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Smartwatches have gained a lot of popularity over the past few years, and for good reason. Packed with a truckload of convenient features, these wrist-worn gadgets allow users to do everything from controlling music playback to answering calls, without having to reach for their smartphones. The fact that most smartwatches also come with fitness-tracking features, only makes things better.
All that said, choosing a smartwatch to use with your Android smartphone isn’t exactly a walk in the park, as there are a lot of options out there with differing feature sets. While some of them use Google’s own WearOS, others are based on proprietary software platforms. It does get confusing, but we’re here to help you out. To make things easier, we’ve rounded up some of the best Android smartwatches currently available in the market.
Lightweight yet sturdy construction
All connectivity options included
Awkward charger design
Launched in 2014, Motorola's original Moto360 went on to become one of the best-selling wearables of its time. Fast forward to the present, we get the all-new Moto360, and it's arguably the best Android smartwatch you can buy today. Interestingly, this 3rd generation model isn't made by Motorola, but by an independent company through a brand-licensing agreement. It's powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor, paired with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage.
The Moto360 features a 1.2-inch circular AMOLED display sports a resolution of 390x390 pixels and comes with "Always On" functionality. As far as connectivity options are concerned, the 3rd generation Moto360 includes Wi-Fi 802.11bgn, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, as well as GPS (with GLONASS, Galileo, and Beidou support). Since it's based on Google's WearOS, the smartwatch gives you access to a wide variety of apps from both Google and third-party developers. All standard features like smartphone notifications, activity tracking, mobile payments (via Google Pay), and voice control (using Google Assistant) are supported too. The whole package is backed by a 355mAh battery that can be fully juiced up in just 60 minutes.
Wireless charging support
Low internal storage
If you're in the market for a powerful and feature-loaded Android smartwatch, look no further than Samsung's Galaxy Watch Active 2. Powered by an Exynos 9110 CPU, it comes with 1.5GB of RAM and 4GB of on-board storage. The wearable's 1.4-inch circular Super AMOLED display boasts a resolution of 360x360 pixels and features "Always On" functionality. For connectivity, Wi-Fi 802.11bgn, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, A-GPS, and LTE (with support for all major carriers in the US) are included in the mix.
It's worth noting that the Galaxy Watch Active2 is based on Samsung's Tizen platform, instead of WearOS (from Google). However, you still get access to a wide range of popular apps, such as Spotify and Strava. The smartwatch is also big on fitness tracking, having features like an integrated HRM (Heart Rate Monitor) and actionable insights about a variety of parameters (e.g. running style, sleep quality). Some other noteworthy features include voice control (via Bixby), mobile payments (using Samsung Pay), and easy navigation through a touch-enabled side bezel. The smartwatch is backed by a 340mAh battery.
Truckload of fitness-centric features
Amazing battery life
No WearOS means limited third-party app support
Although nearly all Android smartwatches have some fitness-oriented features, none come close to the arsenal that Fitbit's Versa 2 possesses. Designed for hardcore fitness enthusiasts, it can extensively track and analyze (with detailed insights) just about every activity-related parameter you can think of. This includes heart rate (with 24x7 monitoring and resting rate trends), a multitude of exercises (e.g. running, biking, yoga) with automatic tracking and goal-based stats, pace & distance, floors climbed, sleep quality (with time spent in deep, light, and REM stages), menstrual cycle, and a lot more. Not just that, you get customized activity reminders (for moving, staying hydrated, etc.), workout intensity maps, personalized cardio fitness scores, and total calories burned throughout the day.
The Versa 2 features a 0.98-inch color touch-enabled display (with "Always On" functionality), and includes Wi-Fi 802.11bgn, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, and GPS (via paired smartphone) as connectivity options. Despite not being based on WearOS, it supports all standard features like mobile payments (via Fitbit Pay), streaming & offline music playback, and smartphone notifications. Among other features are voice control (using Amazon Alexa), and water resistance of up to 50 meters.
Sleek and minimal construction
Can be used to answer calls on iOS & Android smartphones
Non-standard lug design
Certainly one of the best-looking Android smartwatches available out there, Skagen's Falster 3 sports a stainless steel case and a gunmetal-finished mesh bracelet that further accentuates its minimalist design. However, there's a lot more to the wearable than just good looks. Featuring a resolution of 390x390 pixels, its 1.3-inch circular OLED display looks sharp and bright in all kinds of conditions. Under the hood, you get Qualcomm's Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor, along with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. In terms of connectivity, everything from Wi-Fi 802.11bgn and Bluetooth 4.2 to NFC and GPS is included in the package.
Thanks to Google's WearOS, the Falster 3 lets you access a diverse range of official and third-party apps. Apart from that, all standard features such as smartphone notifications, mobile payments (via Google Pay), activity tracking, streaming & offline music playback, and voice control (using Google Assistant) are supported as well. The smartwatch even comes with a built-in speaker that lets you answer calls directly, without needing to reach for your smartphone.
Stunning fit and finish
Case size is ideal for most wrists
Blending the fine art of Swiss watchmaking with modern technology, Movado's Connect 2.0 is perfect for anyone who wants a top-tier Android smartwatch and doesn't mind paying top dollar for it. The luxurious wearable comes with an ion-plated stainless steel case (with ceramic back) that looks every bit as premium as it is.
