Android Update

When does the Pixel Watch display reach 1,000 nits? How to get the most out of the display

The Pixel Watch is capable of some serious brightness, especially in the right conditions. This guide will take you through the Pixel Watch brightness settings, as well as a feature that boosts the display to a max of 1,000 nits.

Device displays have come a long way in recent years, pushing out heavier and heavier brightnesses each year. This makes phones and watches easier to read in any condition, whether indoors or outdoors.

With the Pixel Watch, going outside and sitting in direct sunlight poses no issue at all. Impressively, the Pixel Watch’s AMOLED display can reach a max brightness of 1,000 nits. To simplify, a “nit” is a measurement of brightness, with 1,000 being relatively bright. In contrast, the Pixel 7 Pro reaches a max brightness of 1,500 nits in direct sunlight. While it isn’t the brightest out there by a long shot – the Apple Watch Ultra reaches 2,000 – it’s enough for everyday use. Another example is the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, which also maxes at 1,000 nits.

In both instances, these peak levels are only available in harsh conditions. Since displays are much harder to see in heavier sunlight, the Pixel Watch can pump up the display viewing brightness to 1,000, making it effortless to see even on the brightest days.

Turning on adaptive brightness

Of course, in order to reach the max brightness on the Pixel Watch, you need to enable a setting called adaptive brightness. This allows the display a little bit of freedom to tune the output power based on the conditions it reads.

For example, an indoor room would provide a small to medium amount of light. Sitting in direct sunlight would obviously be a heavy amount of light, which would make the display harder to see. In both circumstances, adaptive brightness lowers or ups the brightness without skipping a beat.

  1. On your Pixel Watch, swipe down from the watch face.
  2. Tap the brightness icon.
    • Note: It looks like a sun.
  3. Ensure Adaptive brightness is toggled on.
    • Note: You can also adjust the brightness manually, though this may have an effect on battery life.

Can I set the Pixel Watch to 1,000 nits manually?

While the Pixel Watch’s display reaches a max brightness of 1,000 nits, you’ll likely not be able to manually adjust it to that setting. The only time the Pixel Watch does get that high is when in direct sunlight when it’s absolutely necessary.

Generally speaking, the Pixel Watch’s brightness is more than adequate for daily use. The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro sits at the same peak brightness level, and the displays are consistent with one another. In our experience, the adaptive brightness does a lot of heavy lifting in everyday circumstances, which makes it easy to see the display at any given time – even at high noon.

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