The 7 Best Samsung Smartwatches of 2021

When it comes to wearables, this company delivers

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A smartwatch is a wrist-worn device, remarkably similar to a conventional wristwatch, that can do a whole lot more than display the current time and date. Typically, they wirelessly sync with a smartphone to show mobile notifications, messages, call alerts, and more. Samsung’s smartwatches are no different, and they seamlessly pair with Samsung smartphones such as the Galaxy handsets—most notably the Galaxy S20.

Smartwatches truly come in all shapes and sizes, which is wonderful because you have the freedom to choose what works best for you. There are round smartwatches, square smartwatches, and a bevy of designs in between. Samsung’s smartwatches are usually round, evoking the past designs of a more traditional wristwatch, but that’s not always the case. Some of its more active and fitness-oriented devices, such as the Galaxy Fit series, are closer to a band type of wearable (think Fitbit devices).

There are many reasons you would buy and wear a Samsung smartwatch. You might want to track your heart rate or the calories you burn during a workout. Maybe you want to leave your phone on the counter or somewhere nearby and read the incoming messages on your wrist. Perhaps you want to track your sleep cycle and see if you’re getting a healthy amount of sleep.

All of these scenarios are possible using one of Samsung’s smartwatches. Because there are many different devices, you should be able to find something that suits your needs. We rounded up all of the best Samsung smartwatches and break each one down in more detail, below.

The Rundown
It's thinner and more lightweight than previous models, so it feels great to wear, even if you have a smaller wrist.
The Galaxy Watch Active2 is designed for sportier lifestyles, with plenty of health and fitness tracking features and a lightweight design.
It’s one of the best options for people who want a fitness-focused device that’s more about health, active lifestyles, and smart tracking.
The Gear S3 Classic has a more distinguished look and appears to be a standard wristwatch.
The softer finish and slightly thinner design is ideal for small wrists.
It has a steel rotating bezel with measurements lining its edges—much like you’d see with a traditional outdoor-friendly watch.
It is dust-proof and water-resistant (up to 5ATM), so it’s a good watch to wear while working out, running, or exercising.

Best Overall: Samsung Galaxy Watch3

Samsung Galaxy Watch3
What We Like
  • Rotating bezel controls

  • LTE option available

  • Military-grade materials

  • Super AMOLED display

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Battery life

Returning the series to its roots, the Galaxy Watch3 is a lot like the original Galaxy Watch—they look similar and even have the same processor. It’s available in 41-millimeter or 45-millimeter sizes, both of which come with either Bluetooth or LTE connectivity. If you opt for the LTE model, you can leave your phone behind and still call, text, stream media, and receive notifications right from the watch.

Overall, it’s thinner and more lightweight than previous models, so it feels great to wear, even if you have a smaller wrist. The larger 45-millimeter model has a bigger battery, so it will last up to 56 hours on a single charge, compared to 43 hours for the smaller size.

The vibrant and beautiful Super AMOLED display ensures that onscreen content looks amazing, and it’s bright enough to see even in the daylight. It tracks a bevy of health stats, including SPO2 (blood oxygen levels), heart rate, stress, sleep, distance, and calories burned. Fall detection is also onboard for those who need it.

The bezel rotates and acts as a makeshift controller to scroll through menus and options. It works well and is easy to make selections, and it also complements the responsive touchscreen. Overall, the Galaxy Watch3 is one of the best currently on the market, second only to the Apple Watch. If you own a Samsung smartphone, or an Android device, the Watch3 is the better and more compatible option.

Screen Size: 1.4 inches | Weight: 1.9 ounces | Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, LTE | Battery Size: 340mAh | Battery Life: 2 to 3 days | Water Resistance: Up to 50 meter

"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 for Sports: Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2

SAMSUNG Galaxy Watch Active 2
What We Like
  • Sporty design

  • Digital bezel controls

  • Automatic workout tracking

  • Heart rate, stress, and sleep monitoring

What We Don't Like
  • Could be cheaper

  • Not ideal for iOS users

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 is designed for sportier lifestyles, with plenty of health and fitness tracking features and a more lightweight design, compared to some of the other premium models. It comes in either stainless steel or aluminum, with options to choose between a silicone sport band or a leather one.

