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The best Apple Watch alternatives for 2024

The Apple Watch lineup might be the best smartwatch offering available, but it's not your only choice.
By

Published onJuly 10, 2024

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
MSRP: $449.99
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Positives
Long-lasting battery
New adventures features
Reliable heart rate monitoring
Negatives
No skin temperature monitoring at launch
GPX file sharing not applicable to runs
No more rotating bezel
Fitbit Versa 3
MSRP: $229.95
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Positives
Decent battery life
Pretty accurate health tracking
Built-in GPS
Google Assistant and Alexa support
Speaker with phone call support
Good price
Negatives
Very small app library
Features slowly being removed by Google
Capacitive button isn't ideal
Proprietary charging cable
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6
MSRP: $299.99
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Positives
Bigger, brighter AMOLED display
Snappy Wear OS 4 software experience
Sporty yet tasteful aesthetic
User-friendly quick-release strap
$100 less than Watch 6 Classic
Negatives
Mostly minor improvements over Watch 5
Unreliable touch bezel
Inconsistent GPS and heart rate data
Some features only available to Samsung phone users
Garmin Venu Sq 2
MSRP: $249.99
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Positives
Accurate GPS
Useful sleep tracking
Handy Health Snapshot feature
Negatives
Pricier than its predecessor
No altimeter
Music storage costs extra
Fitbit Charge 6
MSRP: $159.99
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Positives
Useful physical button
Updated heart rate sensor
All sport modes now on device
Google app integration
Negatives
Built-in GPS unreliable
Iterative changes compared to last year
Heart rate broadcasting limited
No altimeter
Garmin Venu 3
MSRP: $449.99
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Positives
Highly accurate GPS and heart rate sensors
Automatic nap detection and sleep coaching
On-device phone call and voice assistant support
Up to 14-day battery life
Larger display
Negatives
No ECG app
Pricey compared to competitors
No LTE model

Samsung has officially launched the Galaxy Watch 7 and Galaxy Watch Ultra. The new smartwatches include upgraded chipsets and Galaxy AI enhancements, while the Ultra brings a new body shape, added durability, and a larger battery. We expect them to replace the Samsung smartwatches on this list, but we will update this guide once we have fully reviewed both devices.

The new Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 are based on the previous generation but provide more than enough interesting new features to keep users interested. But what if these changes don’t appeal? Well, there are plenty of Apple Watch alternatives available. Find the best options below.

The best Apple Watch alternatives

An Apple Watch Ultra displays its watch face on a user's wrist.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 alternatives

  • The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is the best Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 alternative for Android phone users. The second-generation Wear OS watch improves on its predecessor with a much larger battery, a more robust face, and a new skin temperature sensor.
  • Garmin’s Venu 3 is the best Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 alternative for fitness-minded 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 9 and Ultra 2. If you aren’t seeking the advanced health features of the Apple Watch line but are interested in stellar base fitness tracking support, the Versa 3 is a good shout.

Apple Watch SE (2022) alternatives

  • The vanilla Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 is also the best Apple Watch SE alternative for Android users. The new 40mm model features a slightly larger screen than its predecessor.
  • The Garmin Venu Sq 2 is the best Garmin alternative to the Watch SE and the best alternative for iPhone users. It’s a more fitness-focused wearable for active users that packs better battery life.
  • Fitbit Charge 6 is the best affordable Apple Watch SE alternative. It might not be a smartwatch per se, but it’s a capable, petit fitness tracker perfect for active users on a budget.

Notably, if you’re considering purchasing an older Apple Watch Series 8 or Apple Watch Ultra, we believe these alternatives will also appeal to you.


Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: The best Apple Watch Series 9 and UItra 2 alternative for Android users

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
AA Editor's Choice
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
Up to 2 days battery life • Advanced sleep tracker • Fast Charging
MSRP: $449.99
Samsung's first adventure watch is a winner
Building on the Galaxy Watch 5's base with a much hardier body, Galaxy Watch 5 Pro also features multiple health and fitness tracking tools, a bigger battery, and a better navigation system. All these improvements make for a great all-round smartwatch whether you're in the boardroom or out on the trail.

