Best smartwatches: top picks from our expert reviews

There’s a new best smartwatch in town. It’s been a busy year, and as 2021 approaches we feel the Apple Watch SE is the most easily recommendable smartwatch out there.
But it’s not right for everyone. There’s now a super group of smartwatches with key health features, such as the Apple Watch Series 6, Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 and Fitbit Sense that come with ECG, blood oxygen monitoring and even stress detection features.
Some people will want to pay more for these health features, while others will just want good value for money – but now there’s more personal choice than ever.
But smartwatches aren’t just getting better, they’re getting cheaper too.
Keep track using our list of upcoming smartwatches, but read below for the best from our tests.
Update: We updated this article in December 2020 with a array of new smartwatch reviews, including the Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro and new Amazfit watchesWhich smartwatch OS and platform is best?The Apple Watch has now migrated to watchOS 7, which brings a heap of new features including native sleep tracking – and users down to Series 3 can install the latest version. The Apple Watch App Store is also unrivalled in the wearables world.
Wear OS smartwatches (formerly known as Android Wear) haven’t reached the heights of the Apple Watch, but there are still some great options out there if you’re not too worried about fitness and health features, which are weaker than its rivals.
New options such as the Oppo Watch and TicWatch Pro 3 have pushed the capabilities of Wear OS – and join some slick hardware from the Fossil Group.
Samsung uses its own operating system called Tizen, and now Huawei has also split from Google Wear OS and uses its own Lite OS.
A custom OS may seem like a turn-off, but often they have huge benefits. Amazfit and Huawei smartwatches boast up to 14 days battery life – something the Apple Watch and Wear OS just can’t offer.
Health features explainedHealth features are now a major part of the smartwatch world – going beyond simple heart rate. Common smartwatch health metrics include:
High/low heart rate alerts ECG and detection of AfibSpO2 – blood oxygen spot checks or tracked automatically during sleep Blood pressure monitoringStress trackingHeart rate tracking – resting HR and heart rate variability (HRV)But if you don’t care about checking your blood oxygen or getting an Afib test via ECG, you can save a load of money just by choosing lesser versions.
Best smartwatch 2020: specs comparedPriceCase size
GPS/HRBattery OSApple Watch Series 6$399 (40mm)
40/44mm
Yes/Yes
1 day
watchOS 7
Apple Watch SE$279.99 (40mm)
40/44mm
Yes/Yes
1 day
watchOS 7Samsung Galaxy Watch 341mm: $39945mm: $429.9941/45mm
Yes/Yes
2 days
Tizen OS
Fitbit Sense$329.99
40mm
Yes/Yes
6 days
Fitbit OS
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2$299
40/44mm
Yes/Yes
2 days
Tizen OS
Garmin Venu$399.99
43mm
Yes/Yes
5 days
Garmin OS
Amazfit Bip S$69.99
42mm
Yes/Yes
15 days
Custom OS
Realme Watch$50
42mm
No/Yes
4 days
Custom OS
Amazfit Neo$39.99
40mm
No/Yes
28 days
Custom OS
Amazfit GTS 2/ GTR 2$179.99
41mm/47mm
Yes/Yes
14 days
Custom OS
Skagen Falster 3$299
42mm
Yes/Yes
1 day
Wear OS
Huawei Watch GT 2e$159.99
42/46mm
Yes/Yes
2 weeks
Lite OS
Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro$299.99
47mm
Yes/Yes
14 days
Lite OS
Oppo Watch $299.99
41/46mm
Yes/Yes
2 days
Wear OS
Garmin Venu Sq$199.99
40mm
Yes/Yes
6 days
Custom OS
Fossil Gen 5$295
46mm
Yes/Yes
1-2 days
Wear OS
Withings Steel HR Sport$199.95
40mm
No/Yes
5 days
N/A
Ticwatch Pro 3$299.99
45mm
Yes/Yes
2 days
Wear OS
MK Access Bradshaw 2
$350
44mm
Yes/Yes
1 day
Wear OS
Tag Heuer Connected 2020$1800
47mm
Yes/Yes
1 day
Wear OS
Best smartwatch 2020 – our reviews comparedWe’ve run down the pick of our smartwatch reviews, and distilled them into one read. However, read the full in-depth testing to make sure you’re getting the right device for your needs.
