[Update: Wider rollout] Pixel 6 gets Early Access heart rate and respiratory tracking in Google Fit

[Update: Wider rollout] Pixel 6 gets Early Access heart rate and respiratory tracking in Google Fit

Update 1 (11/17/2021 @ 00:03 ET): Google Pixel 6’s heart rate and respiratory tracking features have started rolling out widely. Scroll to the bottom for more information. The article as published on November 16, 2021, is preserved below.

In March, Google added a new feature to the Google Fit app to let Pixel phone owners measure their heart rate and respiratory health using just phone cameras. For some reason, however, the feature has been missing on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, up until now.

Google Pixel 6 Pro Review: Fantastic everyday phone with an undeniable Exynos inspiration

9to5Google reports that the Google Fit app is A/B testing heart rate and respiratory rate tracking on the Pixel 6 series. Both features are in Early Access, and Google warns that they’re “being fine-tuned and may be removed in the future.”

If you own a Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro and want to check if you have these features, open up the Google Fit app and navigate to Browse > Vitals. The heart tracking feature uses your phone’s rear camera to track subtle changes in the color of your fingers. Meanwhile, to measure your respiratory rate, place your head and upper torso in front of your phone’s front-facing camera and breath normally.

Screenshots credit: 9to5Google

As mentioned above, these camera-based tracking features are in A/B testing and aren’t widely available in the Google Fit app. You can, however, increase your odds by updating the app to the latest version from Google Play Store.

    Google Pixel 6
    The Pixel 6 packs Google's new Tensor chip, a modern design, and brilliant cameras.

Google is, of course, not the first OEM to introduce on-device heart rate tracking. Samsung has long offered heart rate and SpO2 monitoring on its flagships, while Xiaomi introduced a camera-based heart rate tracking feature in the Mi Health app last year.

    Google Pixel 6 Pro
    The Pixel 6 Pro, the larger sibling that comes with Google's in-house Tensor chip, a modern design, and an extra telephoto camera.

The Pixel 6 series is Google’s most ambitious smartphone lineup yet, featuring a refreshing design, gorgeous display, and capable camera hardware. It’s also the first to pack Google’s in-house Tensor SoC.


Update: Now out of Early Access

After limited A/B testing, heart tracking and respiratory tracking features in the Google Fit app are now widely available on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. My colleague Adam Conway received these features on his Google Pixel 6 Pro a couple of days and as you can see in the screenshots attached below, it no longer has that “Early Access” badge or the warning that it may be removed in the future.

Google Fit: Activity Tracking
Google Fit: Activity Tracking

Have you received heart rate and respiratory rate monitoring in the Google Fit app on your Pixel 6/6 Pro? Let us know in the comments below.

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Kishan Vyas
Kishan Vyas

A loyal Android user since Android 2.1 Eclair. Direct inquiries to [email protected]