It’s not easy to choose the best smartwatch these days. Not because of lack of choices though. In fact, the opposite is true and finding the perfect product for you is complicated by a myriad of factors such as style, comfort, features, specs, and of course, the price tag. The hallmark of the best smartwatch is never any one of these things and often, not a single product have all the ideal considerations in a bundle.
In this guide, we’ll help you highlight the best stuff that makes a smartwatch in our list of best smartwatches.
Apple Watch Series 8
If you own an iPhone and you’re looking for the best smartwatch, there’s no better choice than the Apple Watch Series 8. The overall design of this device has not changed much from its predecessor so design-wise, this is not the main selling point. This is not to say that the design of Apple Watch Series 8 is bad. In fact, the opposite is true and the design of all Apple Watch series for the past few years has been nothing but excellent.
Like most smartwatches and fitness tracking devices today, the Apple Watch 8 utilizes the ubiquitous squircle design. Although the case has become a little bigger than the previous models in the Apple Watch series, it continues the trend of that rounder and softer aesthetic that’s become iconic for this watch. It’s not uncommon for new users to mistake the Apple Watch Series 8 for the older Apple Watch 7 and vice versa. The larger chassis is not a deal breaker though. The Apple Watch Series 8 has significantly reduced the bezels at the sides giving you a much bigger display than the Apple Watch 7.
In terms of durability, the Apple Watch 8 now features IP6X protection rating, which means that you can now swim with it, just like the previous models, but also has an additional dust-protection. This can come handy if you mainly play, swim, or do activities in a dust-exposed environment. If you use your Watch when baking, the added dust-protection can be very effective in making sure that flour won’t ruin your watch.
On the Display aspect, the Apple Watch 8 is clearly top of the line. With a bigger case comes a bigger screen making it a perfect companion for iPhone users. Apple Watch Series 8 display is about 20% bigger than that of Apple Watch 7’s. The screen on the Apple Watch 8 is also noticeably brighter than the Apple Watch 7 and the rest of the Apple Watch series, making it easier to see details on the screen when you’re outside.
Like any typical fitness tracking device, the Apple Watch 8 excels in its fitness features. It can take heart rate readings and notice irregularities, ECG readings, reminds you to start a workout, starts a timer when washing your hands, or even sends emergency alerts when you fall.
The battery life of all devices in the Apple Watch series including the Apple Watch 8 is not bad but this is an area that can definitely be improved. I know that this is an issue not just with this particular device but also with other smart gadgets that has become every day parts of our lives nowadays. In my experience, I had to charge my Apple Watch 8 at least once after heavy usage everyday.
If you’re a light user and don’t depend much on your watch for activity tracking throughout the day, your battery life should last longer.
You can check the latest price on Amazon.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic
For those looking for the best smartwatch to wear without an Apple logo on it, the latest Samsung Galaxy Watch, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is hard to beat. Just like its main rival, the Apple Watch series, which are mainly designed to work with iPhones, Samsung’s new Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is best used when you have a Samsung phone although having an Android is just as convenient as well. If you have a non-Samsung phone, you may miss a couple features but that’s basically it. The rest of the watch should be fully compatible with your Android device.
This is hardly surprising given the fact that the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic runs on Google’s Wear OS (Operating System) 3. While Wear OS 3 can definitely be improved, the OS is functional and works very well on the Samsung hardware. The Wear OS 3 that runs on the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is actually a collaboration between Google and Samsung as the official Wear OS 3 for smart devices won’t be released until the fall of 2022. This means that the Wear OS 3 on the Galaxy Watch 4 has a lot of spin from Samsung, which used to develop its own OS for its smartwatches called TizenOS, at this time.
That said, you can expect to see Samsung own new One UI Watch interface, with Samsung’s own products such as Samsung Pay (mobile payments) and Bixby given priority over Google’s own Google Pay and Google Assistant.
Software aside though, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is clearly the best smartwatch for Android users today. The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic offers advanced health tracking features like sleep tracking feature, heart rate monitoring, ECG, blood oxygen monitoring, and many other smartwatch features. If your concern is health tracking when looking for the best smartwatch, getting Wear OS smartwatch should be a consideration for you.
The stylish and functional design of the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic stands out among its peers. This watch can be worn by anybody, thanks to its stunning unisex design. It features a rotating bezel, which is absent from its sibling, the regular Galaxy Watch 4. It fits comfortably on my wrist even after using it for the whole day. The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic has two models based on its chassis size — 42mm and 46mm. You also have to option to get the Bluetooth model only, which means that it has to remain tethered to your Android phone, or the one with cellular connectivity support. The latter will allow the watch to become fully autonomous and it can function as a smart device even without your phone.