rev=”7283″ rel=”noopener”>rev=”7283″ rel=”noopener”>Credit: Wareablerev=”7283″ rel=”noopener”>rev=”7283″ rel=”noopener”>rev=”7283″ rel=”noopener”>Apple Watch SE key featuresrev=”7283″ rel=”noopener”>Works with iPhone onlyrev=”7283″ rel=”noopener”>18 hours battery (36 in testing)rev=”7283″ rel=”noopener”>LTE/4G options availablerev=”7283″ rel=”noopener”>Fitness trackingrev=”7283″ rel=”noopener”>Suitable for swimmingrev=”7283″ rel=”noopener”>Heart raterev=”7283″ rel=”noopener”>Apple Pay rev=”7283″ rel=”noopener”>Notifications, make/take callsrev=”7283″ rel=”noopener”>$279.99 (40mm) – rev=”7283″ rel=”noopener”>Official Apple Watch SE pageThe new Apple Watch SE has joined the Series 6, and is the first of a new line of Apple’s smartwatches – and it might just be our favorite.
It’s more affordable for sure, but don’t think of it as a cheap Apple Watch. It still costs $279.99 for the 40mm version, which makes it on the pricey side given the competition out there from Huawei and Amazfit.
The Series 3 is still available at $199.99 but now seems a poor compromise given the old shape and ageing internals – which mean it’s likely to lose out on future watchOS updates.
But the Apple Watch SE only makes a few compromises over the Series 6, which means it’s easy to recommend to the majority of people.
It’s easier to start with the features you don’t get: the always-on display, ECG and SpO2 tracking are all missing from the Apple Watch SE. And it only comes with aluminum case options.
But you still get the same screen tech, sizes, GPS, sports and fitness tracking, swim-proof design, LTE options, Apple Pay… all the stuff that makes the Apple Watch our favorite smartwatch to use day-to-day.
However, the single day battery life (we got up to around 36 hours) is still a major downside compared to rivals.
If you’re not bothered about the high-end health features, then the Apple Watch SE comes very highly recommended.
Read our full Apple Watch SE review.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3Credit: WareableSamsung Galaxy Watch 3 key features41mm/45mmTizen OSLTE versions available1.2-inch/1.4-inch display360 x 360 Super AMOLED247mAh/340mAh Exynos 9110 Dual core 1.15 GHzECGBlood pressure SpO2Sleep trackingHeart/rate VO2 maxFall detectionPrice when reviewed: $429.99 – Samsung official pageSamsung’s new flagship smartwatch returns to a more classic wristwatch style, with a big feature list and premium price tag.
It comes in 41mm and 45mm case sizes, so there should be something to suit everyone. The size has shrunk since the original Galaxy Watch, and it’s better for it, with a slim and light build that’s big on all-day wearability.
Both use AMOLED displays that show off the vibrant Tizen OS.There are stainless steel and black options in both sizes. However, the 45mm will come in black titanium, and the 41mm has a Mystic Bronze option too.It’s a classic looking smartwatch, with the rotating bezel returning to control the menu system, with its pleasing mechanical click. Key upgrades are ECG and blood pressure (the latter still isn’t certified for use in the US) and SpO2 tracking of blood oxygen. There’s also a new focus on VO2 max.
You’ll get a couple of days battery life with “normal” use, but it’s a shame that Tizen OS couldn’t muster the week-long battery we’ve seen on the Huawei Watch GT2e and Amazfit GTS 2.
We found some inaccuracies with the heart rate monitor, but we were impressed with the swimming tracking and the plethora of running metrics.
Of course, you’ll need to buy a replacement band as the standard leather strap isn’t best suited to getting sweaty.
We found the Galaxy Watch 3 to be a superb smartwatch and one of the best Apple Watch alternatives out there.
However, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 has been updated with some of the Galaxy 3’s best features, and retails for significantly less money.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 reviewSamsung Galaxy Watch Active 2Credit: WareableKey featuresWorks with Android and iOS40/44mm case sizeUp to 2 days battery life24/7 activity trackingECG Automatic sleep monitoringSwim trackingSpotify offline playlist supportSamsung PayPrice when reviewed: $279 – Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 product pageThe Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is a top sport-focused smartwatch, especially for Android smartphone users that can’t access the Apple Watch.
The Active 2 is smaller and cheaper compared to the Galaxy Watch 3 – and with a silicon strap it’s a more natural fit for sporty users.
