Right now, the best smartwatch for Android users is the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4. While you'll have the best experience when you pair it with a Samsung phone, it runs well on all the best Android phones. It also has all the smartwatch perks and fitness features you'd expect from a Samsung wearable. It might be a slight departure from previous models now that Wear OS 3 is in the picture, but that shouldn't deter you. It's lightweight, compact, and stylish which is an ideal combo for fitness enthusiasts who want the best of both worlds. But if you're not too fond of that choice, there are many other amazing options from Garmin to Fitbit to Mobvoi and many more.

What are the best Android smartwatches?

If you're currently in the market for the best Android smartwatch, you should consider our best overall pick, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4. This wearable is loaded with many features that users are looking for while still maintaining an attractive design. However, if you don't mind spending a bit more money on a premium watch, you should consider upgrading to the fancier Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. These are some of the most impressive Android wearables to date.

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What makes the Galaxy wearables so great is the new Wear OS 3 platform mixed with beautiful hardware. For example, the Galaxy Watch 4, like the Galaxy Watch Active 2 that came before it, has a "virtual" bezel that lets you move around the software by rotating around the edge of the vivid AMOLED display.

Samsung Health has also improved immensely over the last couple of years and features a well-rounded selection of workout tracking options as well as a built-in GPS for monitoring outdoor runs or bike rides. Battery life tops out at around 40 hours, and the included sports bands are comfortable enough that you'll forget you're wearing anything on your wrist at all — until a notification comes in, which is easy to activate or dismiss.

The latest Galaxy wearable is optimized for Samsung phones but can also be worn with other Android devices. There's no support for iOS users, though. Now that Samsung and Google have merged to create Wear OS 3, the user experience will be slightly different. It's the first watch to launch with the new software, so it's somewhat of a guinea pig. With that said, not all existing Wear OS watches will get the update. As for existing Galaxy wearables running Tizen OS, Samsung plans to provide at least three years of software support from each product's initial launch date. When shopping for the best Android smartwatch, you want to make sure you consider the software.

If you're not interested in a Samsung smartwatch or simply prefer how Google does things, we recommend the Mobvoi TicWatch E3. It's one of the most affordable Wear OS watches you can buy. Luckily, this is one of the existing Wear OS watches that will eventually be eligible to upgrade to the new Wear OS platform. It offers a simple but efficient design with a high-density display and a thick bezel around the edges. It runs smooth thanks to the Qualcomm 4100 chip paired with 1GB of RAM for fluid performance. If you want the premium version of this, you can spend a bit more and get the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS, which will also be eligible to upgrade to Wear OS 3.


Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Hands OnSource: Daniel Bader / Android Central

1. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

The best Android smartwatch for most people

Bottom line: The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 might feel familiar to Tizen loyalists, but it's easy to see the game is changing. Wear OS is the biggest change, but there are still hints of Tizen present. The stunning design is accompanied by endless smartwatch features as well as health/fitness tracking perks. You get optional LTE connectivity, GPS, heart-rate monitoring, ECG, and much more.

Pros:

  • Attractive, thoughtful design
  • Optional LTE connectivity
  • Easy-to-use capacitive bezel
  • Comprehensive health/fitness tracking
  • Excellent performance and app support

Cons:

  • Battery life is just OK
  • Health tracking not as accurate as Garmin

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Best smartwatch overall Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
Specs Exynos W920
1.5GB RAM, 16GB storage
Display size 40mm / 44mm
Band size 20mm
Weight 25.9g (40mm) / 30.3g (44mm)
Battery life 40 hours
OS Wear OS Powered by Samsung
Colors Silver, Black, Green, Pink Gold
Water-resistant ✔️ (5ATM)
LTE Yes, Optional
GPS ✔️
NFC ✔️
Heart rate monitor ✔️
Automatic workout tracking ✔️
Sleep tracking ✔️
Wireless charging ✔️ (Qi)

You'll find that the Galaxy Watch 4 provides the most well-rounded wearable experience for Android users right now. The thoughtful design is compact and comes in a lightweight aluminum design that caters to active individuals. It also features an extremely sharp and vivid touch display that's easy to navigate and fun to use, thanks to the company's signature capacitive bezel. The debut of Wear OS 3 has been pretty impressive so far. The performance is smooth, and there's better app selection, including Google Pay, Google Maps, and messages by Google.

The Galaxy Watch 4 may not have the "Active" name as its predecessor, but it's still very much a fitness smartwatch. It has GPS built-in and features automatic workout tracking, sleep tracking, and heart-rate monitoring. Many of the key sensors are housed in the new 3-in-1 BioActive chip. These sensors include heart rate, blood pressure, ECG, and Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (also known as BIA). The latter uses a weak electrical pulse to measure body composition, including skeletal muscle and fat percentage.

If you mainly wear a smartwatch for notifications, the Galaxy Watch 4 will be highly satisfying to use. You'll appreciate having excellent support for Android's notification system. You can reply using your voice, the built-in keyboard, or with one of the many quick answers. These are just a few reasons that the Galaxy Watch 4 is the best Android smartwatch you can buy right now.

