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Best smartwatches in 2021: Top wearable technology for your wrist

September 7th, 2021 at 4:59 PM
Best Smartwatch 2018

Nowadays, it doesn’t mean much if your watch can only tell you 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.

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 lightweight smartwatches: Amazfit Bip U Pro

Best lightweight smartwatch
Amazfit Bip U Pro Smart Watch Image source: Amazfit/Amazon

Pros: Incredibly lightweight, 9-day battery life

Cons: Sleep monitoring not consistent

Getting the Amazfit Bip U Pro Smart Watch gives you a ton of technology on your wrist. This has Amazon Alexa built in and helps you control your smart home devices. It only weighs 31 grams, so you’ll barely even remember you have one of the best smartwatches on your hand. This helps when you are tracking physical activity or even doing lower active activities. It gives you precise tracking on your distance, step counting, and calories burned.

There is integrated GPS and GLONASS to keep tabs on where you are. The battery life is nine days on a single charge, so you won’t have to worry about constantly charging it. It will accurately track heart rate, blood oxygen levels, stress levels, breathing, quality of sleep, and sleep patterns. Plus, you’ll get notifications if you’re getting a phone call or a text is coming in.

Key Features:

  • Precise tracking on your distance
  • Tracks heart rate and blood oxygen levels
  • Integrated GPS and GLONASS
Amazfit Bip S Lite Smartwatch Fitness Watch with Heart Rate, Sleep Monitor, Sports Watch with 1… Price:$49.99 Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Best for use with apps: Apple Watch Series 6

Apple Watch Series 6 Display
Closeup of Apple Watch Series 6. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Pros: Health tracking options are top notch,

Cons: Stainless steel model only in cellular version

You probably know a lot about the Apple Watch Series 6. If not, you’ll have to check out our review of it. Choosing the GPS + cellular model opens up so much more for your watch. You’ll be able to field phone calls and text messages when you’re not connected to Bluetooth. This has apps for almost any kind of option, including fitness, health, banking, sports, and more. The Always-On Retina display is 2.5x brighter outdoors when your wrist is down.

This is up to 20% faster than the Series 5, giving you plenty of ways to utilize it. You can see trends on your Fitness app. Measuring your blood oxygen level is new with this. It also has an altimeter that is always on, so you’ll know your elevations if you’re a hiker. This is pricey and can be hard to get, but it is worth it.

Key Features:

  • Always-On Retina display
  • Altimeter for altitude
  • Follow trends on the Fitness app
Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS + Cellular, 40mm) - Gold Aluminum Case with Pink Sand Sport Band List Price:$499.00 Price:$434.05 You Save:$64.95 (13%) Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Best smartwatches for fitness: Fitbit Versa 3

Best smartwatches for fitness
Fitbit Versa 3 Image source: Fitbit/Amazon

Pros: PurePulse 2.0 for heart rate, operates at 28,000 feet

Cons: Does not measure stress or high heart rate well

Fitbit has become a household name in the past 10 years. The Fitbit Versa 3 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 over six days. There is built-in GPS, so you don’t have to pay for that. Keeping track of your fitness with the Active Zone Minutes gauges exercise effort. You can see your nightly blood oxygen levels at a glance.

You can take Bluetooth calls hands-free, thanks to the built-in mic and speaker. This will play music from Deezer and Pandora. It has Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant technology. The Fitbit app is easy to use and navigate. Set bedtime reminders and alarms with this.

Key Features:

  • Takes Bluetooth calls hands-free
  • Deezer and Pandora
  • Active Zone Minutes
Fitbit Versa 3 Health & Fitness Smartwatch with GPS, 24/7 Heart Rate, Alexa Built-in, 6+ Days B… Price:$228.49 Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Best waterproof smartwatch: TicWatch E2

Best waterproof watch
TicWatch E2 Image source: TicWatch/Amazon

Pros: Can go up to 50 meters underwater, connects to apps with Google store

Cons: Not as much storage as other models, does not have a speaker

For those of you who are big swimmers, the TicWatch E2 is a great option. This will help you track your fitness stats while you’re swimming. It is waterproof up to 50 meters underwater. It features 24-hour hear rate monitor and built-in GPS. You’ll be able to sync it up with your phone easily. That will help you stay on track with your fitness goals with TicMotion.

The battery life lasts for more than two days. You can see who’s calling you without having to break out your phone. This is one of the best smartwatches to use for apps like Uber, Spotify, Facebook Messenger, and more. Change the background and face of the watch as well as the strap for more customization.

Key Features:

  • Battery life lasts for more than two days
  • Change the background and face
  • TicMotion
TicWatch E2 smartwatch with Built-in GPS 5ATM Waterproof 24h Heart Rate Monitoring Wear OS by G… Price:$159.99 Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Easiest to charge: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

Easiest to Charge
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 face. Image source: Samsung/Amazon

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 this comes with this has a wide capability for charging. The VO2 max readings will asses 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.

Key Features:

  • Access to Google Assistant and Bixby
  • Stream YouTube music
  • Automatically recognizes six common activities
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4  40mm Smart Watch LTE - Pink Gold  (US Version) with SAMSUNG Wireless… List Price:$359.98 Price:$335.98 You Save:$24.00 (7%) Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Chris Hachey handles e-commerce and sponsored content for BGR. He has worked as an editor and writer for over a decade for various publications and distribution services. He focuses on consumer products to help you find the best of what's on the market. When he's not searching for the top deals, he's likely watching his favorite sports teams or walking around his hometown with his fiancée and his dog.

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