With 40mm and 44mm size options, it will suit most wrists, and both have typical top-notch Samsung displays. It’s touchscreen but there’s a touch sensitive bezel to help navigate’s Samsung’s Tizen OS operating system.
It’s more of the same on the sports tracking and fitness tracking front, with a solid performing optical heart rate on board, built-in GPS and a new run coach to help you get moving faster and clocking up quicker times.
And it’s inherited new features from the Galaxy Watch 3 in a recent update. The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 now boasts fall detection, VO2 max, running coach and running dynamics. That’s on top of ECG and blood pressure monitoring as well.
Smartwatch features are solid too with notification support and impressive music features (offline Spotify playlists FTW). The selection of apps isn’t fantastic, but if you’re happy with the core experience, you might not need too many of those anyway.Battery life is also on-par with the Apple Watch, maxing out at about two days depending on what features you make use of.
In short, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 remains a top buy, even in the wake of Samsung’s flagship. And canny buyers will find plenty of deals, with it often appearing around $199.99.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 review.rel=”noopener”>rel=”noopener”>Credit: Wareablerel=”noopener”>rel=”noopener”>rel=”noopener”>Apple Watch Series 6 key featuresrel=”noopener”>Works with iPhones onlyrel=”noopener”>Always-on displayrel=”noopener”>ECG and SpO2rel=”noopener”>Available with GPS and GPS/LTErel=”noopener”>40/44mm case optionsrel=”noopener”>Optical heart rate sensorrel=”noopener”>Built-in GPSrel=”noopener”>Speaker and microphonerel=”noopener”>Waterproof up to 50 metersrel=”noopener”>Apple Payrel=”noopener”>$399 – rel=”noopener”>Official Apple Watch Series 6 pageThe Series 6 is absolutely the best Apple Watch, with the most features and high-end health tech.
It debuts the SpO2 sensor to keep an eye on blood oxygen saturation, and retains ECG for spot checking your heart rhythm for possible Afib. If that data doesn’t mean much to you, perhaps the Apple Watch SE is the smarter purchase.
At $399.99 for the 40mm model it’s pricier, but the always-on display also makes it worth choosing over the Apple Watch SE. If you’re into aesthetics, choosing a stainless steel Series 6 is a big visual step up over the aluminum.
Elsewhere, it’s the same story and it’s a minor upgrade from the Series 5. There’s GPS, sports tracking, 5ATM water resistance and all the key Apple Watch features. There’s also an always-on altimeter for you climbers and hikers.
The App Store is bustling with third party offerings, and if there’s something the Apple Watch doesn’t do, there’s usually an app for that.
Sadly, it’s also the same Apple Watch battery life story. Apple promises 18 hours, but we found around 36 hours. Of course that heavily depends on use. But using the Apple Watch for sleep tracking means you need to think about when to charge, and that’s now a problematic side to the Apple Watch.
In short, the Apple Watch Series 6 is the best version of the best smartwatch. But ask yourself how much you care about SpO2 and ECG. If you don’t, it’s only the stainless steel finishes and always-on display that makes the Series 6 worth the extra money.
Read our in-depth Apple Watch Series 6 review.
Fitbit SenseCredit: WareableFitbit Sense key featuresEDAECGTemperature monitoring1.58-inch display336 x 336 pixelsGoogle Assistant and AlexaGPS50m water resistance20+ sport tracking modes6 day battery lifeFast chargingPrice: $329.99 – Official Fitbit Sense specs pageA powerful health watch but an average smartwatch, the Fitbit Sense comes recommended for those that want as much health data as they can muster.
It excels as a sleep tracker and heart rate monitor, and it boasts ECG for detection of Afib, SpO2 which is linked to sleep tracking for detection of sleep disorders, an electrodermal activity sensor for stress detection and even a temperature sensor to put you in tune with your body and health.
Fitbit has put an added focus on its Fitbit Premium, so subscribers to the $79.99 a year service will get even more data.
Premium reveals a whole dashboard of new raw data called Health Metrics across all devices – but Sense leverages the most.
You get temperature and resting heart rate, breathing rate, oxygen saturation, and heart rate variability all shown in one screen.
A criticism is that there’s no analysis of this data, but if you love graphs in the Fitbit app, this is the motherlode.
There are few devices that put you in control of this much data about your body, and it’s perhaps the perfect device for these pandemic times, but there are caveats.