There are also two sizes available, including 40 millimeters and 44 millimeters. Like most of Samsung’s smartwatches, it’s powered by the Tizen operating system and has an Exynos 9110 processor inside. The 1.4-inch Super AMOLED display looks crisp and vibrant and is comparable to the Watch3 models.

Automatic run and workout tracking is onboard, with support to monitor ECG, blood pressure, sleep, stress levels, and much more. Some of the features are compatible only with Samsung smartphones, however, like the ECG and blood pressure monitoring.

Connectivity options include Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and LTE, although the LTE is available only in the stainless steel variant. Overall, it’s easy to use and an excellent entry point for anyone who wants to move from a fitness band to a smartwatch, or jump right into the smartwatch experience.

Screen Size: 1.4 inches | Weight: 1.48 ounces |  Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, LTE, GPS, NFC | Battery Size: 340mAh | Battery Life: 2 to 3 days | Water Resistance: Up to 50 meters

"The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 is streamlined, sporty, and simple to navigate." Yoona Wagener, Product Tester

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2

Lifewire / Yoona Wagener

Best for Health: Samsung Galaxy Fit2

Galaxy Fit2
What We Like
  • Excellent battery life

  • Super lightweight

  • Affordable

  • AMOLED display

What We Don't Like
  • No GPS

  • Limited features

The Galaxy Fit2 is not a smartwatch, but instead a fitness band or tracker (similar to a Fitbit). However, it includes a lot of the same features as a watch, such as mobile notifications and various alerts.

The Fit2 is the latest model in the series, which includes a curved AMOLED display and excellent battery life. It will last for up to 15 days on a single charge, well beyond what most smartwatches offer. The silicone band comes in a few colors, allowing you to personalize your style.

It is water-resistant up to 5ATM or 50 meters, which means you can use it in the pool or take it in the shower. It syncs with mobile devices via Bluetooth, but does not include any other connectivity such as GPS, NFC, or mobile pay support.

It’s lightweight, fits almost any-sized wrist, and it’s super easy to use. It’s one of the best options for people who want a fitness-focused device that’s more about health, active lifestyles, and smart tracking. Its far superior battery life is also ideal if you don’t want to charge a watch every night.

Screen Size: 1.1 inches | Weight: 0.74 ounces |  Connectivity: Bluetooth | Battery Size: 159mAh | Battery Life: 15 days | 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 Traditional: 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
  • Stunning premium design

  • Rotating bezel controls

  • Excellent tracking support

  • Water-resistant

What We Don't Like
  • Battery life

  • Bulky

The Gear S3 Classic is for anyone who wants a smartwatch that doesn’t look like a smartwatch. It has a more distinguished look and appears to be a standard wristwatch. It has a striking stainless steel body, with a premium leather band.

Of particular note is the rotating bezel, which acts as an analog controller, and the two crown dials on the side. Except for the 1.3-inch touchscreen display, there’s no indication it’s a smart device at all.

Inside is a 380mAh battery that offers 2 to 3 days of use on a single charge, which can be underwhelming, but also puts it on par with most comparable models. It does have onboard GPS to ping the current location, and it will track a bevy of fitness stats, albeit with questionable accuracy.

It has an onboard speaker and mic to take calls remotely and supports Samsung Pay, as well as mobile and app-based notifications. Let’s be clear, though—the added features are a nice touch, but they wouldn’t be the main reason you’d get this watch. The Gear S3 Classic is for those who want the best of both worlds: a stylish watch that also has smart features baked in.