Building on the solid foundation laid down by its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is among the best Wear OS watches you can buy right now. Samsung seemingly focused on nips and tucks rather than open-heart surgery. Interestingly, the Pro’s spec sheet would suggest it’s more an Apple Watch Ultra series rival. However, it should also win over Series 9 buyers too.

The Pro adopts many of the Watch 4’s features, and even boasts several improvements over the newer Samsung watches, including its bigger 590mAh battery. This gives it much endurance compared to the Series 9 and the Ultra 2. It also packs a titanium body with a more robust Sapphire-coated lens. Regarding health tracking, you get a new skin temperature sensor to improve menstrual health tracking and outdoor-specific features like GPX map support and Track Back for lost hikers. More commonplace features are retained, including heart rate monitoring, workout tracking, and sleep monitoring. Notably, the Pro also includes blood oxygen monitoring — a feature that the latest Apple Watch currently lacks in the US due to an ongoing legal dispute.

These buffs do come at a cost — a substantial cost. The Pro’s feature set will set you back more than the Apple Watch Series 9. And like the outgoing line, the Galaxy Watch 5 series doesn’t support iPhones. That said, it remains cheaper than the Ultra 2. If you want a Samsung smartwatch compatible with an iPhone, you’ll have to settle for the Galaxy Watch 3. However, we don’t advise opting for one as its Tizen OS is no longer supported by Samsung.

For budget-strapped buyers who want a Wear OS smartwatch, the Galaxy Watch FE (on the product’s website) is worth a look. It’s effectively a rebranded Galaxy Watch 4 with a 40mm dial.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro Watch face
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

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 more rotating bezel
  • GPX file sharing not applicable to runs
  • Expensive

Garmin Venu 3: The best Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 alternative for iPhone users

Garmin Venu 3
Garmin Venu 3
AA Editor's Choice
Garmin Venu 3
Highly accurate GPS and heart rate sensors • Automatic nap detection and sleep coaching • Up to 14-day battery life
MSRP: $449.99
Accuracy and smarts.
The Garmin Venu 3 and Venu 3S focus on providing personalized data about your health and wellness with some of Garmin's most advanced body tracking features. The Body Battery function informs you of your activity levels, and new sleep tracking includes nap detection.

Garmin’s latest smartwatch had a lot to do to topple the Venu 2 Plus, and arguably, it does just that. The Venu 3 is now available in two sizes, and carries over the Venu 2 Plus’ novel features, including voice assistant support, ECG support, and on-wrist call support. New software features also join the package, including automatic nap detection and Daily Summary. The latter produces a nifty general fitness outlook every morning. Quite useful. It also tracks blood oxygen saturation, giving it a leg up on Apple’s latest watches.

Notably, Garmin devices are also better Apple alternatives than Samsung and Fitbit. For one, it can be used with an iPhone without issue, and its full feature set is available within the walled garden, too.

If you have Apple Watch’s Ultra 2 levels of cash and crave a hardier high-end watch, consider grabbing the more extreme sport and outdoor-orientated Garmin Epix Pro ($899.99 at Amazon).

Garmin Venu 3 review watch face
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Pros

  • Highly accurate GPS and heart rate sensors
  • Automatic nap detection and sleep coaching
  • On-device phone call and voice assistant support
  • Up to 14-day battery life
  • Larger display

Cons

  • Pricey compared to competitors
  • No LTE model

Fitbit Versa 3: The best Fitbit alternative to the Apple Watch Series 9

Fitbit Versa 3
Fitbit Versa 3
Fitbit Versa 3
Decent battery life • Accurate health tracking • Built-in GPS
MSRP: $229.95
The best value Fitbit smartwatch
The Fitbit Versa 3 carries all the smart features you could want on a mid-range smartwatch, including Google Assistant support, voice replies, and reliable health tracking. It's effectively a Fitbit Sense without the pricier specialized sensors.

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 and Sense 2 — but it covers all the necessary bases. It packs Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa support, music streaming support, and onboard GPS. It also has blood oxygen monitoring smarts.

The Versa 3 lacks standout tracking features and sensors as a tradeoff for its lower price. Unlike the Sense duo and Series 9, it lacks an ECG sensor. Fitbit’s companion app is far less impressive than Apple’s.