The Fitbit Sense has some annoying bugs and performance issues as a smartwatch, which we’re banking on being rectified via software updates. The touchscreen response can be laggy, and the wrist-raise is too slow.
But you do get around six days of battery life, a seriously rapid fast charge. And Fitbit Pay is on board if your bank supports it.
Read our in-depth Fitbit Sense review.
Fitbit Versa 3Credit: FitbitFitbit Versa 3 key featuresWorks with Android and iOS6 days battery 24/7 activity trackingAutomatic sleep monitoringSwim trackingAmazon Alexa smart assistantApps and customizable watch facesFitbit Pay$229.99 – Official Versa 3 specs pageA moderate update to the Fitbit Versa 2, the Versa 3 now plays second fiddle to the Fitbit Sense health watch.
But like the Apple Watch SE, there’s a lot to like if you don’t want those insights into ECG and Afib, stress and body temperature.
The Versa 3 has GPS added for the accurate tracking of outdoor workouts, which is the biggest addition. It also gets the excellent fast charging, which can add a day’s worth of battery life in just 10 minutes.
And you still get a week of battery life, which is truly excellent, and you also get the best of Fitbit’s core fitness tracking features.
That means top-notch sleep monitoring with a single sleep score, workout detection and heaps of sport profiles. That’s on top of the standard step, elevation and Active Zone Minutes.
And there’s still an SpO2 sensor on board that will keep tabs on blood oxygen as you sleep.
As a smartwatch it delivers notifications with aplomb, but you’re not getting the breadth of apps you’ll find on Apple Watch nor Wear OS.
But there is Fitbit Pay and you can choose between Alexa and Google Assistant voice controls from the wrist. We didn’t find that experience that useful, but if you’re a regular with smart home control then it might appeal.
It’s a good fitness-focused smartwatch, and the Fitbit app is one of the best places to keep tabs on your health.
Check out our full Fitbit Versa 3 review.
Huawei Watch GT2eCredit: WareableHuawei Watch GT2e key featuresWorks with Android and iOSRuns on Huawei’s Lite OS, not Wear OS42mm and 46mm modelsWaterproof up to 50 metersBuilt-in GPSBuilt-in music player (Android only)SpO2Stress tracking (Android only)Speaker and microphone15 sports tracking modesHeart rate monitor24/7 activity trackingTwo weeks battery (normal use)Price when reviewed: $169.99 – Huawei Watch GT2e product pageThe Huawei Watch GT2e doesn’t offer that much over its predecessor the GT2, bar a visual redesign that’s a little more sporty.
It runs Lite OS rather than Google’s Wear OS, but it’s a really capable smartwatch with some very smart fitness and wellness features, that comes recommended for users of Android smartphones in particular.
The 1.39-inch AMOLED display is bright and clear, and you get a bunch of sport profiles including swimming (thanks to 5ATM water resistance), cycling and an excellent running experience.
And that’s because the GT2e is actually really good for runners, thanks to loads of metrics, a clear screen, and Firstbeat’s VO2 Max and recovery stats.
The only downside is that due to a lack of third-party plug-ins, you can’t boot data out to Strava, and there are no other apps to use.
Battery life is excellent at 14 days, heart rate accuracy was good at moderate levels, and workouts are well tracked within the app.
Sleep tracking was also excellent, and Android smartphone users can benefit from native music storage and stress tracking too. For iOS users the app feels a little under-cooked and bare, and we’d proceed with caution.
And now finally the Huawei Watch GT2e is actually listed on Amazon US at a price of $160 – which makes it a good buy at this price. A no-brainer for Android users, but iOS people should pay a little more for the Apple Watch Series 3.
Read our Huawei Watch GT2e reviewHuawei Watch GT 2 ProCredit: WareableHuawei Watch GT 2 Pro key featuresWorks with Android and iOS454 x 454 AMOLED 1.39-inch displayCeramic back/titanium caseWaterproof up to 50 metersView notifications and music controls24/7 activity tracking/sleep trackingBuilt-in GPS and optical heart rate monitorSpO2$299.99 – Huawei official specs pageThe Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro brings the best of Huawei’s excellent value GT range of smartwatches, into a package that’s anything but cheap.
Boasting a titanium case and two strap options in the box (leather and silicon) combine for a weighty and premium feel that really oozes some class – and puts it right up there with the Galaxy Watch 3 in terms of style.