Powering the smartwatch is a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 CPU, helped by 1GB of RAM and 8GB of onboard storage. Navigation through the UI is handled by a rotating crown (on the right), which is flanked by two pushers that can be customized to launch a specific app or setting. This is a design element that is common to many Android smartwatches and works well. Since the Connect 2.0 is based on WearOS, you can use the plethora of apps that work with Google's platform. All regular features like voice control, activity tracking, and mobile payments are supported too.
Balanced overall performance
Somewhat bland design
Fossil's 5th generation Carlyle is a well-rounded smartwatch that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Featuring a simple yet elegant design, it sports a 1.28-inch circular AMOLED display with a resolution of 416x416 pixels. The panel is quite sharp and bright, with display elements being viewable in all kinds of lighting.
In terms of hardware, the wearable comes with Qualcomm's Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of internal storage. It's based on Google's WearOS platform, so there's a wide range of apps (both official and third-party) to choose from. As you'd expect, all standard features such as voice control (using Google Assistant), activity tracking, and mobile payments (via Google Pay) also work well. Talking about connectivity options, the fifth generation Carlyle packs in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, and GPS. Among other notable features are a built-in speaker, and water resistance of up to 30 meters.
Innovative dual-layer display
Lots of additional sensors included
Huge case size
The Pro Trek line-up of wristwatches from Casio have come to be renowned for their tough build quality (which is perhaps, second only to the legendary G-Shock series). That's all well and good, but what if you get that same all-weather durability in the form of an Android smartwatch? Say hello to Casio's Pro Trek WSD-F21HR, which gives you exactly that. Primarily aimed at outdoor adventure enthusiasts, it boasts a sturdy resin case and a three-dimensional bezel that protects the display from damage.
The display is easily the headlining feature of the smartwatch. That's because the Pro Trek WSD-F21HR comes with a 1.32-inch "dual-layer" display, consisting of a monochrome LCD and a full-color TFT LCD. While the former provides better outdoor legibility and uses limited battery power, the latter gives you a more immersive viewing experience like other smartwatches. Based on Google's WearOS platform, the wearable includes Wi-Fi 802.11bgn, Bluetooth 4.2, and GPS (with GLONASS and QZSS support) as connectivity options. It's capable of tracking multiple activities (e.g. trail running, paddling), and you can get heart rate zone alerts and VO2 Max readings as well.
Every single one of the above-detailed Android smartwatches is great in its own right, with a lot of unique individual capabilities. However, our overall recommendation is the all-new 3rd generation Moto360, since it manages to strike the right balance between performance and features.
Our expert reviewers and testers evaluate Android smartwatches along several factors. We start by taking a look at design, style, durability, and how easy it is to change straps. We evaluate the screen size and resolution focusing on how legible the text, complications, and other information is, particularly outdoors and in direct sunlight.
We look at overall user experience (UX), by seeing how easy to the smartwatch is to setup, how many apps it's compatible with, how well it syncs to your phone, and the general fluidity of the operating system. We also consider any additional features that are included like heart rate monitoring, GPS, and fitness tracking.
To test battery life, we charge the smartwatch up to full, and then use it over the course of a day to see how much it drains. To make our final judgement, we look at the competition, and see how the smartwatch stacks up against rivals in a similar price range. The majority of the smartwatches we test are purchased by us; sometimes newer releases are provided by a manufacturer, but it has no bearing on the objectivity of our evaluation.
Rajat Sharma is a technology journalist with more than six years (and counting) of experience in the field. Over the course of his career, he has written about/reviewed a lot of smartwatches and fitness trackers. Prior to joining Lifewire, he was associated as a senior technology editor with The Times Group and Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited, two of the biggest media houses in India.
Emily Ramirez has written for Lifewire since 2019. Before that she's been published in Massachusetts Digital Games Institute and MIT Game Lab. She's familiar with the latest and greatest tech, having reviewed everything from soundcards and VR headsets, to wearables and games. She tested most of the smartwatches on this list, but felt the Amazfit Bip stood out for its long battery life, useful set of features, and low price.
Jason Schneider has a decade worth of experience writing about tech. He's deeply familiar with the consumer tech space, particularly with audio, but he's also reviewed a fair number of wearables and accessories. He tested the connected TicWatch Pro and enjoyed its excellent 4G connectivity and snappy performance.
Patrick Hyde has nearly five years writing about technology. He was previous an editor at Health Fitness Revolution and is familiar with the wearable and fitness tracker market.
Software - Not all Android smartwatches run Google’s official Wear OS software. If you are looking to get the most out of your Android smartphone, look for one that runs the official Google operating system. Third-party software isn’t always a bad idea, but be sure to know how it may limit or enhance your experience.
Design - Watches are a fashion choice even when they have technology embedded. Choose a watch design that you will feel comfortable wearing. Consider aspects such as the device’s screen size, and whether it will fit your wrist, as well as the shape of the screen. Some watches offer traditional round faces, while others opt for a more modern square face.
Battery - Smartwatches are known to go through batteries quite quickly, typically requiring a charge at the end of each day just like your smartphone. Check the manufacturer's information to see how long your new smartwatch is rated to last—whether that's a day or a full weekend.