The 9 Best Samsung Smartwatches of 2021

When it comes to wearables, this company delivers

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The Rundown
"This bold and versatile smartwatch blends analog looks with innovative smartwatch chops."
"A sportier alternative to the Samsung Galaxy Watch3."
"A more affordable fitness-focused smartwatch than flagship models like the Galaxy Watch3."
"It excels at going the distance with a potential 15-day battery life at an extremely affordable price point."
Best Fitness Watch:
Samsung Galaxy Fit at Amazon
"A streamlined and solid fitness tracker with a lot going for it in such a small package."
"This distinguished-looking watch is military-grade rugged and contains a slew of smart and fitness-tracking features."
"Features a 1.3-inch Super-AMOLED display with a signature rotating bezel that makes it easier to navigate."
Best Affordable Fitness Watch:
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active at Amazon
"The Watch Active is an appealing fitness-tracking companion."
"A smart-looking watch in both features and looks, the Gear S3 Frontier has everything you could want."

The best Samsung smartwatches act as a convenient extension of—and maybe even a proxy for—your smartphone. While a Samsung-branded smartphone offers the biggest possibilities in terms of compatibility and special features, wearables from Samsung play nicely with most Android devices and iPhones, too.

As with any wearable accessory, the best smartwatches should match your fit and style preferences, but shopping for the right Samsung smartwatch could depend largely on your biggest priorities from your wearable. Most models offer durability and full-color or Super-AMOLED displays that are intuitive to interact with, but some models are decidedly more focused on fitness and exercise tracking and come with connected or onboard GPS and without a lot of extra apps (or widgets)—and with sportier designs, too. 

No matter what you’re looking for, the best Samsung smartwatches on this list can help you stay more connected and active, and as dialed in as you’d like to be.

Best Overall: Samsung Galaxy Watch3

What We Like
  • Rotating bezel

  • Premium design

  • Advanced health metrics

  • LTE optional

What We Don't Like
  • Shorter battery life

This bold and versatile smartwatch blends analog looks with innovative smartwatch chops. Available in 41-millimeter or 45-millimeter sizes, this military-grade rugged device is slimmer and lighter than the first Galaxy Watch—which is good news for smaller-wristed users or fans of using their wearable all-day long. Both sizes are available with standalone LTE connectivity, but battery life is capped at 43 hours for the smaller size and 56 hours for the larger 45-millimeter option. Our reviewer, Andrew, confirmed this runtime during testing. This stylish flagship smartwatch also sports a vibrant Super-AMOLED always-on display and 40 different configurations (between watch face options and apps), and another Samsung wearable signature: a physical rotating bezel for easier navigating. 

Looks aren’t the only remarkable aspect of this smartwatch. The Samsung Galaxy Watch3 also comes with an ECG reader for supported Galaxy smartphones and the latest advanced health metrics we’ve come to expect from top smartwatches: SPO2 (blood oxygen level), VO2 max, fall detection, stress-level monitoring, and automatic sleep tracking. And if you’re a runner, this model comes equipped with a run coaching feature. According to Andrew, Samsung Galaxy smartphone users will get the most from this sleek and versatile wearable with easy canned reply text messaging, Bitmoji, and the convenient option of handing off control across apps, whether that’s Spotify or email.

Screen Size: 1.4 inches | Weight: 1.9oz Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, LTE | Battery Life: 340mAh | Water Resistance: Up to 50 meters

"The Samsung Galaxy Watch3 is an appealing, premium smartwatch with classic wristwatch styling and a unique approach to navigation."Andrew Hayward, Product Tester

Samsung Galaxy Watch3

Andrew Hayward / Lifewire

Best Sports: Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2

What We Like
  • Lightweight design

  • Automatic workout tracking for seven activities

  • Heart-rate and stress monitoring

  • LTE connectivity available

What We Don't Like
  • ECG only available with Samsung smartphones

If you’re interested in a sportier alternative to the Samsung Galaxy Watch3, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 is a top option. This model is available in either stainless steel or aluminum and in two sizes (40 millimeters and 44 millimeters), and features a bright Super-AMOLED display with always-on functionality. The Watch Active2 is available with LTE connectivity, though in the stainless-steel version only. The aluminum watch face also comes exclusively with a sportier rubber band, while the stainless steel option comes with a fashionable leather band. The larger size can last up to 60 hours on a single charge, which puts this model at a slight edge over the Watch3.

