Best smartwatch for Android Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
What is the best smartwatch?
After testing dozens of the best smartwatches, our top pick is the Apple WatchSeries 6 ($399), which builds on the always-on display and built-in compass ofthe Series 5, and all of the advanced health features we loved about theSeries 4, with a SpO2 monitoring and a faster charging.The Apple Watch 3 ($199) remains a very good value as well, although the AppleWatch SE ($279) is a new option worth checking out, too. The SE is a slimmeddown version of the Series 6, but it still has a compass, fall detection andGPS.Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 3 ($399) is a worthy Apple Watch contender — in fact,it’s the best smartwatch for Android users. It offers a rotating bezel, plus alarger display with slimmer bezels. It introduces some life-saving featureslike FDA-approved ECG tracking and trip detection, all wrapped up in a stylishshell. However, its successor, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, could be comingsoon.The best smartwatch from Fitbit is the Fitbit Sense ($329). We like how itgives you a more rounded view of your body, rather than expecting you to self-administer readings and tests.
How to pick the best smartwatch for you
When looking at the best smartwatches for you, you’re somewhat limited by thesmartphone you own. If you want an Apple Watch, for instance, you’ll need tohave an iPhone. And while Wear OS watches work with both Android and iPhones,you get far less functionality when not connected to an Android device.Samsung’s smartwatches offer the greatest in terms of cross-functionality, buteven here, Android phone owners will get more in terms of replies tonotifications and the ability to make and receive phone calls.After that, when picking a smartwatch, you also want to get one that fits yourwrist comfortably. Those with smaller wrists may find larger smartwatches —ones with case sizes larger than 44mm — to be too bulky and cumbersome towear.After that, you want to find a smartwatch that fits your style. Although theApple Watch is limited to one shape, you can purchase it in differentfinishes. Samsung’s smartwatches offer a little more choice, while Wear OSwatches, which are made by a number of companies including Fossil, Skagen,Kate Spade, Moto, Tag Heuer, Diesel, and others, give you many more optionswhen it comes to their design.
How to choose the best cheap smartwatch for you
When shopping for a cheap smartwatch, you should look for the same things asif you were shopping for a higher-priced model. First, what kind of smartphonedo you have? If you own an iPhone, we recommend sticking with the Apple WatchSeries 3 (or some other version), as the Apple Watch is the only smartwatchthat fully works with the iPhone.If you have an Android smartphone, your best choice is either a Samsung orWear OS smartwatch; both of those platforms fully support Android phones, suchas making and receiving calls from your wrist, as well as crafting messages.Wear OS has a much larger app library than does Samsung’s Tizen-basedoperating system, but we prefer the interface on Samsung’s smartwatches, andthey tend to have much longer battery life.After that, you want to find a smartwatch that best fits your wrist or style.You have the most options with Wear OS, as many of Fossil’s brands—Diesel,Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Misfit, Emporio Armani, and more—all have their ownsmartwatches, with a multitude of styles, bands, sizes, and more. Both Appleand Samsung offer far fewer options in terms of style and size.You also want to consider what you plan to do with the smartwatch. If you’reinto fitness, you’ll want a smartwatch that’s water-resistant and has GPS anda heart rate monitor.
