After a protracted stretch of slim pickings, 2022 was an enormous 12 months for Android smartwatches. The Google Pixel Watch lastly launched after what felt like a decade. Samsung launched its second-gen Put on OS smartwatches. And Fossil introduced its first native Put on OS 3 watch and began updating its myriad Gen 6 units to the brand new platform. A pair months into 2023, it seems to be like that vitality will proceed all through this 12 months too.
However that is nonetheless a transitional period. Put on OS 3 is a piece in progress, and whereas we’re inspired by the stronger third-party app choices, the market continues to be fragmented. Some options, like Google Assistant, is probably not obtainable but on sure Put on OS 3 smartwatches — although that one might come by way of an replace someday sooner or later. And since Google is gonna Google, we now know that Put on OS 4 is coming later this 12 months even though Put on OS 3 hasn’t rolled out to each attainable smartwatch simply but.
For those who’d slightly wait till Put on OS settles down a bit, there are platform-agnostic smartwatches and health watches you should buy within the meantime. At this level, I don’t suggest shopping for a Put on OS 2 watch that may’t be upgraded, even when the reductions are tempting. Put on OS 4 is on the horizon, and Google hasn’t mentioned but whether or not Snapdragon Put on 4100-powered units will help the replace. In summer time 2022, Qualcomm additionally introduced its Snapdragon Put on 5 Plus chip — a 4nm processor that may give a much-needed enhance to the following spherical of Put on OS smartwatches. Mobvoi’s TicWatch Professional 5 is the one one that includes the brand new chip within the US, and whereas it’s an ideal watch, you might wish to wait till there are extra W5 Plus watches to select from.
As long as you retain the aforementioned caveats in thoughts, Android customers have extra smartwatch choices than ever earlier than. I’ve rounded up my high picks, but when none of those is the fitting match, you’ll be able to at all times try our health tracker information.
Finest smartwatch for Samsung telephones
Sizes: 45mm / Weight: 46.5g / Battery life: as much as 80 hours / Show sort: always-on OLED / GPS: Constructed-in GPS, plus GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou / Connectivity: LTE (non-compulsory), Bluetooth, Wi-Fi / Water resistance: as much as 50 meters / Music storage: 16GB
When you have a Samsung telephone, you’ll get probably the most mileage out of a Samsung smartwatch. And of the 2 watches Samsung launched in 2022, the $449.99 Galaxy Watch 5 Professional will get you the perfect general expertise. It’s not an enormous improve from the Galaxy Watch 4, but it surely’s fashionable, lasts longer on a single cost, and provides some neat GPS options. The Professional edges out a win over the common Galaxy Watch 5 due to its battery life. We acquired as much as 65 hours in testing, although when you allow the always-on show, you’ll extra doubtless get round 48 to 50 hours. Nonetheless, that’s a notable bump over both the 40mm Galaxy Watch 5 or the Galaxy Watch 4 lineup. Software program updates have improved the battery life on these watches, however you’ll nonetheless should cost them each day or each different day. And the Pixel Watch solely lasts round 24 hours.
The 45mm Professional wears surprisingly small for a health watch of its measurement, and the larger sapphire crystal show makes textual content simpler to learn. And whereas it’s too dangerous Samsung did away with the bodily rotating bezel, the Professional’s raised lip makes the contact bezel simpler to make use of than the flat one on the vanilla Watch 5. We additionally just like the deployant clasp, which is each safe and cozy to put on. If you would like mobile connectivity, you’ll be able to pay $50 further plus your service’s month-to-month payment for the LTE model. The watch additionally has twin SIM help (as long as you will have a telephone that additionally helps twin SIM.).
Put on OS 3 is snappy on the Professional, and Samsung’s model of Put on OS is intuitive to make use of and makes higher use of the watch’s round show than Google’s default UI. Samsung additionally added some neat accessibility options, like coloration filters and the flexibility to rebalance audio.
The swap to Put on OS means you’re getting a way more sturdy third-party app expertise than on Tizen-powered Samsung smartwatches, just like the Galaxy Watch 3 and the Galaxy Watch Energetic lineup. You additionally get extra flexibility on providers than with every other Put on OS watch. For instance, if you wish to kick Bixby to the curb in favor of Google Assistant, you’ll be able to. The identical goes for Samsung Pay and Google Pockets. If you would like a extra in-depth have a look at how this watch stacks up in comparison with the Pixel Watch specifically, you’ll be able to try our Versus video.
Samsung Well being additionally delivers a superb general health monitoring expertise, particularly since you’ll be able to allow turn-by-turn navigation for climbing and biking actions. Samsung is increasing this to embrace walks and runs when One UI 5 Watch launches later this 12 months. We weren’t too impressed with nightly SpO2 readings, however Samsung’s general sleep monitoring is nice. You additionally get built-in GPS, physique composition evaluation, irregular coronary heart fee notifications, fall detection, emergency SOS options, and EKGs.