Finally, we have to consider battery life. While battery life wasn't otherworldly on previous Galaxy Watch models, the Galaxy Watch 4 will only get about 40 hours per charge. Still, this is better than past Wear OS watches that hardly last a day. It's also nice that you can easily charge your watch with a compatible Qi wireless pad.

Read the full Galaxy Watch 4 review.

Best smartwatch overall

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Smartwatch

The Galaxy Watch 4 offers unrivaled performance, Wear OS 3, and improved health tracking. You still get a capacitive bezel, too!


Ticwatch E3 LifestyleSource: Chris Wedel/Android Central

2. Mobvoi TicWatch E3

Our top pick for a Wear OS watch

Bottom line: With all the changes happening to Wear OS watches, users might be hesitant to consider buying one right now. However, a select few are already confirmed for the new platform, including the Mobvoi TicWatch E3. It doesn't cost a fortune, and it has several key features, like GPS, heart-rate monitoring, activity tracking, and Google Pay.

Pros:

  • Simple, straightforward design
  • Built-in GPS
  • Heart-rate monitoring
  • Google Assistant
  • Google Pay

Cons:

  • Design may be too simple for some
  • Proprietary charger can be finicky
Best Wear OS watch Mobvoi TicWatch E3
Specs Qualcomm Snapdragon 4100, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage
Display size 44mm / 1.3-inch HD Display, 360x360
Band size 20mm
Battery life Up to 3 days
OS Wear OS
Colors Panther Black
Water-resistant ✔️ IP68+Pool Swimming suitable
LTE 🚫
GPS ✔️
NFC ✔️
Heart rate monitor ✔️
Automatic workout tracking ✔️
Sleep tracking ✔️
Wireless charging 🚫

There are quite a few reasons to consider the TicWatch E3 when you're weighing your options. First, some people want to enjoy the perks of owning a smartwatch without having a loud fashion statement on their wrist. Second, the TicWatch E3 has a straightforward design that consists of a light polycarbonate case and a curved high-density (HD) display. It may not be as crisp as AMOLED displays, but it's sharp and visible even in direct sunlight.

With a simple design and attainable price tag, you might not expect much from the TicWatch E3. However, under the hood, Mobvoi decided to include the latest Snapdragon Wear 4100 processor. Combining that with 1GB of RAM allows you to expect slick performance for an overall seamless experience.

This Wear OS watch is complete with GPS, activity/sleep tracking, heart-rate monitoring, Google Assistant, Google Pay, heart-rate monitoring, and more. It also provides users with a microphone and a speaker. Considering all the features you'll be using, the battery will last for up to 3 days in SmartWatch Mode. There's also Essential Mode, which helps preserve battery life by disabling key features. Fortunately, the watch can still track your sleep in Essential Mode. You can adjust the settings, so your device automatically switches to Essential Mode at a certain battery percentage, or you can manually activate it.

If you're not concerned about having a fancy watch on your wrist and you're looking for something that's reasonably priced, the TicWatch E3 is an excellent option for Wear OS users. One of the most important things to consider when buying a Wear OS watch these days is what the future holds for your device. The good news is that the TicWatch E3 will receive the Wear OS 3 update, but be prepared to wait until 2022 for it to be available.

Read our full TicWatch E3 review.

Best Wear OS watch

Ticwatch E3

TicWatch E3 Smart Watch

Unbeatable value

Keep things simple and affordable with the TicWatch E3. You get plenty of smarts and peace of mind with the promise of Wear OS 3.


Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 ReviewSource: Daniel Bader / Android Central

3. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic

For those who want more style

Bottom line: If you're looking for the latest tech, but you'd like to take the style factor up a notch, the new Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic has your name written all over it. Aside from flawless performance and comprehensive health tracking, you get a premium design that's bound to turn heads.

Pros:

  • Exceptional design
  • Optional LTE connectivity
  • Physical rotating bezel
  • Solid health/fitness tracking
  • Outstanding performance

Cons:

  • Expensive starting point
  • Only two color options
Best upgrade pick Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic
Specs Exynos W920
1.5GB RAM, 16GB storage
Display size 42mm / 46mm
Band size 20mm
Weight 46.5g (42mm) / 52g (46mm)
Battery life 40 hours
OS Wear OS powered by Samsung
Colors Black, Silver
Water-resistant ✔️ (5ATM, IP68, MIL-STD-810G)
LTE Yes, Optional
GPS ✔️
NFC ✔️
Heart rate monitor ✔️
Automatic workout tracking ✔️
Sleep tracking ✔️
Wireless charging ✔️ (Qi)

If you're trying to understand where the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic sits in the lineup, you're not the only one. This is because Samsung did things a bit differently with this release. While the standard Galaxy Watch 4 is the successor to the Galaxy Watch Active 2, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is the successor to the Galaxy Watch 3. That said, the Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic are identical in terms of features and tracking capabilities.

Why might you choose to upgrade to the pricier Galaxy Watch 4 Classic? Many people will find this watch more aesthetically pleasing than the standard variant. It follows the size trend of the original Galaxy Watch models so that you can choose between a 42mm and 46mm case. Both cases come in stainless steel, so they're heavier as well as more premium-looking. Another significant difference between the two is these models offer a physical rotating bezel rather than a capacitive one. It's a matter of personal preference, but there's something highly satisfying about navigating the UI with an actual bezel.

