Top 10 Best Smartwatches for Android & iPhone 2022: Top Picks for Every Budget
Here are the best smartwatches available for iPhone and Android users
The latest and greatest new version of Google’s own Wear OS may currently be exclusive to a couple of watches manufactured by Samsung, but that doesn’t mean the Galaxy Watch4 and Watch4 Classic are the only wearable worth wearing. There are tons of smartwatches and fitness trackers to choose from on Android.
If you are in the market to purchase a smartwatch, things could get tough with the number of options available. It could be hard to choose the best smartwatch for your wrist. The best smartwatches do more than let you know if you’re getting a call or text message on your wrist. They’re everything in one: a fitness tracker for counting your steps, a digital wallet and in some cases, it can act as a phone, even if your smartphone is nowhere nearby.
Smartwatches these days have health features that can even save your life. Many of the best smartwatches we’ve tested can detect elevated heart rate alerts and automatically connect you to emergency services if you take a hard fall. Electrocardiogram (ECG) and blood oxygen (SpO2) readings are perks of certain models, too. The former detects signs of atrial fibrillation, while the latter is a good indicator of respiratory health.
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We’ve rounded up the top smartwatches you can buy in 2022 based on function, price and compatibility to help you decide which is the best smartwatch for you. As always, the devices were purchased at full retail, the same way you would buy a watch.
1. Samsung Galaxy Watch4: The Best Smartwatch
if you want a smartwatch to use with your Android phone right now, Samsung’s Galaxy Watch4 should be at the top of your shortlist. Not only does the Watch4 family still enjoy exclusive access to Wear OS 3 (though more watches from other manufacturers are slated to get it sometime this year), it’s also a very good smartwatch besides.
The latest smartwatch aimed squarely at consumers who use Samsung’s smartphones. Performance out of its Exynos W920 chipset is top-notch, its 60Hz display is bright and vibrant, and battery life is above average. On the 40mm model, that spells 30 or so hours between charges; the larger 42mm model goes closer to 40.
The Galaxy Watch4 does require some Samsung apps on your phone to get the fullest experience — you won’t be able to see your SpO2 stats without Samsung Health, for example — but with excellent performance, a great 60Hz display, and, along with the Watch4 Classic, Wear OS 3 exclusivity (for the time being), it’s the easiest wearable to recommend to most Android users right now.
If you have an Android smartphone not made by Samsung, you won’t be able to tap the Galaxy Watch4’s full capability, including that array of fitness features under the Samsung Health umbrella. The Galaxy Watch4’s claimed battery life of two days is also relatively short.
Tip: The Galaxy Watch4 is an attractive option if you have the right phone.
- Display: Super AMOLED, 1.2″ 396×396 (40mm) or 1.4″450×450 (44mm)
- CPU: Exynos W920
- RAM: 1.5GB
- Storage: 16GB
- Connectivity: NFC, GPS, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, LTE (optional)
- Battery: 247mAh (40mm) or 361mAh (44mm)
- Durability: IP68 certified, MIL-STD-810G compliant
- Software: Wear OS 3 Powered by Samsung
- Health sensors: Heart rate, EKG, bioelectrical impedance
- Weight: 25.9g (40mm), 30.3g (42mm)
- Price: From $350
2. Apple Watch Series 7: The best smartwatch overall
The Apple Watch 7 is the best Apple Watch yet. It’s not a major upgrade over the Apple Watch 6 in terms of features, but it does have a larger display in new Apple Watch 7 sizes. For the first time, the Apple Watch comes in 41mm and 45mm versions, complementing the large screen. The seventh-generation Apple gets some exclusive watch faces and a full QWERTY keyboard, too.
While we would like the Apple Watch to improve its 18-hour battery life, the Series 7 does benefit from faster charging. You can completely juice it up in about an hour, letting it spend less time hooked up to the new USB-C to Magnetic cord and more time with you on the go. Whether you want a smartwatch for working out, answering calls from your wrist, or using the best Apple Watch apps, this is the best smartwatch for you. As long as you have an iPhone, of course.
