The infamous calculator watch(Opens in a new window) has been around since the 1970s, but smartwatches have finally reached the point that they're, well, smart. From running apps, to displaying smartphone notifications, to monitoring your heart rate, the latest crop of smartwatches do a lot more than just tell time. But which one should you buy?
We've rounded up our favorites to help you decide. It's also important to know what to look for, so make sure to check out our buying guide at the end for guidance through your shopping journey.
The Best Smartwatch Deals This Week*
- Google Pixel Watch Wi-Fi Smartwatch (Charcoal) (Opens in a new window) — $299.00 (List Price $349.99)
- Apple Watch Series 8 (GPS, 45mm) (Opens in a new window) — $359.00 (List Price $429)
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 40mm Smartwatch (Opens in a new window) — $249.00 (List Price $279.99)
- Garmin Venu Sq GPS Smartwatch With Heart Rate Monitor (Opens in a new window) — $119.00 (List Price $199.99)
- Garmin Venu 2 GPS Smartwatch (Opens in a new window) — $319.99 (List Price $399.99)
*Deals are selected by our commerce team
Apple Watch Series 8
With new features such as body temperature sensing and car crash detection, the Apple Watch Series 8 is the right choice for most smartwatch buyers.
- Overnight temperature sensing
- Car crash detection
- Improved battery life
- More accurate period predictions
- Same design as previous model
- Limited usefulness for retrospective ovulation estimates
|Amazon||$329.00||See It (Opens in a new window)|
|Best Buy||$399.00||See It (Opens in a new window)|
|Walmart||$329.00||See It (Opens in a new window)|
Fitbit Versa 3
Best Battery Life
In addition to ample health and fitness features, the Fitbit Versa 3 smartwatch improves on its predecessor with a larger screen, integrated GPS for pace and distance tracking, a blood oxygen sensor, and fast charging.
- Attractive design with large, always-on color display
- Integrated GPS
- Battery charges quickly and lasts for days
- Measures blood oxygen level while sleeping
- Supports Amazon Alexa, Fitbit Pay, and Spotify
- Laggy touch screen
- No stress tracking, skin temperature, or ECG sensors
- Doesn't provide high and low heart rate notifications
|Amazon||$154.35||See It (Opens in a new window)|
|Best Buy||$89.99||Check Stock (Opens in a new window)|
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
Best for Android Users
Samsung's Galaxy Watch 5 improves on a winning formula with a more durable design and longer battery life than its predecessors, making it the best Android-compatible smartwatch on the market.
- Competitive price
- Sleek design
- Bright, durable display
- Good app selection
- Slight battery life improvement over previous generation
- Digital bezel for quick scrolling
- Temperature data unavailable at launch
- Lacks outdoor-specific features of Pro model
- Questionable SpO2 measurements
- No heart rate variability or respiration data
|Samsung||$249.99||See It (Opens in a new window)|
|Amazon||$249.00||See It (Opens in a new window)|
|Walmart||$249.00||See It (Opens in a new window)|
Apple Watch SE (2022)
Best Affordable Apple Watch
With a faster processor, better battery life, and a lower price than the previous model, the second-generation Apple Watch SE is an excellent budget-minded alternative to the Series 8.
- Upgraded processor from previous model
- New motion sensor with support for Crash Detection
- Improved real-world battery life
- Excellent app selection and safety features
- Lower price than first-generation model
- No always-on display
- Lacks sensors for ECG, SpO2, or body temperature
- No rating for dust resistance
|Best Buy||$249.00||See It (Opens in a new window)|
|Amazon||$219.99||See It (Opens in a new window)|
|Walmart||$249.00||Check Stock (Opens in a new window)|
Apple Watch Ultra
Best for Outdoor Adventures
Though bulky and expensive, the rugged Apple Watch Ultra is an excellent adventure-focused wearable with features that encourage exploration and keep you safe in the wild.
- Highly rugged and water resistant
- Much better battery life than other Apple watches
- Customizable Action button
- Emergency siren
- Cellular connectivity comes standard
- Louder speaker than Series 8
- Tactile buttons work with gloved hands
- Dual-frequency GPS
- Fantastic Depth app
- Digital Crown may irritate skin
|Amazon||$779.99||See It (Opens in a new window)|
Fitbit Sense 2
Best High-End Fitbit
Fitbit's health-focused Sense 2 smartwatch puts an emphasis on stress management while improving upon the original with a more responsive touch screen and longer battery life.
- Slim, lightweight, comfortable design
- Improved touch-screen responsiveness
- 5-day battery life
- Large, bright display
- Excellent stress management features
- Accurate body temperature data
- Aesthetic downgrade from original model
- No third-party app support
- Some lifestyle apps from last generation removed
- Band release latch can be accidentally triggered
|Amazon||$294.90||See It (Opens in a new window)|
|Walmart||$279.00||See It (Opens in a new window)|
|Best Buy||$299.95||See It (Opens in a new window)|
Best for Small Wrists
Ideal for small wrists, the Garmin Lily smartwatch has a fashionable, jewelry-inspired design and many useful health-tracking features for a reasonable price.
