Naming what is the best smartwatch is not always easy, with a crowded, stylish market which has changed significantly over the last few years.
The smartwatch today has become the ultimate smartphone accessory. Besides being able to tell the time, of course, it can also provide health and fitness notifications straight to your wrist, and run native apps.
What is actually more amazing is that lots of the current best models also can provide a lot of amazing features, like assisting you to browse the internet using your voice, keeping track of your workout over GPS, and letting you check-out on the supermarket with no need of reaching for your wallet.
We also have reviews about the Best smartwatches out there:
- 1 Finding the Right Smartwatch
- 2 What is the Best Smartwatch?
- 3 What is the Best Smartwatch? – Depending on your needs
Finding the Right Smartwatch
In terms of smartwatches, one particular size most definitely doesn’t fit all. The best choice to suit your needs will depend on a number of aspects, for example, the smartphone you use; whether you want strong activity-tracking features; your budget; along with your visual preferences.
For example, a lot of folks will prefer a smartwatch with a round display because it looks more like a standard watch than a piece of tech gadget. You will want to take all these factors into consideration when you start the research for the best smartwatch for you.
How We Test and Rate Smartwatches
We test every single new smartwatch to evaluate its design and ease of use. If it’s not fashionable and comfy enough to help you get from a morning exercise to your workplace to a night out, you most likely will not use it on a daily basis. Most smartwatches can also be fitness trackers, therefore we put all of their sensors to the test, from step counts to heart rate to GPS (when applicable).
We install apps and utilize them to determine if the device’s app store is effective enough to enhance the smartwatch rank. In the event the watch has built-in LTE, we analyze mobile connectivity and call quality to be sure the gadget might actually stand on its own without having a smartphone close by.
And then we measure battery lifespan working with everyday scenarios — such as workouts, working with apps, and having notifications — to ensure that you can get through a whole day without the need to charge the unit
What is the Best Smartwatch?
As smartwatches have improved, a lot of them have grown to be more feature-packed providing much more above just reflecting notifications out of your phone. If you are a fitness fan, a lot of smartwatches now feature additional alerts like GPS and heart rate monitors, which makes them an excellent partner for your exercise routine.
Obviously, with additional sensors will come more battery drain. Therefore many of the much more feature-packed smartwatches must include an actually bigger battery power if not they struggle to get you through a whole day.
As we said before finding the right smartwatch is not that easy the reality is going to depend on your needs, the activities that you prefer for a workout and how active you are.
So instead to jump to conclusions here is a few questions that you probably need to know before to find the right smartwatch for you
Do I need a Smartwatch?
Let’s be realistic here smartwatches today are to the smartphone what wristwatches were to the pocket watch back in the days. Image how the common men once had to surf his pocket for his watch before the Twentieth century. Now skip forward 100+ years and the regular smartphone user continues to have to dive into their pocket to check on their phone.
On reality now your smartphone keeps much more information compared to a pocket watch ever did, nevertheless, all of these continues to be secured in your pocket.
Smartwatches aren’t for making phone calls, although some can do this, instead, they will provide you a quick and easy way to check the notifications on your smartphone, and then you can decide whether it’s worth reaching into your pocket or look on your bag to fetch your smartphone or not.
What about smartwatch operating system?
There are actually 3 primary smartwatch operating systems, most of which present very similar features but with some differences.
Considering that your smartwatch will expend plenty of its time connected via Bluetooth to your smartphone, you will need to be sure you have a degree of cross-compatibility, even though most operating systems now work together with all smartphones, whether or not they operate on Android or iOS.
- Android Wear: The 2.0 edition of Android Wear was a step up with new functions like Google voice control, Android Pay, and the possibility to make 4G calls. It is featured on most new smartwatches.
- WatchOS: The most recent WatchOS 3 for Apple smartwatches is super fast with improved health and fitness apps and handy features like theatre mode (which prevents your watch waking up by accident). It’s a great system but is most beneficial employed together with an iPhone.
- TizenOS: Used only on the Samsung smartwatches, it has an intuitive interface and design, but is best suited to Samsung devices. It offers 4G only in the US.