Feature-wise, the Watch Active2 also closely tracks with the Galaxy Watch3 as far as connected features go—including email and messaging notifications/reply, contactless pay, and Spotify music playback—but puts an emphasis on fitness tracking with onboard GPS, a more rugged build than the prior model, and automatic workout profiles, which now include swimming. The Watch Active2 also can be used with a healthy selection of third-party fitness apps, such as MyFitnessPal and Strava. Other wellness-oriented traits include stress-level monitoring, a hand-washing reminder and timer, as well as blood pressure and ECG monitoring. Just note the last two features are only supported on Samsung Galaxy smartphones.

Screen Size: 1.4 inches | Weight: 1.48oz |  Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, LTE| Battery Life: 340mAh | Water Resistance: Up to 50 meters

Best Budget: Samsung Gear Sport

What We Like
  • More affordable smartwatch

  • Water resistant up to 50 meters

  • NFC pay

What We Don't Like
  • Limited feature set

The Samsung Gear Sport is a more affordable fitness-focused smartwatch than flagship models, such as the Galaxy Watch3 or Galaxy Watch Active2. The design of the Gear Sport is stylish and tracks somewhere between the sporty look of the Watch Active2 and the analog flair of the Watch3. This device is outfitted with a bright 1.2-inch Super-AMOLED display and the popular rotating bezel for quick app/widget navigation. The Gear Sport is also generally smaller and lighter than variations of the Galaxy Watch, which makes this model a potential better fit for smaller wrists. 

The trade-off for affordability is a slightly less advanced feature set, but true to its name, the Gear Sport supports an active lifestyle, with onboard GPS and heart-rate monitoring, calorie count and step tracking, and water resistance for up to 50 meters for water workouts or showering. This device does offer several desirable connected features, as well including Samsung Pay, heart-rate monitoring, smart home device control, and the ability to respond to calls and messages with the speak-to-text feature—as long as you have a Samsung phone. You also can expect longer-lasting battery life (up to seven days) from this model, since it doesn’t continuously measure heart rate or offer LTE connectivity.

Screen Size: 1.2 inches | Weight: 2.37oz |  Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC | Battery Life: 300mAh | Water Resistance: Up to 50 meters (5ATM)

Best Battery: Samsung Galaxy Fit2

Galaxy Fit2
What We Like
  • Super-light and comfortable form factor

  • Long potential battery life

  • Inexpensive

What We Don't Like
  • Limited selection of widgets/smart features

  • No onboard GPS

Top Samsung smartwatches provide at least day-long endurance, if not longer, but the Samsung Galaxy Fit2 excels at going the distance with a potential 15-day battery life at an extremely affordable price point—around $50. Yoona, our wearable expert, found it to be an impressive upgrade from the first-generation Galaxy Fit, which already offered desirable week-long performance. Yoona could attest to a solid week of battery life with active daily use, and a day or two longer without logging activities or catching frequent glances. Other improvements over the original include a lighter and more comfortable build with an easier clasping mechanism and a larger and higher-resolution AMOLED display that’s easier to interact with.

While the battery longevity and comfort are truly impressive assets, this isn’t as much of a smartwatch as models such as the Galaxy Watch Active2 or Watch3. There’s a simple and streamlined selection of widgets, which include heart-rate monitoring (prompted only, not continuous), weather, calendar reminders, sleep tracking, and exercise profiles, and you can set up system notifications to stay in the know when your smartphone isn’t right by your side. While the Fit2 isn’t powered by the most advanced fitness sensors from the brand and performance tracking suffers as a result, the auto-start/stop workout feature is very reliable.

