Today’s best smartwatch models can perform many tricks, such as searching the Internet with your voice, tracking your location with GPS or even controlling your heart rate to protect your overall health. For some models, they can even do it without being paired with one of the best phones on the market.
We have tested the vast majority of high-end wearables that you can buy right now, from Apple Watch to Fitbits, from Garmin watches to Samsung Tizen watches. There is also Wear OS (you may have known that in its previous incarnation called Android Wear), which is Google’s portable operating system in Apple’s watchOS line, you’ll see that it appears on many of these devices.
During our review process, we take into account the design, features, battery life, specifications, price and more for each smart watch, we classify it against the competition and enter it in the list you will find below.
Some of the high-end smartwatches may be reduced, especially previous versions of recently updated devices, such as the Apple Watch 3 or Apple Watch 4: These may not be the latest models, but they are still excellent smartwatches in their own right. Here is our complete classification of the best smart watches.
1. Samsung Galaxy Watch
The sporty Samsung watch wins some style
YOU: Tizen OS | Compatibility: Android, iOS | Monitor: 1.2 “or 1.3” 360 x 360 Super AMOLED | Processor: Dual-core 1.15GHz | Band Sizes: 22 mm or 20 mm | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: 4 days with 46 mm / less with 42 mm | Loading method: Wireless | IP Rating: 50m | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, LTE (for extra)
Awesome battery life
Useful rotating bezel
Bixby is not great
Our best smartwatch you can buy right now is from Samsung, and instead of opting for the expected name of Gear S4, it’s called Galaxy Watch After the Gear S3 and Gear Sport series in 2017, the latest Samsung Watch has improved a lot.
We have tested the largest 46mm version of the watch and it comes with a phenomenal battery life of four days, even when you are using it extensively. That is impressive considering that many other watches on this list last approximately one day on a single charge.
The rotating bezel remains the highlight of navigating the Tizen operating system on the watch, and the interface is one of the easiest to detect that we have seen on a smart watch.
The applications available on the watch are more limited than Wear OS or watchOS, two rival smartwatch operating systems, but it still offers the basics and Samsung has provided a watch that is good for fitness, plus a great design and Much more functionality.
Read the full Samsung Galaxy Watch Review
2. Apple Watch 5
The best Apple Watch money can buy
YOU: watchOS 6 | Compatibility: iOS | Monitor: 1.78 “OLED | Processor: Apple S5 | Band Sizes: It varies according to the size of the clock | Onboard storage: 32GB | Battery: 1 day to 36 hours | Loading method: Wireless | IP Rating: Water resistant to 50m | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, LTE
Screen always on
The battery is not amazing
Apple has not taken first place in our best list of smart watches, but this is the best device you can get if you have an iPhone. It works perfectly with Apple phones, and it is worth considering if you plan to continue with the iPhone range for at least a few years.
There are not many important updates on the Apple Watch 4, but the main change is that it comes with a screen always on for the first time. That means you won’t have to turn up the clock to see your key statistics, and instead it will show most of the information you need on a dimmed screen.
The design is similar to the Apple Watch 4, an aspect that we loved, so you will get a larger screen than the previous versions of the device, and it comes in sizes of 40 mm or 44 mm.
All the exercise functions you would expect are included in this watch, and that includes a variety of high-end functions, such as the ECG monitor, GPS tracking, impressive heart rate monitoring and more. If you are looking for the best Apple Watch, this is … not our favorite smart watch that money can buy.
Read the full Apple Watch 5 Review
3. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
Add a digital rotating bezel for a nominal price increase
YOU: Tizen OS | Compatibility: Android, iOS | Monitor: 1.2 “360 x 360 Super AMOLED | Processor: Dual-core 1.15GHz | Band Sizes: 20mm | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: Around 2 days | Loading method: Wireless | IP Rating: 50m | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
High end design
Rotating digital bezel
Few features for the price increase
Functionality still limited with iOS
Samsung introduced the best parts of the Galaxy Watch in this sportier smart watch that is thinner, lighter and possibly more comfortable, then released a second version months after the first one that included some coveted features, including a rotating digital bezel and an LTE version.
In general, it hasn’t changed much, which isn’t a bad thing, since it’s still a quality smartwatch at a decent price. Galaxy Watch Active 2 features a 1.2-inch 360 x 360 screen that is bright and beautiful, but small enough to be attached to your wrist than many of the other devices on this list.
