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The best Apple Watch alternatives you can buy

The Apple Watch might be the best smartwatch available, but it's not your only choice.
By
August 26, 2022
An Apple Watch Series 7 and a Galaxy Watch 5 Pro rest side by side on a metallic table.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

The Apple Watch Series 7 may have retained its perch atop our list of best smartwatches, but it’s not without its flaws. It’s not much of a step up over the Series 6, and several companies have done a better job offering competitors. Speaking of which, we’ve rounded up the best Apple Watch alternatives you can buy.

Our verdict: Apple Watch Series 7 review | Apple Watch SE review


Buying the right Apple Watch alternative

Right off the bat, we should highlight that there’s no pure replacement for the Apple Watch. Apple’s wearable will naturally be your best bet if you own an iPhone. That being said, Garmin, Samsung, and Fitbit provide plenty of fitness and health tracking perks.

On that note, there are distinctions to be made within the Apple Watch ladder, too. The Apple Watch Series 7 offers several health-tracking benefits over the Apple Watch SE, including blood oxygen monitoring, ECG smarts, and a more durable face. That said, the SE is much cheaper. You should consider this pricing structure and the watches’ feature sets when shopping for either, especially alternatives.

Notably, if you own an Android phone but are seriously considering jumping over to Apple’s ecosystem for the Apple Watch benefits, the below alternatives should provide some food for thought. All the watches listed below will work with Android phones; the Apple Watch does not work with Android phones at all.

So, what should you look for in an Apple Watch alternative? Considering how versatile the Apple Watch is, you might be considering several variables.

  • If you’re considering an alternative running watch, seek a wearable with built-in GPS, accurate step tracking, and features like SpO2 monitoring and VO2 max data.
  • Gym companions don’t necessarily need these features, but you might benefit from devices with multi-sport tracking. Most of the devices below should cover you in that regard.
  • Are you looking for a fashion-first wearable? Honestly, any of the below devices would look great on your wrist.
  • Finally, the Apple Watch may be your best option if you’re seeking a pure smartwatch with plenty of on-device functionality. Beyond Apple’s walled garden, a Wear OS 3 watch will give you the app support you crave, but you’ll be limited to an Android smartphone.

There’s plenty to consider, so let us help with a few of our choice picks below.


The best Apple Watch alternatives

Apple Watch Series 7 alternatives

  • The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is the best Apple Watch Series 7 alternative. The second-generation Wear OS 3 watch improves on its predecessor with a much larger battery, a stronger face, and a new skin temperature sensor.
  • Garmin’s Venu 2 Plus is the best Apple Watch Series 7 alternative for fitness and iPhone users. It’s more health-focused than its Samsung counterpart and supports Apple’s mobiles, too.
  • The Fitbit Versa 3 is the most affordable alternative to the Apple Watch Series 7. If you aren’t seeking the advanced health features of the Series 7 but are interested in stellar base fitness tracking support, the Versa 3 is a good shout.

Apple Watch SE alternatives

  • The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is also the best Apple Watch SE alternative. Specifically, the smaller 40mm model comes in cheaper than Apple’s budget smartwatch and includes its larger sibling’s features. Although you do have to settle for slightly worse battery life than the larger models.
  • The Garmin Vivoactive 4 is the best Garmin alternative to the Watch SE. It is pricier, but it’s a more focused wearable for active users packing better battery life.
  • Huawei’s Band 6 is the best affordable Apple Watch SE alternative. Huawei’s surprise hit has few flaws, and those present are made negligible by its comparatively low price.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: The best Apple Watch Series 7 alternative

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro in black titanium color metal strap on wrist showing red watch face
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

Building on the solid foundation laid down by its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is the best Wear OS watch you can buy right now. Samsung seemingly focused on nips and tucks rather than open-heart surgery. This means you can expect many of the same features found on the Galaxy Watch 4.