Screen Size: 1.1 inches | Weight: 0.74oz |  Connectivity: Bluetooth | Battery Life: 159mAh | Water Resistance: Up to 50 meters (5ATM)

If you’re looking for a simple tracker that won’t break the bank or overwhelm you with too many options, the Fit2 is a great choice.” — Yoona Wagener, Product Tester

Samsung Galaxy Fit2

Yoona Wagener / Lifewire

Best Fitness Watch: Samsung Galaxy Fit

What We Like
  • Lightweight yet rugged build

  • Solid fitness tracking performance

  • Long battery life

What We Don't Like
  • Touchscreen isn’t also responsive to swipes

  • Fit can skew tight

  • No onboard GPS

The Samsung Galaxy Fit is a simple and solid fitness tracker with a lot going for it in such a small package. Like its successor, the Galaxy Fit2, this device is slim and streamlined with a full-color AMOLED display. It’s smaller than the follow-up model, at just 0.95 inches, and isn’t as responsive to swiping motions as the newer Fit2, but the first-generation Fit has the advantage when it comes to fitness-tracking performance. While it lacks onboard GPS, as well, the Fit does continuously monitor heart rate for more accurate and real-time updates. 

Though the Fit2 is heralded for its impressive 15-day battery life, Yoona's experience with the original Fit revealed a solid eight-day capacity before requiring a charge. Another area where the Fit excels over the Fit2 is ruggedness. The Samsung Galaxy Fit has a military-grade durability rating, which means you’ll have more peace of mind putting this device through rigorous workouts, from the running track to the pool. While the Fit2 sports a more flexible and comfortable-fitting band, which is much less rigid and more relaxed than the tighter-fitting Fit, it lacks a durability rating.

Screen Size: 0.95 inches | Weight: 0.81oz |  Connectivity: Bluetooth | Battery Life: 120mAh | Water Resistance: Up to 50 meters (5ATM)

The Samsung Galaxy Fit is an appealing option for those who want a bit of smartwatch functionality and a heavy emphasis on exercise monitoring—without shelling out too much money.” — Yoona Wagener, Product Tester

Samsung Galaxy Fit

 Lifewire / Yoona Wagener

Best Classic Look: Samsung Men's Gear S3 Classic Smart Watch

Samsung Men's Gear S3 Classic Smart Watch with 46mm case & Black Leather Strap SM-R770NZSAXAR
What We Like
  • Striking analog design

  • Rotating bezel

  • Generous smart and fitness-tracking tech

What We Don't Like
  • Questionable fitness-tracking accuracy

  • Shorter battery life

  • Bulky build

If you’d rather not advertise that you’re wearing a smartwatch, the Samsung Gear S3 Classic could be for you. This distinguished-looking watch is made from quality materials, such as leather and stainless steel, that give it the look and feel of a classic timepiece along with military-grade durability. Although, if you want an even more rugged look, the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier could scratch that itch. Both options feature a distinctive rotating bezel and a commanding 1.3-inch display with case dimensions of 1.81 inches by 1.93 inches—best suited for larger-wristed wearers.

Impressive looks alone are desirable, but the Samsung Gear S3 Classic also contains a slew of smart and fitness-tracking features under the hood. While fitness-tracking accuracy can be spotty, this device does come with onboard GPS, continuous heart-rate monitoring, and automatic workout tracking for several popular activities, such as walking, running, and cycling. Battery life is also slightly underwhelming, at around three days at most, but the wireless charging dock is handy and it’s hard to deny the sheer versatility of the many connected traits, ranging from an onboard speaker and mic to Samsung Pay and phone, text, and email notifications.

Screen Size: 1.3 inches | Weight: 2.08 oz |  Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi | Battery Life: 380mAh | Water Resistance: IP68

Best for Men: Samsung Galaxy Watch 46mm

Galaxy Watch 46mm
What We Like
  • Durable and sleek build

  • Great analog look

  • Onboard GPS

  • Rotating bezel

What We Don't Like
  • Shorter battery life

  • Build could be overwhelming on some wrists

The Samsung brand offers several big and bold watches that are appropriate for wearers that appreciate more equipment (and have enough real estate) on their wrists. The 46-millimeter face of the Samsung Galaxy Watch is made of heavy-duty stainless steel and Gorilla Glass DX+. It also features a dominant 1.3-inch Super-AMOLED display with a signature rotating bezel that enhances the high-end look of this wearable, and also makes it easier to navigate. Andrew Hayward considered it one of the biggest standout features in his review. While even fans of larger timepieces could find the build heavy and slightly bulky, this device doesn’t just look the part of a rugged wearable—it’s rated for military-grade dust and water resistance.