Other than that, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is loaded with all the same great improvements as the standard variant. You get Wear OS 3 as well as an incredibly smooth performance with the upgraded RAM and storage. It also has the new 3-in-1 BioActive Sensor so that you won't be missing out on any of the impressive tech.

Again, the main factor to consider when choosing between the Galaxy Watch 4 and the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is whether you want to spend more on the premium variant. You'll also want to consider whether the 42mm and 46mm size options will meet your needs. It's an excellent choice if you're looking for the best smartwatch with LTE that also happens to be quite the style icon.

Read our full Galaxy Watch 4 Classic review.

Best upgrade pick

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic

Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Classic Smartwatch

A worthy upgrade

If you're a fashion lover who appreciates everything about the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, you may prefer the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic.


Garmin 245 Music HeroSource: Andrew Martonik / Android Central

4. Garmin Forerunner 245 Music

A great watch for the fitness-focused individuals

Bottom line: If running is the name of your game, the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music is easily the best choice. It has a transflective display that is easy to read in direct sunlight. It comes with a comfortable band, stellar battery life, and unmatched workout tracking.

Pros:

  • Advanced workout tracking and guidance
  • Incredible battery life
  • Sunlight-friendly transflective display
  • Music streaming
  • Extremely comfortable strap

Cons:

  • Limited smartwatch features
  • Basic design may not be for everyone
Best for runners Garmin Forerunner 245 Music
Display size 42mm / 1.2-inch, 240x240 transflective
Band size 20mm
Weight 38.5g
Battery life 7 days
OS Garmin
Colors Black, White, Aqua
Water-resistant ✔️ (5ATM)
LTE 🚫
GPS ✔️
NFC 🚫
Heart rate monitor ✔️
Automatic workout tracking 🚫
Sleep tracking ✔️
Wireless charging 🚫

There's a wearable for every Android user type, and the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music is an outstanding running watch for anyone who runs, bikes, or swims. It's not the best smartwatch, but it does receive notifications from your phone. If you don't need much more than that — and who does these days? — the Forerunner 245 makes up for it with incredible 7+ day battery life, or 6 hours with GPS enabled, which is more than enough for a marathon (or two if you're really good).

Better yet, the transflective screen means that the Forerunner 245 is easily visible in direct sunlight, making it perfect for extended outdoor excursions. There's also music storage and the option to stream from Spotify or Deezer, which is seriously great if you're trying to hit those personal bests. Add in 24/7 heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, advanced workout capture, and advanced features like VO2 max estimation, a recovery advisor, and more, which becomes a wonderful option.

Be sure to check out the full Garmin Forerunner 245 Music review and some of our other top fitness smartwatches right now.

Best for runners

Garmin Forerunner 245 Music

Garmin Forerunner 245 Music Smartwatch

A solid, slim GPS smartwatch.

Garmin's GPS tech is paired with a reliable heart-rate tracker in a slim watch that syncs to its own app and other popular apps.


Ticwatch Pro 3 Ultra Gps LifestyleSource: Chris Wedel/Android Central

5. Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS

Best for premium performance

Bottom line: If you're at all familiar with Mobvoi, you won't be surprised to learn that the new TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS is larger than ever. There's more to it than that, though. This smartwatch offers an improved dual display, ultra-smooth performance, and solid battery life. So if you loved the TicWatch Pro 3 GPS, this is even better.

Pros:

  • Built-in GPS
  • Great performance
  • Improved dual-layer display
  • Excellent durability
  • Better battery life
  • Google Pay

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Too bulky for some wrists
  • No Wear OS 3 until 2022
Best for premium performance TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS
Specs Qualcomm Snapdragon 4100, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage
Display size 48mm / 454x454 AMOLED + FSTN
Band size 22mm
Weight 41g
Battery life 3 days
OS Wear OS
Colors Shadow Black
Water-resistant ✔️ (IP68)
LTE 🚫
GPS ✔️
NFC ✔️
Heart rate monitor ✔️
Automatic workout tracking ✔️
Sleep tracking ✔️
Wireless charging 🚫

We never know what we're going to get when a company releases a so-called improved model, but the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS does a superb job of maintaining everything good from the previous model while also offering helpful improvements.

First, you'll appreciate the refined design that features a new customizable backlight for the top layer of the display. Mobvoi also launched new software features for the TicHealth suite, which is helpful for those who take advantage of these tracking features. It's also more durable than the previous model, thanks to the MIL-STD-810G rating.

One of the most attractive features is the dual-layer display. The TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS offers battery life that lasts for up to 72 hours in smart mode and 45 days in Essential mode. Now, users can customize the backlight of the top display by choosing 18 different colors. This makes things much more vibrant, easier to read, and plain fun to look at.

Nowadays, a common concern when buying a Wear OS watch is whether or not it will be eligible to upgrade to the new platform. Fortunately, this isn't an issue with the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS. Unfortunately, you'll have to wait until 2022 for the upgrade. However, if you don't mind waiting, this watch will get even better when it's running Wear OS 3. Other than this drawback, some users may also shy away from the giant case size.

