’s how.
As with any brand-new standard, choices for bands on the Pixel Watch are extremely limited at this point. Google itself sells several different styles and colors, but third-party bands for the Pixel Watch are pretty much non-existent outside of some random brands you’ll find online, but that might have poor quality.
Making matters worse, Google has had some stock issues with official Pixel Watch bands. Around launch, the company was almost completely out of stock on bands in its official store, and it only sells some limited colors of the “Active” and “Woven” bands through its retail partner, Best Buy.
For the Apple Watch, various Fitbit smartwatches, and more, there’s a thriving market for third-party bands, and even more important adapters to use traditional spring-bar bands. But that isn’t the case for the Pixel Watch just yet.
Thankfully, there’s at least one option that lets you use a third-party, 20mm band with the Pixel Watch.
As some previously found, Google’s leather bands act as an adapter for 20mm bands on the Pixel Watch. We can confirm that both the “Crafted Leather” and “Two-Tone Leather” bands work for this purpose.
How does it work? It’s actually rather simple.
Google’s leather bands are designed to slot into the watch’s proprietary slot which melts into the hardware itself. But unlike many of the other bands, the leather options add “lugs” to the frame so the leather can rotate freely on a spring bar rather than bending at the top to fit your wrist.
That spring bar just so happens to be a standard 20mm size.
But unlike say, the Galaxy Watch 5, you won’t find a quick-release latch on these bands. Rather, you’ll need a spring bar tool, something that’s easy to get and generally pretty cheap from online retailers such as Amazon.
Once you have that tool, you’ll need to carefully slide it in between the watch band itself and the lug. Once you hit the spring bar, slide it back and push gently down. If done correctly, the bar should simply slide out of place, and you’ll then have a 20mm watch band adapter for the Google Pixel Watch.
Personally, I’ve found this process is significantly easier with the Two-Tone Leather band, but it’s a negligible difference. Go for the adapter style that best fits the third-party bands you want to use with your Pixel Watch!
You might find that some thicker third-party 20mm watch bands might be a bit tight with the Google Pixel Watch, but in my testing so far, I haven’t found any that don’t fit. That’s the beauty of such an established standard.
If you decide to switch back to Google’s leather bands, you can use that same spring bar tool to push the bar back in to reattach it. I find that it’s best to slot one side of the spring bar into the lugs and then push the other side in and then slide it into place. It takes a bit of practice, but it’s something that’s reasonably easy once you get the hang of it.
Hopefully Google will either start selling this adapter separately or a third-party brand will debut its own but, in the meantime, at least there’s an option. Google’s leather bands for Pixel Watch are available exclusively from the Google Store for $79.99 each.
More on Pixel Watch:
- Google Pixel Watch review: Expect disappointment, and you’ll never be disappointed
- This is every watch face on the Pixel Watch [Gallery + Video]
- How to disable Fitbit step count reminders on the Pixel Watch
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