Affiliate links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.
The best Wear OS watches to buy in 2024
There were only a few decent smartwatch options in the early days of Android Wear — mainly from Motorola and LG. Since then, the platform has been rebranded to Wear OS, and many other companies have joined the Wear OS party. We’re now seeing Wear OS watches come from fashion brands and watchmakers as well as smartphone OEMs. There are plenty of options out there, but which ones are the best? Here are our picks for the best Wear OS watches and best Android watches you can buy.
The current state of Wear OS
Wear OS needed a revamp for years, and Google finally delivered one in 2021. Co-developed by Google and Samsung, Wear OS 3 offered OEMs the ability to customize the look and feel of the interface. It also provided better all-around performance, more battery efficiency, and new apps. Since then, the platform has evolved into Wear OS 4, the most recent update available on select devices.
Yet, some devices remain behind as the latest software rolls out slowly across the market. Fortunately, both versions (as well as Wear OS 2) include tight integration with Android: whether you’re interacting with a notification or asking Google Assistant a question, the experience between your smartwatch and your smartphone should be relatively seamless. Generally speaking, Wear OS is a lot like Android proper in that it provides choice. Need something sporty for your outdoor activities? There’s a watch for that. Looking for a classier smartwatch that looks like a traditional timepiece? There are watches for that as well. Want the purest form of the newest Wear OS available? Google’s own Pixel Watch 2 has you covered.
Notably, Fossil recently announced that it is leaving the smartwatch game. Though older devices will still be supported for now, we’ve decided to remove the brand from our best list in light of this change.
The best Wear OS watches
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 series: Samsung’s latest smartwatches are the best Wear OS devices available. The 6 series features a sporty base option as well as an upscale Classic model so shoppers can choose the right look for their wrists.
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: For a more rugged Samsung Watch experience and a larger battery, we recommend the pricier Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. The device boasts Wear OS 4 as well as some niche features for outdoorsy users.
- Google Pixel Watch 2: The purest Wear OS experience can be found on Google’s own smartwatch lineup, now in its second generation. The Pixel Watch 2 fixes some of the original’s shortcomings and delivers a unique blend of Wear OS and Fitbit features.
- Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5: Mobvoi’s latest Pro model device offers a unique dual display as well as impressive internal specs.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 series: The best Wear OS watches
Samsung’s latest smartwatch duo includes two models: a sporty base model and an upscale Classic model featuring the fan-favorite rotating bezel. This design feature not only elevates the look of the device, it also makes onwrist navigation simpler. Beyond the bezel, however, the devices offer nearly identical experiences, running on the best of Wear OS with One UI 5 Watch running on top, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage.
That means users will find a snappy interface loaded with the best of Google’s toolkit, including Google Calendar, Gmail, Assistant, and much more. Regarding health and fitness tracking, the devices pack a BioActive sensor trio that monitors heart rate, heart health via an ECG, and body composition. The device is even FDA-approved to monitor for signs of sleep apnea. Meanwhile, they also boast SpO2 and temperature sensors, monitor sleep, and track activity details for a wide array of sports.
- Leading member of the Wear OS community: Samsung’s Galaxy Watches were the first to receive Google’s latest Wear OS, proving the company remains a leader on the Wear OS front.
- Powerful, robust smartwatches: These devices are loaded with tools and metrics, from smart features to health and fitness stats.
- Easy on the eyes: Many Samsung fans have eagerly awaited the return of the company’s rotating bezel. With its timeless design cues, the 6 Classic is one of the most attractive smartwatches on the market.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: The best rugged Wear OS watch
The premium model Galaxy Watch 5 Pro offers extra battery life, more durability, and a few exclusive features, making it the best option for outdoor enthusiasts and adventurous users. With some features exclusive to Samsung phone users, this is an especially great choice for that specific crowd.
Like the Galaxy Watch 6 series, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro runs the latest Wear O4, offering a nearly identical experience to the newer device above. However, it boasts a larger titanium case and a stronger Sapphire glass display. As mentioned, it also sneaks in a significantly larger battery, with Samsung promising up to 20 hours of battery life in GPS mode, plus a new charging cable that can juice the watch up from zero to 45% in just 30 minutes. We couldn’t eke out quite that much use during our review period, but there is certainly a significant battery life improvement. The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro also comes with Samsung’s D-buckle band, an elevated metal clasp reminiscent of luxury analog watches.
