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The best smartwatches for women: Apple, Samsung, and more (September 2023)
It isn’t easy to maintain exercise goals, stay on top of notifications, and keep up with daily tasks, but for many women, wearing a smartwatch helps. For everything from connectivity to tracking workouts, we’ve compiled the best smartwatches for women you can buy right now.
Buying the right smartwatch
Purchasing a new smartwatch is about finding a suitable device for your needs. Consider the factors below when choosing the right fit.
- Smartwatch features: If you’re hoping for an extension of your smartphone, a smartwatch with solid notification support and a large display is vital. The Apple Watch Series 9 has the best app support and tons of smart features. For non-Apple users, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 is the best Wear OS smartwatch on the market.
- Fitness tracking: From steps and calories to training and recovery tools, there are also a host of fitness tracking features to consider. For runners and cyclists, GPS is especially important. Some devices feature built-in GPS, plus track dozens of sports and activities.
- Health monitoring: Sensors, features, and dedicated health apps broaden a device’s potential impact. Choose a smartwatch with the tools you need, be it a reliable sleep tracker or an SpO2 monitor.
- Device size: How about fitting all these features on your wrist? Many of the devices below come in multiple sizes. For women looking for something more petite, the Fitbit Charge 5 packs tons of fitness features into minimal real estate. Likewise, the Xiaomi Mi Band 7 offers a similar aesthetic but at a budget price.
- Software: Finally, look, feel, comfort, and functionality are all top priorities but don’t forget to look for timely software updates. Some brands are better than others at keeping devices fresh.
The best smartwatches for women
- Apple Watch Series 9: The best smartwatch for women is the Apple Watch Series 9. You need an iPhone to use it, so if you’re an Android user, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 series: The Galaxy Watch 6 is the best alternative to the Apple Watch and the best Wear OS smartwatch for women. It can pair with most Android phones, though the best results are had with a Samsung phone.
- Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5: Another solid Wear OS pick is the TicWatch Pro 5. Boasting Google’s latest software, the device packs powerful internals and great features.
- Fitbit Versa 3: The Versa 3 is the best value pick from Fitbit. Though technically not as feature-packed as the Sense lineup, the Versa 3 drops a few sensors in favor of a lower price tag.
- Garmin Venu 3: The best Garmin smartwatch for women is the Venu 3. It’s one of the best multisport tracking watches available right now and Garmin’s best smartwatch yet.
- Fitbit Charge 5: The Fitbit Charge 5 is the best fitness tracker for women. It offers a full fitness tracking feature set and compact design.
- Xiaomi Mi Band 7: The best affordable fitness tracker for women is the Xiaomi Mi Band 7. Though the company has since launched a Mi Band 8, it is not yet globally available. Meanwhile, the previous generation is incredibly cheap and punches well above what its weight (and price tag) would suggest.
Apple Watch Series 9: The best smartwatch for women
The Apple Watch Series 9 is the best smartwatch for women, and in our opinion, the best smartwatch in general. The device features a premium build and a bright AMOLED display, plus unmatched third-party app support, and all the basic fitness tracking features you could need. It also packs a powerful S9 chipset that enables serious computing, including onboard Siri queries and Double Tap gesture controls. Throughout our Apple Watch Series 9 review, we found the device responsive, reliable, and seamlessly integrated with the iPhone.
With an Apple Watch Series 9, you can track your daily activities and overall fitness in the corresponding app on your iPhone. You can even track medication with the useful Medication Reminder app. Monitor your heart rate, track your sleep, log move goals, and measure your blood oxygen with the device’s SpO2 sensor. Specifically for women, the Apple Watch offers Cycle Tracking, a helpful and informative app for tracking your menstrual cycle. The device leverages temperature data for deeper insights. Those who menstruate can use the device to retroactively predict ovulation dates.
Beyond health and fitness, the Apple Watch Series 9 can receive and make calls and fire off texts directly from your wrist. It can also store music, manage smart home devices, navigate trails, and much more. It’s a great tool for managing tasks as well as communication. If budget is a concern, the Apple Watch SE 2 offers many of the same features for a lower price.
- Powerful new S9 chipset
- Brighter AMOLED display
- Expanded Find My Phone feature
- Onboard Siri query processing
- Excellent WatchOS 10 updates
- Some features not available at launch
- Battery life still unimproved
- No third-party watch faces
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 series: The best Samsung smartwatches for women
For the best you can buy that isn’t made by Apple, the Galaxy Watch 6 series devices are our top pick. The devices run on Google’s latest Wear OS platform with a Samsung skin, and the software experience is crisp and powerful. Users can access a host of tracking features, plus Google Maps, Google Pay, Google Assistant, and even offline listening via YouTube Music. In short, these top-of-the-line Galaxy wearables bring back everything we already loved in the last generation.
