It can be tough to choose from the best smartwatches for you when there are now such a wealth of options from fitness trackers to what are essentially computers you attach to your wrist.
Thankfully, that also means there’s a variety of smartwatches to cater to all tastes. Some have round displays, some are square, while some work best with Apple devices and others pair best with Android. With customizable bands, different watch faces and more, the best smartwatch options are also endlessly customizable. We’ve picked out our favorites of the current crop, with the likes of Apple, Fitbit, and Garmin represented.
Looking to shave some time off your regular run? We’ve got GPS-focused watches that perfectly track your steps and location. Want to track your heart rate or take an electrocardiogram? We’ve got those, too. Prefer to leave your phone at home and just roam? Yep, we’ve got those smartwatches, too. And many of these smartwatches are compatible with the best smartphones too.
So whatever your preference for style, operating system, or budget, you’ll find the best smartwatch for you below.
1. Apple Watch Series 7: Best smartwatch overall
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The Apple Watch Series 7 may cost more than the majority of options on this list, but it does offer the widest feature set thanks to its integration into iOS. Your existing apps likely have Apple Watch versions, it writes exercise data straight to your Health app, and it has its own version of the App Store which means adding new functionality is a breeze.
That symbiotic relationship is a double-edged sword, though, as the Apple Watch requires an iPhone for setup, and while you don’t have to have an iPhone to use it as a standalone device, you’ll get much more out of it if you do.
The Series 7 adds a bigger screen that spills over onto the casing, and improves fall detection. With watch faces that can be customized with widgets and plenty of sensors to track things like workouts, heart rate and blood oxygen, there’s a lot to like.
Sadly, the battery life remains the Apple Watch’s achilles heel. Even with the always-on display turned off, you’ll need to charge it every day and a half.
2. Fitbit Versa 2: Best smartwatch for fitness
While more traditionally associated with dedicated fitness trackers, the Fitbit Versa 2 is a full-blown smartwatch… and an excellent one at that. This second iteration comes with some quality of life improvements and some upgrades to the hardware that we greatly appreciate. For one thing, Fitbit has finally upgraded the screen to an AMOLED display, which means the brightness woes of older Fitbits should finally be a thing of the past.
Alexa is supported on the Fitbit Versa 2 as well, so you can use voice controls for many of the features while also asking her a joke when you get bored during your morning run. You can also choose the option for always on display if you’d prefer, though that will hamper the impressive battery life, which can go for up to five days.
Due to the fitness tracker heritage, the Fitbit Versa 2 has an avalanche of health and fitness features including heart rate monitoring, GPS, sleep tracking, menstruation tracking, and more. Alexa can also be used to start tracking for specific workouts, which is super convenient.
- Read the Fitbit Versa 2 review
3. Samsung Galaxy Watch: Best Android smartwatch
While some smartwatches like to put their technological side on display, the Samsung Galaxy Watch instead seeks to ape the design of more traditional watches to stunning effect. There are no gaudy neon colors or plastics here - instead, you get a sleek metallic finish and even an AMOLED digital watch face that looks like a standard watch most of the time - until you need the smart features, that is.
It’s not all about looks though, as the Samsung Galaxy Watch has a host of clever tech inside it including a heart rate monitor, sleep tracker, and calories counting, along with the ability to track your progress during 39 different workout types. The battery life is excellent too, with the 46mm version lasting four days on a single charge.
Sadly, the lack of popular apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger let the Samsung Galaxy Watch down. Still, if you’re not bothered about chatting via your wrist, this is one spectacular looking smartwatch.
- Read the Samsung Galaxy Watch review
4. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2: Best Android fitness smartwatch
While Samsung already has this smartwatch thing covered with the Galaxy Watch, it also has a more fitness focused smartwatch in the form of the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2. Much like the normal Galaxy Watch, it comes in two sizes (40mm and 44mm) with both normal and LTE versions available. So what separates this from its standard cousin?
Staying true to its fitness tracker goals, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 looks more like a fitness tracker than a traditional watch, with a simple aluminium finish and very little in the way of decoration. It’s still packing a Super AMOLED screen though, which is encased in Gorilla Glass to protect it should you take a tumble while running. There are a ton of health and fitness tracking options, though the ECG feature that Samsung talked up still hasn’t been enabled (for legal reasons).
The workout tracking modes are great for keeping tabs on your exercises, but they do drain the battery quite quickly, so keep an eye out for that. Much like the normal Galaxy Watch, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is also thin on apps when compared to the Apple Watch.
