Best Smart Watch At The Moment
Elevate your wrist game with the finest smartwatches that not only keep you on top of your health but also deliver phone updates with absolute swag. In this guide, we’ve meticulously ranked the crème de la crème of smartwatches for both Android and iPhone users, based on thorough usage and reviews. While Apple Smart Watch models offer a tempting choice, especially with three models now on the menu, don’t be too quick to overlook other remarkable alternatives. Whether you’re an iPhone enthusiast or an Android aficionado, a treasure trove of high-quality options from Samsung, Huawei, Amazfit, and more awaits.
If you’re after something more straightforward and budget-friendly, check out our guide to fitness trackers. However, if you’re ready to step into the world of fully featured smartwatches, complete with app integration and seamless notification delivery, you’re in for a treat.
Get Your Hands on the Apple Watch SE – iPhone’s Best Mate
For the majority of iPhone users, the Apple Watch SE emerges as the top choice for an Apple Smart Watch. Surprisingly wallet-friendly, this model carries the hallmark Apple sleekness and endurance, accompanied by a nifty processor and robust battery life—impressive for an Apple Watch. Notably, it shares many of the advanced features found in the pricier Apple Watch Series 8, including the groundbreaking auto collision detection. Whether you’re into fitness tracking, music storage, contactless payments, or third-party app compatibility, the Apple Watch takes the crown as the supreme smartwatch for iPhone users. The SE pulls off these feats commendably, all at an attractive price point.
The Crème de la Crème for Android Aficionados: Google Pixel Watch
The inaugural Pixel Watch stands out for its breathtaking design, a key selling point. Apart from its aesthetic charm, it’s compact, lightweight, and exceptionally comfortable. What’s more, it’s brimming with impressive tech and functions seamlessly, thanks to the user-friendly Wear OS 3 software, a digital crown, and an attention-grabbing display.
Since Fitbit handles the fitness monitoring, this smartwatch becomes the ideal choice for those committed to the Fitbit ecosystem. It outshines Fitbit’s own Sense 2 and Versa 4, which couldn’t secure a spot on our ranking due to their performance limitations.
However, Google leaves room for improvement, with issues like inconsistent battery life, charging constraints, and the peculiar absence of automated workout identification in Fitbit-powered tracking. Nonetheless, it sets a high bar for the new Android standard wristwatch experience, providing competitors with a benchmark to aim for.
Embrace Excellence with Apple Watch Series 8
Even though the Series 8 brings only incremental improvements over its 2021 predecessor, the Series 7, it remains an excellent choice for iPhone aficionados. This model comes armed with several handy features not found in its more affordable SE counterpart.
The star attraction is its always-on display feature, offering quick access to the clock and notifications, albeit with some impact on battery life, unlike the SE. Featuring ECG and blood oxygen measurement, along with a temperature sensor for menstrual cycle tracking—these are fresh additions to the Series 8. Some of the health monitoring features are more advanced as well.
However, its Achilles’ heel remains its battery life; it demands a daily recharge, setting it apart from most competitors. To maximize its sleep-tracking capabilities, planning your charging routine is essential. For those with more exacting requirements, Apple Watch Ultra could be a more fitting option, which we’ll be reviewing soon and might secure a spot on this list. If your health needs are more moderate, you could consider the cost-effective SE.
The Ultimate Pick for Samsung Phone Owners: Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 makes a compelling case as the “go-to” wristwatch for many Android phone users, following the Pixel Watch, though there’s a significant caveat: if your phone isn’t a Samsung, certain functions, including ECG health tracking, won’t operate.
This caveat is worth noting, even for non-Samsung phone users. The Watch 5 offers a choice between two case sizes and a range of customization options with a contemporary aesthetic, complete with a digital bezel featuring haptic feedback.
The Watch 5 is a top-tier, feature-rich smartwatch, with extensive third-party app compatibility and access to the Google Play Store. Plus, it’s remarkably budget-friendly, so your wallet can breathe easy.
A word of caution, though: opt for the larger 44mm variant over the smaller 40mm model for enhanced battery life reliability, as the latter has exhibited some unpredictability and inconsistency.
Secure the Garmin Venu 2 Plus – Runners’ Dream
If you’re on the hunt for a smartwatch that places health and fitness at the forefront, the Garmin Venu 2 Plus is the ultimate all-rounder. Offering customizable multi-week exercise plans, dependable heart rate monitoring, and stellar GPS performance, even in bustling urban streets, it’s a dream come true for runners and cyclists alike.
But it doesn’t stop at running; it excels at tracking a range of activities, from rowing to golf and skiing. The addition of animated yoga and pilates routines adds a pleasant touch.
Moreover, its microphone and speaker allow you to field on-the-fly virtual assistant queries and answer calls while on the run, all without reaching for your smartphone. The only caveat? If LTE isn’t in the equation, make sure to keep a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone nearby.