Notably, the Fitbit Versa 4 has a thinner, lighter body and refreshed software, but we don’t recommend it over its predecessor due to its stripping of key smart features.

A Fitbit Versa 3 rests on an abstract, colorful background.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority
Versa 3

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

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 (40mm): The best Apple Watch SE alternative for Android users

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6
AA Recommended
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6
Bigger, brighter AMOLED display • Snappy Wear OS 4 software experience • Sporty yet tasteful aesthetic
MSRP: $299.99
Bigger and better.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 brings the best of Wear OS 4 and Samsung's smartwatch features to the table. A large display and full Samsung Wallet app make the Watch 6 a powerful standalone device, while integration with Samsung phones makes the Watch 6 a valuable part of your Galaxy ecosystem.

The standard Galaxy Watch 6 is a little pricier this time, but it has a slightly larger battery and screen than its predecessor. The 40mm model is the best Apple Watch SE alternative for Android users, offering a great all-round feature kit. It’s the better fitness watch, and battery life is on par with Apple’s smaller wearable.

The Galaxy Watch 6 lacks significant upgrades over its predecessor, so the Galaxy Watch 5 ($162.57 at Amazon) 40mm model is a much cheaper alternative if you’re budget-strapped.

A Galaxy Watch 6 Classic user checks their sleep tracking data.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Pros

  • Elegant design and build materials
  • Ships with Wear OS 4
  • Bright, vibrant AMOLED display
  • Robust, snappy software experience

Cons

  • Only minor upgrades over Watch 5
  • Imperfect heart rate data
  • Disappointing battery life
  • Some features only work with Samsung phones

Garmin Venu Sq 2: The best Apple Watch SE alternative for iPhone users

Garmin Venu Sq 2
Garmin Venu Sq 2
AA Recommended
Garmin Venu Sq 2
Updated heart rate sensor • Data downloadable • Bright and colorful display
MSRP: $249.99
A brighter display meets newer sensors
The Venu Sq 2 smartwatch lands with a brighter display fitted to its now customary square body. It boasts an extensive array of health analysis, from Garmin's Body Battery to detailed sleep tracking. The data collected is downloadable, and it offers connective features with external captors.

The Garmin Venu Sq 2 seems purpose-built to take on the Apple Watch SE line. It packs a square AMOLED screen that’s easy to read and stands out among the many circular devices on the market. It also includes excellent battery life, lasting up to 11 days per charge.

Its actual trump card is its health-tracking kit. The Venu Sq 2 packs an accurate built-in GPS with improved heart rate accuracy and useful sleep tracking. It also includes Garmin’s stress tracking metrics, SpO2 tracking, reliable Body Battery measurements, and useful Health Snapshot feature.

For these benefits, you’ll have to trade several smart features. More annoyingly, if you want onboard music support, you’ll need to pay extra for the Music edition.

A Garmin Venu Sq displays a user's glances.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Pros

  • Bright, colorful AMOLED display
  • Very impressive battery life
  • Improved heart rate accuracy
  • Accurate GPS
  • Useful sleep tracking
  • Handy Health Snapshot feature

Cons

  • Pricier than its predecessor
  • No altimeter
  • Music storage costs extra
  • Limited smartwatch features
  • No audible alerts

Fitbit Charge 6: The best cheap Apple Watch SE alternative

Fitbit Charge 6
Fitbit Charge 6
AA Recommended
Fitbit Charge 6
Useful physical button • Updated heart rate sensor • All sport modes now on device
MSRP: $159.99
The Fitbit Charge 6 is the company's 2023 top-of-the-line fitness tracker
When it comes to fitness trackers, the Fitbit Charge 6 is now the best product in the company's portfolio. To get anything better, you'd need to jump up to the Sense 2, which is more like a smartwatch. The Charge 6 has a full-color display, 40 exercise modes, and the most advanced heart-rate tracker Fitbit offers.

The Charge 6 is a taste of things to come from Fitbit. It’s a sleek fitness tracker in the mold of the Charge 5 but one-ups its predecessor in several ways.

