Affiliate links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.
What's the best smartwatch? We tested dozens, here are our top 7
Choosing the best smartwatch comes down to four questions:
- Do you care what brand makes it or the platform it runs on?
- What smart features are you interested in using?
- What activities do you plan to use the device for?
- Are there any special features you need?
Once you know what features matter most, picking the right smartwatch is easy. If you feel confident about what you are looking for, skip right to our top picks. We’ve reviewed the most popular wearables, including the best fitness trackers on the market, to narrow down users’ choices. Keep reading to see our finds for the best smartwatch you can buy in 2023.
The Apple Watch Series 9 is the best smartwatch available
From its user-friendly software experience to its nearly limitless app library, the Apple Watch is a tough device to match. Unfortunately, you have to be an iOS user to enjoy it. If you fit into that camp, the Apple Watch Series 9 lands neatly into Apple’s pattern of launching very successful devices.
As always, the touchscreen is highly responsive with ample room for text. We still love the Qwerty keyboard and added Apple watch faces. We also love all the features and upgrades Apple added to its arsenal with watchOS 10, especially the return of glanceable widgets. Thanks to the Series 9’s powerful chipset, the software is snappy and efficient with a few new tricks. Siri can now process queries on device and access stats like health measurements or start a workout. Users can also use Double Tap, a one-handed gesture control that completes simple actions with the tap of two fingers. WatchOS 10 also brought improvements to wellness tools like mental health features, workout tracking for cyclists, and medication management. The Series 9 still features the same temperature sensor introduce in the Series 8 for deeper insights into users’ sleep as well as more detailed cycle tracking.
Meanwhile, if anything is missing from the Apple Watch out of the box, the App Store likely has options for filling in the gap. There you’ll find everything from popular fitness tools like Strava and MyFitnessPal to meditation apps, music services, and much more. Wherever Apple falls short in native software, a quick search in the App Store brings the device right back up to speed.
Third-party app support for iOS users is unparalleled and the user experience leaves little to be desired.
From apps to notifications, integration with the iPhone is seamless. Navigation is the most intuitive we’ve found on a smartwatch and the list of useful smartwatch features is quite long. In addition to on-wrist phone calls, users can tap into offline music playback and audiobooks. Apple Pay is also a great perk for checking out with just your wearable during a workout. The Series 9 is one of the best LTE smartwatches available, allowing users to stream music on the run, and use Apple’s Walkie-Talking feature without a phone.
On the topic of fitness, the Apple Watch Series 9 still tracks all of the basics: steps, calories, distance, floors climbed, resting and active heart rate, sleep, VO2 max, blood oxygen saturation, sinus rhythm, and menstrual cycles. All of these Apple does well and the Health and Fitness companion apps are both thorough and easy to use.
One pain point worth noting is this device’s battery life. Like older generations, the Apple Watch Series 9 will last just about up to its 18-hour claims. Low Power Mode helps squeeze out additional use between charges, but its a far cry from specs like Garmin’s. Fortunately, with fast charging the experience is manageable.
Regardless, the Series 9 is the most well-rounded, user-friendly smartwatch you can buy, period. There are cheaper alternatives, and there are cheaper Apple Watches, but the Series 9 is currently the best pick. All that being said, an Apple Watch isn’t for everyone. First, quite literally, it’s only for iPhone users. If you’re packing an Android phone but want a similar experience, we recommend the Galaxy Watch 6 series. Secondly, Apple is a very capable fitness tracker but not the best. The Garmin Venu 3 (below), will provide deeper analysis and more advanced training tools, plus much better battery life.
Alternatively, if you are an iOS user but the Series 9 doesn’t quite line up with your budget, the Apple Watch SE 2 ($269.99 at Amazon) has a lot to offer at a lower price. At the other end of the spectrum, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 ($799 at Apple) comes at a higher price but packs some great tools for adventurous users, plus a new Action Button.
What makes it stand out
- Unmatched app support: Users can find an app for virtually every need in the App Store. If the watch doesn’t offer something natively, the odds are good you’ll find a third-party option.
- Seamless user experience: Apple earns its reputation for device integration with the Apple Watch line. The user experience is nearly foolproof.
- Flawless design: Form and function collide in this good-looking device fit for any occasion.
- Reliable GPS: Apple’s GPS accuracy is among the best we’ve tested, and we’ve tested a lot.
- Accurate health tracking: If wellness is a priority, the Apple Watch delivers more than just the basics. You’ll find advanced health tracking that’s accurate and helpful.