You can check the latest price on Amazon
Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS
Another gadget worthy of the best smartwatch title is the Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS. Developed by an AI company called Mobvoi, this watch is a top-notch Wear OS smartwatch that won’t break the bank.
The circular design of the Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS is similar to its previous two models although it’s a lot lighter and thinner despite sporting a bigger battery. Longer battery life means that the watch lasts longer on every charge. In fact, one of the selling points of the Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS is its great battery life.Most of the best smartwatches out there require that you charge at least once every day but not the Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS. The Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS can last for 48 hours on full screen brightness without needing a charge. This is admirable as there are not many Wear OS watches with this battery life.
As its name suggests, this model has a built-in GPS for GPS-tracking, which can be a great feature when your main activity requires keeping track of your route such as biking, running, or even walking.
Under the hood, the Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS is miles ahead of the competition as its using the Snapdragon Wear 4100 series processor. This makes the watch more responsive and power efficient day in and day out.
Being a Wear OS device, the Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS supports a lot of third party apps in a wider ecosystem so you can expect to see the usual mobile payments (such as Google Play, Google Pay), Discover, Google Assistant, among many others.
Just like any Wear Operating smartwatch, you can also expect to see fitness features such as sleep tracking, heart rate monitoring, blood oxygen saturation, pulse oximeter, etc.
In my opinion, the Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS is not a pure fitness tracker as it lacks a few important features in dedicated fitness trackers like sleep apnea detector and ECG sensor.
You can check the latest price on Amazon.
In general, the Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS is one of the best smartwatches that you can get for a decent price, that is, if you don’t mind its bulky design and dire companion app.
Fitbit Versa 3
The Fitbit brand has become synonymous with health and fitness tracking and the Fitbit Versa 3 is clearly a continuation of that. As a fitness tracker, the Fitness Versa 3 is
The Fitbit Versa 3 comes with a slew of monitoring capabilities that will satisfy all but the most devoted fitness aficionados. Just as importantly, it’s all incredibly easy to control because of the user-friendly UI.
The Fitbit Versa 3 is a mid-tier smartwatch that’s the cheaper alternative to the more expensive Fitbit Sense. Its price model is similar to that of the more affordable Apple Watch SE, which is also cheaper than the Apple Watch 7.
Smartwatch design today is split into two camps: Apple-inspired rectangles and conventional rounded circles. The Versa series, on the other hand, has always provided something a bit more eccentric – a design that perhaps harkens back to the legendary smartwatch of yore, the Pebble Time. Those accustomed to the modern styles may find the Versa 3 a little “antiquated”, but that’s exactly why I like wearing it.
The screen on the Versa 3 has undergone a slight change, as in previous models, though you’d be excused for not seeing the enhanced proportions on a screen this small.
The Versa 3 is available in three color schemes: black, black and gold, and black and pink, as well as a variety of straps.
Unlike the Versa 2, which featured a physical button on the left side, the Versa 3 has a touch capacitive button on the side. The touchscreen is straightforward and uncomplicated, yet crisp and simple to use — in fact, we believe the Fitbit display outperforms the Apple Watch 7 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 4.
Fitbit Versa 3’s smart features are reliable although some users may find the loading time a little sluggish. The delay is not a big deal though but it can be improved. The biggest addition to the Fitbit Versa line is the GPS, which is lacking in the previous two models. This means that you can go out and run with your Fitbit Versa 3 without needing your smartphone doing the GPS tracking for it.
The battery life of the Fitbit Versa 3 is excellent and some users have used it for up to several days when the screen is set to its lowest and its interesting features turned off. Personally, I only last 2 days before the next charge but that’s because I use it for activity tracking twice a day with full screen brightness.
Originally priced at $229.95 at launch, you can check the current price on Amazon.
If you want a low-cost Fitbit with all of the important fitness functions, go with the Fitbit Versa 3. While the Fitbit Sense has greater fitness capabilities, the Versa 3’s savings are unquestionably worthwhile.
Read our full review of Fitbit Versa.
If you want to get the premium experience of the Fitbit line, the Fitbit Sense is the flagship health tracking product that you want. The Fitbit Sense is full of health and fitness features so it’s undoubtedly one of the best smartwatches today.
The Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Versa look similar by design although the former features a stainless steel edge on its body. The Fitbit Sense also has more sensors internally over the Fitbit Versa 3. The Sense can give you daily monitoring of your stats and has ECG but that’s basically where the differences stop.