- Stylish classic watch design
- Measures breathing, energy level, and stress
- SpO2 sensor
- Lots of useful widgets
- Excellent companion app
- No built-in GPS
- Lacks a color display
|Amazon||$199.99||See It (Opens in a new window)|
|Best Buy||$199.99||Check Stock (Opens in a new window)|
Garmin Venu 2
Best Fitness Smartwatch
The attractive Garmin Venu 2 smartwatch offers a large collection of advanced health and fitness features, plus useful lifestyle tools including mobile payments, onboard music storage, and Bluetooth headphone support.
- Attractive classic watch design in two sizes and multiple colors
- Bright, responsive AMOLED touch screen
- Measures blood oxygen saturation (SpO2), respiration, stress, and energy levels
- New HIIT and updated strength training apps
- Preloaded workouts with animations
- Onboard music storage
- Supports Bluetooth accessories and contactless payments
- Limited third-party app selection
- No voice assistant support
|Amazon||$319.99||See It (Opens in a new window)|
|Best Buy||$349.99||See It (Opens in a new window)|
Google Pixel Watch
Best for Pixel Phone Users
With a unique design and familiar Wear OS and Fitbit features, Google's Pixel Watch is one of the best Android-compatible smartwatches you can buy.
- Attractive design with stainless steel case
- Bright, responsive display
- Good app selection
- Secure band attachment system
- Fitbit fitness tracking
- ECG app
- Some syncing difficulties in testing
- Only comes in one size
- No dust-resistance rating
- Doesn't track skin temperature or SpO2
- Lacks advanced running metrics
|Amazon||$299.00||See It (Opens in a new window)|
Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Classic
Best Rotating Bezel
The high-end Galaxy Watch4 Classic features a stainless steel design and a rotating bezel backed by a better software experience and more third-party apps than previous Samsung smartwatches, though you can get a similar experience for $100 less with the standard Watch4 model.
- Attractive classic watch design
- Rotating physical bezel for easy navigation
- Bright, sharp display
- Fast processor
- Body fat and composition measurements
- Tracks snoring
- More third-party apps than previous Samsung watches
- Short battery life
- Third-party app selection still trails Apple's watchOS
|Amazon||$199.99||See It (Opens in a new window)|
|Best Buy||$399.99||See It (Opens in a new window)|
|Walmart||$169.00||See It (Opens in a new window)|
Best for Extreme Temperatures
The Amazfit T-Rex is a rugged fitness and sleep tracker with a color touch screen and long battery life.
- Offers rapid heart rate warnings
- Tracks sleep
- Features easy music controls
- Good battery life
- Glitchy app in testing
- Doesn’t help you understand your metrics
|Amazon||$139.99||See It (Opens in a new window)|
Pick a Watch That Works With Your Phone
Naturally, the first thing you should consider when buying a smartwatch is compatibility.
All Apple Watch models run watchOS, Apple's smartwatch operating system, and work only with iOS devices. Apple's latest wearables—the Series 8, the Ultra, and the Watch SE (2022)—require an iPhone 8 or newer that has iOS 16 or later.
Samsung's Galaxy Watch 5 smartwatches use One UI Watch 4.5, a version of Google's Wear OS 3.5. They require devices that have at least Android 8.0 and more than 1.5GB RAM. Note that although you can pair the Watch 5 with non-Samsung Android phones, some features, including electrocardiogram (ECG) measurements, work only with Samsung handsets.
Google's Pixel Watch runs Wear OS 3.5 and works with smartphones on Android 8.0 (or later). It's not exclusive to Pixel phones and should pair just fine with devices from any other Android phone maker, including Samsung.
Most of the other smartwatches on this list are compatible with both Android and iOS smartphones. But before you buy any smartwatch, double-check its compatibility with your smartphone. We include these details in our reviews of each product.
Which Platform Offers the Best Smartwatch Apps?
What separates a smartwatch from a dumb watch? Lots of things, but as smartphones have taught us, apps might be the most important.
Most of the watches we like feature full-fledged app stores that bring everything from Spotify, Yelp, and—yes, a calculator—to your wrist. Much like smartphones, app availability is a good way to determine which product to get, so make sure to check out the app selection for each watch before you make a final decision.
If you're looking for apps, Apple is your best bet. The Apple Watch has the largest number of high-quality apps and big-name developers, by far. But Google's Wear OS platform is catching up.
Samsung's latest smartwatches feature popular Google apps like Assistant, Maps, and the Play Store, alongside Samsung's Bixby, Buds Controller, Pay, and more. The Pixel Watch features all the Google standbys, including Assistant, Gmail, Home, Maps, the Play Store, and Wallet.