When choosing a smartwatch you will need to think about whether you need it as a fitness assistance or maybe a fashion statement.
There are a few differences in between smartwatches and fitness trackers. Fitness trackers usually have fewer features with regards to reading and replying to texts or emails.
But lots of smartwatches are designed for outdoor people and fitness lovers, with step and calorie counters connected to your smartphone. If you need a smartwatch for sports you need to also think about one that has a more robust watch face, silicone straps, and waterproofing.
If you prefer a smartwatch as a fashion accessory plenty come with leather and other materials as straps, and there are a number of watch brands that now make smartwatches, although you will end up paying more to get the best materials.
What type of smartwatch should you look for?
There’s two kinds of smartwatch around right now: those that have a colorful touchscreen display like the ones in your phone, and the ones which mix a normal analog watch with smart features.
We refer to them as semi-smartwatches however they are also called hybrids. It has not really made it on our review yet but the Fossil Q Grant is a good example.
The latter we class as a semi-smart device and normally gives you information via a small LCD screen, LEDs or even smaller hands on the watch face.
Although a fully-fledged smartwatch can perform much more, the juice guzzling display makes a short battery lifespan. Semi-smart watches take advantage of extended battery life with many even having individual cells for the watch and smart features.
For anyone who is an Android customer then an Android Wear smartwatch may be the obvious option however it’s not always the very best for all. Google’s OS tweaked for wearables also plays properly with iOS however with cut down features so iPhone owners will get more from the Apple Watch.
Others come with a totally different system, for example, Pebble’s selection of gadgets and some can work with Windows Phone such as the Vector Watch. Samsung is sticking to its very own Tizen, too, so there is something for every individual in this article.
What makes a good smartwatch?
When testing for what is the best smartwatch, the key points to consider are how most of your smartphone’s features will it execute, and exactly how effectively can it manage each and every task, the last characteristic is clearly design – we are talking about bling after all.
You will also be sure it is really compatible with your smartphone – some are limited to iPhone or Android while others support most phones. Keep in mind that Android Wear is now offering iOS support however the experience is cut down when compared.
Some smartwatches use different software such as the Gear S3 which runs Tizen, Samsung’s own OS – it’s a legitimate alternative to Android Wear.
As is stands, you will have to choose a watch with more limited features if you would like extended battery lifespan whilst ones which could do all sorts will usually last several days.
Fitness enthusiasts may need to look to get a gadget which has a heart rate monitor and built-in GPS, even though the heart rate monitors in many cases are weak.
We take into account the key elements of the smartwatch from the quality of notification detail, battery life, style, water resistance, compatibility with a variety of devices/smartphones, as well as other functions like microphones and Wi-Fi support so you don’t need to connect with a phone for full functionality.
With quite similar, or even the exact same, hardware available with lots of the Android Wear smartwatches, a big part of your decision will depend on design and price.
Should you buy a smartwatch?
These days is probably the best time to buy a smartwatch. Most of the teething challenges in the technology have already been taken care of and smartwatches have recently moved beyond early adopters to become a legitimate tech and fashion statement.
The most effective smartwatches rival cheaper sports watches for fitness tracking performance, although you can still find good deals on the popular brands like Fitbit and Garmin trackers.
And the smartwatches on this reviews offer amazing levels of connectivity with your smartphone, from answering calls to voice control, while more advanced models can offer 4G connection and contactless payments.
How much should you pay for a smartwatch?
Logically, a great budget smartwatch must cost about $100 to $150. Fitbit’s Blaze is one of the best affordable smartwatches, although it is simple in design and will not have all of the features from the Android Wear operating system.
Mid-range smartwatches will cost between $200 and $300. At this level, we recommend you get an Android Wear 2 software or an Apple Watch.
More expensive smartwatches of $300 dollars and more will come with voice control and luxury features such as deep waterproofing. Many will also be a fashion statement to compete with the best traditional brands.
Keep in mind this technology remains developing and, much like your smartphone, you might end up needing to replace your smartwatch every couple of years, contrary to the lifetime of service you may get from a conventional watch.