But the Apple Watch is iPhone-compatible only and the battery life generally lasts 18 hours with typical use, less than many of its competitors.
3. Garmin Venu 2 & plus: A great fitness companion for Android and iOS
The Garmin name has long been synonymous with fitness tracking, but many of the company’s earlier watches haven’t exactly looked or felt that “smart.” It’s also compatible with Android and iOS, has great in-depth fitness features like comprehensive workout tracking, a body battery that tells you if you should push yourself to workout or take a rest day, plus women’s health tracking. The Venu 2 has a sleek, round design with a bright screen that’s easy to see in direct sunlight. It can also take blood oxygen levels and the battery will last several days with moderate use.
What to Buy:
Stunning AMOLED display
Reliable fitness tracking and Garmin Coach
Call quality is better than expected
What to Avoid:
Not enough third-party apps
4. Apple Watch SE
The SE represents the best value in the Apple Watch line. The display is a tiny bit smaller than the one on the new Series 7, and the device lacks a few features like a blood oxygen sensor, which is useful for sleep tracking. But for most people the SE looks and works just about the same as the top-of-the-line Series 7 for significantly less money.
Our testers find that the SE outperforms the Series 7 by a slim margin in ease of interaction—how quickly and accurately the watch responds to a command—as well as in heart rate and step-count accuracy.
As with all Apple watches, the SE’s 18-hour battery life is a bit of an issue. You’re likely to find yourself charging the watch on a daily basis. And while it’s not a drawback per se, Apple Watches all but require you to use an iPhone for the most seamless integration.
5. Fitbit Versa 3: The best Apple Watch alternative
For most users, the Fitbit Versa 3 is the best smartwatch Fitbit has to do. The Versa 3 holds its ground against more expensive rivals like the Apple Watch SE and even the Fitbit Sense, with an always-on clock, built-in GPS, blood oxygen and temperature monitoring during the night, and a battery that lasts six days. Fitbit Versa 3 is at 4th place in the list of top 10 best smartwatches in India.
The Versa 3 is compatible with both iOS and Android phones and lets you choose between Alexa or Google Assistant as your go-to voice assistant. It doesn’t offer all the apps and smart features as some of its competitors, but it’s a well-rounded smartwatch with plenty of health and fitness features to keep you on track like onboard GPS and live heart rate zone notifications.
It has the best sleep tracking feature on this list and even gives you health features including a breakout of your SpO2 and body temperature data overnight (Fitbit Premium users).
6. Polar Grit X Pro – A Rugged Adventure Watch for Great Hiking
Polar’s Grit X Pro is an outdoor watch for adventure seekers. The rugged design can withstand the elements as it’s water-resistant to 100 meters and has a sapphire glass watch face that’s scratch-resistant. With onboard maps, turn-by-turn navigation and overnight recovery tools, you can determine if you’re ready to take on that workout. This is much more a sports watch than a smartwatch, but it can still get notifications from your phone, control music playback and has 24/7 heart rate monitoring.
- Pros: Feature-packed | Durable,
- lightweight design | Great battery life
- Cons: Overwhelming amount of metrics,
- Lacklustre touch input,
- Expensive – $564
The touchscreen is less responsive than other watches on this list — it’s transflective rather than AMOLED — but you can get away with using button controls.
7. Fossil Gen 6: best smartwatches from Fossil
We weren’t initially too enthusiastic about the Fossil Gen 6. While it’s got Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 4100+ chipset, it’s also still saddled with an out-of-date version of Wear OS. That means that, right now, it’s not a fantastic buy compared to something like the Galaxy Watch4, or even the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro Ultra 3 GPS.