The Fitbit Sense is a great outdoors companion because of its durability. It’s water-resistant for up to 50 meters, has dust protection, and can accurately give you real-time stats when swimming, running, or walking.
And like the Fitbit Versa 3, the Sense has a capacitive button on the left side which gets triggered when you cover it. Some people find this feature unreliable sometimes as covering the button and applying some pressure on it won’t work at all. The good thing is, you’ll get a slight vibration feedback as an indicator that the button is triggered.
With Fitbit Sense, you’ll get a 1.58-inch AMOLED touchscreen with a 336 x 336-pixel resolution. The screen is bright enough even when in an outside setting, which is really handy when you’re trying to read some stats or notifications.
In order to extend battery life, I suggest that you disable the Always On display feature of the screen. However, if you don’t like staring at a black screen when you need something off your smartwatch, then you can opt to enable Always On. In this case, you just have to charge more frequently.
As mentioned, the Fitbit Sense has lots of health tracking features. These features include the ECG sensor, SpO2 monitoring, Skin temperature sensor, EDA sensor, heart rate tracking, GPS sensor and more.
In terms of performance, the Fitbit Sense sports a faster processor, thanks to its more superior FBT18SW ARM application processor. This makes the Fitbit Sense snappier when loading apps. Syncing new watch faces can still take about 30 seconds though, just like in Fitbit Versa 3.
The Fitbit Sense 2 was initially priced at $329 in the US when it was released, you can check the latest price on Amazon
If you want to get the best smartwatch that’s not from Apple or something that runs on Wear OS, then the Fitbit Sense is your best choice. It’s easily one of the best smartwatches out there and it’s definitely the best Fitbit smartwatch that you can get right now.
Apple Watch SE
The line of Apple Watch over the years has consistently been at the top of the list of best smartwatches. While the Apple Watch 7 constantly makes the headlines, some health and fitness aficionados may not have heard of its cheaper sibling, the Apple Watch SE.
Officially released in September 2020, the Apple Watch SE remains the go-to alternative for those who want to stick with the Apple ecosystem but do not want to pay for the more expensive Apple Watch 7. This is the perfect option for iPhone users who would prefer to get an Apple fitness tracker that has all basic Apple Watch functionality but at a more affordable price.
Released together with the Apple Watch Series 6, the Apple Watch SE looks almost identical to the former. Internally, the Apple Watch SE did not have an ECG sensor or blood oxygen monitoring like the Apple Watch 6 or 7.
It has a water-resistance rating of up to 50 meters but it lacks dust protection. Just like iPhones and other Apple Watch devices, it also supports Apple Pay and has a range of features such as heart rate sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, and sleep tracking. It can do a bunch of other functions like make emergency calls with SOS, check orientation with its compass, check heart rate, monitor calories burned, track the steps you’ve taken, and detect loud sounds.
The battery life of Apple Watch SE is rated at 18 hours but realistically, that number shrinks to about 15 hours if you choose to use the watch as a phone (for notifications, alarms, taking phone calls, etc.), or when doing long workouts. Charging the watch from 0-100% can take up to 2.5 hours.
There are two models of Apple Watch SE that you can choose from — GPS only model or the cellular edition. You also have to consider if you want to get the more simplistic model named Solo Loop/Sport Band, or the pricier Braided Solo Loop.
The Solo Loop GPS edition was priced at $279 while the Braided Solo Loop GPS model came with a $329 price tag.
Overall, the Apple Watch SE belongs to the best smartwatch category at this time, although its full functionality only gets unlocked with an iPhone. The Apple Watch SE has high-end design and great specs, and comes fully packed with features that define the Apple Watch brand. But just like any other electronic device, this watch has a limited battery life and is generally unsuitable for Android users or those with non-iPhone devices.
Garmin Venu 2 Plus
One of the biggest and established brands in today’s smartwatch industry is Garmin. With the Garmin Venu 2 Plus, the company has clearly planned on taking on the Apple Watch and Samsung Watch dominated industry.
The Garmin Venu 2 Plus is a versatile smartwatch that can function either as a sports watch, a pure smartwatch or both. It has a 1.3-inch AMOLED touchscreen display with a 416 x 416 resolution screen. As typical of AMOLED screens, this watch offers great visibility when in an outdoors setting and the screen supports an Always On display feature.
The case of the Garmin Venu 2 Plus comes in 3 color schemes: Silver, Slate, and Light Gold. Unfortunately, unlike the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, the Garmin Venu 2 Plus does not have a rotating bezel and it looks more like a traditional watch when the screen is off.
