In recent years, smartwatches have become more capable, so with each updated version, choosing which wearable to buy is becoming more difficult. So in this guide, we’ve listed nine of the best smartwatches you should consider buying to go along with the phones available in the market.
The Best for iPhone Users: Apple Watch Series 6
If you have an iPhone and are looking for a device to keep up with notifications and maintain a certain level of general wellness, the Apple Watch Series 6 is the device to pick to get the best of what Apple has to offer.
The wearable is available in two sizes — 40mm or 44mm — and several finishes, with price points ranging from $399 to $1,499. With the newest S6 SiP, an always-on LTPO panel, ECG and heart rate monitoring, fall detection, and all-day battery life, we believe it’s worth its asking price.
Having bought one myself recently, I would say the Apple Watch is like an actual arm for your phone, while other compatible options on the market are great bionic ones.
The Best for Samsung Users: Galaxy Watch 3
For Samsung users, the Galaxy Watch 3 is the best option to pick. Especially if you’re looking for a device that looks similar to a traditional timepiece, it has a starting price of $399 but, with the Galaxy Watch 4 unveiling expected to happen in August, you may be able to pick it up for less. Samsung has promised that it’ll support devices using its Tizen platform for three years after launch, so if you don’t mind not having access to the newest version, this is a device that offers a great overall package.
The Best Android Wear Pick: TicWatch Pro 3
The TicWatch Pro 3 is possibly the best WearOS smartwatch to buy to go along with your Android phone or iOS device. This Mobvoi device packages Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 4100 chip, with hardware capable of offering three to 45 days of battery life and a variety of health and fitness monitoring features. Amongst the other standard features, the TicWatch also has a dual-layer display that puts together an AMOLED and backlit TN panel. The TN panel is the display used in Essential Mode, which Mobvoi claims helps the device achieve 45 days of use; Smart Mode will keep the device active for three days.
Budget Apple Pick: Watch SE
An option almost indistinguishable from the Series 6, the SE is the Apple wearable to pick if you are bound to a budget. This device is a mix of hardware from Series 5 and Series 6, allowing it to enter the market at $279, $120 lesser than the flagship.
But like the pricier version, it’s available in two sizes and also offers an LTE model. Although you’re limited to an aluminum casing, available in three colors, Silver, Space Grey, or Gold. ECG monitoring and the Always-on display are missing too. Nevertheless, the device features the S5 SiP from Series 5, which allows for heart rate monitoring and irregularity alerts, fall detection, and notification delivery; while promising all-day battery life.
Budget Samsung Smartwatch: Galaxy Watch Active 2
The Galaxy Watch Active 2 is a Samsung wearable to pick if you’re looking for something more minimalistic in terms of design. The Tizen operating system allows it to boast a software feature-set similar to the more expensive Galaxy Watch 3. It features a touch-sensitive bezel that helps navigate through the various UI elements. Samsung claims the device can last for three to four days on a single charge, an advantage over its newer brethren.
Top RTOS Smartwatch: Amazfit GTS 2
This option from Amazfit is a device to pick if long battery life and an AMOLED panel are features on your list of must-haves for smartwatches. While devices running RTOS are known to have limited features, advances in the last few years have allowed these to get close to the likes of the Apple Watch and gadgets that run WearOS or Samsung’s Tizen platform.
Focusing on other capabilities, it features 90 sports modes, 5ATM water resistance, 3GB of local storage to store music, the ability to answer calls and a voice assistant.
A Premium RTOS Device: OnePlus Watch
Like the previously listed Amazfit, the OnePlus Watch is a device that uses RTOS and has a similar feature set. But it exchanges the aluminum build for a casing made of stainless steel, giving it a premium air. Looking at its fitness features, OnePlus claims the watch features over 110 workout types and has GPS for walking and running. The device also has 4GB of internal storage and claims a battery life that can keep you going for 14 days between charges.
The Best Fitbit Option: Fitbit Sense
Fitbit Sense is another great device to pick if you’re looking for a smartwatch neutral to the Android and iOS ecosystems. It showcases a design that has refined the language introduced with the Versa series and offers a feature set comparable with Apple and Samsung’s flagships.
The wearable can monitor heart rate, capture ECG readings, use its GPS to track runs, and even use Fitbit Pay. The company states that their device can last over six days with a single charge and 12 hours if you leave GPS activated at all times.
The Smartwatch for Runners: Garmin Forerunner 945
If you’re buying a smartwatch for the athlete in you, one of the best options to consider is the Garmin Forerunner 945. This watch increases the workout features offered by any smartwatch by a multitude. It can track workouts while providing metrics like oxygen uptake during a run, and performance condition reports. Multi-GNSS support and the built-in mapping will also help navigate your runs. Garmin claims a single charge allows the wearable to last for up to two weeks in its smartwatch mode, 36 hours when GPS is always activated, and then for ten hours with GPS active and music playing.
While the Apple Watch should be your de-facto pick if you use an iPhone, for Android users planning on buying WearOS or Tizen-based watches, we recommend waiting a little longer to see what Google has to say about updating older devices to the new Wear platform. On the other hand, if you’re looking at RTOS options or dedicated workout devices like the Garmin Forerunner 945, you can go ahead and make your purchase.