Which weighs in at the same $300 MSRP, but has the added benefits of both an added low-power display to extend battery life and compliance with the MIL-STD-810G durability standard. But with robust build quality, a vibrant, crisp display, and an update to Wear OS 3 in the works, the Gen 6 is worth your consideration — just be aware there are likely more appealing options available right now. That could change with the aforementioned update, however.
What to Buy:
- Sturdy build quality with good buttons and rotating crown
- OLED display is bright and really sharp
- Fast(er) charging is better than previous generations
What to Avoid:
- Battery life is mediocre, even if you sacrifice almost all of the features
- Performance occasionally stutters a little too much
- The price isn’t very competitive, especially with the Galaxy Watch4
8. Amazfit GTR 2
An attractive, budget-priced smartwatch that won’t break the bank. Compatible with both Android and iPhone models, the GTR2 has two big things going for it: The price is very low, and the battery life is really good. at a claimed 14 days.
The case design is sleek, channeling some higher-end analog watches, and the touch screen display is bright and easy to read. The model also features standalone GPS. As you might expect for the price, the fitness features of the GTR2 are pretty basic. The model also lacks connectivity with third-party apps like Spotify.
Tip: The Amazfit GRT2 is legitimately cheap but doesn’t look it and, despite the price, is a solid performer.
9. Apple Watch 3: The most affordable best smartwatches for iPhone users
Starting at $199, the Apple Watch Series 3 is a more affordable smartwatch option than the Series 7 and SE for iPhone users. The size options are smaller and the bezels are thicker, and you won’t get ECG or SpO2 readings, but it’s still a good choice for the price.
When you compare the Apple Watch SE vs. Apple Watch 3, you’ll find you don’t sacrifice too much for the older version’s lower price. You still get a heart rate monitor, GPS, 8GB of storage with offline support for Apple Music playlists. This watch is also water-proof if you like to track your swims, and many of the key software features found in the Apple Watch Series 7 are also found in the Series 3. Check out our Fitbit Versa 3 vs. Apple Watch 3 face-off to see the benefits you’ll get with Apple’s smartwatch over Fitbit’s.
10. Citizen CZ Smart: Best Smartwatches
A retro-look smartwatch from a company best known for traditional analog watches
The traditional styling will appeal to users who want smartwatch functionality in a model with the look of something made of chunky stainless steel. The watch also performed very well in our labs, with solid scores in ease of interaction as well as heart rate and step-count accuracy.
Compatible with both Android phones and iPhones, the watch offers GPS, although it lacks a blood oxygen sensor, which limits its sleep tracking functionality.
With a retail price of around $400, the CZ Smart is significantly more expensive than the functionally similar Fossil Gen 5; you’re paying a premium for that attractive stainless steel case. The CZ Smart’s Wear OS2 operating system is about to be replaced, and for the moment at least, the CZ isn’t slated to get the OS3 upgrade. The one-day reported battery life is also relatively short.
Tip: A solid performer with elegant looks that will appeal to many consumers.
How to pick the best smartwatches for you?
When looking at the best smartwatches for you, you’re somewhat limited by the smartphone you own. If you want an Apple Watch, for instance, you’ll need to have an iPhone. And while Wear OS watches work with both Android and iPhones, you get far less functionality when not connected to an Android device. There are plenty of differences between Apple Watch vs. Fitbit as well.
Samsung’s smartwatches offer the greatest in terms of cross-functionality, but even here, Android phone owners will get more in terms of replies to notifications and the ability to make and receive phone calls.
Similarly, you want to find a smartwatch that fits your style. Although the Apple Watch is limited to one shape, you can purchase it in different finishes. Samsung’s smartwatches offer a little more choice, while Wear OS watches, which are made by a number of companies including Fossil, Skagen, Kate Spade, Moto, Tag Heuer, Diesel, and others, give you many more options when it comes to their design.
And if you need smartwatches for certain fitness goals. see our guides to the best running watches and best GPS watches. You also might be better suited for one of the best fitness trackers instead.
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