Apple Watch Cellular vs. GPS: Battery Life
Source: Lory Gil / iMoreDoes the GPS + Cellular Apple Watch have worse battery life than the GPS-onlyApple Watch?The answer is yes, but only while you’re using GPS + Cellular. Apple’s ownbattery tests peg Apple Watch Series 5, Apple Watch Series 6, and Apple WatchSE at an 18-hour average, with specifics highlighted below:> All-day battery life is based on 18 hours with the following use: 90-time> checks, 90 notifications, 45 minutes of app use, and a 60-minute workout> with music playback from Apple Watch via Bluetooth, over 18 hours.>> Family Setup battery life is based on 14 hours with the following use: 70> time checks, 45 notifications, 20 minutes of app use, a 5-minute phone call,> and a 30-minute workout with music playback from Apple Watch via Bluetooth,> over the course of 14 hours with LTE connection and Find My location sharing> enabled.>> Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS) usage includes connection to iPhone via Bluetooth> during the entire 18-hour test. Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS + Cellular) usage> includes a total of 4 hours of LTE connection and 14 hours of connection to> iPhone via Bluetooth over the course of 18 hours.>> Apple Watch SE (GPS) usage includes connection to iPhone via Bluetooth> during the entire 18-hour test. Apple Watch SE (GPS + Cellular) usage> includes a total of 4 hours of LTE connection and 14 hours of connection to> iPhone via Bluetooth over the course of 18 hours.>> Apple Watch All-Day Battery Life testing was conducted by Apple in August> 2020 using preproduction Apple Watch SE (GPS) and Apple Watch SE (GPS +> Cellular), each paired with an iPhone; all devices were tested with> prerelease software. Battery life varies by use, cellular coverage,> configuration, and many other factors; actual results will vary.While Apple doesn’t note which Watch configuration it used for these tests, itdid peg the Cellular watch at 18-hours with 4-hours of LTE and 14-hours ofiPhone connectivity — about what the average person might use in a given day.Specific battery tests, however, are far less forgiving. Here’s how the Series5 and Series 6 fared in Apple’s single-task tests: * Talk: 1.5 hour w/ Cellular * Audio: 10 hours w/ Bluetooth, 7 hours streaming playlist with LTE * Workout: 10 hours indoor workout, 6 hours outdoor workout with GPS, 5 hours outdoor workout with GPS and LTEThe Apple Watch SE has a remarkably good battery life for being of the low-cost variety. That’s probably because the Apple Watch SE is supposedly anApple Watch Series 5 without the ECG monitor. * Talk: 1.5 hours w/cellular * Audio: 10 hours from onboard storage, 7 hours streaming playlist with LTE * Workout: 10 hours indoor workout, 6 hours outdoor workout with GPS, 5 hours outdoor workout with GPS and LTEWhile the GPS-only Apple Watch has better battery performance against the GPS+ Cellular model when using LTE, neither performs well for long-distancerunners.
The best smartwatch: Apple Watch Series 6
Apple Watch Series 6 with blue Sport Band Andy Boxall/Digital TrendsWhy you should buy this: It’s the best smartwatch. That’s all.Who it’s for: Anyone with an iPhone who wants a smartwatch.Why we picked the Apple Watch Series 6:Apple has made it a little more difficult than usual to decide which AppleWatch to purchase this year. Normally, it’d just be about the case materialand strap, but now you can pick between the Apple Watch Series 6 and the AppleWatch SE. There are four primary differences between them. If you buy theSeries 6 you get the new S6 processor, an electrocardiogram (ECG) and bloodoxygen (SpO2) sensor, plus the always-on screen.If you buy the SE it doesn’t have these features and uses the S5 chip, but itcosts $120 less. The S6 processor and the always-on display are genuinereasons to buy the Series 6, but the ECG and SpO2 sensors aren’t. These areuseful in very specific cases, rather than being features you’ll use on adaily basis.The majority of people will be satisfied with the Apple Watch SE, but if moneyisn’t a problem the Series 6 does more, and may end up lasting longer becauseof it. This list is all about the best smartwatches, and looking at the AppleWatch on both a technical level and a software and usability level, the Series6 is the “best” version, but you can save a little money and get one that’salmost as good if you’d prefer. That’s a great position to be in, and onlycements the Apple Watch’s position on our list.Let’s talk about the Apple Watch’s benefits across both models. It comes ineither a 40mm or 44mm case size, and we recommend getting the 100% recycledaluminum body, with your strap of choice. The always-on screen (Series 6 only)means you don’t have to raise your wrist to see the time, and it looks superb.Fitness features are comprehensive and motivational. Activity Rings showprogress towards daily goals, it can track your sleep, the watch reminds youto stand up, it has an automatic hand wash timer, GPS, a heart rate sensor,the option to track period cycles for women, and even a noise app that canwarn you when you’re at risk of hearing damage. The case is swim-proof, andthe prebuilt workout plans include cycling, swimming, yoga, hiking, and more.All this combines to make the Apple Watch an easy-to-use and highly accessiblefitness tracker, with plenty of motivational alerts to keep you going.Battery life is good with both models lasting up to two days even with sleeptracking enabled, but you’ll get more out of the SE due to the lack of analways-on screen. The software is fast and reliable, there are multiple appsavailable, you can make and receive calls from the basic model or buy one witha cellular connection for use without your phone, and there’s a very healthythird-party strap ecosystem to personalize your watch too.Simply, if you own an iPhone, the Apple Watch is the only smartwatch to buy.If you own an Apple Watch Series 5 there aren’t many reasons to upgrade thisyear, but if you own any model older than this it’s well worth picking up aApple Watch Series 6 or SE.Read our full Apple Watch Series 6 review, and our full Apple Watch SE review
