This year has been a strong one for smartwatches. IFA 2019 alone saw 14 new smartwatches announced and there have been plenty others launched over the last couple of months. With so much variety, we have compiled a list of the best new smartwatches from Garmin, Samsung, Fitbit, and others you need to be on the lookout for.
The best new smartwatches
Editor’s note: We will update this list regularly as new and exciting smartwatches launch.
Garmin has been making fitness smartwatches for years, but most of them have had a practical rather than an eye-catching design. This has changed with the Garmin Venu. This stylish smartwatch is Garmin’s first to sport an AMOLED display, rather than the brand’s typical MIP displays. But it has more to offer than good looks — you will find the same accurate fitness and health tracking present on other Garmin watches, heart rate monitoring, support for contactless payments through Garmin Pay, and more.
It supports customizable watch faces and can last roughly five days on a single charge. Onboard music storage of roughly 3.5GB or 500 songs is available too. The only downside, if we can call it that, is that it does not have any virtual assistant support. The Venu is also on the pricier side, but it’s worth it for all the smartwatch provides.
Garmin Vivoactive 4
The Garmin Vivoactive 4 line isn’t the highest-end or most exciting of the Garmin bunch, but it’s essentially the product on which all new watches from the brand are based. It’s a straightforward update to the Vivoactive 3/Music series. This year, the Vivoactive line comes in two models — Vivoactive 4 (45mm) and 4S (40mm). Both sizes have music support, Garmin Pay, pulse oximeters, and newer health features like Body Battery, menstrual cycle tracking, respiration, and hydration tracking.
Just like all the other new Garmin watches, the Vivoactive 4 also comes with built-in GPS and new on-device animated workouts. Both fitness and sleep tracking are quite accurate. The device also offers a great battery life of approximately a week. If you’re looking for a great fitness smartwatch, you can’t go wrong with the Vivoactive 4.
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
Samsung has a number of offerings in the wearables department, but it’s latest and arguably greatest is the Galaxy Watch Active 2. Similar to its predecessor, the Galaxy Watch Active, it has a premium design and an AMOLED display with thin bezels. There are multiple versions of the Watch Active 2, however. You can choose between aluminum and stainless steel for the materials, and 40 or 44mm for the sizes. There’s even an LTE version, which allows you to make calls directly through your watch, but that will cost you extra.
However, the watch’s “active features” are a bit lacking. The Galaxy Watch Active 2’s battery life and sleep tracking is fantastic, but the heart rate, GPS, and other sensors are not always accurate, making them unreliable. If you are looking for a health and fitness device, you can do better. If you are interested in a smartwatch, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 still has a lot to offer with features like Samsung Pay and Bixby.
Fitbit Versa 2
Fitbit is deservedly among the top wearable brands, so it should come as no surprise that the Versa 2 is one of the best new smartwatches on the market. The company threw in some much-needed upgrades with the Versa 2 — an OLED screen, a faster processor, and Amazon Alexa built-in. Fitbit Pay support and Fitbit’s long-awaited Sleep Score are also finally here.
The Fitbit app itself has also been completely redesigned, making it more streamlined and easy-to-use. Both fitness and sleep tracking are quite accurate, with the latter getting major improvements. In terms of battery life, the new Fitbit watch offers around 2.5 days, which is pretty good for a smartwatch. However, the Versa 2 still uses connected GPS — not ideal for runners. If you can overlook this flaw, however, it’s still one of the best smartwatches released this year.
Fossil Gen 5
Wear OS might not be the most beloved smartwatch operating system, but it shines on the Fossil Gen 5. This new smartwatch is the best Wear OS has to offer. The Fossil Gen 5 sports a bright 1.28-inch AMOLED display, a rotatable crown and a clean, modern design. Hardware hasn’t taken a backseat either. The watch offers the Snapdragon 3100 chipset, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage.
The standard NFC and heart rate tracking are onboard, as well as built-in GPS. Better yet, fitness and health tracking are quite accurate, so you can use the Fossil Gen 5 as fitness tracker, as well as a smartwatch. Since it’s a Wear OS device your default app is Google Fit, but you also have the option to swap for third-party applications. Of course, Wear OS also means that the Gen 5 has Google Assistant on board and you can have two-way conversations thanks to a built-in speaker. The only downside of the Fossil Gen 5 is its mediocre battery life, but it’s still an excellent smartwatch, nonetheless.
Fossil Hybrid HR
Not all smartwatches need to be technological marvels packed full of features. The Fossil Hybrid HR, as you can guess from its name, is a hybrid watch with some useful smart features. Unlike most smartwatches on the market, it comes with an e-ink display. That helps the Hybrid HR have a whopping two-week battery life on a single charge, even if you sacrifice the brightness and speed of an AMOLED display.
In terms of smart features, the Hybrid HR offers app notifications, silent alarms, and move alerts. It also has an optical heart rate sensor and some fitness features like tracking steps and burned calories. Most of the stats can be checked through the Fossil Smartwatches app, which has a clean and minimalist interface. However, the Fossil Hybrid HR does not have built-in or connected GPS, which means it’s not recommended for fitness enthusiasts or runners. Nevertheless, it’s still a beautiful hybrid watch that’s among the best you can currently get your hands on.
Huawei Watch GT 2
Huawei might not be a name you associate with wearables, thanks to the first and not so popular iteration of the Huawei Watch GT. However, its successor has ironed out a lot of the flaws. The Huawei Watch GT 2 not only looks and feels great, but offers much better performance. It uses Huawei’s own wearable operating system — Lite OS — and sports a sharp AMOLED display.
But while the one- to two-week battery might be impressive for a smartwatch, the Huawei Watch GT 2 has its flaws. The Huawei Health app is straightforward and easy to use, but the watch’s heart rate monitoring is far from the best. It does not support NFC payments outside of China either. However, if you want to mainly use it as a running watch, it’s still not a bad choice thanks to its accurate GPS tracking and an affordable price.
Have a favorite out of the smartwatches listed above? Tell us in the comments.