For fitness tracking, they’re also a great pick with notably accurate heart sensors. Users can log periods and track menstrual health in the Samsung Health app. The series offers body composition analysis with a BIA sensor, blood pressure monitoring, and ECG measurements, although you’ll need a Samsung phone to see this data. Though the device doesn’t offer native pill tracking, there are medication management apps available via the Google Play Store.
Again like the last generation, the series offers two models. This year, however, Samsung brought back the fan-favorite rotating bezel on its new Galaxy Watch 6 Classic. Since the watches are otherwise very similar, we recommend the pricier model for easier on-device navigation. The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is also still available for those looking for a more durable device with niche features for outdoor enthusiasts.
- The rotating bezel is back
- Elegant design and build materials
- Ships with Wear OS 4
- Bright, vibrant AMOLED display
- Robust, snappy software experience
- Only minor upgrades over Watch 5
- Imperfect heart rate data
- Disappointing battery life
- Some features only work with Samsung phones
Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5: Another great Wear OS smartwatch for women
With the most up-to-date processor available, Wear OS 3, and fantastic battery life, the TicWatch Pro 5 adds a powerful option to the wearables table. Women shopping for a new smartwatch (who are not already tied into the Apple ecosystem) should give the TicWatch a look.
For starters, the watch is both durable and attractive and features a new rotating Digital Crown for easier device interaction. We love its unique dual-display that not only saves battery but even offers useful heart rate zone information during workouts. We weren’t able to test all 100 built-in sport modes during our review, but we were very impressed with the offerings. Likewise, the heart rate sensor and GPS both proved reliable during our outdoor runs and cycle workouts.
On the smartwatch front, the device boasts all the best from Google including Google Maps, Google Wallet, Google Pay, and of course, the Google Play Store. It also supports on-wrist phone calling when in Bluetooth range of your paired phone, plus plenty of storage, 5ATM water resistance, and hundreds of watch face choices for customizing your look. In short, it’s a powerful Wear OS smartwatch and a great pick for those without a Samsung phone.
Runs on Wear OS 3
Snapdragon W5 Plus Gen 1 is snappy and efficient
Digital crown streamlines navigation
Dual display adds even more functionality
Pricier than its predecessor
Inconsistent sleep tracking
Band design is cheap and attracts dust
No wireless charging
Fitbit Versa 3: The best affordable smartwatch for women
The Fitbit Versa 3 is the best pick from Fitbit’s stable. Though technically the Fitbit Sense or Sense 2 offer more health sensors, we consider the Versa 3 a better value buy. The Versa 3 offers a built-in GPS and can accurately track your workouts as well as your heart rate. It boasts one of the best companion apps in the business and taps into a highly accurate sleep-tracking platform.
The Versa 3 also supports Alexa and Google Assistant. This is significant because though the Versa line received an upgrade in 2022, we weren’t impressed with the new model. During our Versa 4 review we found the line dropped key features that made the Versa 3 such a great pick, including third-party app support and Google Assistant. As a result, we still recommend the previous model.
If you opt for the Versa 3 over a Sense, you’ll lose out on the EDA sensor for stress tracking, the skin temperature sensor, and alerts for low and high heart rates. These are useful tools but not necessarily deal-breakers. We didn’t miss them during our Fitbit Versa 3 review as they’re generally only useful to users who want advanced health tracking or who have specific health concerns. If your main goal is to improve and track your fitness, the Versa 3 is a fantastic option at a more manageable price.
As mentioned, some changes have been hitting Fitbit smartwatches in an effort to redirect shoppers to Google’s own Pixel Watch. Unfortunately, these cuts make the watches less powerful devices, however, they are still compelling options for anyone who specifically wants a Fitbit.
- Decent battery life
- Pretty accurate health tracking
- Built-in GPS
- Google Assistant and Alexa support
- Speaker with phone call support
- Good price
- Tiny app library
- Onboard music limited to two services
- The capacitive button isn’t ideal
- Proprietary charging cable
Garmin Venu 3: The best Garmin smartwatch for women
Of all the Garmin watches, the Garmin Venu 3 is the best smartwatch for women. It builds on the impressive health- and fitness-tracking suite of the Venu 2 and 2 Plus with more smartwatch features, making for a more comprehensive wearable. The device features on-wrist phone call and voice assistant support as well as onboard music storage. It’s also the only Garmin watch to currently offer automatic nap detection along with personalized sleep coaching. Specifically for those who menstruate, the Venu 3 also allows users to track their periods, pregnancy, and other female health stats in the Garmin Connect app. Users can also download a helpful medication management app from the Garmin Connect IQ store.
Unfortunately, the Venu 3 does not feature Garmin’s recently launched FDA-approved ECG app. The Venu 3 features the company’s newest Elevate heart rate sensor, and though the hardware is adequate, it is not yet clinically approved. For now, only Venu 2 Plus users can take on-demand readings and monitor for signs of AFib. We’re hopeful Garmin will continue to support the Venu 3 in this regard and expand its feature set over time.
