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The best smartwatches you can buy (May 2022): Apple, Samsung, and more

There are plenty of smartwatches on the market, but choosing the right one doesn't have to be daunting.
By
May 6, 2022
An Apple Watch Series 7 on a user's wrist displays an image of the Chrysler building in their Photo watch face.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

The best smartwatches offer an easy way to get information, allow us to check in without having to pull out a phone, track our health and fitness, and much more. We’ve rounded up the best smartwatches you can buy in 2022.

How to choose the right smartwatch for your needs

Many factors go into making a great smartwatch. In addition to style and comfort, a well-rounded device offers a variety of tools, connects to useful apps, and, ideally, receives regular software updates. A full suite of health and fitness tracking is also always welcome.

Many of the best devices prioritize certain attributes over others, whether that’s smart features, activity monitoring, extensive battery life, or something else entirely. Choosing the right device for you starts with determining what tools you value most. For this list of the best smartwatches, we focus on devices that deliver a good software experience.

The best smartwatches

  • Apple Watch Series 7: The best smartwatch you can buy, the Series 7 receives regular updates, has unmatched app support, and is a powerful fitness smartwatch.
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: Samsung’s latest flagship devices are the best Wear OS smartwatches available. Their hardware is fantastic, as are the overall looks of both available models.
  • Fitbit Versa 3: For users interested in the Fitbit ecosystem, the Versa 3 is the best choice. It’s nearly identical to the pricier Fitbit Sense, only without a few extra sensors.
  • Garmin Venu 2 Plus: The Garmin Venu 2 Plus is the best option from Garmin. Building on the success of the Venu 2, it’s a great smartwatch and an even better fitness watch.
  • Mobvoi TicWatch E3: The best cheap Wear OS smartwatch, Mobvoi’s Ticwatch E3 offers a crisp display, a rugged design (with an IP68 rating), and NFC for mobile payments.
  • Withings ScanWatch: The best hybrid smartwatch you can buy in 2022 is the Withings ScanWatch. It stands out with clinically validated AFib detection and all-around great health tracking.

Apple Watch Series 7: The best smartwatch you can buy

An Apple Watch Series 7, our pick for best smartwatch, displays a photo watch face while strapped onto a user's wrist.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Apple watches consistently follow a reliable, winning formula. The Apple Watch Series 7 is no different, representing the best of what the company offers. It’s bigger and better-looking than its predecessor, offering an on-screen keyboard and a brighter display, plus Apple’s unmatched first- and third-party app support. The Series 7 also receives regular software updates and tight integrations with Apple’s messaging apps.

Health and fitness tracking on the Apple Watch Series 7 is among the best for wearables, and its GPS performance is also very solid. Native sleep tracking metrics are still basic, but users can download a third-party sleep tracking app if needed. The device’s battery life also leaves much to be desired.

While the Series 7 is the best of the best, there is an argument to be made for buying the Series 6 instead (if you can find it). For one, we found the heart rate monitor on the Series 6 to be more reliable. Shoppers on a budget can also check out the Apple Watch SE. If you aren’t an iPhone user, you’ll want to take a peek at the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 below.

apple watch series 7 press render green leather strap
Apple Watch Series 7
Bigger display, faster-charging battery
The Apple Watch Series 7 boasts a larger edge-to-edge display, tougher durability, faster charging, and more color options than before. If you want the best of what Apple has to offer, the Series 7 is it.

Pros

  • Bigger Retina display
  • Durable, premium design
  • Accurate GPS tracking
  • Great software and app support

Cons

  • Battery life isn’t great
  • No third-party watch faces
  • Sleep tracking still feels like an afterthought
  • Battery life could be better
  • Finicky heart rate tracking

Check out our full review to learn more about the Apple Watch Series 7.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: The best Wear OS smartwatch

A users holds both a Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and a Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic in hand.
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic should be at the top of your list if you’re in the market for a Wear OS watch. There’s plenty to like about Samsung’s latest wearables, which come in multiple size options and a variety of colors. Most importantly, they are the only two watches currently running Wear OS 3.

The Galaxy Watch 4 is best suited for sporty users, while the Classic model has an elegant design that makes it more versatile. Both offer plenty of features, including everything from health and activity tracking, to smart notifications and customization. They also both pack a solid heart rate sensor.

There are, however, some drawbacks to keep in mind. Charging on the Galaxy Watch 4 line is slow, there’s (still) no Google Assistant support, and the GPS performance isn’t the best. That being said, these devices are undoubtedly the best Wear OS smartwatches you can currently get.

samsung galaxy watch 4 44mm green
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
Samsung's best smartwatch, now with Wear OS
Samsung and Google combined forces to improve the software situation with smartwatches on Android. The result is the new Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, running the new, co-developed Wear OS. The standard Galaxy Watch 4 is for the sportier crowd, while the Watch 4 Classic is for those who'd like a watch they can wear to the office.
samsung galaxy watch 4 classic black
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic
The classiest smartwatch Samsung has to offer
If you're looking for a high-end follow-up to Samsung's Galaxy Watch 3, look no further. Now with Wear OS on board, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic will be perfect for your trip to the office or a night out.

Pros

  • Classy, durable designs
  • Multiple size options
  • Wear OS 3 is all-around good
  • Large models have decent battery life
  • Improved heart rate sensor
  • Useful body composition metrics

Cons

  • No solid software update commitments from Google
  • No Google Assistant support
  • Slow, slow charging
  • Poor GPS performance
  • Sleep tracking needs tweaking
  • Small models have short battery life

Check out our full review to learn more about the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4.

Fitbit Versa 3: The best Fitbit smartwatch

The best Fitbit smartwatch, a Fitbit Versa 3, rests on along side a pair of reading glasses.
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

The Fitbit Versa 3 is our pick for the best Fitbit smartwatch you can buy right now. It’s not the most technically advanced, but it’s the one most people should purchase when seeking out a new wearable.