As far as features, users will find all the usual suspects, including health and fitness tools that rival even the best fitness trackers you can buy. The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro also adds key navigational upgrades you won’t find on its cheaper siblings. We made use of the new TrackBack feature on multiple hikes and loved turn-by-turn navigation right on the wrist.
- The same experience for longer: Running on the same Wear OS as the 6 series, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro offers a nearly identical experience with better battery life so you can keep the watch on your wrist instead of on its charger.
- Added durability: The 5 Pro also boasts the best durability stats of any Samsung Galaxy Watch. IT even features a raised bezel to further protect its colorful display.
- Ready for the great outdoors: In light of this device’s durable build, Samsung also packs useful navigation features for adventurous users, including TrackBack.
Google Pixel Watch 2: The best rugged Wear OS watch for a pure experience and Fitbit integration
Hands down, the Google Pixel Watch 2 is the best smartwatch for anyone venturing to Wear OS from the Fitbit ecosystem. The unique integration found on this device makes for a reliable fitness companion. Meanwhile, advanced sensors make it a valuable tool for those monitoring their health. Tracked metrics include activity, stress, and sleep, plus temperature and heart rate tracking with an onboard ECG app. It also adds automatic workout detection and irregular heart rate notifications.
Compared to its predecessor, the Pixel Watch 2 also provides better battery life and ships with a fast-charging cable to help alleviate battery woes. During our Pixel Watch 2 review, the device lasted roughly 25 hours between charges, even with a GPS workout. Meanwhile, its unique rounded glass display and integrated bands provide a minimalist look many users adore. Unfortunately, it only comes in a single case size that may be too dainty for some wrists.
Below its dome, the watch boasts Google’s latest Wear OS 4 platform in raw form. Users will find Google Maps, Wallet, Assistant, Calendar, and Gmail. You can also download tons of third-party apps through the Google Play Store. All-in-all, the experience is extensive, with everything you need on your wrist, including seamless smartphone integration.
- Google on Google: The company’s own baby, the Google Pixel Watch 2, is loaded with everything Google has to offer, including apps, software support, and fantastic hardware. Though not quite perfect, the 2 greatly improves on the first generation.
- Onboard health sensors: The Pixel Watch 2 packs an upgraded heart rate sensor, EDA sensor, temperature sensor, and SpO2 sensor, all to help users keep close tables on important health metrics.
- The best Fitbit you can buy: In light of Google’s acquisition of Fitbit and the launch of the Pixel Watch line, Fitbit’s in-house devices have continued to see cutbacks. Though an unconventional choice, the Pixel Watch 2 is easily the most powerful Fitbit device you can buy.
Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5: The best Wear OS watch from Mobvoi
Google’s Wear OS software and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon W5 Plus Gen 1 chipset combine to form a powerful option from Mobvoi in the TicWatch Pro 5. Though Wear OS 4 has not yet hit this device, it still boasts reliable performance and impressive battery specs. Users will find all the basics, including Google Maps, Google Wallet, Google Pay, and, of course, the Google Play Store. For health and fitness tracking, the device offers all-day monitoring as well as robust sleep tracking and more than 100 workout modes for logging activity.
As far as design, the watch still boasts a colorful 1.43-inch touchscreen that’s bright and responsive when in use. However, our favorite feature is Mobvoi’s unique dual display, which delivers fantastic battery savings, allowing the watch to last roughly 70 hours during our review period. The Pro 5 delivers even more functionality to this low-power screen, displaying colors corresponding to specific heart rate zones during workouts. Meanwhile, the watch also provides easier user navigation with the addition of a rotating crown.
- Mobvoi’s most advanced Wear OS experience: Many of Mobvoi’s watches have experienced a delayed rollout when it comes to Wear OS generations. Though the Pro 5 hasn’t yet received Wear OS 4, it has updated to Wear OS 3 and it’s the most likely contender for future updates from the brand.
- Power-saving dual display: Mobvoi’s dual display with customizable backlights and functionality during workouts is a unique feature within the smartwatch landscape, and we’re big fans.
- A page out of Apple’s book: The addition of a rotating crown makes the TicWatch Pro 5 much easier to navigate, even with sweaty hands. The redesign also simplifies the watch case for a sleeker look.