It still comes with all the high-end fitness features you’d expect from Samsung’s Tizen watch range, with 39 training modes, a heart rate sensor and ECG, and a health app with stress and sleep monitoring.
While it is still more affordable than the leading Apple Watch, the price increased with respect to the original Watch Active, reducing its value compared to the competition. It is certainly not a cheap smartwatch, but compared to the original PVP of the Galaxy Watch, you may prefer to opt for this version that is remarkably similar.
Read the full Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 review
4. Fossil sport
Fossil’s latest big smart watch attempt
Compatibility: Android, iOS | Monitor: 1.2 inches 390 x 390 AMOLED | Processor: Quad-core 1.2GHz | Band Sizes: 22 mm straps | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: Two days | Loading method: Owner | IP Rating: IP68 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS
It lacks high-end features
GPS can be slow
Fossil has developed a great experience in the portable technological space during the last years, and all this has culminated in the best smart watch that the company has manufactured so far.
the Fossil Sport is a high-end watch with a lower price than the two previous devices on this list. It has GPS, a lightweight but premium design and at least two days of battery life on a single charge.
Fossil has included a Snapdragon Wear 3100 chipset inside, which is the latest Qualcomm update that offers a more fluid experience than you will get on many older Wear OS watches.
It has no really unique features, but the overall Fossil Sport package may be the best watch for you. That will be especially the case if you are looking for a sports watch that comes with Wear OS software and will not look strange on your wrist when it goes to your day.
Read the full Fossil Sport Review
5. TicWatch E2
A fully loaded Wear OS watch you’ve never heard of
YOU: Wear OS | Compatibility: Android 4.3+, iOS 8+ | Monitor: OLED 1.39 “400 x 400 | Processor: Snapdragon Wear 2100 | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: Around 48h | Loading method: Magnetic connection pin | IP Rating: IP67 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1
Easily two days of battery life
No NFC for payments
One of the cheapest devices on this list, the TicWatch E2 is from a relatively small brand called Mobvoi, but it has caused a huge impact with its latest smart watches.
The E2 is water resistant, comes with excellent battery life and is available at an affordable price. You probably do not fall in love with the design of this watch, it is not particularly premium, but we like the appearance considering how much it costs.
For health, the watch comes with built-in GPS, an accurate heart rate sensor and sleep tracking. All the fitness features you would expect are here, but be sure to keep in mind that you cannot make contactless payments since there is no NFC on board.
Read the full TicWatch E2 Review
You don’t like the design? There is also the TicWatch S2. It is a watch remarkably similar to the TicWatch E2, but it comes with a slightly tougher look for adventurers who want a watch that can take a beating. Look at this if you are happy to spend a little more.
6. TicWatch Pro
The clock with two screens.
YOU: Wear OS | Compatibility: Android 4.3+, iOS 8+ | Monitor: 1.4 “400 x 400 OLED paired with LCD screen | Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: Up to 48h, 5 additional days in essential mode | Loading method: Magnetic connection pin | IP Rating: IP68 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC
Innovative display technology
No LTE functions
One of our favorite Wear OS watches is the TicWatch Pro, which you can use with an iPhone or with your Android phone. You may not have heard of TicWatch before, but the latest from the company is a high-end watch with a unique dual-screen feature.
There are two screens on this watch, one layered over the other. At the top there is a transparent LCD screen that can display the time, your heart rate and more when the battery is low.
Below that there is a bright and bold full color OLED screen that will give you all the benefits of Wear OS. That means you can have a normal smart watch, which we discovered would last about two days, and then have the time and some other features still available when the battery is running low. In addition, the low power mode also lasts 30 full days.
In terms of smart watch functions, there is GPS, NFC for Google Pay, Bluetooth for listening to music and the best Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 chipset here that also runs the clock. Then there is the price, which undermines many of the other watches on this list.
Read the full TicWatch Pro Review
7. Fitbit Versa 2
YOU: Fitbit OS | Compatibility: Android 7+, iOS 11+ | Monitor: 300 x 300 AMOLED | Onboard storage: 2.5GB | Battery duration: Up to 5 days | Loading method: Magnetic connection pin | IP Rating: Water resistant | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC
Always active display option
Good battery life
No integration with Spotify offline or Apple Health / Google Fit
The Fitbit Versa 2 is the latest tracker for part of the smart watch and fitness part of Fitbit, one of the most famous wearable companies.
