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Best Overall: Huawei Watch 2 Sport Smartwatch at Amazon
"Perhaps the most feature-rich digital timepiece on the market."
Best for Fitness Tracking: Samsung Galaxy Fit at Amazon
"Automatically tracks your steps, heart rate, caffeine intake and sleep patterns with the utmost accuracy."
Best for Android Users: Samsung Galaxy Watch Active at Amazon
"If you aren’t an Apple user but want the quality, look, and feel of an Apple Watch, this is our rec for you."
Best for Early Adopters: Fitbit Versa Smartwatch at Amazon
"Both a qualified fitness tracker and smartwatch, compatible with iOS as well as Android."
Best for Apple Users: Apple Watch Series 4 at apple.com
"The watch will run twice as fast as the Series 3 and features a speaker and a microphone."
Best Budget: TOOBUR IP67 Waterproof Activity Tracker at Amazon
"If you don’t need all the bells and whistles, why pay for them?"
Best Style: Kate Spade Scallop at Amazon
"Marks the fashion brand's first attempt at a touchscreen display smartwatch."
Best Designer: Michael Kors Access Unisex 45mm Silvertone Bradshaw at Amazon
"Keeps you both connected and classy."
Most Customizable: Fossil Gen 3 Smartwatch - Q Venture Black Silicone FTW6009 at Amazon
"You can switch up the style the second you get tired of it."
Perhaps the most feature-rich digital timepiece on the market, the Huawei Watch 2 Sport is part fitness tracker, part smartwatch, part digital assistant. The design is sporty and, by some standards, a bit chunky, but highly functional with a removable and sweat-proof silicone strap. It’s also refreshingly light, considering it packs in GPS, NFC, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 4G SIM, a Snapdragon Wear 2100 chipset and 768MB of RAM, plus a relatively small 1.2-inch, 390 x 390 display.
Thanks to the NFC support, you can use Android Pay, and the SIM card means you can receive calls, as well as send and receive messages without being tethered to your phone. It runs Wear OS 2.0 (formerly Android Wear), giving you access to a host of helpful apps. Athletes will find the Workout Coach feature especially valuable, with the ability to track heart rate, sleep stages and even recovery times and Vo2 max.
Sleek, simple to use, and invitingly affordable, the Samsung Galaxy Fit might not have any extra bells and whistles, but it does have everything you want from a fitness tracker. It automatically tracks your steps, heart rate, caffeine intake and sleep patterns with the utmost accuracy, and its thin and light design transitions easily from the gym to the boardroom. The battery can last up to a week, and when paired with a Galaxy smartphone, you’ll be able to receive notifications, check your calendar and even monitor the weather, all from your wrist. You’ll also receive notifications if your heart rate is too high or low.
The full-color AMOLED display is always on, and the device is built to have military-grade durability so it can handle everything from extreme temperatures to tumbles to swimming sessions. The Galaxy Fit is available in two colors — black and silver — and is compatible with Android and iOS.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active is just how sleek and modern it looks. In fact, if you aren’t an Apple user but want the quality, look, and feel of an Apple Watch, this is our rec for you. It comes in four colors: Black, Silver, Rose Gold, and Green, with silicon bands to match. The 1.1-inch AMOLED display features a sharp 360x360 resolution, and because the Gorilla Glass enclosure curves subtly over the top, it actually sports a lot of the same face aesthetics as the Apple Watch, only with a round face design.
Samsung claims its 230mAh battery will last "days" on a single charge. The 1.15GHz processor runs Tizen OS 4.0, meaning you should get pretty snappy, responsive performance. And, of course, with an accelerometer, gyroscope, and the like, you’ll get activity and heart rate tracking powered by Samsung’s health and fitness app. Plus, because it is water-resistant up to 50m submerged, you can track your swimming progress. And, because it offers wireless charging and works well with Samsung’s reverse Power Share, you’ll be able to charge it up with your latest Samsung device.
If you’re one of those people who needs the newest gadget as soon as it drops, look no further than the Fitbit Versa. While some new releases turn out to be essentially wonky prototypes, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to know that the Versa is ready for prime time.
The low-cost alternative to Apple’s watch is both a qualified fitness tracker and smartwatch, compatible with iOS as well as Android. Pair it with your smartphone and you’ll receive all your calls, messages and notifications, plus it’ll track things such as your heart rate, sleep, menstrual cycle, and activity. The battery lasts about three days on a single charge, which is exceptional if you’re comparing it to the Apple Watch, but disappointing if you compare it to other Fitbit models. But if you didn’t have to charge it, you’d likely never take it off because it’s fully waterproof, meaning you can wear it in the shower (and even in the swimming pool), and also so comfortable you can sleep with it on.