While it carries over all the features of the Charge 5, including SpO2 monitoring, you’ll now also get more exercises, YouTube Music controls, Google Maps turn-by-turn navigation, and Google Wallet support. Notably, those who visit public gyms can also use the device to share heart rate data.

It’s important to note that the Charge series was never meant to be a smartwatch; therefore, its smartwatch feature set is tightly limited compared to the Apple Watch SE. Nevertheless, it’s cheaper, a better fitness companion, and is arguably more attractive.

A Fitbit Charge 6 displays its watch face.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Pros

  • Compact form factor
  • Great value
  • Week-long battery life
  • Lots of workout modes
  • All-day SpO2 monitoring

Cons

  • Limited smartwatch features

Honorable mentions

google pixel watch 2 bay blue watch face 2
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

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:

  • Google Pixel Watch 2 ($349.99 at Amazon): Google’s second smartwatch rings the changes with a more modern chipset, wellness and health tracking features, and a more refined design.
  • Garmin Forerunner 255 ($304.99 at Amazon): As a pure running watch, the Forerunner 255 strikes the perfect balance between features and price. It’s slightly cheaper than the Series 9 and will provide a much better training experience than all Apple Watch models. If you want a bright and beautiful OLED screen on your running watch, consider the Forerunner 265. You will need an additional $100 on hand, though.
  • Garmin vivoactive 5 ($299.99 at Amazon): The vivoactive 5 boasts the same heart rate monitor as the Venu 3, boasts a large AMOLED screen, and a refreshed UI to boot. It lacks ECG support, though, and costs much more than its still capable predecessor.
  • Withings ScanWatch ($299 at Amazon): The ScanWatch punches well above its weight in the heart health tracking scene. It packs an ECG, a near-month-long battery life, and excellent sleep tracking. However, its small digital screen hidden behind analog trappings does limit its smartwatch potential.
  • Fitbit Charge 5 ($134 at 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.
  • Xiaomi Mi Band 8 ($37.82 at AliExpress): The ever-present Mi Band lineup is tough to discount if budget is a core concern. The new Mi Band 8 offers a slightly tweaked form factor over its predecessors and provides accurate fitness results, but it lacks GPS and isn’t widely available.

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 wearables will naturally be your best bet if you own an iPhone. Garmin, Samsung, and Fitbit provide plenty of fitness and health tracking perks.

Currently, the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2’s blood oxygen monitoring tech are disabled due to an ongoing legal dispute in the US. While there is a chance that Apple could reactivate the feature in the future, it’s unclear how this dispute will play out. If you must have SpO2 monitoring on your smartwatch, consider looking elsewhere or at Apple’s older Series 8 or original Ultra model.

On that note, distinctions must be made within the Apple Watch ladder. The Apple Watch Series 9 offers several health-tracking benefits over the Apple Watch SE, including blood oxygen monitoring, ECG smarts, a more durable build, and a new temperature sensor that informs more intuitive cycle tracking. That said, the SE is much cheaper. When shopping for either, you should consider this pricing structure and the watches’ feature sets, especially alternatives.

The Apple Watch Ultra series is also in play, bringing a much larger battery, rugged titanium shell, and plenty of additional features that more adventurous and sporty users will appreciate. It also comes with the highest price we’ve ever seen tied to an Apple Watch.

Notably, if you own an Android phone but are seriously considering jumping over to Apple’s ecosystem for the Apple Watch benefits, the alternatives below 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 lineup now 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. Apple Watches lack vital recovery data for those who take their training seriously.
  • 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 seek a pure smartwatch with plenty of on-device functionality. Beyond Apple’s walled garden, a Wear OS watch will give you the app support you crave, but you’ll be limited to an Android smartphone.

Top Apple Watch 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. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 series does not support iPhones. If you are considering a Wear OS watch that does work with an iPhone, consider the Fossil Gen 6 series.

Unfortunately not. You cannot sync the Apple Watch with an Android smartphone.

Apple announced the Apple Watch Series 9 and the Ultra 2 in September 2023. The Apple Watch SE (2022) was announced a year earlier.

The Apple Watch Series 9 is practically the same device, but it does include worthwhile upgrades, like onboard Siri computations and the new double tap gesture. We recommend the Apple Watch Series 9 if you are a newcomer to the ecosystem.

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