Hands-on with Spigen and Caseology’s accessories for Pixel Watch

If there is one thing (besides the battery life) of the Pixel Watch that we lament, it’s the distinct lack of reputable accessories for the wearable. However, in recent months Spigen and its subsidiary Caseolgy have launched Pixel Watch accessories including cases, covers, and integrated straps. We’ve spent time with them to find out if they are any good.

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If you scour the multitude of online stores for Pixel Watch accessories, you’ll no doubt find lots of strap solutions but very few that include fully integrated covers. Luckily, Caseology has the Nano Pop, while Spigen now has the Rugged Armor Pro. While it’s a shame to cover up the design of the Pixel Watch the rounded edges are constantly exposed throughout the day. If you just want edge protection, you’re serviced by the Caseology Vault bumper cover or Spigen’s Thin Fit and Liquid Air designs.

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Another annoyance with the Pixel Watch is the lack of high-quality screen protectors available to purchase even some months after launch. Luckily, if you do choose one of our recommended TPU-style options, then we can confirm that all of the Spigen and Caseology accessories play nicely with this specific type of screen protection and the proprietary Pixel Watch strap mechanism too.

While we would refrain from calling this collection of accessories “extensive,” it certainly provides extra options that mimic their smartphone counterparts. That means if you have a Google Pixel, you should be able to pair these for a complete look.

Rugged Armor Pro

The G-Shock-inspired Rugged Armor Pro is new to the Pixel Watch but Spigen has offered this for the Galaxy Watch and Apple Watch series for some time. With the right watch face on your Pixel Watch, it looks truly impressive and gives what is ordinarily a potentially damage-prone wearable some extra backbone.

It manages this because the chassis around the watch face and edges are firm and stiff. That should repel clashes with surfaces and objects without the screen being in the firing line. The whole of the Pixel Watch screen is still fully accessible but the rotating crown is recessed by a few millimeters.

I’ve found that you need to use your nail to turn it when the Rugged Armor Pro is fitted, but you can still easily press the button inwards. The addition of a ridged button cover also makes it easier to press the Recents button, which can feel very flat without any protective layer applied. There’s a pronounced and satisfying “click” noise when you press the button now too.

What I think that many people will love is the strap itself. It uses a more traditional buckle loop style that clasps shut with lots of room for adjustment. I would say it’s a bit more firm or stiff than I would like but it’s not uncomfortable and unlike my official Woven Band a bit of water or moisture doesn’t make it moist or damp for very long.

Caseology Nano Pop

In my opinion, the best all-around combined case and strap option is the Caseology Nano Pop. There are a number of reasons for that. Firstly, the design is soft and curvy and although I wouldn’t call it “sleek” by any means, it’s still fairly cohesive with the Pixel Watch’s own rounded and bubbly design.

This is where it’s a winner in more ways than one. I’d liken this to a Swatch or something akin to those cheap digital watches you can pick up in most mall kiosks. I don’t think that is a bad thing either as it’s a super lightweight accessory that actually weighs less than the default silicone strap that comes with your Pixel Watch. You’re getting a completely different aesthetic without adding tons of mass. If you are sporty, this is the perfect companion.

Because it’s lighter and the strap is easy to clasp, it’s infinitely more comfortable. One negative is that there could be more loopholes and because of that it might not suit bigger wrists. The large lip around the screen is not only great for protection, it makes it easier to find the edges of the panel for gestures and swipes. The color accenting of the “Prune Charcoal” band almost perfectly matches the “Fern” color making it ideal as a companion for all of your favorite watch faces.

A screen protector will fit but this can marginally misalign the precise button cutouts. Like the Spigen Rugged Armor, you may need to adjust how you activate the crown by scrolling. Using your nail you can scroll comfortably.

Spigen Thin Fit

Spigen’s Thin Fit case keeps the look and feel of the Pixel Watch’s rounded aesthetic while protecting those all-important edges. It does this while ensuring you can still access the crown and side button, but also keeps the two hardware buttons out of the firing line too with just a little extra coverage. Because it’s a clip-on cover, you’re adding very little weight or bulk to your wrist.

I do dislike the missing section of the edge frame, but this does make it easier to use the rotating crown which is especially helpful. There’s also a plastic Recents button cover here and the raised lip around the screen is very minimal. It should help protect against bumps and clashes on the edges, but direct screen bumps could be costly.

Once a watch strap is attached, the only areas exposed are the underside of the Pixel Watch and that tiny section just above the crown. Visually, like many transparent accessories, the clear Spigen Thin Fit case can cheapen the Pixel Watch finish. I would suggest that the black model looks much better and is less obvious from afar.

Spigen Liquid Air

When the Liquid Air cover is applied, it instantly converts the Pixel Watch to a boxy almost Galaxy Watch shape. All of the curves are hidden under a layer of rubberized shock-resistant TPU. There are textured sections on each side at the top and the bottom of the screen although I would have preferred these at the sides of each screen.

It’s full coverage with a button cover and protruding frame to help protect the rotating crown. I have found this to be easier to access and press than the other Spigen and Caseology Pixel Watch accessories. What’s more, because it’s pliable rather than rigid, even thick screen protectors should fit comfortably.

Caseology Vault

The Caseology Vault is basically a remix of the Spigen Liquid Air cover for the Pixel Watch. Rather than being flexible and soft to the touch, it’s firm. It’s practically identical in terms of size and shape. However, there is a grippy, sandstone-like texture around the edges of the Pixel Watch screen and the underside of the case itself. This should hide little nicks and dings more effectively than glossy finishes.

Unlike the Liquid Air case, the rotating crown is not as accessible. You’ll need to adjust how you access this section with a nail or the tip of your finger. The raised button cover does help here to activate. Caseology claims that the Vault case provides military-grade protection, but it should provide ample coverage as it feels sturdy. I find that it suits the mechanical-style watch faces too.

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Katheleen Knopf

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