- Read the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 review
5. Tag Heuer Connected 2020: Best designer smartwatch
If you’re interested in picking up a smartwatch but you don’t want to let go of the classic styling that traditional watches have offered for so long, the Tag Heuer Connected is the answer to your problems… if you can afford it. This is one of the most expensive smartwatches on the market, but you get what you pay in terms of build quality, styling, and the Tag name.
The design is classic and at a glance you could easily mistake this for a standard Tag watch, especially because of the watch face screens which imitate real watch faces rather than showing a digital display. There are also some excellent sports tracking apps that work in conjunction with the Tag Heuer app. Golf anyone?
Despite that epic price tag, there are a few downsides. The battery will only last for a single day on a full charge, so much like the Apple Watch you’ll need to recharge this every day. We’d also like to have seen more health tracking options.
- Read the Tag Heuer Connected 2020 review
6. Fossil Q Venture HR: Best looking smartwatch
Fossil is good at creating watches – and always has been. That’s why it’s no surprise that it’s teamed up with lots of high-end fashion names to brand their own smartwatches, including Michael Kors and Emporio Armani. But Fossil has also brought out a smartwatch range of its own – and it’s just as good, but much cheaper.
The first thing you’ll notice about this smartwatch is how nice it looks. It has a metal body, which comes in a range of colors, and an option for different styles of bezel, as well as customizable straps. But it’s not just a pretty face, it’s also slick and intuitive to use, with a high-resolution 1.19-inch AMOLED display.
The Q Venture HR is running on Wear OS and boasts a lot of great features, including a heart rate sensor, standalone GPS and support for Apple Pay, as well as many of the other additions you’d expect with Wear OS, including an alarm clock, calendar and alerts. This model has an NFC chip too, which means you can set up Android Pay.
7. Withings Steel HR Sport: Best hybrid smartwatch
If you care about the style of your smartwatch, you can’t go wrong with the classic-looking Withings Steel HR Sport – although it does have a silicone strap to ensure it’s gym-friendly.
This smartwatch is what’s called a ‘hybrid’ smartwatch, which means it looks like a traditional watch but has some smart features built-in – there are no super bright LED screens to wow you here.
Built for those who care just as much about fitness tracking as wearing the latest smartwatch, it boasts some cool features that aren’t in every smartwatch, including multi-sport tracking (of more than 30 activities), heart rate monitoring and VO2 max estimation.
It’s also very good at tracking sleep, differentiating between deep and light sleep, as well as providing you with a ‘sleep score’ each night.
If you’re not fussed about fitness, check out the similar Withings Steel HR, with less sporty features and a more minimal approach to smartwatch design.
8. TicWatch E2: Best on a budget
If you’re not entirely convinced by a smartwatch, you don’t want to spend a fortune on one. Luckily, Mobvoi has a great range of TicWatch watches that may not be cheap, but they’re a little more affordable for most people.
The E2 is one of the brand’s latest smartwatches with everything you’d expect from a capable smartwatch and fitness tracker rolled into one. It can keep tabs on a range of exercises and it’s 5 ATM water resistant, so it’s just as at home in the pool as it is at the gym. It also has built-in GPS, which means it’s good for runners.
9. Huawei Watch 2: Best sports-look watch
One of the older models on the list, Huawei has since launched a newer smartwatch called the GT. But it does away with Wear OS, which means this version is actually our favorite.
It’s great for those who like the look of sporty watches but need some added smarts. In that way it’s not as slick as modern-looking smartwatches, like the Apple Watch, or stylish ones, like the Fossil range, but it’s fairly understated and bound to suit most people.
It comes with optional 4G connectivity, which means it’ll work well without your phone – ideal for those who run or workout outdoors. Speaking of working out, this is a decent fitness tracking smartwatch with a heart rate monitor, GPS and some built-in workouts.
The only downside to the watch, if you like the look of it that is, is that the display can feel a little small. Especially when you want to take a quick glance at messages or workout stats.
10. Fossil Sport: Best for style and fitness
One of our favorite smartwatches for those who want to track fitness, the Fossil Sport is another great design from the watch experts at Fossil. It has a light and comfy design, which makes it a perfect workout companion, and you can switch out different wristbands easily.
It’s a great fitness option because it has an accurate heart rate monitor and built-in GPS, It’s also swim-proof to a depth of 50 meters and the silicone strap it comes with makes it ideal for dealing with both water and sweat.
The design of the Fossil Sport is like a small stopwatch, with little dials sticking out at the side a little more than you’d get on a regular watch - this is bound to be appealing to some people, but not everyone. It also isn’t as capable as some of the higher end smartwatches on the list, but for lightweight fitness it’s perfect.