Best smartwatch for Android: Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
Andy Boxall/Digital TrendsWhy you should buy this: It’s the best smartwatch if you own an Android phone.Who it’s for: Anyone who values a great user interface on a slick smartwatch.Why we picked the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3:You own an Android phone and can’t buy an Apple Watch, so which one should youchoose? Samsung has delivered the best alternative for your Android phone, theGalaxy Watch 3. It doesn’t use Google’s Wear OS software, but Samsung’s ownTizen software. It works similarly — scrolling menus and swipes to accessfeatures — but the watch incorporates a brilliant rotating bezel to make usingthe watch much easier and more natural.Don’t worry if your phone isn’t a Samsung either, as the Galaxy Watch 3 workswith any smartphone, including an iPhone, through Samsung’s Galaxy Wear app,which you have to install first. Functionality will differ if you pair it withan iPhone, but you shouldn’t do that anyway, just buy an Apple Watch. Anyway,back to the Galaxy Watch 3.The rotating bezel is just part of the great design. The watch is available ineither a 41mm or 45mm case size, with a sharp and colorful round AMOLED screenon the front. It feels high quality with a stainless steel case, Gorilla Glassover the screen, and a glass case back for low weight and comfort on yourwrist. It has an IP68 water resistance rating, plus a MIL-STD-810 G-rated casefor toughness.Wear the watch all day and night, and it will record your activity and sleep,but the battery will suffer. It will last two days if you’re careful and turnit off overnight, but if you use it hard a single day should be expected. Thefitness tracking options are plentiful, and the app provides plenty of helpfulinformation presented in a logical and easy-to-read fashion. The watch has aheart rate sensor and an ECG monitor, and once the feature is approved for usein the U.S., it will have a blood pressure monitor too.The Galaxy Watch 3’s design is great, it comes in two sizes, the controls areexcellent, and it has all the right smartwatch features on board to make ituseful every day. What separates it from Wear OS watches is the software,which is faster and smoother. It’s priced at the same level as the AppleWatch, and is the best option for Android phone owners.Read our full Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 review
Best smartwatch 2021 – our reviews compared
We’ve run down the pick of our smartwatch reviews, and distilled them into oneread. However, read the full in-depth testing before buying to make sureyou’re getting the right device for your needs.Credit: Wareable
* Best Overall: Apple Watch Series 5 * A Good Starter Smartwatch: Mobvoi Ticwatch E2 * Best for Android Users: Samsung Galaxy Watch * Best Hybrid Smartwatch: LG Watch W7 * Best Fitbit Smartwatch: Fitbit Ionic * Best Dress Smartwatch: Emporio Armani Connected Smartwatch * Most Luxurious: Montblanc Summit 2 * The Rugged Pick: Casio Protrek Smart WSD-F20 * A Fashionista’s Dream: Michael Kors Access Runway
3. Apple Watch Series 3: Best value Apple Watch
Price: £197 | Buy now from Amazon Admittedly, a £195 price tag stretches the boundaries of what we consider tobe a ‘cheap’ smartwatch but, if you’re already invested in the iOS ecosystem,then the Apple Watch 3 is undoubtedly the best way to go. Why? Because it’sstill one of the very best smartwatches money can buy but it’s considerablycheaper than the newer Watch 5.As well as doing practically everything its successors can do, the Apple Watch3 is small, lightweight and beautifully designed. Notable features includeGPS, in-depth fitness tracking (including swim tracking), contactless paymentsand music playback via Spotify. Following last year’s watchOS 5 softwareupgrade, there are additional workouts to choose from as well as a newcompetition mode, so you can challenge your friends. Digital assistant Sirihas also been refined.Put simply, Apple’s smartwatches continue to set the gold standard forwearable technology, and the Series 3 currently offers the best value ofanything in the California-based company’s range.Read our full Apple Watch Series 3 reviewKey specs – Operating system: watchOS; Screen size and type: 1.5in 272 x 340OLED; Battery life: 18 hours; Replaceable strap: No; GPS: Built-in; Heartrate: Yes; NFC: No* * *
Best Value in Smartwatches
The best value in smartwatches remains the Apple Watch Series 3. Even thoughit is now two years old, the Series 3 remains a solid smartwatch choice — atleast if the person you are shopping for uses an iPhone. It lacks newerfeatures such as an always-on display or built-in ECG test, but it runs thelatest version of watchOS smoothly, it has all the key features most peopleare looking for (including heart-rate tracking and GPS), and there arethousands of compatible bands to dress it up.The Apple Watch Series 3 is even more affordable than last year, after Applelowered the starting price from $279 to $199.