What makes the Garmin Venu 2 Plus one of the best smartwatches today though is its smartwatch features. For one, the Garmin Venu 2 Plus has a physical button that houses the microphone and speaker to allow you make phone calls on the watch. With the microphone, you can also access the smart assistant of your choosing (it works with Siri, Google Assistant, and Samsung Bixby). If you want to use the voice-enabled features (voice assistant), the Garmin Venu 2 Plus has to be always tethered to your phone.
This smartwatch also offers mobile payments via its Garmin Pay app though there’s only a limited list of banks that supports it. Like other smartwatches in this list, you can view notifications, listen to music you’ve uploaded, or access the Garmin Connect IQ store to buy certain stuff.
For fitness and health tracking, the Garmin Venu 2 Plus can do plenty of things like monitoring basic statistics (track steps, heart rate, respiration rate, blood oxygen saturation, sleep, intensity minutes, etc) and tracking your workouts. It doesn’t have fall detection though, which can come handy for seniors who can potential fall down during their activity.
As far as battery life is concerned, the Garmin Venu 2 Plus is fine. Garmin said that the Venu 2 Plus can last for 9 without charging in smartwatch mode and up to 8 hours when using it with GPS and music streaming. In my experience, the smartwatch claim of 9 days is unrealistic and it can shrink to less than 5 days even with Always on screen feature disabled. The good thing with this product is its fast charging feature. With it, you can charge the watch for 10 minutes to give it a good 1-hour GPS usage with music streaming, or a 1-day smartwatch mode.
The Garmin Venu 2 Plus works with both Android and iPhone.
Priced at $449.99, this watch is definitely not cheap but overall, the Garmin Venu 2 Plus is a well-rounded smartwatch that provides a convenient on-device calling and voice assistant features.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the best brand for smartwatches?
The top two most popular brands of smartwatches are Apple and Samsung but choosing the best smartwatch for each one is largely subjective. While these two brands have been consistently on top of the list for the past few years, there are other close rivals like Fitbit and Garmin which have been making waves as well.
The Apple and Samsung smartwatches are, in general, all good all-around watches but they’re not perfect and in terms of price point, they’re expensive for most people. They also suffer from the perennial issues of mediocre battery life. In fact, there’s only a handful of smartwatches today that have great battery life. In the end, the choice of the best smartwatch for you depends on your needs.
As far as specific models of smartwatches are concerned, here are the best smartwatches for us:
-Apple Watch Series
-Samsung Galaxy Watch Series
-Fitbit Versa Line
-Garmin Venu Series
- Which Galaxy smartwatch is the best?
Samsung has been continuously improving and refining their smartwatches over the years and right now, the best in their Galaxy Watch series is undoubtedly the Galaxy Watch 4.
There are two models of Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 that you can choose from — the Galaxy Watch 4 and the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic.
If you want a timeless design with a physically revolving bezel, you can get the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic but the regular Galaxy Watch 4 should have all the essentials in health and fitness tracking features that you would need.
- What is the best smartwatch for a woman?
The market for smartwatches is awash with great quality products but if you’re looking for something that looks good on women, there are a number of options that you can look into.
Apple Watch 7
Overall, the Apple Watch Series, with the Apple Watch 7 being the latest, is primary option that I can suggest. It has a stunning design and can be customized to fit your taste on top of its excellent suite of features. If you have an iPhone, an Apple Watch model can be the perfect companion for it.
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
If you want to focus more on the best fitness features, getting the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is for you. It has a simple design but it comes with a long list of functional fitness-focused features such as sleep tracking, workout tracking, heart rate monitoring, and many other sensors that can help you make workouts fun and easy. This watch can help track about 30 plus types of workouts so it’s a handy gadget when you’re the active type, or if you’re planning on switching to a more active lifestyle.
With its Wear OS software, it’s guaranteed to work fine with any smartphone as well.
If you’re looking for a smaller, stylish smartwatch but with a complete collection of effective fitness features, the Garmin Lily is the clear choice. This one is designed for women and people with small wrists. It has a round 34-mm aluminum chassis with a touchscreen display. It can be worn all day as it weighs a mere 24 grams.
- What is the best Android smartwatch to buy?
For Android users, the best smartwatch that you can get right now is the Galaxy Watch 4. It runs on Wear OS, which is developed by Google so it’s guaranteed to work smoothly with Android OS.
- What's the best smartwatch for iPhone?
If you’re an iPhone user, you don’t need to look outside the Apple ecosystem anymore as the Apple Watch 7 is optimized to work with iOS devices. If the price tag of the Apple Watch Series 7 is a bit too much for you, you can also opt for the more affordable Apple Watch SE.
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