Read our full TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS.

Best for premium performance

Ticwatch Pro 3 Ultra Gps

TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS Smartwatch

Nice and smooth

The TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS offers smooth performance and design upgrades. It's eligible to upgrade to Wear Os 3 in 2022 as well.


Fitbit Versa 3 Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central

6. Fitbit Versa 3

Best smartwatch for casual athletes

Bottom line: As one of the most popular names in the wearable world, Fitbit is always a good option. The Versa 3 is centered around health and fitness tracking, so it's ideal for workout enthusiasts. You have built-in GPS, activity/sleep tracking, heart-rate monitoring, and Fitbit Pay.

Pros:

  • Built-in GPS
  • Sleek, attractive design
  • Excellent battery life
  • Solid smartwatch features
  • Built-in Alexa and Google Assistant

Cons:

  • Limited app selection
  • Old bands won't work with Versa 3
Best smartwatch for casual athletes Fitbit Versa 3
Display size 40mm / 1.58-inch, 336x336 AMOLED
Band size Custom, OSFA
Weight 40g
Battery life 6+ days
OS FitbitOS
Colors Black, Soft Gold
Water-resistant ✔️ (5ATM)
LTE 🚫
GPS ✔️
NFC ✔️
Heart rate monitor ✔️
Automatic workout tracking ✔️
Sleep tracking ✔️
Wireless charging 🚫

Everyone knows that Fitbit makes some of the best wearables in the industry. Right now, the all-new Versa 3 is one of the best Fitbit smartwatches you can buy. It cleverly provides the perfect amount of smartwatch features and fitness-tracking perks into one handy device. It's slim and lightweight with an attractive design. You'll get at least six days of battery life, which is pretty impressive. That's especially true when you realize that it has a stunning AMOLED display that's crisp and bright. One of the most important upgrades is the addition of onboard GPS.

You'll be happy to know that all of the Fitbit features you've familiarized yourself with over the years are here as well. You have 24/7 heart-rate monitoring, all-day activity/sleep tracking, and automatic workout detection. You'll also receive reminders to move throughout your day. It also offers on-screen workouts that you can follow along with. Previously, the proprietary bands were a hassle to change. The new infinity bands offer an easy-to-use quick-release system. The bad news is that any old Versa bands you purchased won't work on this new watch.

It's not uncommon for some Fitbit products to lack the smartwatch features that users crave. However, the Versa 3 is one of the company's most capable fitness smartwatches yet. You'll have smartphone notifications that are easy to navigate and an app store with popular names such as Spotify and Starbucks, and you can talk directly to the voice assistant and hear responses. If your ears perked about Spotify, the good news is that there is storage for 300+ songs on the Versa 3. Let's not forget that Fitbit Pay is a standard feature as well.

It may not be overflowing with higher-end features, but the Fitbit Versa 3 is easily the best smartwatch for casual trackers who don't want to spend a fortune on a wearable. However, if you have money to spare and want more sensors and health data, you should consider the Fitbit Sense.

Read our full Fitbit Versa 3 review.

Best smartwatch for casual athletes

Fitbit Versa 3

Fitbit Versa 3 Smartwatch

A fitness smartwatch that's good at everything

The Versa 3 improves everything over the original, including a more attractive design, better battery life, and built-in GPS.


Garmin Venu Sq Source: Courtney Lynch / Android Central

7. Garmin Venu Sq

Best lifestyle smartwatch

Bottom line: Those who want a lifestyle smartwatch that can also track activities may prefer the Garmin Venu Sq. It offers GPS, heart-rate monitoring, activity/sleep tracking, and blood oxygen monitoring. You also get mobile payments with Garmin Pay, smartphone notifications, and music controls. It's also reasonably priced for all the features you get.

Pros:

  • Lightweight, user-friendly design
  • Blood oxygen monitoring
  • Supports any 20mm watchband
  • Outstanding battery life
  • Garmin Pay

Cons:

  • No advanced smartwatch features
  • Lacks AMOLED display
  • Lacks music storage
  • No altimeter or gyroscope
Best lifestyle smartwatch Garmin Venu Sq
Display size 40mm / 1.3-inch, 240x240 LCD
Band size 20mm
Weight 37.6g
Battery life 6 days
OS Garmin
Colors Slate, Light Gold, Rose Gold
Water-resistant ✔️ (5ATM)
LTE 🚫
GPS ✔️
NFC ✔️
Heart rate monitor ✔️
Automatic workout tracking 🚫
Sleep tracking ✔️
Wireless charging 🚫

If you like the idea of having a basic smartwatch for tracking your activities, sleep, and heart rate, you should think about buying the Garmin Venu Sq. As you might've guessed from the name, this model is a square version of the original Garmin Venu. There are a few differences, but not as many as you might think. The Garmin Venu Sq is available in a standard and a musical version with Wi-Fi, which costs a bit more. These were standard features on the original Venu. This time, you get a 40mm polymer case and a 1.3-inch color LCD instead of luxurious stainless steel and AMOLED.

The only difference worth noting is that the Garmin Venu Sq does not have an altimeter or a gyroscope, so it can't measure elevation or angular velocity. On the other hand, the Garmin Venu Sq has everything the original model offers, including GPS, heart-rate monitoring, activity/sleep tracking, more than 20 preloaded sports apps, Body Battery energy monitoring, and a Pulse Ox sensor measuring blood oxygen saturation levels.

The Garmin Venu Sq is an excellent lifestyle smartwatch with a fair price tag if you don't mind having a watch that lacks music storage. You can also choose to pay more for the Garmin Venu Sq Music, but it'll cost you. Remember that it's nowhere near as fancy or premium-looking as the original Venu, but that may not matter if you want a basic lifestyle watch for notifications, activity tracking, and so on.

Read our full Garmin Venu Sq review.

Best lifestyle smartwatch

Venu Sq

Garmin Venu Sq Smartwatch

All of the basics

Want a lifestyle smartwatch that is perfect at handling the basics? The Garmin Venu Sq has everything you need.


Fossil Gen 6 Explore Wear OsSource: Nick Sutrich / Android Central

8. Fossil Gen 6

Best for fashion

Bottom line: The Fossil Gen 6 is the first Fossil wearable to have the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 4100+ chipset. So in addition to being a highly fashionable smartwatch, you can also expect better performance. You'll also be able to choose from two different sizes this time around. There are still plenty of health and fitness tracking features, too.

Pros:

  • Attractive, stylish design
  • Two size options
  • Improved health tracking
  • Excellent quality display
  • Ultra-fast charging

Cons:

  • Pretty expensive
  • No Wear OS 3 until 2022
Best for fashion Fossil Gen 6
Specs Qualcomm Snapdragon 4100+
1GB RAM, 8GB storage
Display size 42mm or 44mm / 1.3-inch, 416 x 416 AMOLED
Band size 22mm
Weight 43g
Battery life 1-2 days
OS Wear OS
Colors Black, Silver
Water-resistant ✔️ (3ATM)
LTE 🚫
GPS ✔️
NFC ✔️
Heart rate monitor ✔️
Automatic workout tracking 🚫
Sleep tracking ✔️
Wireless charging 🚫

If you want a watch with a classic design that's packed with features, the Fossil Gen 6 might be just what you're looking for. You'll receive great performance, better battery life, precise health metrics, and ultra-fast charging speeds. While it's not on the new Wear OS 3 platform just yet, it will be eventually. These watches join the other handful of Wear OS devices that have to wait until 2022 for the upgrade.

We all know that Wear OS has been lagging for years. If this has been a thorn in your side, you'll be pleased to learn that the Fossil Gen 6 lineup is here to change that. Most importantly, the Fossil Gen 6 launches with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 4100+ chipset that is determined to remedy many previous problems that users often experienced.

The 1.7GHz co-processor deserves recognition as this enables the device to use always-on health metrics without hindering performance or draining the battery life, which is a massive step in the right direction. Users will receive more detailed heart rate readings, more accurate sleep tracking, better health statistics overall.

Speaking of health statistics, the Gen 6 is loaded with health sensors that are great for daily use. If tracking is one of your reasons for investing in this watch, you won't be disappointed. While the battery life isn't as long as some of the other Android smartwatches out there, the Fossil Gen 6 offers ultra-fast charging. You can get up to 80% of battery life in just 30 minutes of charging.

Read our full Fossil Gen 6 review.

Best for fashion

Fossil Gen 6 Render Cropped

Fossil Gen 6 Smartwatch

Day and night ready

If you're seeking a watch that's the perfect combination of smarts and style, you'll have met your match with the Fossil Gen 6.


Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central

9. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

Best value smartwatch

Bottom line: The Galaxy Watch Active 2 has all of Samsung's best wearable ideas rolled up into one smartwatch. It's stylish, comfortable, has excellent battery life, and has plenty of health tracking features to make you happy and keep you motivated. While it's not the newest model in the lineup anymore, it's still one of the best Android smartwatches you can buy.

Pros:

  • Compact and well-designed
  • Easy to navigate
  • Capacitive bezel
  • Great performance and battery life

Cons:

  • Third-party app support could be better
  • Health tracking not as accurate as Garmin

Today's best deals

Best value smartwatch Samsung Galaxy Active 2
Specs Exynos 9110
768MB RAM (Wi-Fi) / 1.5GB RAM (LTE)
4GB storage
Display size 40mm / 44mm
Band size 20mm
Weight 37g (40mm) / 42g (44mm)
Battery life 2-3 days
OS Tizen
Colors Silver, Black, Gold, Pink Gold
Water-resistant ✔️ (5ATM, IP68, MIL-STD-810G)
LTE Yes, Optional
GPS ✔️
NFC ✔️
Heart rate monitor ✔️
Automatic workout tracking ✔️
Sleep tracking ✔️
Wireless charging ✔️ (Qi)

You don't have to use a Samsung phone to enjoy the benefits of owning a Samsung smartwatch, and the Galaxy Watch Active 2 provides one of the most affordable and well-rounded wearable experiences for Android users. It's compact and lightweight but features an extremely sharp and vivid touch display that's easy to navigate and fun to use, thanks to the new capacitive bezel. The Tizen OS is smooth and battery-friendly, and while the app selection isn't massive, the core tenets are there, like Spotify, Strava, and more.