We don’t essentially suggest the Galaxy Watch 5 or 5 Professional when you don’t have a Samsung telephone. EKGs require the Samsung Well being Monitor app, which is proscribed to Samsung telephones. Additionally, whilst you can customise the buttons to launch your digital assistant of alternative, the shortcut for contactless funds is tough coded to Samsung Pay — which can also be gated to Samsung telephones until you sideload the APK — and requires you to enroll in Samsung’s service. You may work round it, however all Samsung watches work greatest with different Samsung units.
The Galaxy Watch 5 can also be a strong different, each within the 40mm ($279.99) and 44mm ($309.99) sizes. You’ll worsen battery life, it’s not as sturdy, and there’s no turn-by-turn navigation. Nonetheless, the additional financial savings could also be a worthwhile tradeoff.
Finest Android smartwatch for non-Samsung customers
Sizes: 41mm / Weight: 36g / Battery life: as much as 40-50 hours / Show sort: always-on OLED / GPS: Constructed-in GPS, plus GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou / Connectivity: LTE (non-compulsory), Bluetooth, Wi-Fi / Water resistance: 5ATM / Music storage: 32GB
The $349.99 Google Pixel Watch is a beautiful smartwatch, however it’s a first-gen machine with some notable rising pains. The Galaxy Watch 5 lineup will get you a extra polished expertise, however the Pixel Watch is the higher alternative for Android customers who aren’t on a Samsung smartphone.
That’s due to ecosystems. Some options of Samsung’s watches solely work with Samsung telephones. The Pixel Watch doesn’t care what Android telephone you will have; you’ll get the identical expertise regardless. Broadly talking, it’s additionally at all times going to have the newest updates to Google providers like Google Maps, Google Pockets, YouTube Music, and Google Assistant as a result of, effectively, it’s Google’s smartwatch. Talking of which, shopping for the Pixel Watch will even get you a six-month trial of Fitbit Premium and a three-month trial of YouTube Music.
The Pixel Watch doesn’t care what Android telephone you will have
Whereas it makes use of a last-gen Samsung chip, the Pixel Watch has snappy efficiency, due to 2GB of RAM and a co-processor that helps optimize battery life. Its redesigned Put on OS 3 interface can also be simple to make use of, and belief us: you received’t be bothered a lot by the bezels. Whereas thick, they’re not that noticeable, due to the darkish backgrounds and watch faces.
For those who’re a long-time Fitbit consumer, that is the smartwatch you’ve been ready for — not the Fitbit Sense 2 or Versa 4. Not solely does it have Fitbit integration, however you’ve additionally acquired the choice of mobile connectivity for $50 extra, higher third-party apps than Put on OS 2 watches, and Google Assistant. (Google Assistant is lacking from Fitbit’s Sense 2 and Versa 4, although Google Maps is now obtainable.) The Pixel Watch lacks some staple well being options — irregular coronary heart rhythm notifications, automated exercise monitoring, and nightly SpO2 percentages are the large omissions — however the bulk of Fitbit’s well being platform is there. The Pixel Watch additionally helps EKG readings, has built-in GPS, and lets you obtain offline playlists from YouTube Music.
One factor to be aware of is sturdiness. Whereas the domed show is gorgeous, we cracked considered one of our assessment items in per week. (The others had been wonderful, nevertheless!) You additionally received’t get the perfect battery life at 24 hours — much less when you use the always-on show — however it’s pretty commonplace for this class. The excellent news is Put on OS 4 ought to enhance battery life and add cloud backups when it arrives later this 12 months. It’s additionally acquired a proprietary strap mechanism, although we’re starting to see third-party straps hit the market. These tradeoffs are an enormous motive why this first-gen machine isn’t our general choose. Nonetheless, it’s nonetheless a promising machine that’s a sensible choice for first adopters.
Finest smartwatch you’ll be able to improve to Put on OS 3
Sizes: 44mm w/22mm straps / Weight: 51g / Battery life: 24 hours / Show sort: OLED touchscreen / GPS: Constructed-in GPS / Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi / Water resistance: 5ATM / Music storage: 8GB
You might argue that by placing out a horde of Put on OS watches 12 months after 12 months, Fossil has singlehandedly stored Put on OS afloat throughout its darkest days. On the brilliant facet, that dedication to the platform means the $299 Gen 6 is likely one of the most secure buys on this planet of Android smartwatches. Not solely is Fossil in it for the lengthy haul but it surely’s additionally taken buyer suggestions into consideration for future designs.