5. Apple Watch Series 6: Best sports smartwatch
Price: £379 | Buy now from John Lewis Apple’s latest smartwatch isn’t a massive update on its predecessor, theSeries 5 (which previously occupied this position in our roundup).Nevertheless, it’s arguably the best smartwatch you can buy.Its sports tracking features remain largely unchanged, which is no bad thing.However, in addition to in-built GPS, heart rate monitor and a great workoutapp, there are a couple of new additions. The Series 6 now offers blood-oxygenmeasurements, sleep tracking, and an always-on altimeter. This latter featureallows you to track your altitude in real time whereas, previously, the AppleWatch altimeter would only update every 15 minutes.As with all Apple Watches before it, the battery life is nothing to write homeabout. However, it should be capable of logging all but the longest workouts,and the Series 6 is undoubtedly deserving of its place here.Key specs – Battery life: 18 hours; GPS: Yes; Waterproof: Yes; Heart-ratetracking: Yes; Bluetooth/ANT+: Bluetooth
6. Huawei GT 2e: Best budget sports smartwatch
Price: From £105 | Buy now on Amazon The Huawei GT 2e sits somewhere in between a smartwatch and a sports watch.It’s not a full smartwatch because it doesn’t run Wear OS and so has no appstore, but it has a large, bright AMOLED touchscreen and you can put music onit (Android users only). By not using Google’s software, however, Huawei hasbeen able to massively increase the battery life of the GT 2e compared to mostAndroid smartwatches, with the GT 2e lasting around a week even if regularlyusing it to track outdoor exercise.With 100 workout modes it’s definitely fair to say the GT 2e shines on thesports front, and it offers runners, in particular, impressive insights intotheir training load and overall fitness, using the same Firstbeat technologythat you find in Garmin devices. There are also some preset running workoutsyou can use, and training plans for events ranging from 5K to a marathon.The GT 2e has built-in GPS, a heart rate monitor and can also track your bloodoxygen levels using a SpO2 sensor. Along with sports it does a solid job oftracking everyday activity and Huawei’s sleep tracking is right up there withFitbit and Polar’s as among the best available on any watch. The onlysignificant caveat is that sadly the Watch GT2e won’t interface with Strava.If Huawei fixes that, this is a truly formidable watch for the money.Key specs – Battery life: Up to two weeks; GPS: Yes; Waterproof: Yes; Heart-rate tracking: Yes; Bluetooth/ANT+: BluetoothApple Watch Black Friday 2021: the deals we expect to seeBlack Friday Apple Watch deals are always popular. We’ve been tracking themever since Apple launched its first premium smartwatch back in 2015, and everyNovember this page – where we round up the best Black Friday Apple Watch dealsof the year – receives some of the highest traffic of the month.It’s no surprise, of course: the Apple Watch is the best smartwatch in theworld, and it’s still the best-selling smartwatch too. We expect interest tobe just as high for Black Friday 2021 (which falls on November 26), so to helpyou find the best Black Friday Apple Watch deal then, we’ve pulled togethereverything you need to know now – from which retailers to watch, to ourpredictions for the discounts we might see.We track Apple Watch deals all year round, so we know the difference between agreat offer and, well, one you should avoid. Once the official Apple WatchBlack Friday deals for 2021 start to drop, we’ll be rounding up the best oneson this page – but if you’re keen to buy one now, then the good news is thatsome of this year’s Black Friday deals are still available and you always haveAmazon Prime Day to look forward to.So what have we got? Well, there are plenty of price cuts on most models, fromthe older – but great value – Series 3 watches to the newest Series 6 and SEdevices. Stock levels are turbulent, though, so if you see something you likeit’s worth grabbing it while you can.Today’s best Apple Watch deals