Best of the rest: 6 other smartwatches worthy of your consideration
If you own an iPhone, the Apple Watch Series 9 is absolutely what we recommend. Of course, many of us use Android phones, and some of us just prefer a different look. Whatever the reason, there are plenty of great smartwatches available besides Apple’s flagship watch.
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 6: Samsung’s latest wearable flagship series offers small but valuable upgrades over the previous device line. The return of the Classic model also gives rotating bezel lovers a new option.
- Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5: Another solid Wear OS option, Mobvoi’s latest model boasts powerful internals, a unique dual display, and a useful rotating crown.
- 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 3: The Garmin Venu 3 is the best smartwatch option from Garmin. Building on the success of the Venu 2 Plus, 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 2: The best hybrid smartwatch you can buy in 2023 is the Withings ScanWatch 2. It stands out with clinically validated AFib detection and all-around great health tracking.
The Samsung Galaxy 6 and Classic are the best smartwatches for Android users
If the Apple Watch isn’t in the cards for you, you’re probably looking for something from the Wear OS family. Enter the Samsung Galaxy Watch. More specifically, we recommend the Galaxy Watch 6 series, the company’s latest smartwatch duo. We’ll detail the new Classic model in a moment, but the standard device is available in 40mm and 44mm guises.
The biggest change you’ll notice lies behind its lens. Larger 1.3- and 1.5-inch displays now shrink the bezel, making the Galaxy Watch 6 appear much larger than its predecessors. This isn’t the case; it’s a little more compact and should make for a more comfortable workout watch. A new strap design, too, makes fastening and releasing bands much simpler and quicker. Beyond the minor upgrades, it’s our favorite new feature.
Looking beneath its skin, the Galaxy Watch 6 features a larger battery in both body sizes. Samsung claims it’s not enough for 40 hours without the always-on display activated. That would be on par with the Galaxy Watch 4, so we hope Samsung’s just being conservative. Nevertheless, we also see a chipset upgrade this time, with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. This cocktail makes for a snappy experience.
Samsung is also dishing out some software upgrades. The Galaxy Watch 6 is the first wearable to run Wear OS 4 with One UI 5 Watch running on top of it. We’re promised several incoming first- and third-party apps, including Google Calendar, Gmail, Audible, and more. Samsung Wallet also rolls out with this version of Samsung and Google’s OS.
As for fitness features, the Galaxy Watch 6 remains a watch with a wellness slant. You’re getting a similar loadout to the Galaxy Watch 5, including the BioActive sensor trio that monitors heart rate, heart health via an ECG, and body composition. SpO2 and sleep monitoring also still feature, while the temperature sensor is getting a few new uses, too. Through a dedicated app, users can now use the sensor to read the temperature of external objects. It’s a nice, if not niche, feature for swimmers and explorers.
The Galaxy Watch 6 isn’t the only device in 2023’s lineup. The biggest difference when comparing the Galaxy Watch 6 vs 6 Classic is the latter’s rotating bezel. The highly-anticipated return of this design feature lived up to its hype during our Galaxy Watch 6 Classic review, making navigation easier than ever and leaving the watch with a refined aesthetic. The pricier model also features larger dials (43mm and 47mm), and stainless steel construction.
It’s worth noting that the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro ($374 at Amazon) is still an option. It remains Samsung’s premier outdoor watch, with a premium build and large battery. The Galaxy Watch 4 ($199.99 at Samsung) or Galaxy Watch 4 Classic ($167 at Amazon) can also be picked up for cheaper, but they do only have a few more years of software support left. Finally, Google’s Pixel Watch ($329 at Amazon) offers a unique mashup of Wear OS and Fitbit features. It’s an alluring prospect, but we found the first-generation device has some kinks to work out before we recommend adding it to your watch box.
What makes it stand out
- Still an active guest at the Wear OS party: The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 series is the only device running the latest version of Wear OS, with great smartwatch software perks you won’t find everywhere.
- Plenty of metrics to keep you busy: These devices are packed with useful health sensors for monitoring all your important metrics. The new temperature sensor tricks will be useful for some.
- The bezel returns: The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic may be worth buying for its rotating bezel alone. We fell in love with the Galaxy Watch 4’s version, and the latest model only improves it.
The Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5 is a solid Wear OS device
Mobvoi’s TicWatch Pro 5 landed with a boatload of updates, both inside and out. Google’s latest Wear OS software and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon W5 Plus Gen 1 chipset headline the device. This combination produces a powerful smartwatch with snappy performance and impressive battery specs. The user experience is smooth efficient, and loaded with features.
For athletes, the TicWatch boasts more than 100 workout modes and all-day health and activity monitoring. It also tracks advanced training metrics such as VO2 max and recovery time. Within a new health-focused companion app, Mobvoi also beefed up its sleep-tracking offerings with added data fields, though we weren’t overly impressed with the device’s accuracy.
Thanks to the latest Wear OS, the watch also offers top smartwatch features, including Google Maps, Google Wallet, and Google Pay. For everything else, users can access the Google Play Store. This is significant, considering TicWatch Pro 3 users still await their promised software update.
It was also a relief to see Mobvoi pair the latest software with updates to battery life on this model so users can keep their devices on their wrists even longer. With efficiency improvements and a 628mAh battery, Mobvoi claims a full charge lasts up to 80 hours in Smart Mode or up to 45 days in Essential Mode. With typical use and workout tracking, the device lasted closer to 70 hours during our Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5 review, and we were stoked about it.
On the design front, the device also now features a useful digital crown that users can spin and press for easier navigation. The crown replaced the dual set of dials seen on previous models for a much sleeker overall look. Meanwhile, the 1.43-inch touchscreen remains bright, vivid, and responsive. We’re still huge fans of Mobvoi’s dual display feature that allows users to save battery. Mobvoi even added additional functionality to the low-power screen. Now users can view performance details at a glance during workouts as the screen displays colors corresponding to specific heart rate zones. We found this new feature extremely useful during our review period. We also found the device’s GPS fairly accurate compared to other leading wearables.
What makes it stand out
- The best Wear OS: Other eligible Mobvoi devices remain patiently waiting for the latest Wear OS, but the TicWatch Pro 5 boasts the new software out of the box, along with a powerful chipset from Qualcomm.
- A unique dual-display: Mobvoi’s power-saving dual display with customizable backlights offers even more on-screen data and functionality than ever before.
- Easier navigation with a digital crown: Though certainly not the first smartwatch to feature a digital crown, Mobvoi’s adoption of the feature lends itself to seamless user interactions.
The Fitbit Versa 3 is the best Fitbit smartwatch
Seemingly, to budge shoppers towards the Google Pixel Watch, the Google-owned Fitbit lineup has been stripped down a bit this year. First, new devices launched missing key features from their predecessors. Then, Fitbit removed some existing features from older watches as well. In light of these changes, we’ll hedge our Fitbit smartwatch recommendation with this: the lineup isn’t what it used to be.
If your heart is still set on a Fitbit, the company has two devices worth consideration; the Versa 3 and the Fitbit Sense. While the Sense is the technically more advanced device, we feel the Versa 3 is the better value buy. It offers all the basics you’d hope to find, at a much better price. Fitbit also launched a Versa 4, however, we weren’t impressed with the device during our review period. The new model drops key features that make the Versa 3 useful, including third-party app support, WiFi support, and Google Assistant.
Meanwhile, Versa 3 highlights include an improved heart rate sensor, accurate health tracking, built-in GPS, and voice assistant support. You can even choose which assistant you prefer between Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. When tested with basic commands, we found the replies quick and accurate. The built-in microphone and speaker also allow you to take phone calls right on your wrist over Bluetooth. Add in notifications and the Versa 3 is a decent smartwatch.
That’s not to say it sacrifices tracking stats, either. Fitness tracking on the Versa 3 performed well in testing and the built-in GPS makes a big difference for runners and cyclists who don’t want to pocket a phone on the road. It took a few moments to lock on before our first few runs but after that, it was quick, easy, and fairly accurate. The device also boasts Daily Readiness Score to maximize training and balance hard work with adequate rest.
This is important because where the Versa’s tracking shines, is overnight. As with other Fitbits, the Versa 3 will track your light, deep, and REM sleep, and provide a sleep score from 1-100 based on your heart rate, sleep stages, and time awake. We found these scores compared well to our perceived quality of sleep and subsequent wakefulness/tiredness each day. The Versa 3 will also track your SpO2 readings overnight and Fitbit added snore and noise detection to the device in a post-launch 2021 update.
