Today's top smartwatch models can perform a number of tricks, such as searching the internet with your voice, tracking your location with GPS, or even monitoring your heart rate to protect your overall health. With some models, you can even do this without connecting them to your phones.
We've tested the vast majority of high-end watches you can buy right now from Apple Watch, Fitbits, Garmin and Tizen-sporting Samsung watches. There's also Wear OS (you may know that in its previous incarnation called Android Wear), which is Google's own wearable operating system in the vein of Apple's watchOS - you'll see it appear in many of these devices.BERLIN WEATHER
In our review process, we consider each smartwatch's design, features, battery life, specs, price, and more, rate it against the competition, and include it in the list you'll find below.
Some high-end smartwatches may be reduced, especially older versions of recently updated devices - such as the Apple Watch 3 or Apple Watch 4 - they may not be the latest models, but they're still great smartwatches in their own right. Here's our full ranking of the best smartwatches.
Samsung's sporty watch gets some style
OS: Tizen OS | Compatibility : Android, iOS | Display: 1.2" or 1.3" 360 x 360 Super AMOLED | Processor: Dual-core 1.15GHz | Band sizes: 22mm or 20mm | Built-in storage: 4GB | Battery life: 4 days on 46mm / less on 42mm | Charging method : Wireless | IP rating: 50m | Connectivity : Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, LTE (extra)
Our best smartwatch that you can buy at the moment is from Samsung, and instead of choosing the expected name Gear S4 it is called Galaxy Watch. Following the Gear S3 and Gear Sport series in 2017, the latest Samsung Watch is much improved.
We tested the larger, 46-millimeter version of the watch, which has a phenomenal four-day battery life, even with heavy use. That's impressive, considering that many other watches on this list last about a day from a single charge.
The rotating bezel remains a highlight of navigating the Tizen OS on the watch, and the interface is one of the easiest to grasp we've seen in a smartwatch.
The apps available on the watch are more limited than Wear OS or watchOS - two rival smartwatch operating systems - but it still offers the basics and Samsung has provided a watch that's good for fitness, as well as sporting great design and a lot more functionality.
Better phone compatibility
OS: watchOS 6 | Compatibility: iOS | Display: 1.78" OLED | Processor : Apple S5 | Band sizes : Varies depending on watch size | On board: 32GB | Battery: 1 day to 36 hours | Charging method : Wireless | IP rating : Waterproof to 50m | Connectivity : Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, LTE
Apple didn't take the top spot on our list of best smartwatches, but this is the best device you can get if you own an iPhone. It works seamlessly with Apple phones, and it's well worth considering if you plan to stick with the iPhone range for at least a few years.
There aren't too many huge updates to the Apple Watch 4, but the main change is that for the first time it has an always-on display. This means you won't have to lift the watch to see your key stats, instead most of the information you need will be displayed on a tinted screen.
The design is similar to the Apple Watch 4 - a look we loved - so you'll get a larger display than previous iterations of the device, and it's available in 40mm or 44mm sizes.
All the fitness features you'd expect come on this watch, and that includes a number of top-notch features such as an ECG monitor, GPS tracking, impressive heart rate monitoring, and more. If you're looking for the ultimate Apple Watch, this is it. it's just not our favorite smartwatch to buy for the money.
Adding a digital rotating bezel for a nominal price increase
OS: Tizen OS | Compatibility : Android, iOS | Display: 1.2" 360 x 360 Super AMOLED | Processor: Dual-core 1.15GHz | Band dimensions: 20mm | Built-in storage: 4GB | Battery life : Approximately 2 days. | Charging method: Wireless | IP protection rating: 50m | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Samsung shrunk the best parts of the Galaxy Watch into this sporty watch that's slimmer, lighter and, arguably, more comfortable - and then released a second version months after the first that included some welcome features, including a rotating digital bezel and an LTE version.
Overall, not much has changed - which isn't a bad thing, as it's still a quality smartwatch at a decent price. The Galaxy Watch Active 2 has a 1.2-inch 360 x 360 display that's bright and beautiful, yet small enough to strap to your wrist than many other devices on this list.
It still comes with all the top-notch fitness features you'd expect from a Samsung Tizen watch, with 39 workout modes, a heart rate and ECG sensor, and a stress and sleep monitoring app.
While it's still more affordable than the leading Apple Watch, the price has been bumped up from the original Watch Active, reducing its value compared to the competition. It's certainly not a cheap smartwatch, but compared to the original RRP Galaxy Watch, you may want to opt for this version, which is remarkably similar.
Fossil's latest big attempt
Compatibility: Android, iOS | Display: 1.2-inch 390 x 390 AMOLED | Processor: Quad-core 1.2GHz | Band size: 22mm straps | Internal memory: 4GB | Battery life: Two days. | Charging method: Custom | IP rating : IP68 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS
Over the past few years, Fossil has developed a lot of expertise in the wearable technology space, all leading to the company's best smartwatch to date.
The Fossil Sport is a premium watch with a lower price tag than the two aforementioned devices on this list. It features GPS, a lightweight - yet premium - design, and at least two days of battery life on a single charge.
Fossil packed a Snapdragon Wear 3100 chipset inside, which is the latest update from Qualcomm that offers a smoother experience than many older Wear OS watches.
It doesn't have any really unique features, but the whole Fossil Sport package may be the best watch for you. This will be especially true if you're looking for a fitness watch that comes with Wear OS software and won't look weird on your wrist as you go about your day.
The fully loaded Wear OS watch you've never heard of
OS: Wear OS | Compatibility : Android 4.3+, iOS 8+ | Display: 1.39" 400 x 400 OLED | Processor: Snapdragon Wear 2100 | Onboard storage : 4GB | Battery life: Approximately 48 hours. | Charging method: Magnetic connection pin | IP rating: IP67 | Connectivity : Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1
One of the cheapest devices on this list, the TicWatch E2 comes from a relatively small brand called Mobvoi, but it has made a big impression with some recent smartwatches.
The E2 is waterproof, has great battery life, and all of this comes at an affordable price. You probably won't fall in love with the look of this watch - it's not particularly high-end - but we like the look considering how much it costs.
For health, the watch has built-in GPS, an accurate heart rate monitor, and sleep tracking. All the fitness features you'd expect are here, but keep in mind that it won't be able to make contactless payments because there's no NFC on board.
Don't like the design? There's also the TicWatch S2. This watch is extremely similar to the TicWatch E2, but has a slightly more rugged design for adventurers who want a watch that can take a beating. Check it out if you're happy to spend a little more.