We found that the Versa 3 strikes the right balance between smartwatch, fitness tracker, and advanced workout wearable. It has both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa built-in, Fitbit Pay support, and onboard music storage. It’s also an all-around fantastic fitness tracker and even boasts onboard GPS for runners and cyclists.

The Versa 3 is also cheaper than the Fitbit Sense, Fitbit’s other flagship smartwatch. We found that the extra sensors in the Sense likely aren’t useful enough to most people to warrant a big price increase, making the Versa 3 our top pick overall.

Fitbit Versa 3 Smartwatch
Fitbit Versa 3
One of the best smartwatches for most Android users
If you're looking for the best all-around smartwatch at a pretty good price, you're likely looking for the Fitbit Versa 3. Fitbit's cheaper flagship smartwatch sports standalone GPS, an accurate heart rate sensor, and plenty of nice smartwatch features.

Pros

  • Decent battery life
  • Pretty accurate health tracking
  • Built-in GPS
  • Google Assistant and Alexa support
  • Speaker with phone call support
  • Good price

Cons

  • Very small app library
  • Onboard music limited to two services
  • The capacitive button isn’t ideal
  • Proprietary charging cable

Check out our full review to learn more about the Fitbit Versa 3.

Garmin Venu 2 Plus: The best Garmin smartwatch

A user holds his Garmin Venu 2 Plus in hand showingthe device's phone calling capabilities.
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

The Garmin Venu 2 Plus is the company’s best smartwatch. We were already impressed by the Venu line, and the latest addition carries over many of the Venu 2’s best features. These include fitness tracking metrics and Body Battery, Sleep Score, Garmin Pay, music storage, and more.

In short, Garmin raises the bar in the newest model with on-wrist phone calls and voice assistant support. Together, these features elevate the Venu 2 Plus to more than just a fitness tracker.

It’s not cheap — no Garmin watch is — but we feel the Garmin Venu 2 Plus is the best smartwatch the company has ever created. Overall, the newest model builds on its predecessor in important ways, making for a more well-rounded device.

Garmin Venu 2 Plus family shot
Garmin Venu 2 Plus
Phone calls and a voice assistant on your wrist
The Garmin Venu 2 Plus takes all of the fitness- and health-tracking features of the original Venu 2 and adds the ability to receive phone calls and access your phone's voice assistant.

Pros

  • Excellent design and build quality
  • Rapid charging helps make up for battery woes
  • Clear call quality on the wrist
  • Slow but useful voice assistant support
  • Accurate fitness and health tracking

Cons

  • High price tag
  • Battery life is shorter than Garmin’s claims
  • Heart rate sensor still has issues

Check out our full review to learn more about the Garmin Venu 2 Plus.

Mobvoi TicWatch E3: The best cheap Wear OS watch

A Mobvoi TicWatch E3, our pick for best cheap smartwatch, rests on stone with its watch face displayed.
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

If you’re looking for the best cheap Wear OS smartwatch you can get, the Mobvoi TicWatch E3 should be right up your alley. This budget-friendly device offers great hardware, a sleek design, and a battery that can last all day. It comes in at just $200, which is a steal.

The TicWatch E3 runs Wear OS 2 right now, but it’s eligible to receive an update to Wear OS 3 sometime this year. Thanks to its IP68 rating, it’s water-resistant, making it great for various sports activities. It also supports Google Pay, so active users can leave their wallets at home.

However, like all smartwatches, this one has its flaws as well. Primarily, sleep tracking is inconsistent, and automatic activity tracking can be a bit iffy. But at such a low price point, these are setbacks we can swallow.

Mobvoi TicWatch E3
Mobvoi TicWatch E3
The Mobvoi TicWatch E3 marks a generational update over its predecessor thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 platform. It also boasts an updated design and improved performance.

Pros

  • Well-built hardware
  • Good display
  • Decent battery life
  • IP68 rated
  • NFC and Google Pay

Cons

  • Iffy automatic activity tracking
  • Inconsistent sleep tracking
  • Wear OS 2 is aging
  • Cheap strap

Check out our full review to learn more about the TicWatch E3.

Withings ScanWatch: The best hybrid smartwatch

withings scanwatch review clock face design 4
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

The Withings ScanWatch is our pick for the best hybrid smartwatch you can buy. First, it’s been clinically validated to notify users of signs of AFib and overnight breathing disturbances. It also has an ECG, pulse oximeter for SpO2 readings, connected GPS, and a fairly accurate heart rate sensor, too.

Meanwhile, on-device navigation isn’t the greatest (let’s be honest, what hybrid smartwatch gets this part right?). However, the small OLED display is good enough for basic functions. Plus, it offers month-long battery life, fantastic build quality, and great sleep tracking.

On the other hand, the Withings ScanWatch still isn’t FDA-approved in the US, so be sure to check Withings’ website to see if it’s available in your region.

withings scanwatch black hybrid smartwatch
Withings ScanWatch
The new Withings ScanWatch is taking health tracking to the next level. It has built-in ECG and SpO2 sensors to help detect early signs of AFib and sleep apnea. Plus, it acts as a hybrid smartwatch, giving you notifications, HR data, and more on your wrist.

Pros

  • Premium, classy design
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Health Mate app is well-designed and easy to use
  • Potentially lifesaving and easy-to-use ECG monitor
  • Clinically validated AFib and breathing disturbance notifications
  • Fantastic sleep tracking

Cons

  • Limited availability
  • Small display limits smart features
  • Few advanced fitness features or insights

Check out our full review to learn more about the Withings ScanWatch.


Looking for more recommendations?

For more devices, information, and insights, check out the following guides: