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The best Samsung smartwatches you can buy
The best smartwatches on the market include devices from Apple, Garmin, Fitbit, and the Korean-based giant Samsung. The company released some great wearables in recent years, with many contenders for the best outright product in this category. Here are the best Samsung smartwatches you can buy.
Buying the right Samsung smartwatch for your needs
Samsung smartwatches cover all market corners, from style and practicality to health and fitness tools. We rounded up the Samsung devices that offer users the best bang for their buck.
The best Samsung smartwatches
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 series: The latest Samsung smartwatches feature larger displays, larger batteries, upgraded chipsets, and a new strap fastening mechanism. All of these add value. The sixth generation also heralds the return of the Classic model.
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 5: Samsung’s 2022 flagship smartwatch still has a place on this list. It’s more refined than its predecessor and includes valuable upgrades, from a larger battery to a built-in temperature sensor. Plus, you can now often find it on sale.
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is the suped-up and technically best Samsung smartwatch you can buy. It features the same health and fitness tracking tech as the base 5 series model, a more durable build, better battery life, and a few tools for athletes and outdoor enthusiasts.
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 series: The Galaxy Watch 4 series still offers great picks if you appreciate a bargain and don’t mind slightly older tech. Both models run on Wear OS. The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic remains a fan favorite that can now be had for much cheaper.
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 3: The best Tizen-based Samsung smartwatch and the best Samsung smartwatch for iPhone users is the Galaxy Watch 3. It’s a stylish smartwatch with a healthy dose of fitness-tracking features.
- Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2: The Galaxy Watch Active 2 is the best cheap Samsung smartwatch. It does an excellent job balancing smartwatch and fitness features and won’t cost a fortune.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 series: The best Samsung smartwatches you can buy
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 isn’t too different from its two predecessors, but if you look closely, it brings value-adding upgrades. These are refinements rather than complete overhauls, which makes sense, considering the Galaxy Watch 5 was already solid.
The newer model boasts a roomier, brighter display and bigger battery. A new band fastening system also makes clipping and releasing straps an absolute breeze. Meanwhile, a faster chipset, more RAM, and buffed charging all add to the user experience. Regarding fitness features, there aren’t many new additions compared to the previous generation. Users find much of the Galaxy Watch 5’s loadout, including a heart rate sensor, ECG, SpO2 monitoring, and the body composition analysis tool. The temperature sensor has a little more use now, allowing users to read object temperatures like a pool or bath.
With a lack of a brand-new killer feature, convincing legacy Samsung users to upgrade might be tough. This is especially true now that the line’s Wear OS 4 and One UI 5 Watch skin have filtered down to older models. Those who missed Samsung’s physical rotating bezel might be tempted by the new Galaxy Watch 6 Classic, but be prepared to pay for that privilege and stainless steel build.
- The Classic model (and rotating bezel) returns
- New band fastening and release mechanism
- Larger batteries
- Bigger, brighter displays
- Now running Wear OS 4 and One UI 5 Watch
- New chipset brings speed and efficiency gains
- Similar to its two precessors
- The smallest Classic model might be too large
- Slightly pricier than the Galaxy Watch 5
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5: The best Samsung smartwatch for most shoppers
Both Galaxy Watch 5 models outshine their predecessors with small but significant upgrades, including improved battery life and build. At a much more approachable price point, the base model is the best pick for most people. During our Galaxy Watch 5 review, we found it to be one of the most comfortable smartwatches we’ve worn. The refined design is sleek and classy, and added durability keeps the device safe despite bumps against furniture. It was also plenty comfortable for bedtime tracking. Samsung greatly expanded its overnight offerings with more data and analysis for monitoring your sleep, and the improved experience is now much more similar to that of Fitbit.
By day, the Galaxy Watch 5 is a solid smartphone companion and reliable fitness tracker. Users will find all the typical tools, including access to Google, third-party apps like Strava and MyFitnessPal, and support for digital payments and music. The watch can also update to the latest Wear OS 4 for an even more powerful and upgraded user experience. Finally, we found the Galaxy Watch 5 performed adequately during our review period regarding GPS and heart rate tracking.
- Tougher build
- Comfortable on the wrist
- Better battery life on 44mm model
- Faster charging
- Reliable fitness tracking
- Good value for money
- Very similar to its predecessor
- Skin temperature sensor not ready at launch
- Small models still have short battery life
- Awkward touch bezel
- Some features exclusive to the Samsung ecosystem
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: The best Samsung smartwatch for more serious trainers
Both Galaxy Watch 5 series devices are great smartwatches from Samsung. However, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro specifically offers a massive battery, even more durability, and a few exclusive features. Its upgraded user experience earned the device the top spot in our list of the best wearables of 2022. While both series 5 models feature Sapphire glass displays, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro adds a titanium case and thicker Sapphire glass than the base model. More than a year after purchase, our device still looks pristine. Unfortunately, you won’t find a rotating bezel, but the device’s aesthetics are still elegant.
What you will find are all the same great health and fitness tracking we loved on the Galaxy Watch 4 series. In testing, we found the 5 Pro offers slightly upgraded heart rate data which Samsung credits to sensor improvements and a better fit. We especially liked the feel of Samsung’s D-buckle band with its elevated metal clasp. This watch band only comes with the Pro model out of the box, not the base model.
The 5 Pro also packs a much larger battery, offering up to 20 hours of use in GPS mode (though we never quite reached those numbers during our Galaxy Watch 5 Pro review period). It also ships with a charging cable that can charge your device from zero to 45% in 30 minutes. Finally, only the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro adds navigational upgrades for hikers, cyclists, and outdoor enthusiasts. These include TrackBack for exploring new areas, GPX file compatibility for sharing favorite routes, and a GPX File Database that allows users to search out recommended courses.