The Galaxy Watch Active 2 contains its primary purpose in its name: exercise tracking. The watch comes with GPS built-in and features automatic workout tracking, along with sleep tracking, water, food, and caffeine consumption tracking, and more. The Running Coach feature is improved, which now gives you real-time pace metrics and a rundown of what to expect from your workout before you start. You'll receive audio cues that you can hear through the watch speaker or Bluetooth headphones.

If you mainly wear a smartwatch for notifications, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 delivers there, too. You'll have excellent support for Android's notification system, letting you reply using your voice, the built-in keyboard, or with one of the many quick answers. It's no longer the newest model in the Galaxy Watch lineup, but it's an amazing value for everything you get.

Finally, we have to consider battery life. While not quite as good as some of the other larger watches on the list, it is still pretty impressive, and the watch can be topped off with select Qi wireless pads or with the Galaxy's Wireless PowerShare feature.

Read the full Galaxy Watch Active 2 review.

Best value smartwatch

Galaxy Watch Active 2 (40mm)

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 Smartwatch

The Active 2 offers a pretty display, onboard GPS, ample activity tracking, and a unique capacitive bezel for easy navigation.


Suunto 7 with Wear OSSource: Android Central / Russell Holly

10. Suunto 7

Best Wear OS for serious athletes

Bottom line: Wear OS users who want a fitness smartwatch designed for serious athletes who will love the Suunto 7. It's also the best pick if you want a giant piece of tech on your wrist. It offers built-in GPS with offline outdoor maps, superior activity tracking, Google Pay, and an array of vibrant color options.

Pros:

  • Built-in GPS and offline outdoor maps
  • Attractive, sporty design
  • Various color options
  • Excellent activity tracking
  • Water-resistant up to 5ATM
  • Google Pay

Cons:

  • A bit too huge for some
  • Battery life is mediocre
  • Extremely pricey
Best Wear OS for serious athletes Suunto 7
Specs Qualcomm Snapdragon 3100, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage
Display size 50mm / 1.39-inch, 454x454 AMOLED
Band size 24mm
Weight 70g
Battery life 2 day
OS Wear OS
Colors Black Lime, All Black, Graphite Copper, Sandstone Rosegold, White Burgundy
Water-resistant ✔️ (5ATM)
LTE 🚫
GPS ✔️
NFC ✔️
Heart rate monitor ✔️
Automatic workout tracking 🚫
Sleep tracking 🚫
Wireless charging 🚫

If you're partial to Wear OS and looking for the perfect Android smartwatch to handle your activity tracking, you can't go wrong with the Suunto 7. This wearable is still relatively new to the market, but it has the potential to be great — especially if you're a serious athlete focused on detailed tracking. In addition to built-in GPS and full-color accurate mapping software, it also boasts over 70 sport modes. Thanks to Suunto's apps, you'll have access to helpful metrics that go above and beyond what's available on Google Fit, including training load, training recovery, and more.

When you combine all that Suunto 7 offers with Wear OS, it should be a match made in heaven, right? But, of course, that depends on what type of experience you want. If you can live with a mere two days of battery life in smartwatch mode and the likelihood of laggy performance due to the work-in-progress nature of Wear OS, then it's a solid choice for serious athletes who need all the tracking perks they can get.

As you might've noticed, this thing is ginormous. This is a bonus for some users, but dainty wrists may shy away from this 50 mm juggernaut. If you're on a budget, this pricey smartwatch might not be the best choice. It's also not eligible for Wear OS 3, so that's something to keep in mind.

Best Wear OS for serious athletes

Suunto 7 Wear Os

Suunto 7 Smartwatch

A truly sporty smartwatch

Those who want in-depth tracking in the form of an attractive but sporty smartwatch will love everything about the Suunto 7.


Fossil Hybrid HRSource: Andrew Martonik / Android Central

11. Fossil Hybrid HR

Best hybrid smartwatch

Bottom line: The Fossil Hybrid HR provides you with a perfect balance of style and features. You get a taste of certain smartwatch perks and the look of a traditional timepiece. It will track your activity and sleep, monitor your heart rate, and give you over two weeks of battery life.

Pros:

  • Lovely design
  • Customizable display
  • Activity/sleep tracking
  • Heart-rate monitoring
  • 2+ weeks of battery

Cons:

  • Lacks GPS options
  • Limited features
  • Not the best for serious tracking
Best hybrid smartwatch Fossil Hybrid HR
Display size 42mm / 1.06-inch E-Ink
Band size 22mm
Weight 40g
Battery life 2+ weeks
OS Hybrid OS
Colors Dark Brown, Tan, Black, Stainless Steel
Water-resistant ✔️ (3ATM)
LTE 🚫
GPS 🚫
NFC 🚫
Heart rate monitor ✔️
Automatic workout tracking 🚫
Sleep tracking ✔️
Wireless charging 🚫

Hybrid smartwatches are unique in many ways. Most importantly, you often can't tell it's a smartwatch at all. The Fossil Hybrid HR comes with just enough features to claim the 'smart' title, but it's not identical to some of the other picks on this list. For instance, you won't have a touchscreen, so all your navigation is done with the three side buttons. It also doesn't have a colorful display, but at least you get a solid two weeks of battery life in return.

