The best Android smartwatch is the beautiful Samsung Galaxy Watch. Even though it’s powered by Samsung’s Tizen OS, it works great with Android smartphones. It also has a decent battery life, built-in GPS, and a 5ATM water-resistance rating. Another smartwatch worth mentioning is the TicWatch Pro Wear OS smartwatch which earned our “Honorable Mention” title.
When it comes to compatibility, the best Android smartwatch models are a great option because they work with both Android and iOS devices, and then some. Whether it’s a Samsung smartwatch, Google smartwatch, or another brand entirely, you’re generally getting an incredible array of features and widespread mobile support. Of course, a lot of smart watch models are expensive, especially the ones from Apple’s lineup. An Apple Watch could cost you hundreds. If you’re looking to nab the best budget smartwatch, you’ve come to the right place. We spent over 15 hours researching the top models, to put together a solid list of the best Android smartwatches. No Apple watches here. Keep reading to learn more about the rest of our top picks!
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This smartwatch has one of the best designs and feature sets overall, with a 5ATM water-resistant rating, 3 to 5 days of battery life, built-in GPS, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, plus iOS and Android compatibility.
Read Full Review: Samsung Galaxy Android Smartwatch
This smartwatch is powered by Samsung’s Tizen OS, which has a lot of parallels to Google’s Wear OS. It’s compatible with both Android and iOS smartphones. It comes in two sizes — the bigger size being 46mm — and is also available in three colors. Watch faces can be personalized, with many to choose from out-of-the-box. The exterior design is extra durable with a MIL-spec rating of 810G, and it pairs nicely with the Gorilla Glass DX+ covering over the 1.3-inch Super-AMOLED display. Altogether, it’s an impressive smartwatch, which is precisely why it’s our top pick.
Additional features on this wear OS watch include built-in Bluetooth, GPS, WiFi, and NFC connectivity. It also has a speaker and microphone which allow you to take calls remotely on your wrist. It can track fitness and health stats, including sleep, heart rate, calories burned, steps, and more. It has 4GB of internal storage for local music playback. With Samsung Pay, you can use the watch for contactless payments — just swipe and go. Finally, it comes bundled with an extra band for a total of two, large and small. If you’re searching for the best smartwatch, this may be the pick for you.
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Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This smartwatch has an incredible battery which lasts from 2 to 30 days on a single charge, depending on how you use it — GPS drains the battery faster. It’s powered by Google’s Wear OS and has Google Assistant built-in. It also supports fitness tracking, smartwatch notifications, NFC payments, and much more.
Read Full Review: TicWatch Pro Smartwatch Review
This smartwatch is powered by Google’s Wear OS, smartwatch ecosystem. It’s important to note that most, if not all, Wear OS smartwatches have similar software features. Where the wear operating systems differ most is their hardware or specs, and overall design. The TicWatch has an incredibly long battery life that lasts up to 30 days on a single charge. It features a dual-display setup, with the first being a high-resolution AMOLED display, and another FSTN LCD low-power display. The idea is that the low-power display uses a lot less energy and can last for much longer. You can swap between the two displays seamlessly, by choosing between a “Smart Mode” or “Essential Mode,” which conserves power.
Additional features include fitness and sleep tracking, mobile notifications, Google voice-assistant support, mobile payments, and much more. You can download the TicSleep app on this Wear OS smartwatch to check your sleep progress. The Wear OS watch also supports Google Play apps, which can extend the watch functionality well beyond anything stock. For example, you can install Google Play Music, Spotify, Google Fit, Facebook Messenger, and more. Moreover, the watch has GPS built-in, alongside a heart-rate monitor to track your heart rate, music playback, and it’s all wrapped inside a durable IP68 water-resistance casing. If you’re looking for something to take along on your next run, consider one of the best running watches.
Award: BEST GPS
WHY WE LIKE IT: This smartwatch is one of the best for recording workouts and outdoor activities, with reliable GPS and built-in sports-tracking apps. It’s powered by a proprietary Garmin OS, and compatible with both iOS and Android smartphones. It’s 5ATM water-resistant, and offers up to 7 days of battery life, just 13 hours with GPS active.
Read Full Review: Garmin vívoactive Smartwatch Contactless Payments
Hands down, the best smartwatch on the list for sports and fitness monitoring is this watch. It has over 15 preloaded GPS and indoor sports tracking modes, like swimming, running, yoga, and more. The reliable and accurate GPS tracking means it can record your running or workout routine in real-time, all via a maps overlay — viewable via mobile. Garmin Connect allows you to sync up the watch with your iOS or Android smartphone. Plus, Garmin Pay allows for contactless payments right from the watch.
The watch offers battery life up to 7 days on a single charge in smartwatch mode, but with GPS active that cycle reduces to 13 hours. Additional features include watch face personalization and access to both apps and widgets through Garmin’s Connect IQ store. A 5ATM water-resistance rating means the watch is swim-proof. It also comes in several colors and styles, while the main case is composed of stainless steel. If you’re looking for a woman’s watch specifically, check out the best smartwatch for women.