However, the Pro model comes with several improvements chief of which is its bigger 590mAh battery. This gives it plenty of endurance compared to its predecessor and the Series 7. It also packs a titanium body with a stronger Sapphire-coated lens. In terms of health tracking, you get a new skin temperature sensor and outdoor-specific features like GPX map support and Track Back for lost hikers.

These buffs do come at a cost — a substantial cost. The Pro’s feature set will set you back substantially more than the Apple Watch Series 7. And like the outgoing line, the Galaxy Watch 5 series doesn’t support iPhones.

If you want a Samsung smartwatch compatible with an iPhone, you’ll have to settle for the Galaxy Watch 3. That said, it remains a competent, capable smartwatch in its own right. We’d also still recommend the Galaxy Watch 4 for those who want a Wear OS smartwatch but don’t want to break the bank.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
Supports last Wear OS version to date • Improved battery life • Solid GPS accuracy
Rugged, refined, and ready for adventure.
The Galaxy Watch 5 smartwatch offers a bigger battery, and this increase, Samsung claims, leads to ten extra hours of battery life. It supports Google Assistance and Google Maps navigation, and the health-tracking updates are outstanding.

Pros

  • Durable, premium build, and D-buckle clasp
  • Improved battery life and faster charging
  • New hiking and navigation features
  • Reliable heart rate monitoring
  • Solid GPS accuracy

Cons

  • No skin temperature monitoring at launch
  • No more rotating bezel
  • GPX file sharing not applicable to runs
  • Expensive

Check out our full review to learn more about the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro.


Garmin Venu 2 Plus: The best Apple Watch Series 7 alternative for fitness

An image of the Garmin Venu 2 Plus on a chair showing the display and watch face
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

The Venu 2 Plus is a smartwatch better attuned to the health-conscious crowd. Buyers get the same features baked into the original Venu 2 but benefit from the Plus’ new smartwatch additions. Overall, it features excellent GPS accuracy, even more music storage for those who prefer offline listening, and excellent background health and sleep tracking. Garmin’s legacy features, like Body Battery, are also included. The Plus also gains voice assistant support, on-wrist calling smarts, and quicker charging. It’s also much better for swimming (the Apple Watch can track swimming, but the Venu 2 is better at it).

However, the Venu 2 Plus isn’t perfect. Battery life is better than the Apple Watch Series 7, but its new features cut its endurance compared to the original Venu 2. Unlike the Galaxy Watch 4, the Venu 2 Plus plays nice with iPhones but lacks some Android-only features. Unfortunately, its extensive feature set comes at a price that’s well higher than the Series 7.

Garmin Venu 2 Plus
Garmin Venu 2 Plus
Excellent design and build quality • Features rapid charging technology • Accurate fitness and health tracking • Excellent phone call support
Garmin is trudging into true smartwatch territory with the Venu 2 Plus.
The Garmin Venu 2 was nearly crowned our favorite wearable of 2021. Its accurate fitness- and health-tracking features, as well as the company’s revamped software, made for an overall compelling package. But Garmin watches tend to fall far behind the competition when it comes to “smart” features. You can install third-party apps and watch faces, but there’s traditionally been no support for voice assistants, phone calls, or other smartwatch staples.

Pros

  • Excellent design and build quality
  • Rapid charging helps make up for battery woes
  • Clear call quality on the wrist
  • Slow, but useful voice assistant support
  • Accurate fitness and health tracking

Cons

  • High price tag
  • Battery life shorter than Garmin’s claims
  • Heart rate sensor still has issues

Check out our full review to learn more about the Garmin Venu 2 Plus.


Fitbit Versa 3: The best Fitbit alternative to the Apple Watch Series 7

A Fitbit Versa 3 displays a number of apps stored on the device including Starbucks, Spotify, Deezer, and Pandora.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Finally, Fitbit’s relatively affordable smartwatch entry is also worth a mention. Although the Versa 3 launched in 2020, it remains a viable health-focused smartwatch. In fact, its age counts in its favor, as it often finds itself on deal listings. Sure, it’s not the Fitbit with the most advanced array of sensors — that distinction belongs to the Fitbit Sense — but it covers all the necessary bases. It packs Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa support, onboard music storage, and onboard GPS. You’ll lose Apple Pay support, but you’ll gain Fitbit Pay.

