The 9 Best Smartwatches for Women to Buy in 2018

Choose your wearable wisely

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The watch used to serve one purpose: telling time. But as technology has evolved, it’s become capable of so much more. Digital watches and smartwatches can now act as an extension of your phone, keeping you connected with messages and notifications. Pack in a few more sensors and they can track heart rate, sleep patterns and menstrual cycles and more. And the design of these watches has come a long way as well: No longer are you stuck with an unsightly gadget on your wrist. Some watches are so customizable they will transition with you from your day to night look. There’s no shortage of watches out there, but we’ve rounded up a few of the best smartwatches for women to help make your decision a bit easier.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Huawei Watch 2 Sport Smartwatch

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.

Best for Early Adopters: Fitbit Versa Smartwatch

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.

Best Budget: Fitness Tracker Watch,TOOBUR IP67 Waterproof Activity Tracker

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.

Best for Android Users: Samsung Gear S3 Frontier

If your life is locked into the Android ecosystem, the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier is hands down the best digital watch you can buy. The timepiece itself is rather large, with a 46mm round face and rotating bezel, but its inserts enable every feature you could want from a smartwatch – and more. You get GPS, a heart rate monitor, water resistance, NFC and activity tracking. The 1.3-inch 360 x 360 Super AMOLED screen is brilliantly bright, on par with Samsung’s smartphone screens, and uses Always On technology to ensure the screen is at least partially lit at all times. As you can imagine, that takes a toll on the battery, but it’ll still last you two to three days, depending on your use. Compared to the Apple Watch, its design is a bit classier and less techy, but it can easily become sporty if you swap in a rubber wristband.

It runs Tizen rather than Wear OS, so unfortunately, it has fewer apps available. But Spotify’s recent announcement that you can save offline playlists to the device keeps us happy in lieu of that. Runners, rejoice! That means you can finally leave your phone at home.

Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best Android smartwatches

Best for Apple Users: Apple Watch Series 4

Apple Watch Series 4 

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. 

Best for Fitness Tracking: Samsung Gear Sport

Designed to help you get the most out of your workout, the Samsung Gear Sport is chock full of features that make it a standout option for fitness tracking. With more than 60 workouts to choose from, the Gear Sport will help you guide through each motion while also measuring your heart rate and tracking calorie burn. It's also water resistant up to 150 feet, and with Speedo’s swim tracking app pre-installed, tracking a water workout is as easy as tracking those on dry land.

The Gear Sport also has super intuitive controls, including swiping the screen to reply to notifications and turning the bezel to adjust volume. Capable of syncing to both Android and iOS smartphones, Samsung users will find added perks like the ability to control compatible smart devices, appliances and door locks all with the turn of the bezel. 

Best Style: Kate Spade Scallop

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 watch band. And, with 24 hours of battery life, there’s more than enough power in the Scallop to last you all day.

Best Designer: Michael Kors Access Unisex 45mm Silvertone Bradshaw

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.

Most Customizable: Fossil Gen 3 Smartwatch - Q Venture Black Silicone FTW6009

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.