TOP Smartwatches

1
Apple Watch Series 3 Product Image

Apple Watch Series 3

  • Available as GPS only or GPS + cellular (LTE connectivity)
  • One of the best designs and feel in a smartwatch; tasteful, elegant, comfortable
  • Ultra bright, high-quality OLED display
  • Built-in altimeter that measures elevation
  • Improved SIRI digital assistant with audio reply

The Apple Watch needs no presentation: it is one of the best smartwatches you can find. The Watch Series 3 is as competitive as always in design and capabilities. It comes in 2 version: GPS only or GPS + Cellular (has an eSIM), which basically frees you up from your iPhone even more. It is twice as brighter and has a CPU which is 70% faster. There’s not much to dislike about the new Apple Watch Series 3, except maybe for the steep price and the short battery life.

9.8

BEST!

2
Samsung Gear Sport Product Image

Samsung Gear Sport

  • First smartwatch with Spotify support
  • Water resistant 5ATM (50 meters)
  • Built-in GPS
  • It kept the rotating bezel
  • Compatible with any 20mm strap/band
  • Decent battery life
  • Works with both iOS and Android smartphones

The new Samsung Gear Sport is a premium looking smartwatch, durable and with an attractive design. It is compatible with iOS and Android devices. It is water resistant (50m) and it’s the first Spotify watch so you can sync music from Spotify and listen to it offline without carrying your phone with you. It has a decent battery life that can even last for even 3 days, depending on the usage.

9.5

Outstanding

3
Fitbit Ionic Product Image

Fitbit Ionic

  • Accurate and advanced health and fitness features
  • NFC and built in GPS
  • Water resistant (50m)
  • Great battery life
  • You can store up to 300 songs
  • Bright and colorful display

The Fitbit Ionic is basically the first real smartwatch released by Fitbit. While it is still better equipped when it comes to health and fitness features, it also has a lot of the desired capabilities of a smartwatch: NFC and storage space for music. It has a bright display with powerful colors, an impressive battery life and a plethora of accurate and advanced tools for tracking your activities, sleep and heart rate. It’s not the most affordable or elegant watch you can buy, but it pretty much includes everything you need in a wearable device.

9.3

Outstanding

4
Huawei Watch 2 Product Image

Huawei Watch 2

  • A lot of useful features: 4G, NFC for mobile payments, built in GPS and more
  • Good battery life
  • In-depth fitness tracking and useful training apps
  • User friendly interface
  • Lots of sensors

Huawei Watch 2 is a sporty smartwatch with a bit of a rugged, chunky look. It doesn’t have the slimmest, most elegant design, but it comes with built in GPS, 4G, NFC and more. It does leave room for improvement when it comes to its operating speed, but its Android Wear 2.0 OS does open a lot of possibilities. It is an average watch with pros and cons, but definitely high-quality enough to be worthy of your consideration.

9.2

Outstanding

5
FitBit Versa Product Image

FitBit Versa

  • Attractive
  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Great activity tracking features
  • Clean, simple interface

The Fitbit Versa is a great value for the money. It is really comfortable and attractive, both for women and men, it is lightweight, it has an improved touchscreen over the Ionic, great fitness/workout features and a simple, straightforward interface, all for a more decent price than its major competitors. The only really major downside we could find in it is the lack of GPS.

9.1

Outstanding

6
LG Watch Style Product Image

LG Watch Style

  • One of the most attractive, elegant designs
  • Good looking and user-friendly interface
  • Google Assistant support
  • Android and iOS compatible
  • Lighweight
  • Bright display

The LG Watch Style is a smartwatch characterized by elegance. It is stylish, fashionable, slim, lightweight and comfortable. It is not designed for fitness enthusiasts, but for people who appreciate the look and feel of a premium-like smartwatch. The fact that it was developed in collaboration with Google is another plus and it is reflected in its simple, user-friendly interface. On the downside, the LG Watch Style lacks GPS, NFC, a loudspeaker and a HR sensor.

9.0

Very Good

7
Garmin Forerunner 645 Music Product Image

Garmin Forerunner 645 Music

  • Can store up to 500 tracks
  • Attractive design
  • Lightweight
  • Extremely complex and accurate in terms of sensors and fitness/sports features
  • Great visibility in any conditions

The Garmin Forerunner 645 Music is an upgrade to the Forerunner 645 smartwatch, with one long awaited improvement: it can store and play up to 500 songs directly from the watch, entertaining and energizing your work out sessions. The 645 Music is comfortable, light yet solid, has GPS and a 5 ATM rating.