Considering its fitness-focused app dominance, if you’re not a fitness enthusiast and yearn for a smartwatch that runs your favorite apps, streamlines smart home controls, and more, you might want to explore other options.
Invest in the Amazfit GTR 4 – Affordability Meets Quality
The Amazfit GTR 4, Zepp’s most ambitious smartwatch to date, boasts new fitness tracking modes and upgraded GPS performance, but it comes with a few caveats.
The good news is that it now supports strength training and boasts compatibility with over 150 workout types. With GPS reliability significantly improved for regular use and a battery life that exceeds a week, it’s an attractive option with a surprisingly low price tag.
Regrettably, certain fitness tracking features have proven less reliable compared to competitors, and the smartwatch offers limited support for third-party apps, except for built-in integration with Amazon Alexa. While it excels in fitness tracking, it may feel somewhat limited for those seeking a comprehensive smartwatch experience.
Go for the Budget-Friendly Battery Champ: Fitbit Versa 2
Fitbit emerges as the go-to choice if fitness features top your priority list, especially since its models tend to be more budget-friendly compared to many other smartwatches. The Versa 2 is a winning choice, with its ability to track a wide array of activities, over five days of battery life on a single charge, and water-resistant and swim-ready capabilities. It automatically detects activities without the need for manual taps on the screen and offers monitoring of stress levels, blood oxygen levels, and heart rate. An added perk is its cross-compatibility with both iPhone and Android phones, liberating you from brand loyalty.
Notably, the Versa 2 now comes equipped with Alexa, allowing you to initiate workout sessions, set timers, check the weather, and control smart home devices via voice commands. It keeps you informed with call, message, and email notifications from your smartphone, though making calls from your wrist isn’t supported. Want to leave your phone behind during a workout or run? Store up to 300 songs from your Spotify or Deezer account for convenient playback on the watch. Fitbit Pay is another plus, offering contactless payment support; though, it’s compatible with only nine UK banks, which is less extensive compared to services like Google Pay and Apple Pay, it still provides a secure payment option.
Smartwatches’ Marvelous Features
- Fitness Tracking: Most smartwatches are equipped with built-in fitness tracking capabilities, encompassing step counting, heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, and more.
- Notifications: Smartwatches sync seamlessly with your smartphone, delivering notifications for calls, texts, emails, and app alerts directly to your wrist.
- Voice Assistant: Many smartwatches feature voice-controlled virtual assistants such as Siri, Google Assistant, or Alexa, enabling voice commands and queries.
- Apps: Smartwatches tap into app stores, where a vast selection of applications can be downloaded, ranging from fitness apps to productivity tools.
- GPS: With built-in GPS, smartwatches facilitate accurate location tracking and navigation, a boon for fitness and outdoor pursuits.
- Music Control: Effortlessly manage music playback on your smartphone or enjoy tunes directly from your smartwatch, often with wireless headphones or earbuds.
- Custom Watch Faces: Personalize your smartwatch’s appearance with a variety of watch faces, allowing you to tailor its look to match your style.
- Contactless Payments: Certain smartwatches extend support for contactless payment methods like Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay, streamlining secure transactions.
The Perks of Smartwatches
- Health and Fitness: Smartwatches promote a healthier lifestyle by tracking physical activity, monitoring vital signs, and offering insights into your well-being.
- Convenience: Stay connected and focused on the go, receiving and responding to notifications without the need to take out your phone.
- Productivity: Manage your schedule, set reminders, and gain quick access to information, enhancing your productivity throughout the day.
- Navigation: The presence of built-in GPS and map apps aids navigation, whether you’re driving, cycling, or hiking.
- Customization: Tailor your smartwatch to your preferences and style by selecting from various watch faces and downloading apps that elevate your daily life.
- Safety Features: Some smartwatches encompass safety features, including fall detection and emergency SOS calls, providing peace of mind to users and their loved ones.
Smartwatch Safety Measures
- Privacy Settings: Thoroughly review and adjust privacy settings to take charge of data collection and sharing. Be cautious about divulging sensitive personal information on your smartwatch.
- Firmware Updates: Regularly update your smartwatch’s firmware or software to ensure it’s fortified with the latest security patches.
- Secure Pairing: Guarantee the secure pairing of your smartwatch with your smartphone, implementing encryption and robust passwords for added protection.
- App Permissions: Exercise discretion when granting permissions to apps on your smartwatch, as they may access personal data that requires safeguarding.
- Physical Safety: Prevent mishaps by securely fastening the smartwatch band, particularly during physical activities that demand reliability and stability.
- Water Resistance: Be mindful of your smartwatch’s water resistance rating and adhere to depth guidelines when submerging it in water. This prevents potential damage due to moisture infiltration.
- Screen Protection: Consider safeguarding your smartwatch’s screen with a screen protector, offering defense against scratches and display damage.