Screen Size: 1.3 inches | Weight: 2.08 ounces |  Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS | Battery Size: 380mAh | Battery Life: 2 to 3 days | Water Resistance: IP68 (up to 1.5 meters)

Style over function reigns supreme here, but there are plenty of decent features onboard to satisfy the smartwatch moniker.” — Briley Kenney, Tech Writer

Best for Women: Samsung Galaxy Watch3 in Mystic Bronze

Samsung Galaxy Watch3 in Mystic Bronze
What We Like
  • Gorgeous design

  • LTE option available

  • Heart, stress, and sleep monitoring

  • Automatic workout tracking

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Battery life

While this is the Samsung Galaxy Watch3, it’s important to note that the Mystic Bronze model is slightly different. It has a lightweight and slim design, and comes with a matching premium leather band. The bronze, almost rose-gold coloring is much more inviting, as well, compared to the masculine all-silver and gunmetal styles. The softer finish and slightly thinner design is ideal for small wrists.

It does include all of the same features, such as automatic workout tracking, heart health, fitness monitoring, and sleep tracking. An LTE variant is available, but otherwise, it comes with Bluetooth 5.0 and GPS connectivity.

The 1.2-inch Super AMOLED screen is beautiful and vibrant. It also includes 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. The battery will last for about 2 to 3 days on a single charge, depending on what features you have active—LTE drains the battery much faster.

Screen Size: 1.2 inches | Weight: 1.7 ounces |  Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC | Battery Size: 340mAh | Battery Life: 2 to 3 days | Water Resistance: Up to 50 meters

Best Rugged: Samsung Gear S3 Frontier

Samsung Gear S3
What We Like
  • Heady-duty and military-grade

  • Premium design

  • Highly customizable

  • Decent battery life

What We Don't Like
  • Bulky

  • Best for Samsung phones

The rugged Samsung Galaxy Gear S3 Frontier is durable, bulky, and made for outdoor lifestyles. That’s probably why our reviewer, Yoona Wagener, found it a bit too large for her wrist.

It has a steel rotating bezel with measurements lining its edges—much like you’d see with a traditional outdoor-friendly watch. The beautiful 1.3-inch AMOLED display is designed to stay on, so there’s always something to look at on the watch face, and it still offers up to four days of battery life.

Yoona might not have been fond of the size, but she did love the outdoorsy look and the major resistances, including water, dust, and impact protection. It can receive notifications, take calls, and even make hands-free calls thanks to the built-in speaker and microphone.

Samsung Pay, fitness tracking, and several sports modes round out the features list. Just remember, this thing is a bit bulky, and it weighs more than comparable models, so it’s better for bigger wrists and people who spend most of their days out in the wilderness.

Screen Size: 1.3 inches | Weight: 2.22 ounces |  Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC | Battery Size: 380mAh | Battery Life: 3 to 4 days | Water Resistance: IP68 (up to 1.5 meters)

"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

Best Budget: Samsung Gear Sport

Samsung Gear Sport
What We Like
  • Sleek and lightweight

  • Fun software

  • NFC/Mobile pay support

  • Water resistant

What We Don't Like
  • GPS isn't accurate

  • Older model with limited availability

While the Samsung Gear Sport is a commendable smartwatch, it’s important to point out that it’s an older device and availability may be limited. It will be extremely difficult, even unlikely, that you’ll find a brand new, unopened model.

That said, the Gear Sport is an affordable and feature-rich smartwatch with a 1.2-inch Super AMOLED display. It has a lightweight and sporty look, similar to the Active2, but it’s also a bit more stylish thanks to the steel design. It is dust-proof and water-resistant (up to 5ATM), so it’s a good watch to wear while working out, running, or exercising.

The compact design makes it a good fit for smaller wrists, and the silicone band is stretchy yet comfortable. It has a built-in pedometer to track steps, can monitor fitness and health stats, and will receive SMS, email, app, and call notifications. Bluetooth 4.2 is the wireless connectivity inside, as opposed to 5.0 for the Watch3. Wi-Fi and GPS are on board, as well. It even supports Samsung Pay, so you can pay for orders with your wrist. With its 300mAh battery, the watch can last up to seven days, offering one of the better ranges.