The Fossil Gen 6 is, out of the field, a Put on OS 2 watch working on a Snapdragon Put on 4100 chip. That’s an enormous motive why you could find it on sale fairly typically, normally for round $220-$230. It’s a modest low cost, however it is a smarter choose than a 3100-powered Put on OS watch, just like the Gen 5 and Gen 5E, even when you discover them for a lot much less. However when you do need Put on OS 3, there’s excellent news. Fossil started rolling out upgrades final October to all of its designer-branded smartwatches, just like the Skagen Falster Gen 6 and the Michael Kors Gen 6.
The Gen 6 watches have Alexa compatibility, contactless funds by way of Google Pockets, and entry to the Google Play retailer for third-party apps like Strava and Spotify. There’s no timeline simply but for Google Assistant when you improve to Put on OS 3, and it’s been faraway from Put on OS 2.
The corporate additionally just lately launched its $299 Gen 6 Wellness Version. In consequence, it’s additionally beefed up obtainable well being options throughout the Gen 6 units. That features SpO2 readings, VO2 Max, automated exercise monitoring, coronary heart fee zones, steady coronary heart fee monitoring exterior of exercises, and improved sleep monitoring. The Wellness Version comes with Put on OS 3 out of the field, which is a tad extra handy, and the elevated design is kind of fetching. Nonetheless, when you don’t thoughts the additional step of upgrading, selecting up any Gen 6 watch on sale isn’t a foul approach to avoid wasting further moolah. Particularly for the reason that Wellness Version has most of the identical flaws because the common Gen 6 anyway.
Finest health smartwatch for Android
Sizes: 50mm w/24mm straps / Weight: 44.3g / Battery life: as much as 80 hours / Show sort: OLED touchscreen and secondary extremely low energy show / GPS: GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, Beidou / Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi / Water resistance: 5ATM / Music storage: 32GB
Mobvoi’s TicWatch lineup has its devoted followers for a motive: tremendous lengthy battery life. The $249.99 TicWatch Professional 5 is not any exception. It’s acquired an estimated 80 hours of battery life with commonplace use, a secondary ultra-low energy show, and an enormous (for a smartwatch you put on in your wrist, no less than) 628mAh battery. I didn’t fairly get 80 hours in my testing, however I did get a strong 48-60 hours even with heavy GPS use. That outclasses a lot of the watches on this class and is helpful for backpackers and endurance athletes. It won’t maintain a candle to a top-of-the-line Garmin, but it surely’s additionally a better look ahead to a fraction of the value.
Battery life apart, Mobvoi’s watches are an ideal different to the Fossil Gen 6, and the Professional 5 is an effective possibility for fitness-focused individuals who aren’t eager on giving up sensible capabilities for a Garmin or Polar. It’s additionally extra sturdy than Fossil’s vogue watches or the Pixel Watch. This time round, Mobvoi has additionally added a digital crown so that you don’t have to fret about scrolling by way of menus with sweaty fingers. The flatter facet button additionally reduces the danger of unintended presses.
The Professional 5 additionally has an ingenious technique of displaying coronary heart fee. While you elevate up your arm, the backlight modifications coloration relying on which coronary heart fee zone you’re in. Meaning you’ll be able to immediately gauge whether or not to up the depth or gradual your roll. The Professional 5 additionally provides new coaching metrics, like VO2 Max and restoration time.
The TicWatch helps stress monitoring, all-day blood oxygen monitoring, fatigue assessments, in addition to atrial fibrillation and irregular heartbeat detection. For outdoorsy sorts, it additionally has entry to a number of GNSS programs, and there’s a brand new barometer and compass app, in addition to a one-tap measurement app that offers you a fast have a look at 5 metrics (coronary heart fee, blood oxygen, stress, respiratory fee, and general coronary heart well being).
It’s additionally fairly succesful on the productiveness entrance. You get contactless funds, entry to the Play Retailer, notifications, and the flexibility to take calls. It’s additionally the one Android smartwatch obtainable within the US with the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon W5 Plus chip, which is a plus when it comes to futureproofing. The one main considerations are the 50mm case that won’t go well with smaller wrists and the shortage of a digital assistant.
Finest hybrid smartwatch
Sizes: 40mm w/20mm straps / Weight: 19g / Battery life: as much as 5 days / Show sort: “hidden” OLED touchscreen / GPS: Tethered GPS / Connectivity: Bluetooth, Ant Plus / Water resistance: 5ATM / Music storage: N/A
If all you need is straightforward health monitoring and notifications in a extra refined machine, the $179.99 Garmin Vivomove Sport is a superb, inexpensive possibility. It seems to be like a Swatch, full with actual analog arms, however has a hidden OLED for notifications. Principally, when you don’t need folks to know you’ve acquired a smartwatch on, a hybrid smartwatch is the best way to go. Plus, it’s suitable with each iOS and Android if you wish to reserve the choice to modify between each ecosystems.
