Android Wear has evolved a lot since it was first announced back in 2014. In the early days, there were only a few options, mainly from Motorola and LG. These days, many handset makers have thrown their weight into Android Wear, and even traditional watchmakers have begun to embrace the Google-powered Android watch platform. The platform itself has even been rebranded to Wear OS!
With the number of watches available increasing dramatically, it’s hard to keep track of which watches stand out as the best. For one thing, most of the watches are all quite similar in software and hardware, leaving design preferences as the biggest factor. In order to help you make the most informed decision on which watch is right for you, we’ve rounded up what we feel to be the best Wear OS smartwatches you can buy right now.
LG Watch Sport
Alongside the launch of Android Wear 2.0, Google and LG took the wraps off two new smartwatches to showcase the big update. The higher-end of the two is the LG Watch Sport, and it’s currently the best Android Wear watch you can buy right now.
The Watch Sport has basically every feature you’d want in a smartwatch — a big AMOLED display, built-in GPS, an optical heart rate monitor, LTE connectivity, an IP68 water resistance rating, as well as support for Google Pay. The main button on the right side of the device also acts as a way to scroll through menus in Android Wear, which allows for a much faster and more robust navigation experience.
It’s a bit pricey, but we think it’s worth the money. If you’re interested in learning more, be sure to check out our LG Watch Sport review attached below.
LG Watch Style
As previously mentioned, the LG Watch Style was also unveiled alongside Android Wear 2.0. It’s not as feature packed as the Watch Sport, but it’s still a great option if you’re looking for a cheaper, less bulky smartwatch running Android Wear 2.0.
Unlike the Sport model, the Watch Style does not feature NFC for mobile payments, nor does it come with a built-in GPS, LTE connectivity or a heart rate sensor. While those omissions might seem like a big deal for some people, it’s worth noting that not everyone wants a big, bulky watch with a ton of features. The LG Watch Style is just that — a stylish, well-performing showcase for Wear OS that doesn’t try to do too much. It’s a great smartwatch, and one you should definitely consider if the current crop of Wear OS watches are just too big for your wrists.
Huawei Watch 2
Overall, the Huawei Watch 2 is another good showcase of the capabilities of Wear OS, though there are some things you should know before buying one.
Wear OS comes with a focus on fitness features, but unfortunately Huawei managed to simultaneously move too far in this direction and also fall short of it. It doesn’t come with a rotating side button for navigation, which is a shame as we really love the button on the LG Watch Sport. It does, however, come with great battery life and a stellar feature set otherwise.
The other thing you should know is that it’s not nearly as classy as the original Huawei Watch. Sure, there’s a Huawei Watch 2 Classic model that doesn’t look as outdoorsy, but it’s hard to compare to the elegant Watch.
In a world where the LG Watch Sport exists, it’s a bit harder to recommend this new Huawei device. However, if you love the look and aren’t turned away from the lack of rotating side button, this may be a good option for you.
Best Android Wear watch for fitness
The Polar M600 sport watch is by far the best Wear OS watch for fitness.
With a built-in GPS, IPX8 water resistance rating, optical heart rate monitor and 4GB of on-board storage, the M600 is quite the feature-packed device. It also comes with support for Polar’s wonderful Flow app, allowing you to track just about any activity you can think of — rowing, skiing, hiking and much more. You’ll also be able to squeeze about two days of battery life out of this thing, which is impressive for an Wear OS watch.
It’s a bit pricey, starting at $299. You can certainly find Android Wear devices for less than that, but the M600 provides much more than other devices. If you’re in the market for a smartwatch/fitness tracker hybrid and don’t mind spending upwards of $300, look no further.
Related: Fitbit Versa vs Ionic
Best affordable Android Wear watch
Aren’t keen on spending a few hundred bucks on an Android Wear watch? You should consider the Ticwatch E.
For just $159 (or cheaper if you buy from Amazon), you’re getting a solid, feature-packed smartwatch with plenty of extras — a built-in GPS, heart rate sensor, and IP67 water and dust resistance. It’s also one of the prettier Wear OS out there, too. It’s not the most elegant, though its understated, minimalistic design is what keeps us coming back to this device.
Even though our first review unit was a little buggy, we’d still recommend this device to anyone looking for Android Wear without breaking the bank.
Best stylish Android Wear watch
If you need a bare-bones smartwatch that doesn’t pack in a bunch of sensors you’re not going to use, get the Skagen Falster. It’s the prettiest Android Wear watch you can buy right now.
The Falster’s minimal design extends to its feature set. You don’t get a heart rate monitor, GPS, or even an NFC chip for use with Google Pay. It’s not for technology nerds who want to pay for things with their wrists or answer calls without taking their phone out of their pockets. It’s for the users who want a smartwatch but don’t want to sacrifice aesthetics. The $275 price tag might be hard to justify for a watch that doesn’t have many advanced features, but at least it has the looks to back it up.
There you have it, our list of the best Android Wear devices on the market. Did we miss something? Be sure to tell us what you think in the comments below!