Other features to check out in a smartwatch:
- Battery life: This is actually the primary sticking point for most smartwatch users. Battery life can differ hugely and is also unimpressive when compared with any normal watch. Preferably, you need a minimum of 2 days of charge with limited use, with regular use you might even see much less.
- Screen size: A display that is too small may be difficult to use, as well a screen that is too large may be heavy and chunky. Some smartwatches come in more than one size to fit different wrists.
- Processor and storage: Most of this smartwatches will have similar processors that do not make a huge difference to performance and many come with 4GB of storage as standard.
What is the Best Smartwatch? – Depending on your needs
Best Smartwatch – Overall
The Apple Watch Series 3 is available in two different versions, one with a cellular ability and one without. This gadget is a combination of smartwatch and fitness tracker and a real improvement from the first version that was released in 2015.
Let’s be clear on that is not the perfect wearable out there and Android Wear 2. was caught up in regards to functions, technology, and design, but in terms of the overall smartwatch experience goes, Apple is still performing the most effective work here.
The Series 3 is practically the exact same to the Series 2, but with one key difference: LTE. This is Apple’s first cellular smartwatch, allowing you to get texts and all other notifications you would on your phone without the need of having an iPhone.
Of course that you need to be careful in regard to your battery life when using both functions(smartwatch and phone) so you need to be careful, but the Watch 3 still gets an average of 22 hours with balanced use, but only one hour of continuous talk time over cellular.
The Series 3, just like the 2, is also heavily devoted to health and fitness, with built-in GPS that we’ve discovered to be remarkably precise, and 50m waterproofing. It is still not excellent at high-intensity levels, but far better than the majority of smartwatches out there. The Series 3 now also tracks elevation, something the Series 2 couldn’t, but otherwise, this is certainly almost the same as a fitness device.
Besides all the fitness and health properties that comes with this watch, this is also Apple’s best “smartwatch”, and all more so with the latest watch OS 4 software. Apple has figured it out how people want to use the wearable on their wrist, plus the new operating system means you will need to spend less time swiping and tapping around – which is actually a valuable thing. All this is loaded into a slimmer shape than other similar competitors and features an excellent bright 1,000-nit display.
- Heart rate monitor
- Apple Pay
- WATER RESISTANCE:50 meters
- Display: OLED
- Size: 38mm/42mm
- Battery: 2 days
- Connectivity: LTE, GPS, NFC, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
- Works with: iOS
Best Smartwatch – To Run
Desing for runners the amazing Polar M600 is backed up with Android Wear, and definitely is the best when it comes to run on pavement
The powerful running smarts are placed front and center. The watch also comes loaded with GPS and advanced metrics like Running Program, Training Benefit, Running Index and Sports Profiles available alongside bog standard speed, pace and time.
As an Android Wear tracker, it is effective at running apps, providing notifications, opening Google Voice commands and all-day exercise tracking. You are basically getting the very best of both worlds here, and even better now that the watch comes with the Android Wear 2 app built-in
The Polar M600 is definitely a winner and remains one of our favorites for running or going to the Gym. GPS tracking proved very accurate in testing. And one of the best features is the amazing heart rate tracking where it kept nice and close to chest-strap readings during your runs.
Having said that, there’s a bland point for us, when it comes to the design the Polar isn’t the best looking watch out there it has a fitness tracker look more than a smartwatch design, so if you want something that can be proud to show off on your wrist, this one may not be for you. If you are not too worried about that, this is an exceptional option for runners.
- Heart rate monitor
- Android Wear 2.0, iOS
- Polar Flow syncing
- Water resistant to 10m
- Display: TFT (240 x 240)
- Size: 1.3-inch
- Battery: 500mAh, 2 days |
- Connectivity: GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Best Smartwatch – Budget, and Battery
Who doesn’t like a double winner?. Not bad for a smartwatch that is basically DOA. Conventional information claims that getting a Pebble smartwatch can be a horrible idea since the company has been shuttered after its buyout by Fitbit. But keep reading to find the reality.
The latest update guarantees that these smartwatches will continue to work even when the servers are switched off, and in regards to buying on a budget, not to many can match the Pebble 2 on features and value.