In terms of features there’s GPS, stress tracking, SpO2, guided workouts and a host of tracked sports. However, it’s not as smartly implemented as the Amazfit GTS 2, so many of these features require you to take a reading, not be tracked during sleep or when they’re most useful.
The app is also a little under-baked with no third party apps or integrations.
There’s no denying the Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro is a gorgeous and well-made smartwatch, but it’s double the price of the GT 2e and with same features and shortcomings.
Availability in the US is still patchy, but it’s available via resellers.
Read our full Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro review.
Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro – check priceAmazfit GTS 2 / GTR 2Amazfit GTS/R2 key featuresWorks with Android and iOSGTS 2: 41mm case, 348 x 442 AMOLEDGTR 2: 47mm, 454 x 454 AMOLEDWaterproof up to 50 metersView notifications and music controls24/7 activity tracking/sleep trackingBuilt-in GPS Optical heart rate monitorSpO2$179.99 – Amazfit official pageThese new Amazfits boast the same specs and features – but the new Amazfit GTS 2/GTR 2 give you the choice of designs to suit your style.
The Amazfit GTS 2 replaces former Wareable favorite the Amazfit GTS, with a 41mm case that’s pretty unisex. It houses a 348 x 442 AMOLED display, with a 341ppi density that does look the business.
The Amazfit GTR 2 gets a bigger makeover with a sleek new look. It has a bigger 47mm case, holding a 1.39-inch, 454 x 454 AMOLED touchscreen display.
The features sheet is superb for both devices, with a BioTracker 2 PPG heart rate monitor with SpO2, GPS and 5 ATM water resistance.
Fitness and health is big on the agenda, and weekly activity is judged by the PAI score. Keep it over 100 to ensure you’re getting enough exercise. And there’s also stress monitoring, too.
All this is underpinned by 14 days of battery life, although nearly every advanced feature impacts that figure. If you have all the continuous SpO2 and stress tracking enabled, plus advanced sleep monitoring, it will last three or four days. It’s nice that you have full control.
Everything is kicked out into the Zepp app, which is a bit of a work in progress. There’s lots of detail here, especially for sleep tracking and workout analysis. We like that you can hook up Strava for workouts
There are a few bugbears. Sleep tracking and heart rate aren’t as accurate as rivals, for starters, and some GPS runs came up a little short.
The price has also risen to $179.99, which is still good value, but doesn’t feel like the stunning bargain the predecessors did.
Read our full Amazfit GTS 2 and Amazfit GTR 2 reviews.
Amazfit Bip SCredit: WareableAmazfit Bip S key featuresWorks with Android and iOS42mm plastic caseAlways-on transflective displayWaterproof up to 50 metersView notifications and music controls24/7 activity tracking/sleep trackingBuilt-in GPS and optical heart rate monitorUp to 15 days battery life/22 hours GPS battery$69.99 – Official Amazfit Bip S specsAs a budget smartwatch the Bip S, offers a decent experience that makes its price tag particularly tempting.
The design and build is certainly not high grade with a basic transflective screen and plasticky body, but there’s something quite likeable about it. The smartwatch features are basic, but they work well.
But it also brings GPS, 5ATM water resistance with swim tracking and 10 sport profiles, as well as basic notifications, 24/7 heart rate and sleep data.
When you factor in the price you’re not getting anywhere near the same data and insights as Fitbit or Apple, but there’s plenty of data to check on, and most importantly, the basic stuff stacks up in terms of accuracy.
The only part that falls down is the heart rate tech, which faltered at moderate intensity.
However, sports and fitness tracking features in general do impress and the presence of GPS means it’s a decent performer when out for a run.
You’d be hard pressed to find a watch at this price than can offer what the Bip S does. It’s not perfect, but it’s a truly budget smartwatch we can recommend.
Read our full Amazfit Bip S review.
Oppo WatchCredit: WareableOppo Watch 41mm key featuresWorks with Android and iOSAvailable in 41mm and 46mm sizes (41mm tested)Runs on Wear OS and Color OSBuilt-in GPSOptical heart rate monitorGoogle Pay supportBuilt-in speaker and mic24 hours battery life$299.99 – Official Oppo Watch specsThe Oppo Watch has taken us by surprise, not only by being a delightful and competent debut from Oppo, but also a breath of fresh air for Wear OS.
