In the early days of Android Wear, there were only a few decent smartwatch options — 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 more Wear OS watches come from fashion brands and watchmakers than smartphone OEMs.
Most of the watches are all quite similar in software and hardware, making design preferences the biggest factor. To help you make the most informed decision, we’ve rounded up what we feel are the best Wear OS smartwatches you can buy right now.
Best overall: Mobvoi TicWatch Pro
Mobvoi’s TicWatch Pro is the best Wear OS watch you can buy. This smartwatch’s biggest feature is its display — it actually has two. It features a transparent and low-power FTSN LCD display, placed on top an OLED display. The top FTSN display shows you basic info like the time, date, your heart rate, and your step count. You can also switch to the OLED display, which shows off all of the features of Google’s Wear OS.
When you switch to the OLED display, you are in TicWatch Pro’s Smart Mode, and can use all its features and functions. Switching to the low-power FTSN LCD display puts the watch in its Essential Mode.
The nice thing is when you switch back to Smart Mode, all of the heart rate and activity info gathered by the watch’s Essential Mode sync up and transfer to the onboard Wear OS. Battery life in Essential Mode can last up to 30 days, though using the smartwatch in Smart Mode cuts that to just two days.
In addition, the TicWatch Pro has an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance, along with its own heart rate monitor and GPS hardware. It has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 2100 processor inside, along with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of onboard storage. It’s available now in either black or silver on Amazon for $249.
Best Wear OS watch for fitness: Fossil Sport
The Fossil Sport makes this list in part because it features Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon Wear 3100 chipset. Most Wear OS devices use the older Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor. Smartwatches with the new Wear 3100 chipset, like the Fossil Sport, should offer better performance and, more importantly, improved battery life compared to the older wearables. Indeed, Fossil claims the Sport’s 350mAh battery should last at least 24 hours on a single charge and even longer if you use its battery saver mode.
Aside from the most recent Qualcomm wearable chipset, the Fossil Sport has a 1.2-inch AMOLED display with a 390 x 390 resolution, and inside it has a heart rate sensor, GPS, and NFC hardware so you can make payments with the watch via Google Pay. Finally, the Fossil Sport comes in two sizes (41mm and 43mm) and you can choose from six different colors.
You can purchase the Fossil Sport for $255 online, or you can go to one of the company’s retail stores to buy one. Be warned: this smartwatch is currently in short supply online so you might have to do a little searching to find a new unit.
Best affordable Wear OS watch: Ticwatch S2
Mobvoi’s new TicWatch S2 is the best cheap Wear OS watch in early 2019. At just $179, you get a fantastic OLED display and a sporty design, complete with a MIL-STD-810G rating. Not many Wear OS devices are that durable — especially at this price point.
A few things to keep in mind before you buy: Both the new TicWatch S2 and E2 lack NFC, so you won’t be able to use Google Pay. Also, we would have put the TicWatch E2 on our list, but we actually came away a tad underwhelmed by it. It’s not a huge step up from its predecessor (which costs $30 less), and its design is pretty bland.
However, we really don’t think you can go wrong with the TicWatch S2.
Best stylish Wear OS watch: Skagen Falster 2
Like the first Falster watch, the Falster 2 has a minimal and light design that just looks good on your wrist. Even better, the new watch adds features that were lacking in the original, such as GPS, a heart rate monitor, and NFC. In our review, we encountered some laggy software, but the company has plans to update the watch which will hopefully address those issues. You can buy it with leather or silicone bands for $275, while the steel-mesh strap versions cost $295.
Did we miss something? Be sure to tell us what you think in the comments below!
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