Your guide

Smartwatches are still a very new thing to a lot of people, and for good reason. You don’t absolutely need one to get through the day, and some of the best smartwatches are much too expensive for many folks out there. With that said, they are good for a lot of things. They can provide you with an easy way to get information, allow you to dismiss or reply to new messages without having to pull out your phone, and much more.

Now, we’ve already rounded up some of the best Android watches and fitness trackers you can buy, but what about the other wearables that are worth considering? With so many smartwatches on the market, choosing the right one can be a bit daunting. We’re here to help!

Here are the best smartwatches you can buy right now.

Updates December 12, 2018, 12:00 am

This month we removed the Apple Watch Series 3 and Huawei Watch 2 to make room for the Apple Watch Series 4, Mobvoi TicWatch C2, and Fossil Q Explorist HR.

The best smartwatch: Apple Watch Series 4

Frontside of the Apple Watch Series 4

I know, I know. This is an Apple product. And we only like Android products here, right? Wrong-o.

To be completely honest, Apple makes the best smartwatch. It’s not compatible with Android phones (hopefully it will be at some point), but the user experience is overall more polished than anything we’ve seen from Wear OS or competing ecosystems.

The latest Apple Watch Series 4 is the biggest update to the Apple Watch lineup since… well… ever. The display is 30 percent bigger than the Series 3’s, and has a higher resolution. The speaker has been upgraded too.

The big new feature under the hood is the addition of an FDA-approved electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor. If you’re someone who has to frequently get expensive ECG tests at the doctor, this will save you a ton of money in the long run. 

Best for Android phones: Samsung Galaxy Watch

Samsung’s new Galaxy Watch is the one to get if you need a smartwatch that can do it all… and if you own an Android phone. In our full review, we mentioned that it’s a fantastic all-around smartwatch, fitness, and health tracker. It has a great display, solid build, comes with Samsung Pay support, and offers wireless charging. Plus, the Tizen operating system has tons of great apps and watch faces.

Perhaps the only downside to the Galaxy Watch is Bixby, which we’ve found to be pretty unreliable in our testing. Aside from that, this is a great Apple Watch or Wear OS alternative that you should definitely check out.

Best Wear OS watch: Mobvoi TicWatch Pro

Mobvoi TicWatch Pro worn on hand, focusing on the display.
One of the newest members of the TicWatch family from Mobvoi is the TicWatch Pro, and it makes our list as the best Wear OS watch you can buy. The most interested part about this smartwatch is that it actually has two displays. The first is a transparent and low-power FTSN LCD display, and that is placed on top of its OLED display. While the top FTSN display shows you basic info like the time, the date, your heart rate and step count, you can switch over to the OLED display, which shows off all of the features of Google’s Wear OS.

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 colors on Amazon for $249, but at the moment it’s exclusive for members of Amazon Prime until August 15. You can read a lot more about the TicWatch Pro in our review.

Runners up: Fossil Q Explorist HR and Mobvoi TicWatch C2

Clunky name aside, Fossil’s fourth-generation Q Explorist HR is also a great option if you’re set on buying a Wear OS watch. It’s a little pricey, but it has a nicer design than the TicWatch Pro and comes with either leather or metal bands. If you’re looking for a more affordable Wear OS watch, Mobvoi’s TicWatch C2 is your best bet.

Best smartwatches for fitness tracking: Fitbit Versa and Ionic

Frontside of the Fitbit Versa next to Fitbit Ionic worn on hand.

Fitbit Ionic (left), Fitbit Versa (right)

The Fitbit Ionic and Versa have improved a ton since launch, and are two of the best smartwatches you can buy today.

They both offer smartphone notifications, quick replies (if you own an Android phone), as well as Fitbit’s female health tracking suite which makes this a much more powerful health tracker for women.

Plus, these smartwatches are made by Fitbit, so they’re incredible fitness and health trackers. They both offer 24/7 heart rate tracking, on-screen workouts with Fitbit Coach, over 15 exercise modes, GPS (Connected GPS in the Versa’s case), and swim tracking thanks to their 5ATM rating. There‚Äôs also room to store your music, as well as Fitbit Pay support (Ionic and Special Edition Versa only).

If you’re trying to decide which one is right for you, allow us to help. The Versa is smaller and looks good on most wrist sizes, while the Ionic is probably best for large wrists. The other main difference is GPS connectivity — the Ionic comes with built-in GPS, while the Versa does not. However, you can pair it with your smartphone if you don’t mind bringing it with you on a run. 

So there you have it, our list of the best smartwatches on the market! Do you have any suggestions for us? What do you think is the best smartwatch out there? Be sure to sound off in the comments, and check out our related smartwatch coverage below:

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