The Versa 3 lacks standout tracking features and sensors as a tradeoff for its lower price. Unlike the Sense and Series 7, it lacks an ECG sensor. Fitbit’s app offering is also far less impressive than Apple’s.

Notably, Fitbit has announced the Versa 4 with a thinner, lighter body and refreshed software. It’s not yet available to purchase, but pre-orders are open. Read how it compares to the Versa 3 here.

Fitbit Versa 3
Fitbit Versa 3
Decent battery life • Pretty accurate health tracking • Built-in GPS
The Fitbit Versa 3 is a watered-down version of the Fitbit Sense.
If you're looking for the best all-around smartwatch at a pretty good price, you're likely looking for the Fitbit Versa 3. Fitbit's cheaper flagship smartwatch sports standalone GPS, an accurate heart rate sensor, and plenty of nice smartwatch features.

Pros

  • Decent battery life
  • Pretty accurate health tracking
  • Built-in GPS
  • Google Assistant and Alexa support
  • Speaker with phone call support
  • Good price

Cons

  • Very small app library
  • Onboard music limited to two services
  • The capacitive button isn’t ideal
  • Proprietary charging cable

Check out our full review to learn more about the Fitbit Versa 3.


Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 (40mm): The best Apple Watch SE alternative

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 with black and white strap closeup
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

The standard Galaxy Watch 5 is absolutely worth considering as an Apple Watch SE alternative. The 40mm model is small and affordable, the OLED screen is bright and easy to read, and Wear OS brings an abundance of apps and service support.

Again, if you own an iPhone, you will need to consider another device. The much older Galaxy Watch Active 2 might be worth a shout in this regard.

Its smaller size doesn’t come without its limitations, though. This Galaxy Watch 5 model doesn’t quite have the battery endurance to match its larger sibling, and in some reported cases, its predecessor. But if you own an Android phone and are considering buying an iPhone just for the Apple Watch, consider getting a 40mm Galaxy Watch 5 instead.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
Supports last Wear OS version to date • Improved battery life • Solid GPS accuracy
Rugged, refined, and ready for adventure.
The Galaxy Watch 5 smartwatch offers a bigger battery, and this increase, Samsung claims, leads to ten extra hours of battery life. It supports Google Assistance and Google Maps navigation, and the health-tracking updates are outstanding.

Read more about the watch in our Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 buyer’s guide.


Garmin Vivoactive 4: The best Apple Watch SE alternative for fitness

garmin vivoactive 4 review display weather

The Garmin Vivoactive 4 is an excellent smartwatch if you put fitness and GPS tracking performance first. Battery life is excellent, lasting a week between charges. Buyers also get a host of legacy Garmin tracking smarts, from hydration tracking and sweat-loss estimate to upgraded SpO2 sensors and excellent music playback support.

However, the Vivoactive 4 isn’t without its flaws. The transflective screen is great for efficiency but falls well short of the Apple Watch SE’s visual fidelity. The watch is by no means cheap, either. You can regularly find it for under $300, but Garmin still asks for more than Apple.

If the Vivoactive 4’s kit attracts you but just can’t justify the premium, consider the Garmin Venu Sq. The standard edition debuted at $199 but can be found for well less. It also looks more like the Apple Watch SE than any other device on this list.

Garmin Vivoactive 4
Garmin Vivoactive 4
Last-gen tech at a reduced price
The Vivoactive 4 is Garmin's middle-of-the-road multisport watch. It's a great option for outdoor enthusiasts, especially if you don't need the Venu's OLED display.