You can customize the display to your liking, which will include at-a-glance info of your choosing, such as weather, steps, and notifications. However, besides basic activity/sleep tracking and heart-rate monitoring, don't expect a well-rounded smartwatch experience from the Fossil Hybrid HR. It's only a hybrid, after all. You'll miss out on GPS, NFC payments, music storage, and other premium features.

Best hybrid smartwatch

Fossil Hybrid HR

Fossil Hybrid HR Smartwatch

A hybrid lifestyle

Want to enjoy some great smartwatch features without sacrificing battery life or style? The Fossil Hybrid HR is an ideal pick.


Amazfit GTS 2 Mini ReviewSource: Michael Hicks / Android Central

12. Amazfit GTS 2 Mini

Best budget smartwatch

Bottom line: The Amazfit GTS 2 Mini looks good on your wrist, and it handles activity/health tracking nicely. However, the main attraction is the low price tag and lightweight design, making it both appealing and affordable for those on a budget who want to enjoy some smartwatch perks.

Pros:

  • Lightweight, modern design
  • Built-in GPS
  • Activity/sleep tracking
  • Heart-rate monitoring
  • 1-2 weeks of battery

Cons:

  • Lacks voice commands
  • No music storage
  • Can't take Bluetooth calls
Best budget smartwatch Amazfit GTS 2 Mini
Display size 40mm / 1.55-inch, 354x306 AMOLED
Band size 20mm
Weight 19.5g
Battery life 1-2 weeks
OS Amazfit OS
Colors Midnight Black, Flamingo Pink, Sage Green
Water-resistant ✔️ (5ATM)
LTE 🚫
GPS ✔️
NFC 🚫
Heart rate monitor ✔️
Automatic workout tracking 🚫
Sleep tracking ✔️
Wireless charging 🚫

Not everyone is willing to drop a few Benjamins on a smartwatch. There are options out there that make it possible to enjoy smartwatch features without paying top dollar. One example is the growing lineup of Amazfit smartwatches. The Amazfit GTS 2 Mini is an excellent budget smartwatch if you want to get the most bang for your buck.

You might notice that the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini makes for a great Apple Watch alternative for Android users. Not only does it have the modern rectangular design that so many users love, but it's also packed with features that make it a desirable wearable for those who want a smartwatch experience without having to spend a fortune on it.

The battery life on the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini will vary depending on how you use it. For heavy usage, you can expect the battery to last for seven days. However, it can last for up to 14 days with typical use. At under 20g, this is easily one of the most lightweight smartwatches out there, ideal for fitness enthusiasts. You also get built-in GPS, heart-rate monitoring, activity/sleep tracking, more than 70 sport modes, and blood oxygen monitoring.

It's a lot like the original Amazfit GTS 2, but it's not quite as robust when it comes to features. You won't have a built-in microphone or speaker, so you won't be able to use voice commands to start workouts or take Bluetooth calls on your wrist. The other feature left off the Mini is music storage. The budget-friendly price tag and the attractive design will make up for these missing features for some users.

Read our full Amazfit GTS 2 Mini review.

Best budget smartwatch

Amazfit GTS 2 Mini render

Amazfit GTS 2 Mini Smartwatch

Mighty mini

The Amazfit GTS 2 Mini gives you nearly everything from its larger sibling in a smaller size and at half the price.


How to pick the best Android smartwatch for you

The good news about wearing a smartwatch in 2021 is that while there are tons of options on the Wear OS side of things. If that's not quite your speed, you also have some fantastic options from other leading companies such as Samsung, Fitbit, and Garmin.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is an outstanding choice for most people and has received our most coveted best overall recommendation for multiple reasons. It's the first watch on the new Wear OS 3 platform so that in itself is pretty exciting. You'll also have optional LTE connectivity, built-in GPS, activity, sleep, and heart-rate tracking, smartphone notifications, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, and much more. It doesn't get much better than this. Considering all of the improvements and upgrades, it's priced fairly as well.

Of course, everyone has their preferences. If you're unsure how you feel about Wear OS 3 or you're not particularly fond of Samsung Health, your choices certainly don't stop there. You'll have your pick of many other wearables, whether it be from Fitbit, Garmin, Mobvoi, or any other brand that has captured your attention.

There are plenty of factors to consider when you're shopping for a smartwatch. Whether this is your first wearable or you've been around the block a time or two, you'll want to narrow down some key aspects before making a decision. Here are the main factors you should focus on:

1. Size and design preferences

First and perhaps most importantly, you'll need to determine what size watch you're after. Smaller watches are often a bit cheaper than their larger counterparts, and some watches may be too large or small for your wrist, which will quickly thin out the herd. The not-so-cheap Suunto 7 is a good example.

