The historic calculator watch has been around since the 1970s, but smartwatches have arrived and they have finally reached the point that they’re… well…. smart. From running apps, to displaying smartphone notifications, to monitoring your heart rate, the latest crop of smartwatches do a lot more than just tell time. But which one should you buy? We’ve rounded up our top-rated options to help you decide.
Pros: Always-on display. Excellent fitness tracking and heart rate monitoring accuracy. WatchOS 6 brings useful new apps. Smooth performance.
Cons: Expensive. No built-in sleep tracking. Battery life remains the same.
Bottom Line: The Apple Watch Series 5 doesn’t feature any drastic changes, but an always-on display makes the best smartwatch you can buy even better.
Pros: Attractive AMOLED screen with always-on option. Long battery life. Lots of useful apps and fitness features. Fitbit Pay. Amazon Alexa.
Cons: Screen isn’t quite as bright as the original model. Alexa responses are text only.
Bottom Line: The Fitbit Versa 2 takes everything we like about the original smartwatch and adds an always-on AMOLED display, a microphone for Amazon Alexa, and Fitbit Pay.
Pros: Built-in cellular connectivity. Improved heart rate monitoring. Faster processor. Clear call quality. New band and case options.
Cons: Expensive. LTE drains battery rapidly.
Bottom Line: Apple adds cellular connectivity and doubles down on fitness features with the Watch Series 3, but it comes at a price.
Pros: Vibrant screen. Changeable straps. Safe for swimming. Excellent battery life. Smart notifications. Built-in GPS and NFC. Pandora integration. Open SDK for app developers.
Cons: Expensive. Thick bottom bezel. Case easily scratches.
Bottom Line: The Fitbit Ionic is an ambitious and promising smartwatch with a focus on fitness and accurate tracking, but its success will depend on the growth of its app ecosystem.
Pros: Runs Qualcomm Wear 3100. Includes GPS and heart rate monitor. Accurate fitness tracking. Lightweight, stylish case.
Cons: New processor doesn’t make a huge difference in performance.
Bottom Line: The Fossil Sport smartwatch combines the latest Google Wear OS hardware and software in a comfortable, functional design.
Pros: Lasts up to five days on a single charge. Crisp AMOLED screen. Rotating bezel. Accurate heart rate monitor. Resistant to dust and water.
Cons: Expensive. 46mm version is chunky. Fitness tracking accuracy not up to par in testing.
Bottom Line: The attractive Samsung Galaxy Watch has better battery life and is easier to use than most smartwatches, but its fitness tracking features aren’t up to par.
Pros: Continuous heart rate monitoring. Built-in GPS and Android Pay compatibility. Accurate step and distance tracking. Good battery life.
Cons: Strap feels chintzy and isn’t easy to swap out. Difficult to keep track of long-term fitness progress. Wi-Fi can be finicky.
Bottom Line: The Huawei Watch 2 features excellent fitness tracking capabilities and is the strongest showcase for Android Wear 2.0 we’ve seen so far, but that still doesn’t make it a perfect smartwatch.