Overall, this is an excellent pick for fitness-focused women looking for a smartwatch to aid their exercise journey. Among the many valuable tools and features we expect from Garmin, the Venu 3 supports Health Snapshot, updated Body Battery, Morning Report, Daily Summary, Fitness Age, and much more, all of which help users target and achieve wellness goals. Additionally, the lineup offers two case sizes so shoppers can find the perfect fit for their wrists.
- Highly accurate GPS and heart rate sensors
- Automatic nap detection and sleep coaching
- On-device phone call and voice assistant support
- Up to 14-day battery life
- Larger display
- No ECG app
- Pricey compared to competitors
- No LTE model
Fitbit Charge 5: The best fitness tracker for women
The Fitbit Charge 5 is a sleek option for women looking for something slimmer. It’s the first of the Charge line to feature a bright, full-color AMOLED display, and the overall look is impressive. The device comes in three colorways and packs several expected fitness and health tracking sensors, as well as an electrodermal activity (EDA) sensor (like that of the Fitbit Sense).
Sleep and activity tracking remain strengths for Fitbit in this device which is also compatible with Fitbit’s female health tracking suite. In addition to stress, it tracks your steps, sleep, and activity, and has onboard GPS for any distance-based training. A heart rate sensor and Fitbit’s Active Zone Minutes help you optimize your workouts while Daily Readiness Score helps you determine how to train each day. The tracker also has an SpO2 sensor, automatic run detection, and an auto-pause mode that will sense when you stop or take a break while working out.
Primarily a fitness tracker, the Fitbit Charge 5 only offers the basics in terms of smartwatch features. It can receive smartphone notifications, however, you won’t be able to respond to any messages on the device itself. It supports Fitbit Pay but has no music storage, support for digital assistants, or any third-party apps. During our Fitbit Charge 5 review, we were somewhat disappointed with its battery life compared to other trackers, but it does compare favorably to most smartwatches.
- Bright, full-color AMOLED display
- Sleek, slim design
- EDA, SpO2, and skin temperature tracking
- Sleep tracking is top-tier
- Accurate GPS and heart rate sensors
- No altimeter
- Battery life could be better
Xiaomi Mi Band 7: The best cheap fitness tracker for women
Xiaomi’s fitness trackers are popular because they’re good and cheap. Really good and really cheap. The Xiaomi Mi Band 7 proves budget doesn’t mean bad, with a much better experience than its price point might suggest. It also boasts a beautiful, 1.62-inch AMOLED display. In April 2023, Xiaomi launched a Xiaomi Mi Band 8 in China, however, the device is not yet available globally. For now, the previous generation remains our top recommendation.
During our Xiaomi Mi Band 7 review we found the device tracks many of the same activity metrics as other devices, including steps, distance, calories, heart rate, and even continuous SpO2 tracking. It will also accurately track your workouts with frankly more sport modes than anyone could ever need. Plus, with its pared-down display, (compared to the smartwatches above), it offers nearly two full weeks of use between charging life.
For women, the Xiaomi Mi Band 7 also offers female health-tracking, allowing users to log cycles and track ovulation. On the other hand, sleep tracking is inconsistent and the companion app situation can be fairly confusing. The device also doesn’t feature onboard GPS or NFC support for digital payments. For those features, you’ll need to spring for the Mi Band 7 Pro. That said, it’s a great option for women interested in entering the wearables arena but not interested in shelling out a bunch of cash.
- Bigger, brighter display
- Accurate resting heart rate
- Continuous SpO2 monitoring
- A comically huge number of sport modes
- Fun new band colors
- Slightly more expensive, but still has amazing value
- No built-in GPS
- No NFC or voice assistant on the global model
- Inconsistent sleep tracking
- Confusing app situation
There is no straightforward answer to this, but users who are new to wearables should consider ease of use. Smartwatches that are only compatible with specific smartphones will likely have similar operating systems to those phones, which may help with faster learning.
On smartwatches, GPS allows users to accurately track distances as well as map runs and other workouts. Some devices offer connected GPS which tethers your device to your smartphone. Other devices offer built-in GPS, which means a GPS sensor is inside the watch itself, and you do not need to carry your smartphone during workouts.
Smartwatches track steps most precisely using three sensors, a 3-Axis accelerometer, an altimeter for measuring elevation, and a gyroscope for measuring orientation. However, not all devices feature all three of these sensors. Those that do will be the most accurate.
Not a whole lot anymore. Here at Android Authority, we refer to devices with big displays prioritizing apps and notifications as smartwatches. Devices with small displays that look more like a traditional fitness band, we refer to as fitness trackers.
If you are an iOS user, the Apple Watch is hands down the best smartwatch available. However, Fitbit’s ecosystem has plenty to offer anyone new to activity tracking, including a user-friendly companion app and one of the best sleep-tracking platforms in the business. To find out more, read our Fitbit vs Apple comparison guide.