Yes it’s an unashamed Apple Watch clone, but if you look beyond design there’s a lot to like.
Oppo has added its own skin and UI to the Wear OS experience, and replaced some of Google’s bland fitness apps with its own. That makes for a much nicer wearable experience, with a better balance of key features, including fitness tracking.
The Oppo Watch comes in 41mm and 46mm sizes, and we’ve only tested the 41mm so far. That’s missing a few features, including LTE.
Front and center is a 1.6-inch, 320 x 360 resolution AMOLED screen that offers bright, sharp surroundings and good visibility in bright light and when we took it for a dip in the pool.
It’s powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor, with 1GB of RAM and 8GB storage. While this is clearly a Wear OS watch, it feels unlike any we’ve used before and that’s actually a good thing.
It features GPS, swim tracking and plenty of workout modes, although again, heart rate data wasn’t too accurate so it’s not one for serious athletes.
Battery life of the smaller 41mm Oppo Watch also came in at 24 hours.
At $299 it’s pricey for what it delivers, and best suited for Android smartphone users that have been coveting the Apple Watch, but want to keep it in the Google family.
Read our full Oppo Watch review.
Skagen Falster 3Credit: WareableKey featuresWorks with Android and iOSRuns on Google Wear OS42mm case22mm interchangeable watch strapsGoogle PayBuilt-in GPSHeart rate monitorWaterproof designUp to 24 hours battery lifePrice when reviewed: $299 – Skagen Falster 3 product pageThe Falster 3 is the latest generation of smartwatch in one of our favorite smartwatch designs – and it’s now better than ever. It runs on Fossil Group’s Gen 5 platform – with Google’s Wear OS in the background – with an upgraded Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor, upgraded memory, water resistance and heart rate monitor. Battery life is still only 24 hours.
Despite the case size growing to 42mm (the Falster 2 was 40mm), it’s still one of the best looking smartwatches out there. A premium case with great looking (if fiddly) straps, the 1.3-inch AMOLED has grown too, so it’s easier to read and use. At 42mm we’d still consider it to be pretty unisex.The beauty of the Falster 3 is still its thinness, and at 11mm there are few devices that look and feel so sleek on the wrist.
Performance of the watch itself is great, although the accuracy of the heart rate sensor isn’t anywhere near good enough when working out. However, the design and strap are hardly suited to sweaty workouts – so this is one for general day-to-day wear.
The only real bugbear here is Wear OS. The platform is stagnating, with poor health and wellness features in particular, and it’s not an ecosystem we’d heartily recommend. But we love the Falster 3 design, so it gets the nod for those who care about style more than features.
Read our full Skagen Falster 3 review.
Garmin VenuCredit: WareableGarmin Venu key featuresiPhone and Android43mm case sizeDedicated sports tracking modes5ATM water resistanceHeart rate and Pulse OXGPSGarmin PayPrice when reviewed: $399.99 – Garmin Venu product pageGarmin’s first AMOLED smartwatch is still extremely sports-focused, with dedicated modes for running (indoor, outdoor, treadmill), cycling (indoor/outdoor), swimming (pool only thanks to 5ATM water resistance), golf, strength, cardio, elliptical, indoor rowing, yoga and more.
It’s really the same watch as the Vivoactive 4, but with a glossy 390 x 390, AMOLED touchscreen display for those tempted by the Apple Watch.
It’s a nice bit of kit and that screen is really punchy, making stats during runs in the dark easier to read, and notifications look crisp and sharp, too.
The fitness tracking experience is also excellent, and the Pulse Ox sensor adds more details to sleep tracking, helping feed into metrics like Body Battery and Stress Score.
You sacrifice some battery for the AMOLED screen, but you should still get five days of wear as a smartwatch, with one or two runs or workouts thrown in.
GPS lasts 8 hours – so significantly less than the Vivoactive – but this is no doubt the better looking watch for daily wear.
Read our full Garmin Venu review.
Garmin Venu SqCredit: WareableGarmin Venu Sq featuresFitness tracking and HR20 pre-loaded sport profilesGolf trackingStress monitoringBody BatterySpO2RespirationNotifications6 days battery life$199.99 – Official Venu SQ pageA budget version of the Garmin Venu full AMOLED smartwatch, but pared back with a significant price drop.
The standard version is just $199.99 but you can pay extra for the Garmin Venu Sq Music, which enables you to store tunes and offline sync various services including Spotify for $249.99The Venu Sq is pretty stripped back, and simply offers access to a number of Garmin sport profiles.
