Nowadays, it doesn’t mean much if your watch can only tell you the time. While masterfully crafted watches will always be timeless (no pun intended), most people these days prefer to rely on a smartwatch. That’s because a smartwatch can do so much more than tell time. Some of them will track your fitness, show you where to go, answer a phone call or a text, or pay for your groceries. You can even have one that scans your boarding pass before vacation, so you don’t need a holder. Smartwatches are the future and, quite honestly, the present too.
There are so many choices on the market that you may be struggling to figure out which one is the best for you. That’s what we’re here to help with. We’ll break down the features of some of the best smartwatches to assist you in picking one. Take a look at our choices and do more with your watch.
Best overall: Apple Watch Series 7
Pros: Thinner bezels on the display, faster charging
Cons: No aluminum colors that you saw in Series 6 are available
By now, you know a lot about the latest Apple Watch. There were a decent amount of changes made to the Apple Watch Series 7, even if it looks a lot like the Apple Watch Series 6. It does have thinner bezels on the display and the always-on display is up to 70% brighter indoors. You’ll be able to read the watch from almost any angle. The display is a bit bigger as well, giving you a little bit more to focus on when you look down.
The chip is the same as the Series 6 as are the heart rate monitor, the ECG sensor, and the blood oxygen sensor. But what makes it the best overall is that, among other updates, this charges faster than previous models. It will charge 33% more quickly than the Series 6. Also, the watchOS8 software boasts some newer features. It has combined the Breathe and the Reflect functions into one called Mindfulness, which will help you refocus on the day. The screen is now big enough to type on a full keyboard on the watch. There are also two different watch faces.
Best lightweight smartwatch: Amazfit T-Rex Pro Smart Watch
Pros: Incredibly lightweight, 18-day battery life
Cons: Step and mile counter aren’t as accurate as you may want
Getting the Amazfit T-Rex Pro Smart Watch gives you a ton of technology on your wrist. This is a rugged watch that is still very lightweight. We love it because it only weighs 60g and it has passed 15 military-grade tests. There is a 1.3″ HD AMOLED always-on color screen and this can brave the elements. It is a high-level exploration partner with a battery life that lasts up to 18 days with light usage and 9 days with heavier usage. This is supporting four global satellite systems to keep you on track.
There are over 100 different sports modes to monitor heart rate, calories burned, movement speed, and more critical data. It’s also great for getting notifications and taking or making phone calls. It is 10 ATM waterproof and can be used in up to 100 meters of water. Even know what current state the moon is in with a glance of your watch. You will have to keep an eye on your step tracker, as it may not come across as accurately as possible. Some have complained it doesn’t track steps enough.
Best smartwatch for fitness: Fitbit Charge 5
Pros: Health Metrics dashboard, built-in GPS
Cons: Can’t store and play music, requires Fitbit Premium membership to get the most out of it
Fitbit has become a household name in the past 10 years. The Fitbit Charge 5 is a top option when it comes to measuring your fitness. It measures your heart rate 24/7 and has a battery that will last up to seven days. There is built-in GPS, so you don’t have to pay for that. It’s our pick for the best for fitness because keeping track of your fitness with the Active Zone Minutes gauges exercise effort. It has a Health Metrics dashboard that shows you heart rate variability, SpO2, skin temperature variation, and more. You’ll need to have a Fitbit Premium membership to access those kinds of metrics, however.
You can take Bluetooth calls hands-free, thanks to the built-in mic and speaker. There is an on-wrist EDA sensor that can let you improve any stress levels with a mindfulness session. You can optimize your workout routines by looking at the Daily Readiness Score. It is two times brighter than the Charge 4. But, you won’t be able to store music on this, so you’ll need to bring your own tunes for your workouts.
Best smartwatch for sleep monitoring: TicWatch E3
Pros: 24-hour heart rate monitoring, includes sleep and stress tracking
Cons: Bulky, only can send texts or make calls if you have an Android
For those of you who are interested in how well you’re sleeping, the Ticwatch E3 Smart Watch is a solid choice. This features an updated chipset, thanks to the Wear OS by Google and the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 Platform and Mobvoi dual processor system. It allows you to track health data for family members on the Mobvoi app. You’ll be able to monitor your heart rate for 24 hours as well as track sleep and stress, blood oxygen levels, saturation detection, and more. It really does a great job of keeping track of how you’re sleeping.
There are more than 100 professional workout modes, allowing you to pick what you need. Mountain climbing, swimming, ice skating, indoor cycling, and high-intensity interval training are just a few you can monitor. NFC payments support Google Pay from this. It features a battery-saving mode and some people have gotten over 24 hours of battery life on a single charge. You will only be able to make phone calls and texts from the watch if you have an Android phone.
Easiest to charge: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
Pros: Tracks sleep well, accurate ECG monitoring
Cons: Battery won’t last as long as other models
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is fantastic for Android users. This gives you the option to choose either a Bluetooth or a cellular option, providing you with flexibility. It also can come with a wireless charger, allowing you a place to charge your watch and earbuds. The sleep tracker feature works well to help you reach your wellness goals. It will automatically recognize six different common activities to measure your exercise sessions. You can set it up to track other ones too.
The charger that comes with this has a wide capability for charging. The VO2 max readings will assess your blood oxygen levels to make sure you’re healthy. You can stream YouTube music and access Google Assistant and Bixby with this. Pay for items with this as well. You will need to make sure your battery is charged frequently, as the battery life isn’t as long as other options. But because of the charging pad, it is easier to do. It is offered in 40mm and 44mm, depending on your wrist size.
More Apple Coverage: Check out all you need to know about the Apple Watch Series 8!