And, of course, we can't forget about aesthetics. After all, you're still shopping for a watch, and it should be compatible with your style! You can always opt for one of the fashionable options. If you're looking for the best smartwatch for women, you might prefer something more subtle like the Fitbit Versa 3 or Garmin Venu Sq.

If you're more concerned about having a comfortable fit than a stylish design, other options might catch your eye. Runners will love the simplistic look and feel of the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music, for example. If you're intrigued by the idea of a minimalistic design, but prefer something slightly more appealing, the Fossil Gen 6 is elegant enough for daily wear.

2. Consider your must-have features

You'll also need to weigh the importance of features like GPS, fitness and sleep tracking, cellular connectivity, heart-rate monitoring, and mobile payments. Fortunately, it's not hard to find a watch that has a bit of everything these days. With that said, your list of options will be much shorter if you're set on having a watch with cellular connectivity. You'll only find three models on this list with that feature, so the pickings are rather slim. Not everyone is buying a smartwatch for LTE connectivity, so this won't be a deal-breaker for most users.

Some of the more common features you'll find on most smartwatches these days include GPS, fitness tracking, and heart-rate monitoring. Some models still have yet to jump on the built-in GPS wagon, so you'll have to decide how much this means to you. You'll be pleased to learn there are many smartwatches and fitness trackers with GPS to pick from. Granted, you can still use connected GPS via your smartphone, but it's not nearly as convenient. This is a more common issue on trackers than smartwatches. Some of the best fitness trackers don't offer built-in GPS. Fortunately, most of the Android smartwatches on this list have onboard GPS.

Another feature we see more and more of is NFC for mobile payments. In fact, more than half of the wearables on this list have it. You won't find it on the more niche watches, like the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music or the Fossil Hybrid HR, but that's mainly because those models are geared toward a different user type.

3. Which OS do you prefer?

Choosing an operating system can be tricky for several reasons, especially now that you have to factor Wear OS 3 into the equation. If you're new to the smartwatch world, you might be indifferent on the matter, but it can affect your overall experience, so it's worth mulling over. One of the most common concerns is how well your smartphone will work with your smartwatch.

Is it easier and more fluid to have an Android smartwatch paired with an Android smartphone? Absolutely. Should that be the deciding factor? Not necessarily. You can use an iPhone with some Android smartwatches but be prepared for some hiccups along the way. There can also be certain limitations, like not using the quick reply feature to respond to a text message from your watch.

A recurring complaint from Samsung users is that Tizen OS doesn't always do a great job of displaying notifications on its watches. It's not that they fail to appear but that the options for how they appear are somewhat limited. As a result, you might have an easier time scrolling through notifications on a Wear OS smartwatch. Fortunately, this isn't a problem on the Galaxy Watch 4, thanks to the new Wear OS 3 platform.

Other smartwatch companies such as Garmin and Fitbit use their own operating systems. This can involve a bit of a learning curve in some cases, but it just might be worth it. For example, if you're a passionate runner who frequently tracks your workouts and other stats, Garmin is an excellent choice. On the other hand, casual athletes might find the simple nature of FitbitOS to be user-friendly and easier to navigate.

4. How smart is a hybrid smartwatch?

If you're learning about hybrid smartwatches for the first time, you might be wondering just how smart they are. You get a nice blend of a traditional timepiece with some smartwatch perks sprinkled in. However, don't buy one of these wearables expecting premium features. These watches are designed to focus on the basics, so you won't find many advanced perks.

The Fossil Hybrid HR, for example, offers some standard features that you've probably come to expect, like heart-rate monitoring, basic activity tracking, music controls, and smartphone notifications. You won't have a bright AMOLED display, Google Assistant, mobile payments, or GPS options. Those who want a taste of the smartwatch world without going all-in might find this to be an excellent place to start.

5. What about battery life?

Some users can't stand the thought of having to take their watch off every 24 hours to charge it. Luckily, there is a decent amount of multi-day battery life picks on this list. You can also go for a model with advanced technology that helps extend battery life, like the dual-layer display on the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS.

Other models offer battery-saving modes that turn off certain features to prolong battery life, but this isn't always ideal. Alternatively, when you choose a watch such as the Fossil Gen 6 that offers rapid charging, it might not be as much of a hassle to charge your wearable more frequently. Simply set your watch to charge in the morning as you get ready for the day and it'll be fully charged by the time you're ready to leave.

If you're still determined to find a watch with superior battery life, Garmin and Fitbit offer some of the best options that provide almost a week's worth of battery life. While nothing can beat the 2+ weeks offered by the Fossil Hybrid HR, be prepared to compromise when it comes to key smartwatch features.


Once you've hammered out these essential details, you should be able to form a general idea of what type of Android smartwatch you should buy. No matter which option you end up choosing, you can look forward to owning a nifty piece of tech that will help you track your health and fitness while also giving you a fun accessory to pair with your style.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Author:

Courtney Lynch is a freelance writer at Android Central. She's obsessed with all things health, fitness, and music. At any given time, she can be found checking out the latest and greatest gadgets while simultaneously petting her dog and sipping iced coffee.

Author:

Daniel Bader was previously the Editor in Chief of Android Central, and has written about Android phones for nearly a decade.

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