Fitbit’s updated software fixed many of the hiccups we originally faced when testing the Sense that would have otherwise carried over to the Versa 3. Namely, we appreciate how it makes the capacitive button less necessary as that was our least favorite part of the device’s design. Compared to other ecosystems, Fitbit’s app library is, however, quite limited. We found all the basics, including an alarm app, a maps app, and a few more, but that’s it. On the other hand, the company’s native Fitbit app is a stellar companion app. It’s an organized platform for anyone new to tracking and a user-friendly experience for anyone who wants to keep things simple.
The major features missing on the Versa 3 compared to the Fitbit Sense are electrodermal activity (EDA) monitoring (essentially your stress levels), electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring, and skin temperature tracking. Beyond those advanced health tools, the two devices are essentially the same. We guess that those metrics aren’t worth $70 extra bucks to the average user. Instead, we pose that the Versa 3 provides everything you need, and saves you some cash.
What makes it stand out
- Best value in the Fitbit lineup: The Fitbit ecosystem is full of options, including one with more advanced health sensors than the Versa 3. But this is the device with the best bang for your buck. It’s a powerful smartwatch and a terrific value purchase.
- A capable companion app: In addition to its devices, Fitbit boasts an arguably even better companion app. Unlike apps overwhelmingly packed with data, it’s approachable and easy to navigate.
- Accuracy where it matters: For tracking health and fitness basics, the Fitbit Versa 3 is an easy choice. Its proven reliability is especially apparent in sleep tracking.
The Garmin Venu 3 is the best smartwatch from Garmin
Garmin’s Venu 2 was a meritorious effort from the company. We nearly named it the best device of 2021. With more refinement and added features, the Venu 2 Plus blew its predecessor away. Beyond sibling comparisons, our reviewer dubbed it “one of the most well-rounded wearables we’ve ever used.” This year, the Venu 3 continues Garmin’s success with a few more features on a powerful device. It is easily one of the best Garmin watches you can buy.
So what’s different? Well first, the Venu 3 series brings back a second case size offering a better fit for more users. The Venu 3 features a 45mm case while the Venu 3S offers a 41mm option. Both models are priced the same so there’s no punishment for having larger wrists. All sizes also add multi-GNSS support.
Building on the already fantastic Venu 2 Plus user experience, Garmin also updated device navigation, added an expanded shortcuts feature, and introduced more watch faces. Users can even personalize font sizes for readability. The most exciting upgrade to see on the new series is automactic nap detection which is a first in Garmin’s stable. The device records all the usual sleep stats plus HRV tracking for more sleep details. In the morning, the Venu 3 offers useful sleep coaching with insights and recommendations. The device also features Daily Summary, a new Garmin tool similar to Morning Report (which was also added to the Venu 3) but at bedtime.
Meanwhile, when users are up and at ’em, the lineup also features a host of improvements. In addition to improved GPS accuracy, the series adds tools such as Recovery Time, Workout Benefit, and Perceived Exertion. Garmin also added new sport profiles as well as the option to create/add interval workouts. Finally, the company also added tracking for Wheelchair pushes as well as wheelchair-specific activity.
On the heart rate monitoring front, the Venu 3 features the newest generation Elevate V5 optical heart rate sensor also found on top-tier devices like the Fenix 7 Pro. Unfortunately, the sensor is not yet certified to provide ECG readings like the Venu 2 Plus. As for smartwatch features, the device offers phone call support and voice assistant compatibility when a paired phone is nearby, music storage, and an onscreen flashlight feature.
What makes it stand out
- It’s a Garmin for the rest of us: This is Garmin’s most approachable device and the company’s watch best suited for the masses. It’s a detailed, precise fitness tracker as well as a well-rounded smartwatch.
- On-wrist calls round out a great device: We loved the Venu 2 Plus. The Venu 3 keeps nearly everything that made its predecessor a great wearable but adds nap detection and more.
- Accurate GPS: GPS tracking on the Venu 3 is incredibly accurate, especially for a smartwatch rather than a dedicated GPS wearable. If you’re a runner or cyclist this is a huge highlight.
The Mobvoi Ticwatch E3 is the best cheap Wear OS smartwatch
Mobvoi’s TicWatch E3 is the budget watch for buyers who want a smart device without breaking the bank. A well-tailored combination of design and features keeps this watch in the same conversation as much more expensive wearables. Plus, with eligibility for Wear OS 3, it’s an affordable device with a promising future. Within the Mobvoi stable, the $200 E3 replaced the E2 with a more modern look. The device’s display is smaller with fewer pixels than the outgoing model, however, the screen is still plenty easy to view and interact with, even on a sunny day. The E3 also added a second button to the line, giving users more control. We found the button is a good size for ease of use without bulking up the design. Each also emits a clear click, so you’re never left wondering if you pressed it all the way.