9.0

Very Good

8
Asus ZenWatch 3 Product Image

Asus ZenWatch 3

  • Extremely elegant and attractive; one of the best looking watches on the market
  • Customizable
  • Beautiful watch faces
  • Built-in speaker and microphone
  • Decent battery life
  • Has quick charging

The ZenWatch 3 by Asus is one of the best looking and most elegant smartwatches we’ve seen. It simply spells luxury and style. While it does lack a lot of features such as GPS, NFC, HR sensor, it does have a microphone and speaker, allows you to reply to messages and it’s now updated to Android Wear 2.0. It is not the best option for fitness enthusiasts and it’s not as practical and complex as the major players on the market, but it does have all the basic tools you need in a smart watch, all packed in an attractive, fashionable wearable.  

8.9

Very Good

9
Samsung Galaxy Watch  Product Image

Samsung Galaxy Watch

  • Premium, stylish design
  • 5ATM rated
  • Good battery life
  • LTE, GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth support
  • The rotating bezel is a joy to use

The Galaxy Watch has everything you want in a smartwatch: it is completely waterproof, it has LTE support, WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS and all your usual sensors. It has an extended battery life compared to the S3 and a really elegant design.

8.7

Very Good

10
TicWatch Pro Product Image

TicWatch Pro

  • Impressive battery life
  • Dual display (LCD + OLED)
  • GPS, Bluetooth, WiFi, NFC
  • Premium design

The TicWatch Pro is a high-end smartwatch classified as a mid-range wearable, due to its average price. It has a premium design and almost all the features you want in a smartwatch: GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC. The downsides of it: it is not fully waterproof and it is a bit slow, due to its insufficient RAM memory and its chipset.

8.6

Very Good

Last updated September 16, 2020

All About Smartwatches

Smartwatches

History tends to repeat itself, one way or the other. Even when it comes to technology. In the past, when all the mobile phone madness started, people were bored with corded telephones and we wanted small, comfortable cellular phones that we can fit in any pocket and purse. The smaller, the better. Then things started to advance and phones became more than simple communication tools. They became small, portable TVs, with screens, streaming capabilities and high resolutions. So people started to look for more inches on their display. The larger the screen, the better the view. As technology progressed even more, we realized we can be even smarter than that. We can also check what time is, track our health and sleep, organize our days, get to wherever we want, listen to our favorite music or play games, all using the same gadget. Our mobile phones became smartphones, capable to both simplify our life and entertain it. But what if we can pack all those features into an even smaller device that is even more comfortable to wear? It would have to be as smart as a smartphone, but smaller and easier to wear, without us worrying about it at all times. Thus, the smartwatch was developed.

Smartwatches are portable, computer based wristwatches. Nowadays, most of them act like a miniature smartphone or a ‘watch phone’. They come with a touchscreen display, mobile apps and communicate with your smartphone via Bluetooth. They can do a lot more than just telling you the time. They can support Bluetooth connectivity, WiFi and GPS, they can notify you when you get an email, sms or IM, they let you listen to music, they can act as a fitness tracker (counting your steps, tracking your run), measure your heart rate and quality of your sleep, send you alerts, act as a reminder, make phone calls and much more.

Although the first digital watch with LED was released all the way back in 1972, by the Hamilton Watch Company and Electro/Data, the smartwatch concept as we know it today was popularized in 2013 by an American startup brand named Pebble, which had developed the first real smartwatch and was looking for funding on the Internet. Kickstarter helped them raise enough money to manufacture and sell over one million Pebble smartwatches.

Throughout the years, smartwatches have continued to evolve: their battery life has increased, their display has improved and they include more and more features every day.

There are both pros and cons when it comes to smartwatches. The pros obviously overcome the disadvantages.

Here are some of the PROS of having a smart watch:

  • More wearable. By being a wrist-device, it frees your hands. You don’t have to keep getting your phone out of your pocket every time you have to check your email, answer to someone, etc. They are also considerably smaller, thus more comfortable
  • Very customizable. You are not stuck with that same old watch face all your life. You can choose between dozens or hundreds of watch faces that you can change on a daily basis if you want. You can also choose what to have displayed, the alerts or notifications you want to receive and so on. Everything can be personalized to your taste
  • It can do a lot more than a simple watch, as we’ve already mentioned above: a smart watch can act as your own personal assistant, health trainer and entertainer
  • You can answer your calls or messages directly from your watch, without even touching your smartphone

There are also some disadvantages in having a smartwatch:

  • I guess the biggest one is the battery life. No matter how much technology has evolved and battery life has increased, a smart watch can never compete with a classic watch in terms of battery. On the contrary: the smarter the watch and the more functions it has, the quicker the battery drains out. Most smart watches today have a run time of 1-5 days, tops. It may be frustrating to know you have to constantly charge your watch
  • A lot of smartwatches provide inaccurate data, especially when it comes to fitness tracking, heart rate monitoring and sleep monitoring. While the high-end, most expensive watches are more accurate, the rest of them don’t go beyond 80% when it comes to data precision.
  • Smartwatches are more expensive than regular watches, especially the more advanced ones.

Smartwatches - What To Look For

Smartwatches

The market is oversaturated with smartwatch choices. There are so many options out there, that you can get a headache just thinking about them. There are so many unknown and popular brands available, for all budgets and tastes, that settling for one can be a difficult task.

Here are some guidelines you can follow when you are in the market for a smartwatch:

  • Check the compatibility of the smartwatch with your smartphone. Whether you have an Android or iOS smartphone, make sure the smartwatch you want to buy is compatible with it
  • Get your priorities in order. Smartwatches come loaded with myriad of features and it’s up to you to decide which ones are more important for you. Do you want a watch that is mainly a fitness tracker, has a HR monitor, incorporated GPS, one that lets you answer your calls or just receive notifications? Do you want it closer to a smartphone, a fitness band, or both? Price will vary a lot depending on how many features the watch has, so don’t spend your money on functions you know you won’t use that often
  • Don’t fall for cheap smartwatches that seem to have it all. There are a lot of unknown brands available at prices that can be very tempting. You can buy a smartwatch on Amazon for as low as $7. Try to be realistic though and understand that you have to compromise somewhere: if you want something cheap, it probably won’t perform that well and it won’t be that complex and smart. If you find a watch that looks and seems to be too good to be true, money and feature-wise, it probably is!
  • Pay attention to the battery life. As we’ve already mentioned, smartwatches have a shorter battery life in general, compared to classic, analog watches. All that aside, some smartwatches are longer lasting than others. As a useful tip, hybrid smartwatches usually have the longest battery life. Check the specs of the watch you are interested in buying and make sure you settle for the best option for your needs. Battery life ranges from 1 to 7 days, depending on the technology, usage and the amount of power needed by the device
  • Quality of materials. Aside from design and capabilities, it is also important to choose a durable watch, with a high-quality band that is both durable, comfortable and easy to replace. The display of the watch is also important. Read reviews on any watch you are interested in to find out how resistant the watch is to scratches, impacts and so on.
  • Type of display and interface. Most smartwatches today have either an LCD or AMOLED color display. They are the best at both quality and brightness. However, they tend to run out of battery faster. There are still options out there with simple black and white display, if battery life is more important to you than colors. Another thing to consider is touch screen vs buttons (there are still a lot of people that prefer the feel of a button vs the sensitive touch screen) and also how many things are displayed on the screen. There are watches that just show you the notifications, others that show you the entire message, and so on. Each of them comes with advantages and disadvantages and in the end it is just a matter of personal preference
  • Number of available apps and watchfaces. One of the beauty of a smartwatch is that it can have a fresh look anytime you want to, so you won’t get bored looking at the same watchface every day. There are smartwatches that have thousands of available apps and a plethora of watch faces to choose from.
  • Features. This is too wide of a topic. As we’ve stressed it so many times, smartwatches have a lot of abilities and features, depending on the model, technology and price range. Make a list with the features that are of most use to you in a smartwatch.
  • Water resistance. Most smartwatches today are somewhat water resistant. But not all of them equally. And not all of them are waterproof. Water resistant watches can be exposed to water to a limited degree, but not entirely. Waterproof watches on the other hand are impervious to it. Some smartwatches will be able to cope with rain, showers, but won’t be fit for swimming or immersing in water for a longer period of time. You will often see marks and ratings, such as ‘IP68’ on watches, indicating the level of water resistance. IPM stands for International Protection Marking, or in other interpretations, Ingress Protection Marking and it indicates the degree of protection against several factors: impacts, dust, water. You can check the different degrees and codes on the Internet: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IP_Code.

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