You get loads, with running and cycling on board with GPS as you’d expect, with yoga and even golf yardages in the mix.
Fitness tracking is also pretty on point, and the overview of your day is also packed with data including stress monitoring and Body Battery, which measures your energy levels and assesses when you need to take a break.
It is a very simple experience, however. There are few widgets to explore on the watch itself. A swipe down gives you the My Day overview, and the main button sends you to sport profiles. That’s it.
But it feeds plenty of data into the Garmin Connect app – and if you’re a keen athlete that’s looking for accurate sport tracking and compatibility with Spotify on the wrist, then don’t let the Venu Sq go under the radar.
Read our full Garmin Venu Sq review.
Realme WatchCredit: WareableRealme Watch key featuresWorks with Android phones only1.4-inch, 320 x 320 touchscreen displayHeart rate monitorSpO2 sensorConnected GPSView phone notifications7-9 days battery lifePrice when reviewed: $49.99 – Realme Watch product pageA bit of an outlier here given it scored a very average 3 stars in our review, but the Realme Watch’s $50 price tag makes it worthy of consideration – if you use an Android smartphone.
Not everyone is fortunate enough to find $200 price tags affordable, but if you’re willing to accept the limited screen and boxy design, there is good value here.
The 1.4-inch, 320 x 320 touchscreen color display is good but it doesn’t entirely fill up the space and had a large black surround – and it also lacks responsiveness when swiping. The Realme Watch is only splash-proof so you can’t take it in the shower, there’s no GPS and Android only.
That’s the limitations out of the way. What you do get is a capable fitness tracker, and the sleep monitoring stood up well too. And it even has an SpO2 that lets you spot check blood oxygen, although this isn’t done during sleep when it would be most useful.
There are 14 workout modes, and you can piggy-back your phone’s GPS if you want. The heart rate monitor stood up well in our tests, and was comparable to a chest strap in steady runs, although lost the plot during HIIT sessions.
And to top it all, we regularly managed 4 days of battery life.
The Realme Watch isn’t nearly as stylish, complete or functional as most rivals on this list – but if you’re trawling the horrible cheap options on Amazon wondering what to choose, you’re much better off here.
Read our Realme Watch review.
Amazfit NeoAmazfit Neo key featuresWorks with Android phones only1.2-inch STN displayActivity and sleep trackingHeart rate monitorSports tracking modesPhone notifications alerts28 day battery lifePrice when reviewed: $39.99 – Amazfit Neo official pageThe most basic smartwatch on this list, the Amazfit Neo isn’t even a rival to the likes of the Apple Watch – but that doesn’t stop it being a delightful option.
Styled like a 90s Casio digital watch, the Amazfit Neo still offers a heart rate monitor, activity and sleep tracking smarts – all for just $35.Paired up to your smartphone it will deliver message and app notifications – but just lets you know you have something to read.However, the retro design, decent features and fantastic price all combine for something really pleasing. It makes a great present or gift – and there’s loads to like.
Read our review of the Amazfit Neo.
Fossil Gen 5 SmartwatchCredit: WareableFossil Gen 5 Smartwatch key featuresWorks with Android and iOS44mm caseSilicone, stainless steel & leather straps3 ATM (Swim-proof) water resistanceQualcomm Snapdragon Wear 31008GB storage/1GB RAMBuilt-in speaker to make callsNFC for Google Pay24 hours battery Price when reviewed: $295 – Fossil Gen 5 product pageFossil Group may be holding the umbrella over a bunch of fashion houses producing smartwatches, but that doesn’t mean it’s not competing in the arena itself. And with its fifth-generation smartwatches, it’s setting the standard for what all of the watches it launches are capable of.
The Carlyle HR and Julianna HR are the successors to the Explorist HR and the Venture HR watches that still come in a host of bold, 44mm sized case options.
Everything we got on the Fossil’s Gen 4 watches is here again, including built-in GPS, heart rate monitor, a swim-proof design and Google Pay to make contactless payments. A speaker has now been added into the mix letting you play music sans headphones, hear Google Assistant responses and make calls from your wrist.
Adding in a speaker isn’t a groundbreaking addition by any stretch of the imagination, but it does swell the already decent smart capabilities of Fossil’s watches.