Currently, users will navigate Wear OS 2 on this device, which we found it utilizes pretty well. The platform offers plenty of onboard Google and Mobvoi-made apps, including smartwatch basics such as contacts, reminders, Find My Phone, Google Play Store, and much more. All of the smart features on this watch work perfectly. We synced everything from email to Slack messages and ran into no problems with any of the tools or their notifications. As mentioned, the TicWatch E3 is eligible to upgrade to Wear OS 3 when it becomes available. That means this budget smartwatch will be running the same Wear OS as its much more expensive sibling, the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra. That’s especially noteworthy when some costly devices from other companies won’t be eligible.
On the fitness tracking front, Mobvoi offers a little bit of everything. The TicWatch E3 will track 21 activities, including the obvious and the oddballs, such as mountaineering. It will also automatically detect running, walking, and cycling exercises, though our experience wasn’t always spot on. A few times the watch took ten minutes or so to detect our walk. You can also tap into one of the company’s “Tic” apps to measure your heart rate, track your sleep, monitor your blood oxygen level, manage your stress or breathing, and more. We didn’t find sleep tracking particularly accurate, so we recommend the Versa 3 instead if you’re keen on counting Zs.
Mobvoi collects all your health and fitness stats in its companion app. You can view your data as a single day, week, or month. We liked that this setup allows you to identify trends or red flags easily. We just would have liked to see data from the device be more easily shareable. Fortunately, Runkeeper, Strava, and Google Fit are three third-party apps with integration available. If you are looking for a solid smartwatch and only need basic fitness and health tracking, this is a good device at a great price. Wearables will always cost a certain amount, but the TicWatch E3 keeps its price approachable without sacrificing standards.
What makes it stand out
- A very small price tag: The TicWatch E3 makes this list because of its very low cost. It stays on the list because it delivers good hardware and a bevy of smart features.
- Eligibility: Not every smartwatch can boast Wear OS 3 eligibility and certainly none at this price point. If Wear OS is your preferred ecosystem this is a great budget pick.
- Delivers on the basics: This isn’t the most accurate fitness tracker or the most advanced health monitor. It sticks to the basics of what shoppers want in a smartwatch, from digital payment support to consistent notifications.
The Withings Scanwatch 2 is the best hybrid smartwatch you can buy
For smartwatch smarts buts an analog form factor, a hybrid wearable is the ticket. The Withings Scanwatch 2 is our specialty pick, with a classy design and seriously advanced health tracking. The oversized wearable looks a lot like its predecessor, but adds an invaluable new temperature sensor.
Much more than your average hybrid smartwatch, the Withings Scanwatch 2 offers a medical-grade ECG monitor, pulse oximeter, and 24/7 heart rate monitoring. The Scanwatch 2 will also notify you if your heart rate regularly seems too high or too low, both warning signs of bradycardia or tachycardia. You can even take ECG readings on demand. Our favorite part is that you can easily share a PDF of your overall health report or your readings with your doctor. It took about two seconds to generate a pretty convenient report.
The new second-generation device boasts upgraded software and a brand-new sensor. Hopping onto the temperature monitoring trend, Withings introduced its TempTech24/7 module, which relies on a sensor for measuring skin and ambient temperatures. Users can track baseline temperature changes throughout to monitor for oncoming illnesses. The data can also be used to collect insights related to training and recovery.
Meanwhile, the Scanwatch 2 still automatically tracks users’ blood oxygen levels during sleep in what Withings calls a Respiratory Scan. This scan is key to detecting warning signs of sleep apnea. The device also still records sleep duration, depth, regularity, and interruptions and provides a sleep score on a scale of 1 to 100. This year, Withings added detailed female health tracking both on the device and in the Withings Health app. For fitness tracking, the company also added automatic workout detection for more than 40 activities.
Sure, we’ve seen hybrids with better displays. Garmin’s lineup equips a clever “hidden” option we adore and Fossil features e-ink on its Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness Edition. But in most instances, the Scanwatch’s display is adequate and will get the job done. There aren’t as many smartwatch features on this device as on others in this list but that comes with the hybrid territory. We also wish it offered more fitness features. Again though, if you are shopping for a device in this style, you’re probably not looking for a hardcore gym companion.
