You will need to consider many factors when shopping for the best smartwatch for your needs, especially since it will likely be attached to your wrist 24/7. Some of those factors include whether you want a model with an emphasis on fitness (sleep tracking, a heart rate monitor) versus other smart features (like working well with third-party apps), your preferred watch shape, and the system. operating system you use. you want (Android vs. iOS).
But that only scratches the surface. A smartwatch should be able to offer everything from heart rate monitoring and activity tracking to GPS tracking and smart notifications. Some smartwatches can even be used for contactless payments. They should work perfectly with smartphone notifications. And regardless of whether you are an Android or iOS user, you should be able to get the most out of your portable device.
We’ve rounded up the best smartwatches based on function, price, and compatibility to help you decide which one is right for you.
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The Apple Watch Series 6 may be the most expensive on our list, but it’s the gold standard when it comes to smartwatches. It has all the smartwatch features that we loved from its predecessors, plus some new perks like an ever-brighter screen and a new sensor that measures blood oxygen levels. It is now also the only Apple smartwatch with an electrocardiogram (also called an ECG or EKG) app.
The biggest disadvantages of the Apple Watch: It is only compatible with iPhone and has a shorter battery life than most of its competitors.
Read our Apple Watch Series 6 review.
If you’ve never owned an Apple Watch, this is the one to get. The Apple Watch SE is a cheaper alternative to the Series 6 with many of the same great features, plus a slightly longer battery life. Aside from the additional health sensors (ECG and SpO2), the most notable difference between the two is that the SE doesn’t have an always-on display. But you probably won’t miss out if you’ve never had this feature.
Read our Apple Watch SE review.
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The Versa 3 is compatible with iOS and Android phones and allows you to choose between Alexa or Google Assistant as your voice assistant. It doesn’t offer all the smart apps and features like some of its competitors, but it’s a complete smartwatch with plenty of health and fitness features to keep you on the go, like built-in GPS and live heart rate zone notifications. It’s the best sleep tracker on this list and it even gives you a breakdown of your SpO2 data and body temperature overnight (Fitbit Premium users). Battery life is better than most, too – I have about four full days (and nights) of use with the screen always on.
Read more about Fitbit Versa 3.
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The Active 2 offers almost all of the same features as the new Galaxy Watch 3, including an ECG and fall detection app, for about half the price. It’s not as flashy as the Watch 3 with its physical rotating bezel and thicker frame, but it’s less bulky and more comfortable to wear at night and during workouts. The Active 2 handles calls, texts, and app notifications, and offers Spotify support, as well as all the basic fitness features you’ll need. You can also get an LTE edition of this smartwatch, which can take calls on the go without your Android phone around.
Read our review of the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2.
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If you’re looking for a fitness-focused watch without too many distractions, that works with both Android and iOS, the Garmin Venu Sq is the watch for you. It has a built-in GPS, many training options to choose from, and a wealth of data about your training, such as heart rate zones and running dynamics, in the mobile app.
It also works as a health tracker with high and low heart rate alerts, comprehensive sleep analysis, and SpO2 tracking. Measures blood oxygen levels on demand, or automatically during the day and night, like the latest Apple Watch Series 6, but for half the price. But you commit to design. The watch has a plastic frame and the display is not as large or vibrant as some of the other watches on the list.
Read our Garmin Venu Sq.
Vanessa Hand Orellana / CNET
If you’re looking to get more value for your money, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better deal than the Amazfit Bip S. This $ 70 smartwatch is compatible with Android and iOS devices and ticks most of the boxes when it comes to features: sensor sensor. heart rate, always-on display, built-in GPS tracking, and the best battery life of any device on this list. You can get up to 40 days of use on one charge, or roughly two weeks of heavy use with GPS on and brightness high (a time that is still above the rest).
However, you may need to make some sacrifices when it comes to aesthetics, as it has a plastic casing and the screen is not as bright or responsive as those on the Galaxy and Apple Watch.
Read more about Amazfit Bip S.