Screen Size: 1.2 inches | Weight: 2.37 ounces |  Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC | Battery Size: 300mAh | Battery Life: 5 to 7 days | Water Resistance: Up to 50 meters

It’s sleek, it’s functional, and the price tag is much more reasonable than some of the flagship models, especially since it has fitness tracking, NFC pay, and water-resistance support.” — Briley Kenney, Tech Writer

Final Verdict

Samsung’s latest smartwatch, the Galaxy Watch3 (view at Amazon), is our top pick because it’s stylish, comfortable to wear, and ups the ante with its excellent feature list. Plus, it comes in a few different styles and sizes, so there’s room to personalize the watch just for you. It tracks fitness and health stats, displays notifications and messages, and even includes mobile payment options so you can pay quickly using your watch.

If you’re interested in something a little more sporty, then check out the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 (view at Amazon). It’s more fitness-oriented and designed for those who live an active, workout-leaden lifestyle.

About Our Trusted Experts

Briley Kenney lives in the always-exciting state of Florida where he works as a freelance copywriter and technology enthusiast. He’s been around computers and electronics his entire life, which has earned him plenty of experience and knowledge in the field. His areas of expertise include consumer electronics, such as smartwatches.

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.

FAQ
  • What’s the newest Samsung smartwatch?

    The most recent smartwatch Samsung released is the Galaxy Watch3, in various styles. Another recent watch from Samsung is the Galaxy Watch Active2, which is an update on the original Watch Active model.

  • Can you answer calls on Samsung’s Galaxy smartwatches?

    It depends on the model in question, but yes, you can answer calls on most of Samsung’s smartwatches and smart devices. It should be noted that you cannot actually take the call on all of the watches. Once you accept the call you may be directed to your connected phone where you must continue the conversation.

    The Samsung Galaxy Gear S2 can take calls directly on the watch, as is true of most LTE and mobile-ready watches. In fact, smartwatches that have an active mobile connection don’t need to be synced to a smartphone to use the network features. They can directly receive calls, messages, and alerts.

  • Can you leave your phone at home and use your Samsung watch?

    Some Samsung smartwatches will continue working without a phone connected, but it depends on the wireless connectivity. 3G and 4G-ready watches use a mobile network connection, just like a phone, and have a SIM card.

    If your watch has a SIM card and connects to mobile networks then yes, you can use the device without a phone, which means you can leave your phone at home. Some things you can do on a Samsung smartwatch with 4G access include streaming music, taking calls, and receiving and responding to messages.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2

Lifewire / Yoona Wagener

What to Look For in Samsung Smartwatches

Size

Almost all smartwatches, from Samsung’s Galaxy Watch3 line to the Apple Watch, come in different sizes. For example, the Galaxy Watch3 can be ordered in 41-millimeter or 45-millimeter sizes. This doesn’t just affect the size of the wrist band, but also the device in question, namely the display. Generally, a bigger-sized watch is more expensive and it comes with additional considerations such as a longer-lasting battery, larger display, and sometimes more powerful internal hardware.

Connectivity

Like most modern devices, there are different types of connectivity or wireless connections available for smartwatches and fitness bands. The most common include 4G LTE (mobile networks), Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. A 4G-ready smartwatch will always include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth along with it. However, a Wi-Fi-only device will not include mobile connectivity support for 3G and 4G networks—it may still include Bluetooth. While this can seem confusing, all smartwatch manufacturers will clearly list connectivity for their product(s). Choose the wireless medium that works best for you.

Some devices may also include GPS, which means the smartwatch has GPS-tracking support built-in and does not need a phone to track location. Also, be on the lookout for 5G smartwatches, as those are surely on the horizon.

"Fitness trackers don’t directly measure how many calories you burnthey estimate it. Most trackers do this by putting together clues like your heart rate and the intensity of your movement patterns to estimate how much energy you’re expending at any given time." — Caroline Kryder, Science Communications Lead at Oura

Battery Life

Today’s smartwatches can last from half a day to a full day or more. Many factors influence battery life, such as the software, internal hardware, display size, and the size of the battery. When choosing a smartwatch, consider how long you want the device to last, at the very least. If you need it to last for several days, for instance, you will be limiting your options. So, you may be better off looking for a less powerful device, like a fitness tracker, instead of a full-size smartwatch.

Samsung Galaxy Fit2

Yoona Wagener / Lifewire

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