Pebble’s watch will work with Android and iOS as well making it a killer option. Without a doubt a great feature since even with Android Wear 2.0, iOS users must still make some concessions or buy some apps. With the Pebble, you needn’t worry about that.
The Pebble 2 is not the best-looking watch, but it’s a cult hero thanks to a lively ecosystem of apps and watches faces. And don’t forget about the low-power e-paper that will run you for a week before needing a recharge.
There’s also a heart rate monitor and a decent fitness tracking and health platform, which was really picking up the pace before they sell out. The screen is not incredible in precision when it is forced throughout workouts, however, it’s not terrible either, and in addition, you have the advantage of resting heart rate getting tracked through your day – a little something that the Apple Watch has only just caught up on.
Additionally, there are tonnes of these described apps to try out with while the Timeline interface, a sort-of Google Calendar, is pretty useful. If you’re just starting on the smartwatch world but are fearful of not liking it, the Pebble 2 is an affordable entry point. Who knows, you might well end up falling in love.
- Heart rate monitor
- Thousands of Pebble apps
- OS: PebbleOS
- Display: e-paper (144 x 168)
- Size: 40mm
- Battery: 1 week
- Water resistance: 30m
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi
- Works with: Android and iOS
Best Smartwatch – For Android
Samsung Gear S3
The successor to the incredible Gear S2, the Samsung Gear S3 is the company’s latest and, without a doubt, greatest! and gets the place of the best smartwatch for Android users.
The Gear S3 offers two different designs. You have the more robust model for outdoor types, along with the Classic, which aspires to be the more high-class alternative of these two. The two continue to operate on Samsung’s very own Tizen operating-system and that rotating frame makes a welcome return.
Compatible with both Android and iOS as well, Samsung is remarkably open-minded featuring its collection of supported smartphones with the Gear S3, however, it very much works to its favor.
The Gear S3 is definitely an improvement on the Gear S2 in every way but one: the design. that out point of view but you may disagree and like that bigger, bulkier look. Although it might look a lot more like a classic watch compared to S2, it is also much bigger – 46mm wide.
On the other hand that larger body offers a display screen in which Tizen can definitely shine, along with a greater battery, in which we were able to utilize an average of 3 days from – a lot better than nearly anything in the Android Wear stable or from the Apple Watch.
Just like the Apple Watch, Samsung treads in between smartwatch and fitness tracker, also featuring a built-in heart rate sensor together with GPS and with its really improved Samsung Health software. There is a choice of LTE as well if you would like to have an untethered connection, using a standalone speaker to take calls on the watch.
- Heart rate monitor
- Samsung Pay
- Android, iOS
- SCREEN: 1.3-inch (360 x 360) Super AMOLED
- BATTERY LIFE: 1 day
- WATER RESISTANCE: Up to 5 feet
Best Smartwatch – Best Value for iPhone
Apple Watch 1
The original iPhone Smartwatch is cheaper now!
Perhaps you were looking for an Apple Watch, but want something a little bit more economical? Fitness features are a bit more limited as there is no GPS sensor like there’s on the Apple Watch 2, however, the first Apple Watch does cost a lot less.
The Apple Watch is starting to become a great buy for more than its original customers of eager early adopters and boutique store regulars.
Beaming apps like Messages, Mail and each and every iPhone notification for an always-on-hand device is certainly handy.
Have in mind that If you buy the original Apple Watch you are less likely to be supported for as long as if you get a more newer model Apple wearable, but it could be worth it to suit your needs with that cheaper price.
If you wish to have notifications, fitness tracking, Apple Pay and much more in your wrist but it is not necessary to have GPS or a swim-proof design, the Apple Watch Series 1 is an excellent traker for the value. The watch features a fast dual-core processor and can take full advantage of each of the superior fitness-tracking features included in watchOS 4.
- Heart rate monitor
- COMPATIBILITY: iOS
- SCREEN: 1.32-inch, 272 x 340 color touchscreen
- BATTERY LIFE: 18 hours
- WATER RESISTANCE: Up to 1 Meter
- Apple Pay