Other popular apps available for download via the Google Play Store on Wear OS smartwatches include Adidas Running, Amazon Alexa, Calm, Hand Wash, iHeart: Music, KakaoTalk, Lifesum, Line, Map My Fitness, Samsung SmartThings, Shazam, Ski Tracks, Spotify, Strava, Swim.com, Todoist, and YouTube Music.
Still, some popular apps available on the Apple Watch are missing from Wear OS, including Amazon Music, Facebook Messenger, Pandora, and Telegram.
How Are Smartwatches and Fitness Trackers Different?
Unless you want a gadget on both of your wrists (not the best look), you should pick a smartwatch that also works as a fitness tracker. Most smartwatches are capable of tracking basic activity, like steps, but you need to pay close attention to additional features.
Most of the smartwatches on our list feature GPS connectivity, which means they can track your runs without the help of a companion device (the Garmin Lily is an exception). Most modern smartwatches also have an optical heart rate sensor that can take continuous and on-demand heart rate measurements.
Apple's and Samsung's latest smartwatches offer several advanced health-tracking features, including the ability to take an electrocardiogram (ECG) and measure your blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) level. Of course, they're among the most expensive products on this list.
Fitbit Versa devices are more affordable and track plenty of fitness and sleep metrics, but have less in the way of third-party apps, so there are some trade-offs. Look closely and choose a watch that tracks the activities and health metrics you want to monitor.
Which Smartwatches Have Cellular and Are They Worth the Money?
A cellular connection allows you to make calls, send texts, stream music, download apps, and do anything else that requires an internet connection, without your phone. The cellular Apple Watch Series 8 carries a $100 premium over the base model (Bluetooth and Wi-Fi only), and then you also have to pay for a separate data plan—most carriers charge an additional $10 per month per smartwatch. The Galaxy Watch 5 and Google Pixel Watch are also available with cellular connectivity.
Whether this convenience is worth it for you depends on how you plan to use your watch. If you want to stream music while you exercise and leave your phone at home or in the locker room, a cellular connection can certainly come in handy. If you always have your phone on you, however, you can probably save money and skip it.
How Long Do Smartwatches Last?
You don't want a smartwatch with good battery life, right? Good, because you're not going to get it. Features like an always-on display and GPS tracking are nice, but they drain battery life quickly. Watches with full-color, smartphone-like displays, like the Apple Watch and Wear OS watches, generally only last about a day on a charge.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro and the Apple Watch Ultra are the exceptions. In testing, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro's massive 590mAh cell lasted 79 hours (more than three full days) with light use and the screen brightness set as low as possible. That makes the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro the longest-lasting, feature-rich smartwatch we have tried, beating the Apple Watch Ultra by a hair.
In general, you get much better battery life with one of the Fitbit watches. They typically last around six days on a single charge.
How Much Should You Spend on a Smartwatch?
Smartwatches can be very expensive, but that doesn't mean you need to spend a lot of money to get a good one. Yes, the $1,000+ Apple Watch Hermès is sure to draw a lot of attention, but for that price, you could buy five Fitbits.
If you're a first-time smartwatch buyer, consider the less-expensive route first in case you wind up not wearing it all that much. The $20 Wyze Watch and the $159 OnePlus Watch are two affordable options, but be sure to read our reviews so you're aware of their limitations before you spend money on them.
What's the Best Android Watch?
As mentioned, all of the models on this list work with Android phones except for the Apple Watch.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is our current favorite because of its streamlined design, excellent health and safety features, and useful calling and texting capabilities. Outdoor adventurers might prefer the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, which offers a more durable titanium case, an even stronger sapphire crystal glass display, longer battery life, and a few outdoor-specific navigation features.
The Fitbit Versa 3 is an excellent affordable option. With support for smartphone notifications; Amazon Alexa; Fitbit Pay mobile payments; Deezer and Pandora music and podcast storage; and Spotify music controls, it's one of the most feature-rich Android-compatible smartwatches in its price range.
For more, check out our roundups of the best Android watches and the best Samsung watches.
Buy It for Looks, Don't Buy It for Life
Let's not forget: You're also going to wear this thing. And unlike your Timex, it's probably not going to remain in style for years. Smartwatch design is rapidly changing, so hold out until you find something you actually want to wear. And keep in mind that smartwatches are still gadgets. The coming year is sure to bring new iterations of pretty much every watch on this list, not to mention completely new ones.
The battle for wrist real estate is quickly heating up. That's good news for consumers because this pace of innovation is likely to result in more capable—and more stylish—devices. I wouldn't be surprised if this list reads completely differently the next time you see it. But if you're looking for the best smartwatch available today, the options here are the finest we've tested.