Versa 2 brings a series of updates to the original Fitbit Versa, which includes a screen always on, integration with Alexa and a slightly smaller body.
However, if the original Versa was not right for you, it is possible that the Versa 2 is also not the best, since it is still fundamentally the same device and lacks some traps of different smart watches, such as GPS or Spotify functions out of line.
But for portable fans in general, the Fitbit Versa 2 is a good option, and is also more affordable than some of the other options on this list.
Read our full Fitbit Versa 2 review
8. Apple Watch 4
Once the best money from Apple Watch could buy
YOU: watchOS 5 | Compatibility: iOS | Monitor: 1.78 “OLED | Processor: Apple S4 | Band Sizes: It varies according to the size of the clock | Onboard storage: 16GB | Battery: 1 to 2 days | Loading method: Wireless | IP Rating: Water resistant to 50m | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, LTE
The battery is not surprising
Hard to find now
This is remarkably similar to the Apple Watch 5 we talked about earlier, but it’s easy to forget how much of a big change was the incorporation of 2018 for the Apple Watch range.
The Series 4 comes with a larger screen than previous smartwatches, and thanks to the launch of the Apple Watch 5 it is now much cheaper. It comes in 40mm or 44mm sizes, and the screen in both versions is much larger than you would get from many other watches.
The most exciting technology here is the fact that there is an ECG function within the heart rate tracker. You can evaluate your heart to see if you have a high risk of atrial fibrillation, which will allow you to seek help sooner if your health is in danger.
There are tons of fitness functions, the latest watchOS on board and more. Just keep in mind that this will not work with an Android phone, so it is only an option for those who have an iPhone.
Read the full Apple Watch 4 Review
9. Fitbit Ionic
The first great smartwatch play of the fitness brand
YOU: Fitbit OS | Compatibility: Android, iOS | Monitor: To be confirmed, 1000 nits | Processor: Dual-core 1.0GHz | Band Sizes: Big | Onboard storage: 2.5GB | Battery duration: 2-3 days | Loading method: Patented charger | IP Rating: 50M waterproof | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Variety of fitness options.
Severe lack of applications
the Fitbit Ionic was always going to be a difficult movement for the brand, when trying to enter the world of smart watches in fitness bands.
The effort is successful in some places: that is, in physical form, as you can imagine, where you can track all kinds of things, from running to lifting weights and swimming. There are also dedicated bodyweight training sessions there, and you can pay for items on the go using Fitbit Pay.
When it was first launched, the price was super high and it was a bit too expensive to recommend it with all my heart. The good news is that the price seems to have fallen in recent months, so you can get it for at least $ 70 / £ 70 cheaper than the PVP.
If you are a Fitbit fan and are looking to do more than you get in an average band, this is a good option.
Read the full Fitbit Ionic Review
10. Apple Watch 3
The best smart watch of 2017 is now cheaper than ever
YOU: watchOS 5 | Compatibility: iOS | Monitor: 1.53 “OLED | Processor: S2 dual core | Onboard storage: 8 GB / 16 GB (not LTE and LTE respectively) | Battery duration: 18 hours | Loading method: Wireless | IP Rating: IPX7 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC
Bright Fitness Tracking
Non-LTE version much better value
LTE is an unnecessary expense
Battery too short for sleep tracking.
the Apple Watch 3 (or Apple Watch Series 3, if you are demanding) was once the best smartwatch, but since then it has been shot down by Apple Watch 4 and 5.
The Apple Watch 3 is essentially just the framework of the Apple Watch 2 with some new entrails … but they made a big difference. The highlight now is that the price is so low that it is equivalent to many other popular and affordable smart watches.
The LTE connection was the main event at the time of launch, although that is not really as useful as some might expect.
It is water resistant, so you can swim with it and you won’t have to worry about wetting it in the rain when you run. There is GPS on board to make running a little easier, and now you can also update to the latest watchOS.
Read the full Apple Watch 3 Review
The best smart watch at a glance:
- Samsung Galaxy Watch
- Apple Watch 5
- Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
- Fossil sport
- TicWatch E2
- TicWatch Pro
- Fitbit Versa 2
- Apple Watch 4
- Fitbit Ionic
- Apple Watch 3