- 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
- Rich software and app support
- No more rotating bezel
- GPX file sharing not applicable to runs
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: A cheaper Wear OS option that still delivers
At their launch, the Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic were arguably the best Wear OS smartwatches, running One UI Watch atop Google’s then-new Wear OS 3. Samsung’s newer watches have since eclipsed these devices, but this older generation is still a very solid lineup worth considering if you want to save some cash. The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is also a good alternative if your heart is set on a rotating bezel.
The Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic come in small and large sizes and have optional LTE-connected variants. The wearables feature refreshed designs, an improved strap mounting system, 1.19- and 1.36-inch displays, and bright AMOLED screens. Both models look fantastic on the wrist, and their displays are bright, colorful, and engaging.
The watches also include several advanced fitness tracking features, including body composition monitoring, which we found quite useful. During our Galaxy Watch 4 review, we were pleasantly surprised by the line’s much-improved heart rate monitoring. Additionally, users will find ECG and SpO2 sensors, though some features can only be used with a paired Samsung smartphone.
The devices are also now eligible to update to Wear OS 4, which adds considerable polish to users’ experience. Unfortunately, we found GPS accuracy less than stellar while reviewing the devices. Additionally, the smaller models’ battery life isn’t great, and charging is laboriously slow. Still, the line is fantastic overall. More importantly, they can now often be found on sale.
- Classy, durable designs
- Multiple size options
- Large models have decent battery life
- Improved heart rate sensor
- Useful body composition metrics
- No solid software update commitments from Google
- Slow, slow charging
- Poor GPS performance
- Sleep tracking needs tweaking
- Small models have short battery life
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3: The best Samsung smartwatch for iPhone users
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is still a great smartwatch, even if it’s not running the latest, greatest software. The predecessor to the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, this device includes a crisp display and a handy rotating bezel (did we mention how much we like those?). It’s also the best option for Tizen fans who don’t want to jump ship to Wear OS or iPhone users looking for something beyond the Apple Watch.
For starters, the Galaxy Watch 3 delivers a solid smartwatch experience. It’s a good-looking device on the wrist, and we love the opportunity to personalize it during our Galaxy Watch 3 review with tons of first and third-party watch faces available. For example, the two-day battery isn’t bad compared to the Apple Watch. We also found a few advanced tools for running worth tapping into and were pleased with what the device offers in terms of sleep tracking, especially sleep score.
That said, this range-topper isn’t without its flaws. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 isn’t built with sensor accuracy in mind. In other words, if fitness tracking is your key feature, your money is best spent elsewhere. You also won’t find as many apps on Tizen as you would on Wear OS, but Wear OS also has limitations.
- Fantastic display and rotating bezel
- Thinner, lighter design
- Two-day battery life
- Advanced running metrics can be super helpful
- Useful sleep tracking and insights
- GPS and HR sensors can be inaccurate
- No MST payments with Samsung Pay
- The setup process for non-Samsung phones is a pain
- Third-party app support is lacking
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2: The best cheap Samsung smartwatch
The Galaxy Watch Active 2 is an attractive Samsung smartwatch and can be found for just a couple hundred dollars. Unlike the Galaxy Watch 3, it sports a slimmer touch-sensitive bezel with a slightly curved glass face and various band options. The Galaxy Watch 4 is the direct follow-up to this device (you probably notice in its sporty aesthetic).
Before the release of the Galaxy Watch 4, the Active 2 was the best Samsung smartwatch for fitness and sleep tracking. That’s not to say it’s fantastic, but it was the best available. We wouldn’t suggest this device if you’re a dedicated athlete looking for absolute precision. Instead, the Active 2 is for shoppers looking to save cash without sacrificing many features. It packs LTE support, too, making it a good option for streaming music at the gym or during runs.
Of course, cutting costs has its consequences. For one, during our Galaxy Watch Active 2 review, we found key health tracking metrics, like heart rate monitoring, could be unreliable. The device’s blood pressure monitor is a definite low point. If you don’t need hardcore monitoring, this smartwatch is plenty good. Most significantly, this is the best cheap Samsung smartwatch available.
- Sleek, premium design
- Sharp AMOLED display
- Touch-enabled bezel for quick navigation
- Bluetooth + LTE variants for more flexibility
- ~2 day battery life
- Fantastic sleep tracking
- No MST payments with Samsung Pay
- Tizen app ecosystem is lacking compared to Wear OS
- Heart rate, GPS, and altimeter sensors can be wonky
- The setup process still needs work
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic are the latest watches from Samsung.
Devices from the Galaxy Watch 4, Galaxy Watch 5, and Galaxy Watch 6 series can utilize Google Pay. Meanwhile, watches powered by Tizen can only use Samsung Pay.
Yes, the Samsung Galaxy Watch, Galaxy Watch Active, Active 2, Galaxy Watch 3, Galaxy Watch 4 series, Galaxy Watch 5, and Galaxy Watch 6 series can all charge wirelessly with their included chargers. However, the watches may not charge properly with wireless chargers typically used for smartphones, so your best bet is to use a charger designed specifically for Galaxy Watch devices.
The Galaxy Watch 5 is a very impressive device with a lot to offer. However, whether it is worth buying depends on your budget and what devices you already own. If you’re a newcomer to the Samsung smartwatch world and can afford it, we recommend purchasing the Galaxy Watch 6.