The Julianna and Carlyle HR are some of the best looking Wear OS watches you can get, and the Gen 5 builds on all the good stuff that Fossil has already achieved with a platform that still needs some refining.
Read our Fossil Gen 5 Smartwatch reviewWithings Steel HR SportCredit: WareableWithings Steel HR Sport key featuresWorks with Android and iOS40mm sizeFeatures OLED sub-displayConnected GPSHeart rate monitorVO2 Max estimatesPhone notification supportUp to 25 days battery lifePrice when reviewed: $199.95 – Withings Steel HR Sport product pageThe majority of smartwatches in our list have been full-screen devices, but the Withings Steel HR Sport approaches things a little differently – yet is still a powerful connected watch in a package that weighs just 49g.
The analogue display shows the time on the main dial (with a month of battery) and progress towards your step goal on the second dial – but there’s so much more going on than this.
The Withings Steel HR Sport has a 24/7 heart rate monitor that will keep tabs on VO2 Max, and it will pair up with a smartphone to track outdoor workouts via GPS, although the tech isn’t built into the watch itself. It’s also swimproof to 50m and can track basic swim stats.
What’s more, Withings Health Mate app is one of the best out there for keeping tabs on all your assorted health data.
It’s no slouch as a connected watch, either, and will alert you to notifications on your smartphone using vibrations and the tiny OLED screen build into the bezel. This is capable of offering quick and fairly crude alerts, but can show you when a message/call/calendar alerts are coming through using quick icons.
It’s a stripped back smartwatch experience but one that’s packed into a stylish, small and comfortable hybrid that doesn’t make as many compromises as you’d think.
Take a look at our Withings Steel HR reviewTicWatch Pro 3Credit: WareableTicWatch Pro 3 key featuresRuns on Google Wear OSSnapdragon 4100Works with Android and iOS1.4-inch 454×454 AMOLED22mm interchangeable strapsDual-layer displayGoogle PayBuilt-in GPS and heart rate monitor2 days battery life (smartwatch mode), 30 days battery life (basic watch mode)$299.99 – Official Ticwatch Pro 3 specsWe’ve seen two TicWatch Pro smartwatches this year, but the new Pro 3 is the one to watch.
It’s the first Wear OS device we’ve seen to run the new Snapdragon Wear 4100, which nukes complaints about performance and also means you’ll get two days of battery life.
The TicWatch Pro 3 uses a dual display, with the generous 1.4-inch 454×454 AMOLED overlaid by a basic low-power FSTN monochrome one that displays the time when you’re not using the watch.
In terms of health sensors, there’s a few onboard. SpO2 means you can spot check blood oxygen and there’s a warning app for noisy environments.
There are sports tracking modes, but we did find accuracy issues in running and swimming. If you’re not focusing on workouts you can ignore this, but at the price point of $299.99 there are plenty of comparable smartwatches that can get workouts right.
If you’re looking for a Wear OS watch with top performance, this is a key highlight for the 2020 holiday season.
Tag Heuer Connected 2020Credit: WareableTag Heuer Connected 2020 key features1.39-inch, 454 x 454 pixel (326ppi) OLED display47mm caseWear OSQuick-change strap24 hour battery lifeGPSHeart rate monitorPrice when reviewed: $1800 – Tag Heuer Connected official pageTag Heuer has, once again, absolutely nailed the physical aspect of its smartwatch, with a superb build and design; and has kept Google’s smartwatch OS in the background just enough.It’s big and chunky, and built for those who love over-sized watches, with a 47mm case housing a 1.39-inch, 454 x 454 pixel (326ppi) OLED display that is, as you’d expect, super clear and seems to almost sit on top of the scratch-resistant sapphire crystal screen.For the first time Tag Heuer adds a heart rate monitor, along with a decent sports app that, like its Golf app, shows the company is really taking the experience of its smartwatch just as seriously as the design.It’s really easy switch between straps and digital faces, making the transformation from fashion statement to fitness tracker a cinch. The trouble with Wear OS is it hasn’t evolved quickly enough and, as such, has been left miles behind Apple’s watchOS.
Of course the Tag Heuer Connected 2020 is expensive, but it’s a well-built high-end watch from Tag Heuer – what did you expect? It’s a beautifully designed and built smartwatch that’s in a league of its own. Wear OS does hold it back, but we’d figure that for those who can afford this watch, the choice is more than about the tech.

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