Pros

  • Garmin Pay support is convenient
  • Music storage is standard
  • Week-long battery life
  • Unique breathwork exercises
  • Accurate fitness and health tracking
  • Useful and accurate sleep tracking

Cons

  • It can be expensive, even in 2022
  • Heart rate accuracy can be off with high-intensity workouts

Check out our full review to learn more about the Garmin Vivoactive 4.


Huawei Band 6: The best cheap Apple Watch SE alternative

Huawei Band 6 review watch face on wrist 1
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

If the price is the primary reason you’re considering an Apple Watch SE alternative, look no further than the Huawei Band 6. It’s more of a pure fitness tracker than a smartwatch, but it does include a large display, a 10-day battery life, and a ridiculous number of workout tracking modes. Like the Apple Watch SE, it cuts down on bulk but still feels excellent on the wrist. Blood oxygen monitoring at this price point is another bonus.

Of course, the Huawei Band 6 does fall short of the SE in certain areas. It lacks onboard GPS smarts, and its straps are not interchangeable. Its heart rate sensor does leave plenty to be desired during workouts. Overall, it’s a worthwhile alternative if your budget is limited.

Huawei recently announced the Band 7, but it’s essentially an incremental upgrade of the Band 6. For now, we’d recommend you stick with the Band 6 and its proven quality.

Huawei Band 6
Huawei Band 6
Good value • Good battery life • Lots of workout modes • All-day SpO2 monitoring
Not interested in the Mi Band? The Huawei Band 6 should be on your shortlist of alternatives.
The Huawei Band 6 has a few software issues, but none that are detrimental to the overall experience. If you're after a Mi Band alternative or simply want a cheap fitness tracker that works well, the Huawei Band 6 should be near the top of your list.

Pros

  • Comfortable, roomy form factor
  • Great value
  • Solid battery life
  • Lots of workout modes
  • All-day SpO2 monitoring

Cons

  • Limited smartwatch features and apps
  • Non-removable straps
  • Heart rate sensor struggles during workouts

Check out our full review to learn more about the Huawei Band 6.


Honorable mentions

That’s it for our list of the best Apple Watch alternatives, but it’s only a fraction of what’s out there. We also want to give an honorable mention to the following smartwatches:

  • Garmin Fenix 7 (Amazon): The Fenix 7 is perhaps the best outdoor watch money can buy, making it far more expensive than the Apple Watch Series 7. It lacks the vivid OLED screen of its rival, but hikers and adventurers will love its near three-week battery life with solar charging, extensive GPS options, and solid build.
  • Garmin Forerunner 745 (Amazon): As a pure running watch, you can’t get much better than the Forerunner 745. It’s not outrageously expensive and will provide a much better training experience than the Apple Watch models.
  • Garmin Venu 2 (Amazon): If you don’t require the additional features offered by the Garmin Venu 2 Plus and want to save $50, the original Venu 2 is a stellar option. It also mirrors the Apple Watch Series 7’s price.
  • Withings ScanWatch (Amazon): The ScanWatch punches well above its weight in the heart health tracking scene. It packs an ECG, near month-long battery life, and excellent sleep tracking. However, its small screen does limit its smartwatch potential.
  • Fitbit Charge 5 (Amazon): If you’re seeking the cheapest ECG solution for your wrist, look no further than the Charge 5. The band also brings a bright AMOLED screen and electrodermal stress tracking smarts to the table.
  • Xiaomi Mi Band 7 (Amazon): The ever-present Mi Band lineup is tough to discount if budget is a core concern. The new Mi Band 7 brings several advancements over the outgoing model, including a new focus on serious trainers, a larger screen, and a bigger battery. These improvements also come with a slightly higher price tag, though.

Top Apple Watch alternatives questions and answers

The Apple Watch will only pair with an iPhone, but you can use Apple Fitness Plus through your iPad or Apple TV alongside your watch.

No. As it runs Wear OS 3, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 series does not support iPhones.

Apple tends to release a new watch every year, so it’s safe to assume the Apple Watch Series 8 will launch in 2022.