The best smart watches do more than show notifications on your wrist. They’re everything in one: a fitness tracker for getting healthier, a digital wallet and in some cases, even a phone on your wrist.
When it comes to shopping for a smartwatches, you might be tempted to head straight for the Apple Watch. However, countless brands have made their mark in the wearable market over the last few years and there are plenty of great options available to Android users too.
These will likely work best when paired to one of the best smartphones on the market, but some of the models even work without a phone in tow.
We’ve tested all the top-end wearables you can buy right now from the Apple Watch to Fitbits to Garmin watches to Tizen-sporting Samsung watches. There’s also Wear OS which is Google’s own wearable operating system in the vein of Apple’s watchOS – you’ll see it show up in a lot of these devices.
How we test the best smart watches
We test every new smart watches to gauge its design and comfort. If it’s not stylish and comfortable enough to get you from an early morning workout to the office to a night out, you probably won’t wear it every day. Most smart watches are also fitness trackers, so we put all of its sensors to the test, from step counts to heart rate to GPS (when applicable).
We install apps and use them to see if the device’s app store is robust enough to elevate it to smartwatch status. If the watch has built-in LTE, we test cellular connectivity and call quality to make sure the device can actually stand on its own without a smartphone nearby.
And we measure battery life using everyday scenarios — including workouts, using apps, and getting notifications — to make sure you can get through an entire day without needing to charge up.
10 Best Smart Watches for 2021:
|Samsung Gear S2||2 x 1.7 x 0.5 in||10.4 ounces|
|HUAWEI Smart Watches||3.15 x 1.57 x 1.81 in||1.45 ounces|
|Motorola Moto 360 2nd gen||1.65 x 0.45 x 0.79 in||11.2 ounces|
|LG Watch Style||1.8 x 1.7 x 0.4 in||1.76 ounces|
|Asus ZenWatch 3||7.9 x 12.1 x 18.1 in||1.1 ounces|
The Gear S2 is a Samsung-branded smartwatch that uses the Tizen OS system.
It is divided into Gear S2 / Gear S2 classic / Gear S2 3G three versions, with independent 3G communication capabilities.
Among them, the standard version of the Gear S2 uses a 42mm dial, and the Gear S2 has a version of classic, using a 39.9mm dial.
The Gear S2 has both silver and grey dials, and the Gear S2 classic is another distinctive dial.
In addition, the Gear S2 has two straps, the rubber strap of the Gear S2 and the black leather strap of the Gear S2 classic.
Surprisingly, they all come standard with NFC and Bluetooth 4.1, Gear S2 also supports mobile payment, and the NFC of the watch can be used to complete the payment.
It also features IP68 dust and water resistance, meeting the highest standards in general consumer electronics.
- Slimmer design than the original
- Physical rotating bezel is back
- FDA-approved ECG readings
- Shorter battery life than original
This is a high-tech smart watch!
It uses a 1.4-inch AMOLED screen with a gemstone mirror and a resolution of 400 x 400 pixels.
In addition, it has a built-in Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, 512M running memory, 4GB storage space, configuration can be said to be quite powerful.
Most importantly, it has Bluetooth 4.1, heart rate sensor, motion sensor, air pressure sensor and more.
Therefore, it is not only suitable for exercise, but also for monitoring physical health.
It is available in silver, black and gold for users to choose from, and is available in different materials.
However, it currently only supports Android and does not support iOS. If you are using an Android device, then it is the best smart watch.
- Strong suite of fitness features
- Great battery life
- Limited non-music features
- Attracts dust
The Moto 360 is beautifully designed with a classic disc design that breaks the design of smart watches.
But rumors from the Asian supply chain say that Moto 360’s design is too unconventional and may face production problems.
According to Motorola, the shape of the product is similar to that of a conventional watch, and it will be designed with a round surface and made of high-grade materials.
Almost all electronic products of the Moto 360 are designed in a square or rectangular shape. Products that do not use this design will encounter a lot of problems in production.
All electronic components are “angular,” such as motherboards, processors, batteries, and displays, so the circular design will make the Moto 360 a challenge in production.
Watches have become popular fashion accessories for more than 100 years. From mechanical watches to electronic watches, watches have undergone many evolutions.
However, the classic styles of watches are still alive and well, and their centuries are still old. It proves the practicality and elegant appearance of the design.
- Stylish, premium stainless-steel frame
- More RAM makes a difference
- Customizable battery modes
- Feels limited compared to Samsung’s and Apple’s smartwatches
- No offline Spotify playback
The style on the wrist is really small, this is the Android Wear smart watch we have been eager to see for years. The soft and rounded sandblasted stainless steel chassis is an important part of it.
But it is also one of the lighter smart watches we wear in 46g; for comparison, the LG Watch Sport weighs almost twice as much as 89g.
Around the watch, you’ll find familiar classic timepiece decorations such as round constructions and prominent hardware buttons.
Other smart watches, such as the Moto 360 2nd Gen, have the design features of the first generation of Huawei watches and other smart watches.
You’ll stumble upon some of the unique features of this watch, best known for its color 1.2-inch P-OLED 360 x 360 resolution (299ppi) display, which embeds an ambient light sensor (ALS) at the bottom of the screen.
Fortunately, steel forms a large part of its construction, so the use of plastic does not detract from the high-quality look and feel.
- Comes in two sizes
- Built-in music storage with Spotify support
- Two-button navigation
- Occasional syncing issues
- Convoluted app installation process
Is it still possible for smart watches to excite consumers? Ok, now we are at the cutting edge of another new chapter in wearables, as Android Wear 2.0 is ready to debut on commercial hardware.
While this will definitely be exciting, before we get there, we have an Android Wear 1.5 model, which has been checked out since the end of last year.