The original Samsung Galaxy Watch maxes out at about four days of battery life, which Andrew didn't find as impressive as some Samsung wearables he tested, but is longer than its successor. Plus, the wireless charging cradle offers instant and hassle-free ease of use for replenishing the battery. The Galaxy Watch also delivers on the feature front for staying productive and active. GPS, heart-rate, and gyro and accelerometer sensors are on hand to track workouts and wellness metrics and NFC payment via Samsung Pay, Bixby voice assistant, and email, call, and other notifications (and the ability to respond) are at your disposal for staying in the know wherever you are.

Screen Size: 1.3 inches | Weight: 2.22oz |  Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, LTE, GPS, NFC | Battery Life: 472mAh | Water Resistance: Up to 50 meters (5ATM)

The rotating bezel is a very handy, speedy, and precise way of getting around the Galaxy Watch.” — Andrew Hayward, Product Tester

Samsung Galaxy Watch

Lifewire / Andrew Hayward

Best Affordable Fitness Watch: Samsung Galaxy Watch Active

What We Like
  • Lightweight and sleek design

  • All-day fitness tracking

  • 45 hours of music playback

What We Don't Like
  • Inconsistent/limited fitness tracking metrics

  • Not available with cellular connectivity

The first-generation Samsung Galaxy Watch Active is a sporty, lightweight, and affordable fitness-oriented Samsung wearable. Like its successor, this device features a streamlined build, though this model is available only with a rubber strap, aluminum case, and with Bluetooth/Wi-Fi connectivity. Still, this configuration comes with military-grade durability and a responsive 1.1-inch Super-AMOLED display that won’t weigh you down. Another great bonus from this wearable is the ability to use this as a standalone music player without lugging your smartphone along, too—for up to 45 hours of playback.

According to Yoona's testing, convenience and comfort levels are high for this wearable, but performance metrics suffer from inconsistent accuracy and lack of detail. On the flip side, other onboard fitness support, which includes nudges to stay active throughout the day, preset workout profiles from stretching to weight training, sleep tracking, and stress monitoring accompanied by a breathing widget all play a pleasant role in making the Watch Active an appealing fitness-tracking companion. Connected features including Samsung Pay and text and email notifications (for Android users) also round out the feature list of this sporty wearable.

Screen Size: 1.1 inches | Weight: 0.88oz |  Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC | Battery Life: 230mAh | Water Resistance: Up to 50 meters (5ATM)

For people who want motivational reminders and the ability to record multiple sports and activities, this watch may do the trick.” — Yoona Wagener, Product Tester

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active

Lifewire / Yoona Wagener 

Best Controls: Samsung Gear S3 Frontier

What We Like
  • Feature-rich

  • Customizable

  • Clear, attractive display

  • Heady-duty and rugged

What We Don't Like
  • Bulky on smaller wrists

  • Limited compatibility with non-Samsung devices

Most smartwatches aim for a slick, modern/near future design, and while there’s a hint of that with the Galaxy Gear S3 Frontier, there’s also a classic rugged vibe to this watch that distinguishes it from the competition. Our reviewer did find it to have a rather large fit on her wrist though. On the plus side, she liked that it backs up its outdoorsy looks with water, dust, and impact resistance that should help it survive the rigors of daily use. Its four days of battery life also will keep it running during sojourns into the backcountry.

The Frontier features a beautiful 1.3-inch Super-AMOLED display and is surrounded by a steel rotating bezel, which is used to navigate the interface and access your notifications without having to deal with the frustrations of a small touchscreen. In addition to notifications, the watch is also capable of receiving calls and texts, as well as making hands-free phone calls via the built-in speaker and microphone. The Frontier features Samsung Pay integration and fitness features, such as a heart-rate monitor and step counter, that are monitored through the S Health app. 

