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The best smartwatches for women: Apple, Samsung, and more (April 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 8 has the best app support and tons of smart features. For non-Apple users, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 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: Smartwatches can also play a role in your health and wellness. Sensors, features, and dedicated health apps broaden a device’s potential impact. Choose a smartwatch with the tools you need, be it heart rate sensors, sleep tracking capabilities 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 8: The best smartwatch for women is the Apple Watch Series 8. You do need an iPhone to use it, so if you’re an Android user, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 series: The Galaxy Watch 5 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.
- Fitbit Versa 3: The Versa 3 is Fitbit’s best value pick. 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 2 Plus: The best Garmin smartwatch for women is the Venu 2 Plus. 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 8: The best smartwatch for women
The Apple Watch Series 8 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 with ample room for text and menus, plus unmatched third-party app support, and all the basic fitness tracking features you could need. In short, it looks great and packs a lot of functionality.
With an Apple Watch Series 8, you can track your daily activities and overall fitness in the corresponding app on your iPhone. It’s also stacked with tools and compatibility so you can personalize your device to your needs. 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. In fact, the Apple Watch Series 8 is one of only a very few wearables to leverage temperature data for deeper insights. Those who menstruate can use the Apple Watch Series 8 to retroactively predict ovulation dates.
Beyond health and fitness, the Apple Watch Series 8 completely integrates with your iPhone, so you can receive and make calls and texts directly from your wrist. The device can also store music, manage smart home devices, access Siri, and much more. If budget is a concern, the Apple Watch SE 2 offers many of the same features for a lower price.
- Excellent Retina display
- Premium design and build
- Advanced health-tracking sensors
- Crash detection
- Improved sleep tracking
- Plenty of watchOS 9 upgrades
- Battery life still hasn’t improved
- No third-party watch faces
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 series: The best Samsung smartwatches for women
For the best you can buy that isn’t made by Apple, the Galaxy Watch 5 series devices are our top pick. Like the Galaxy Watch 4 series, the devices run on Google’s latest Wear OS platform with Samsung’s One UI Watch overlay, 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 but add durability, battery life, and a few design tweaks.
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 Galaxy Watch 5 series also 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.
Again like the last generation, the Galaxy Watch 5 series offers two models. The base model is smaller, a bit more casual, and significantly cheaper. It’s the watch we’d recommend to most shoppers and we found a lot to love about it during our Galaxy Watch 5 review. However, the Pro model offers a significantly larger battery, a rugged titanium case, and durable Sapphire glass to protect your display. It also ships with a classy D-buckle band we loved the look of during our Galaxy Watch 5 Pro review. Finally, the Pro model adds a few extra hiking features you won’t find on the base model, making it the right pick for outdoorsy shoppers.
- 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 Samsung ecosystem
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 device 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 a 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 2 Plus: The best Garmin smartwatch for women
Of all the Garmin watches, the Garmin Venu 2 Plus is the best smartwatch for women. It builds on the impressive health- and fitness-tracking suite of the Venu 2 with more smartwatch features, making for a more comprehensive wearable. Track your sleep, store music, make phone calls, access voice assistants, and much more. The Garmin Venu 2 Plus also allows users to track their periods, pregnancy, and other female health stats in the Garmin Connect app.
Garmin also recently launched a new FDA-approved ECG app. Venu 2 Plus users can now take on-demand readings and monitor for signs of AFib. This makes the watch an even more powerful health companion than before. Considering we were already impressed by the device during our Garmin Venu 2 Plus review, we’re thrilled to see Garmin continue to support the watch and expand its feature set.
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 2 Plus supports Health Snapshot, Body Battery, and Fitness Age, all of which help users target and achieve wellness goals.
- 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
- High price tag
- Battery life is shorter than Garmin’s claims
- Heart rate sensor still has issues
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 a number of 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, 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 possibly 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 Pro model. 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
- 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 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.
When it comes to sleep tracking, smartwatches can do some things well, such as record your total time asleep. Other data points, such as sleep stages, are more nuanced. Learn more about the accuracy of sleep trackers to determine whether you should rely on your device.
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.