Let’s take a look at the latest generation of ASUS smart watch lineup, the circular show of ZenWatch 3.
It can be said that compared with the case of mobile phones, smart watches can survive or die according to their design quality.
For its first two models, Asus uses a standard rectangular dial, but still spends time with curved glass, polished metal and a body that looks as exquisite and professional as possible.
With ZenWatch 3, we saw that Asus tried something new while still retaining some elements of the original style.
- Good battery life
- Custom training programs (with subscription)
- Great sleep analysis
- Can only use one voice assistant at once
The original Huawei watch used a high-quality metal surface treatment, which looks very smart, but the new changes in Huawei Table 2.
Huawei uses a thick plastic body and a considerable bezel around the surface on the watch 2, rather than the high-end appeal.
It’s not particularly eye-catching, it’s unlikely to win any style awards – but it’s at least functional. Huawei Watch 2 has a strong health and fitness perspective, and its design means it can withstand the rigors of exercise, training or competition.
For this reason, the silicone belt is sweat-proof and can be easily removed. There are convenient hooks under the strap for easy removal from the watch.
Although it uses a standard 20 mm strap size, if you want to change the appearance and material, then the design means that you will only be limited to the Huawei Watch 2 special strap.
- Offline Spotify storage
- Gorgeous design
- Works with iOS and Android
- Sleep-tracking needs some work
Moto 360 Sport is available in black, white and orange. It is sweat- and dirt-resistant. The design is IP67 waterproof and dustproof.
Moto 360 Sport is equipped with a monocoque silicone housing and strap. Its strap has a special UV UV-curable coating to absorb sweat.
Like many GPS running watches, the Moto 360 Sport has venting holes on the sides to keep the runner’s wrists cool.
The Moto 360 Sport’s display, called the world’s first device with a new hybrid display technology. It is based on the 42mm version of the new Moto 360, so its screen size is 1.37 inches.
It has a built-in GPS wireless communication device, which means that the wearer will be able to use popular running applications (such as Endomondo, Ghost Racer, RunKeeper) while running, without having to carry a smartphone with them.
- Built-in GPS
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Poor side button
- No offline Spotify
Apple Watch Series 4 smart watch with new dual-core S4 processor. According to Apple, the new dual-core 64-bit S4 processor is twice as fast as the previous generation S3 chip.
Increased efficiency, faster speeds, longer battery life, and new features such as ECG monitoring.
Its digital crown uses vibration feedback, and the speakers have been upgraded. The back is made of black ceramic and sapphire glass for enhanced signal reception.
The Apple Watch Series 4 modular dial has been redesigned to include more sophisticated complex features, including support from third-party developers such as MLB and Lifesum. The Breathe app is also becoming a dial.
Equipped with the next generation of accelerometer gyroscopes, Apple Watch can be found to fall.
- High-end design
- Rotating digital bezel
- Few features for price bump
- Still limited functionality with iOS
Ticwatch E didn’t work very hard to let it know that it was a smart watch. In addition to always-on displays and fairly thick constructions, it is difficult to distinguish it from a batch of analog watches.
This is an admirable quality, and we are surprised that it can be done at such a low price point, and there is no such thing as a typical smart watch.
The watch’s display is one of the highest marks of its overall quality, with a 1.4-inch OLED display that is very interesting at 400 x 400 (287dpi).
For reference, this is a higher resolution than the Huawei Watch 2 and LG Watch Style, although more cash.
As with all Android Wear 2.0 smart watches, you can find a button on your watch to summon an installed list of apps or the Google Assistant itself, which can help you with texting or telling you about weather and other tasks.
- Long battery life
- Comprehensive fitness/health features
- No Spotify storage
Samsung Galaxy Watch is designed for young people. Its shape blends the essence of the Gear Sport and Gear S3 series. It is both sporty and stylish, and is still a strong mechanical style.
The 46mm titanium silver version of the Galaxy Watch features a unique silver and black contrast design.
Its top is a rotating dial that starts with the Gear S2 Classic, but the surrounding gears are thinner and denser than the previous generations, and the bottom is still stainless steel.
Galaxy Watch still provides two physical buttons on the right side, the back button in the upper right corner and the Home button in the lower right corner. These two physical buttons are inherited from the Gear Sport design, using a thin strip of rounded rectangles.
Like the previous generation, the Galaxy Watch has a heart rate sensor on the back for heart rate detection. The 46mm version comes standard with a 22mm L strap, which can be replaced with a strap of the same size and comes with a spare strap.
- Slimmer design than the original
- Physical rotating bezel is back
- FDA-approved ECG readings
- Shorter battery life than original
Why you should trust us
Not only do we love wearables, he loves helping people find the right devices to suit their needs. we have been our resident fitness reviewer at Android Authority since 2016, and in that time has reviewed dozens of fitness products and other wearables.
Through his rigorous testing of fitness products and deep knowledge of health devices and services, you can rest assured knowing we will give you honest recommendations.
Do I need smart watches with GPS?
If you are a runner and intend to use your smartwatch to track routes, and don’t want to run with your phone, then yes, you do need GPS. Most modern smartwatches come with GPS as standard anyway, so you may find it’s ready and waiting if you need it. If your smartwatch doesn’t have GPS, then some can use your phone’s GPS when connected, but it will be slower to operate. One thing to remember is that using GPS will drain the battery in the watch faster than usual.
After all, unlike a smartphone, no one really needs a smartwatch. However, because manufacturers are finally coming around to the realization that a smartwatch needs to look good if we’re to buy one, they’re a lot more tempting than they once were.
One-day battery life and a touchscreen on a watch is still hard to swallow for some people, but that’s why hybrid smartwatches were invented — and battery lives and control mechanisms are constantly getting better.