The new Apple Watch Series 4 is designed for the woman on the go. The new S4 dual-core 64-bit CPU means the watch will run twice as fast as the Series 3 and features a speaker and a microphone on opposite sides of the watch for clearer phone calls and communication with Siri. A new electrocardiogram (ECG) monitor tracks heart health for overall wellness and those with an active lifestyle can take advantage of the improved accelerometer and gyroscope, which can read motion data eight times faster. Everyone needs some "me time," and the Breathe app guides wearers through a series of deep breaths, perfect to end a yoga session or a long day.
To ensure the watch is primed for the wearer, there are eight new "complications," allowing the user to control what the corner shows or create new shortcuts to contacts, time zones, or favorite apps. For full customization, the watch is available in two different sizes — 40mm and 44mm — and six colors, including three different aluminum and three different stainless steel finishes. It is also compatible with past bands.
Today’s digital watches and smartwatches can get pretty pricey, but there are plenty of budget options that flaunt many of the same features. Our favorite is this TOOBUR fitness tracker watch. It has 14 different activity modes that measure stats like steps, distance, calories burned and heart rate. It can also track your sleep trends throughout the night.
In addition, it syncs with your smartphone (Android 4.4 and above; IOS 7.1 and above) to serve up messages in notifications so you always stay connected. It’s smaller and narrower than most other watches on this list but still manages to deliver most of the same benefits. If you don’t need all the bells and whistles, why pay for them? This TOOBUR watch offers all the basics, and at a fraction of the price.
This sleek-looking smartwatch marks the fashion brand's first attempt at a touchscreen display smartwatch. And inside its stylish casing, the Kate Spade Scallop packs a serious set of features. Powered by Google's Wear OS, the Scallop has 4GB of internal storage for storing music and apps, as well as customizable watch faces, smartphone notifications, and voice activation with Google Assistant. Fortunately, iOS users aren’t left in the dark — Scallop connects to any iPhone running iOS 9.3 or above.
This smartwatch pairs easily with Bluetooth 4.1 headphones. The watch face, designed with Kate Spade's iconic blend of sophistication and playfulness, is 42mm across and only 9mm thick with a band that's styled like a traditional adjustable watchband. And, with 24 hours of battery life, there’s more than enough power in the Scallop to last you all day.
Most of the smartwatches out there appeal mainly to techies and fitness enthusiasts. Their designs, while sleek and functional, don’t always fit your outfit. Michael Kors’ Access smartwatch, on the other hand, keeps you both connected and classy. Its 1.4-inch, 320 x 290 resolution display face is backed by a Snapdragon 2100 CPU, 4GB of storage and a 360mAh battery.
It notably lacks a heart rate monitor that has become a mainstay in other smartwatches, but there’s no mistaking this fashion piece for a fitness tracker. It runs Wear OS 2.0, and with the Michael Kors Access app, you can customize the watch face. You can even set the watch face to automatically change at a certain time, helping you transition your day look to your night look.
Choosing a watch can be a big decision, especially when you’re planning to pay over $200 for it. But with a watch as customizable as Fossil’s Q Venture watch, you can switch up the style the second you get tired of it.
You can change the face of the watch with just a few swipes, and since its bands are compatible with Fossil’s 18mm line, you can swap in new straps easily. Overall, the design is fairly compact and lightweight, with a 42mm round face and fixed bezel. It’s wirelessly charged via a small magnetic disk that secures itself to the underside of the watch, and a single charge will get you through about 24 hours, depending on use.
Inside, it packs a Snapdragon 2100 processor, paired with 512MB of RAM, which isn’t as capable as others on this list, but should still perform smoothly. There’s no heart rate monitor, meaning it’s not going to be your best workout buddy, and lack of NFC means you can’t use Android Pay. Still, it tracks your activity and serves up messages and notifications when synced with your smartphone.
Style - You no longer have to sacrifice on aesthetics when it comes to choosing a smartwatch. These days, there's a wide range of styles available, from sporty to techie to designer. Choose an option that you won't mind showing off on a regular basis.
Price - Early smartwatches were wildly expensive, but they’ve started to come down in price and are now more on par with traditional watches. Most hover in the $200 range, but you can find basic options for as little as $30.
Functionality - It may look cool, but does your smartwatch truly add value to your life? At their most basic, smartwatches can track your activity level and sleep patterns. However, more advanced models can also act as a smart assistant, working together with your phone to notify you of new messages and upcoming appointments. Some even have support for Apple Pay or Android Pay, so you never have to whip out your credit card again.