You’re giving up sure sensible options, like contactless funds, digital assistants, and built-in GPS. The hidden show can ship the fundamentals, like notifications, the time, and primary well being stats. Nonetheless, what it lacks in smarts, it makes up for with battery life. You get an estimated 5 days on a single cost. On the health entrance, it’s an correct tracker regardless of its lack of built-in GPS. As for well being monitoring, you get entry to a ton of in-depth information from Garmin’s platform.
Alternatively, you’ll be able to go for the following step up with the $269.99 Vivomove Development. Whereas the Sport is the right worth for a hybrid, there are a couple of situations the place shelling out a bit further for the Development is smart. For starters, the hidden LCD show fills the complete watch face. (The Sport solely shows data on the underside half of the display screen.) That’s simpler to learn complete notifications. Plus, it’s extra legible as you profit from bigger fonts. The Development additionally has a dressier look due to the chrome steel bezel, making it higher fitted to enterprise conferences or formal occasions. Lastly, the Development helps Qi charging. For those who’ve already acquired Qi chargers, which means much less muddle in your nightstand.
Finest platform-agnostic health smartwatch
Sizes: 43mm w/20mm straps / Weight: 51g / Battery life: as much as 9 days / Show sort: OLED touchscreen / GPS: GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO / Connectivity: Bluetooth, Ant Plus, Wi-Fi / Water resistance: 5ATM / Music storage: 8GB
Garmin is greatest identified for making rugged GPS watches which have wonderful health options however aren’t so sensible in any other case. However the $449.99 Venu 2 Plus caters to individuals who need top-notch health monitoring with out sacrificing productiveness options.
It’s acquired a colourful and vibrant always-on OLED show and a whopping 9 days of estimated battery life. It’s additionally added a microphone and speaker, which means it’s one of many few Garmin smartwatches that may allow you to make and take calls from the wrist (so long as it’s in Bluetooth vary of your telephone; it doesn’t have mobile connectivity). It additionally has a intelligent workaround for digital assistants — it makes use of Bluetooth to work with no matter assistant is already in your telephone. You’d assume extra health trackers would do that, however they don’t. It labored effectively in testing, although digital assistants aren’t at all times the neatest at understanding instructions.
The Venu 2 Plus doesn’t have the perfect third-party app ecosystem, but it surely has Spotify, Deezer, and Amazon Music for offline playback. Android customers may also ship fast responses for texts, and the watch works with both iOS or Android for people who wish to hold their choices open. As for well being options, Garmin just lately introduced the Venu 2 Plus has an FDA-cleared EKG app to detect atrial fibrillation. In any other case, you get built-in GPS, steady coronary heart fee monitoring, the entire superior teaching options within the Garmin Join app, and Garmin’s well-known in-depth well being information. This isn’t probably the most hardcore Garmin that cash should buy, but it surely’s positively the neatest. The worth is a bit excessive in comparison with most smartwatches, however by Garmin requirements, it’s middle-of-the-pack.
Finest funds Android smartwatch
Measurement: 46mm w/ 22mm straps / Weight: 34g / Battery life: as much as 14 days / Show sort: OLED touchscreen / GPS: Twin-frequency and 6 GNSS programs / Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi / Water resistance: 5ATM / Music storage: 2.3GB
Amazfit’s made a reputation for itself making funds wearables that punch far above their weight. I’ve been constantly impressed by the GTR line of smartwatches over time, and the $199.99 GTR 4 is not any exception.
Not solely does it have a basic look, however you additionally get 14 days of battery life and a coloration, always-on OLED show. New to the GTR 4 is dual-band GPS — a characteristic that Apple and Garmin solely just lately launched to their higher-end smartwatches. Or, when you prefer to plan your personal path runs or hikes, you’ll be able to import your personal GPS routes, too. It tracks 150 sports activities and options all-day steady coronary heart fee monitoring. You may as well monitor stress, sleep, and SpO2 ranges. For sensible options, you’ll be able to take calls on the wrist, and it has two digital assistants: Alexa and a proprietary offline assistant. The machine additionally syncs with Strava and Adidas Working.
The GTR 4 isn’t the perfect smartwatch round. Flagship watches can do every part the GTR 4 can do however in a sleeker, extra polished package deal. Nonetheless, they’ll’t do it at this worth. If worth is your primary precedence, this will get you unbelievable bang on your buck. Plus, you’ll be able to often discover Amazfit units on sale. The icing on the cake is it really works simply as effectively on Android because it does on iOS.
Replace Could twenty fourth, 5:22 PM ET: Swapped out the Mobvoi TicWatch Professional 3 Extremely GPS for the Mobvoi TicWatch Professional 5.