It’s a little on the large side for smaller wrists and has compatibility issues with non-Samsung devices, but overall the Samsung Galaxy Gear S3 Frontier is a top-notch smartwatch.

Screen Size: 1.3 inches | Weight: 2.22oz |  Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC | Battery Life: 380mAh | Water Resistance: IP68

"It’s a sturdy and substantial watch, but that also means it has the potential to overwhelm a smaller wrist."Yoona Wagener, Product Tester

Samsung Gear S3 Frontier

 Lifewire / Yoona Wagener

Final Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Watch3 (view on Amazon) is our top pick, based on the vast feature list packed into a stylish and versatile design. Most users will be able to do everything they need with this wearable, whether that’s tracking sleep and exercise, paying for coffee, or catching up on email. For those looking for a sportier Samsung wearable, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 (view on Amazon) is an excellent option, with a fitness and wellness focus that includes the latest health metrics and a sleek, customizable build. 

About our Trusted Experts

Andy Zahn has been writing for Lifewire since 2019 and is a passionate tech writer and enthusiast. He takes a deep interest in the latest cutting edge devices and is often to be found putting the latest gadgets through their paces.

Yoona Wagener is a technology and commerce writer. She has tested a variety of peripherals, laptops, headphones, and wearables for Lifewire, including several of the Samsung smartwatches on this list.

Andrew Hayward is a Chicago-based tech reviewer who's previously been published on TechRadar, Stuff, Polygon, and Macworld. He's covered a number of our top smartwatches and wearables, including the Samsung Galaxy Watch which he praised for its rotating bezel and easy navigation.

FAQs

What operating system do Samsung smartwatches run on?
Most Samsung smartwatches run on the Tizen OS, the brand’s proprietary, open-source operating system, which offers access to a small but growing selection of apps in the Tizen OS app store. On the other hand, Samsung fitness trackers (Galaxy Fit and GalaxyFit2) operate on another open-source platform: FreeRTOS.

Which Samsung mobile apps work with which wearables?
Not all Samsung wearables work with the same companion app. Compatible Android models require the Galaxy Wearable app to connect and personalize wearables. On iOS, models in the Galaxy Watch Active, Galaxy Watch, and Gear lineup use the Galaxy Watch (Gear S) app, while Samsung Galaxy Fit and Gear Fit2 models require the Samsung Galaxy Fit (Gear Fit) app. Wearables with an ECG feature also require Samsung Health Monitor to capture metrics while models that offer health and fitness tracking, regardless of OS, require the Samsung Health app as well.

What’s the newest Samsung smartwatch?
The Samsung Galaxy Watch3 is the latest wearable from the brand and the newest version of one of its flagship smartwatches. The other flagship models include the Samsung Galaxy Watch, Samsung Galaxy Watch Active, and Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2.

What to Look For in Samsung Smartwatches

Size

Many Samsung smartwatches come with watch-face and band options that suit smaller or larger wrist sizes, as well as your personal style. Some models with larger faces and bulkier builds—such as the Samsung Galaxy Watch and Samsung Gear—could be more appropriate than smaller and slimmer models like the Samsung Galaxy Fit or Fit2. For Samsung's main Galaxy Watch line, your choices typically comes down to 41mm and 45mm strap choices. If you need a smaller fit, take a look at our list of the best women's smartwatches.

Fitness tracking

Most Samsung wearables come with basic health-oriented features, such as step, heart rate, and sleep tracking, but if you’re interested in leveling up on fitness support, consider models billed as sport watches or fitness trackers that use advanced sensors for tracking athletic performance, offer multi-sport automatic workout profiles, and coaching assistance. Newer models have come with even more impressive features like ECG sensors, blood oxygen level tracking, fall detection, and more.

Smart features

You can be as dialed in as you’d like to be with your Samsung smartwatch by selecting a model that best meets your daily connectivity needs. There are several smart features that are signature to the brand, such as Samsung Pay, Bixby voice assistant, and charging and sharing compatibility with select Samsung Galaxy smartphones, also known as wireless power share.

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