This is the choice for anyone looking to keep close tabs on their heart health or overnight breathing. And if a long-lasting battery and an elegant design are just the gravy on top, so be it.
What makes it stand out
- Smarts undercover: Not everyone wants a sporty wearable with high-tech vibes. This hybrid is a classy accessory that packs more than (initially) meets the eye.
- Seriously advanced health tracking: Not many devices can boast potentially lifesaving health sensors. The ScanWatch 2’s ECG monitor and clinically validated AFib could each be invaluable to the right user.
- Detailed sleep tracking: When hardly anyone seems to be getting enough proper rest, tracking sleep is more important than ever. This device offers in-depth insights and tons of data.
What to look for in a good smartwatch
If you’re shopping for your first smartwatch, knowing where to start is not easy. Software experience and compatibility are crucial, but they don’t always narrow down the field enough. You’ll also want to determine what your priorities are in terms of features and specs. Do you just want an extension of your phone or are you interested in tracking intense workouts or advanced health stats? Does daily charging sound cumbersome? The topics below are all points worth considering before committing to any of the devices on the market.
- Software experience
- First- and third-party app support
- Battery life
- Fitness tracking
- Onboard or connected GPS
- Heart rate tracking
- SpO2 monitoring
- Sleep tracking
- On-wrist phone call support
- Voice assistance
- Digital payment support
- Companion app
Why you should trust us & how we test
Android Authority has a long history with wearable devices, spanning back at least as far as the Pebble in 2013. Since then, we’ve reviewed hundreds of wearables and learned a lot along the way. Our team of dedicated health and fitness experts tests dozens of new wearables and fitness trackers every year, but only the very best make it onto recommendation lists like the one you are reading. How do we determine what’s worthy? When testing we have two main focuses in mind: user experience and accuracy. To that end, we start by utilizing the device as a daily driver:
- We wear the product 24/7, (except for charging time), to evaluate its day-to-day performance, capabilities, and comfort.
- We note everything from strap materials and display brightness to navigation and battery life.
- We tap into as many features as possible, leaving no stone set unturned.
- We set alarms, chat with voice assistants, fire off texts, follow breathing exercises, sweat through workouts, and much more.
- We test sleep tracking accuracy by wearing the watch to bed and comparing its data to other products well-regarded for their sleep analysis.
- We test SpO2 sensors against other wearables or a pulse oximeter.
- For heart rate monitoring, we equip chest straps to test the device’s accuracy and push the sensor through interval training workouts.
- We also test GPS accuracy on outdoor runs and rides wearing the device and a notably accurate GPS device to see how the review unit performs.
- When possible, we strap on a comparable device from the current market to analyze how the review subject stands up to the similarly-priced competition.
- We dig into the companion app. We look to see how the data is organized and analyzed and evaluate the ease of use.
As you can see, we don’t mess around! Smartwatches and trackers have a ton of variety, and reviewing each product is quite nuanced. For example, a Garmin Fenix 7 review looks a lot different from a Xiaomi Mi Band review. So, we also determine the wearable’s place in the market in terms of form factor, target audience, and budget. Then, we check to see if the device is missing anything important that users might expect to see and verify that it lives up to its brand’s (measurable) claims.
You can trust that our experts put every device through its paces. Typically, our review period lasts about a week, but we can sometimes extend it to weeks or months for especially feature-packed devices. We also revisit watches and trackers regularly to ensure they still hold up through the test of time.
Unfortunately, no. Compatibility is device-specific and not all smartwatches are inclusive. On this list, the Apple Watch Series 9 only works with iPhones. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Watch 6 is only compatible with Android phones.
Even little wrists have room for some version of a smartwatch. The best kid-friendly devices offer basic activity tracking and task management tools.
For iOS users, Apple offers the best smartwatch available. Fitbit’s devices are best for anyone new to activity tracking who just wants the basics. To compare the ecosystems more generally, read our Fitbit vs Apple guide.
As devices grow more advanced, the line between fitness trackers and smartwatches has blurred. Most smartwatches have fitness tracking tools, and many fitness trackers have a range of smartwatch features. Generally speaking, we refer to wearables with big displays, large app libraries, and notification support as smartwatches. If a device has more of a fitness band form factor, we refer to it as a fitness tracker.
Any of the devices in this list are a great pick for women, and the Apple Watch Series 9 is likely the best (if you are an iOS user). However, for a more dedicated breakdown, see our guide to the best smartwatches for women you can buy right now.