Award: BEST DRESSY
WHY WE LIKE IT: This smartwatch comes from a renowned watchmaker that’s been in the game for years. It combines the best of traditional wrist watch-styles with smart functionality. It’s powered by Google’s Wear OS, so it works with iOS and Android smartphones.
Read Full Review: Fossil Gen 5 Smartwatch Review
Although this watch is powered by Google’s Wear OS and rocking a 1.28” touchscreen display, you’d never know it was a smartwatch at a glance. It looks like a classic or more traditional wrist-watch. It offers about 1 to 2 days of battery life, you can stretch it a bit with new smart battery modes, which were added in a recent Wear OS update. The Wear OS smartwatch will measure heart-rate and keep track of various fitness and health stats, namely through Google Fit. It does have GPS built-in for location tracking, as well as Google Assistant and Google Pay, for contactless payments.
The watch is 3ATM water-resistance rated so you can take it for a shallow swim. It also features WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1 LE wireless connectivity. With 8GB of local storage, music and media can be stored on the watch to play sans a connected phone. Access to Google Play means near-limitless app and customization options. Bluetooth calling, a built-in speaker, and a mic allow for remote call support. Ultimately, it’s a well-rounded smartwatch. If you’re looking more specifically for a starter smartwatch, check out the best smartwatch for kids.
Award: BEST ON A BUDGET
WHY WE LIKE IT: For those on a tight budget, this smartwatch is the best option, as it’s one of the cheapest on the list. Even so, you get a feature-rich watch with GPS, heart-rate and activity tracking, an IP67 water-resistant design, and up to 4 days of battery life.
Read Full Review: Anmino ASM6C Smartwatch Review
While this smartwatch is running a generic and proprietary OS, with a rather basic design, it is compatible with iOS and Android devices. It also has built-in GPS, alongside a heart-rate monitor, blood pressure monitor, and sedentary reminder. Many of those features are uncommon in low-budget smartwatches. It has a metal stainless steel case with IP67 water-resistance rating and has a plastic sport band, available in several colors. It functions as a smartwatch with mobile notifications and alerts, as well as a call reminder — although you cannot take calls on the watch.
Additional functions include a timer, stopwatch, alarm, calendar, and calculator. There are no apps or watch faces to download, although it does come with a few preloaded watch faces. You can also use it to find your phone, activate a phone camera remotely — for distanced photo capture — and control music playing on a connected phone. It’s the ideal choice for anyone that’s either not comfortable or simply cannot pay the higher price of many premium smartwatch models. If you’re a die hard Apple fan, you may want to consider one of the best apple watches instead.
Award: BEST FITNESS
WHY WE LIKE IT: This smartwatch is a stylish watch with excellent health and sleep tracking support. It also features up to 6 days of battery life which is quite impressive, alongside Alexa’s support, and more.
Read Full Review: Fitbit Versa 2 Smartwatch
This smartwatch has a square design — as opposed to the round style — similar to the Apple Watch. Functionally, there isn’t much of a difference between a round or square display, although the latter has more screen real estate. It’s powered by Fitbit’s OS — not Wear OS or Android — but still offers a storefront to download apps, watch faces, and more. The entire experience is enhanced by Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. You can control most apps and functions using your voice, like checking the weather, playing music, and activating smart home devices.
In regards to functionality, the watch offers sleep tracking, health and activity tracking, smartwatch notifications, and third-party app support through Pandora, Spotify, Deezer, and more. With a premium subscription, Fitbit’s health and fitness guidance can keep you and your body in check, with access to guided programs and trainers, too. Furthermore, this Fitbit has a heart rate monitor (similar to the Skagen), as well as being able to track your steps, distance, calories burned, hourly activity, and active minutes. If you don’t need a smartwatch, compare this to some of the best watches on the market.
Award: BEST FOR MOBILE COMPANION
WHY WE LIKE IT: With its stainless steel body and varied band options, this smartwatch is stylish and functional. It’s one of the best companions with notifications and alerts for a selection of events including email, text, calls, and more.
Read Full Review: Fossil Men’s Gen 4 Smartwatch Review
This watch is also powered by Google’s Wear OS, which means the software experience is going to be remarkably similar to some of the other watches. However, the exterior has an incredibly stylish design, not to mention some of the best-looking bands around. It also functions extremely well as a mobile companion once it’s synced up. It will display a variety of notifications and alerts including those from email, texts, social apps, calls, and much more. It also has access to the Google Play store which means support for additional apps and watch faces.
The watch is 3ATM water-resistant, and safe for swimming, and offers some basic swim-tracking support. It can also track heart-rate, physical activity, and location thanks to built-in GPS. Google Pay allows for contactless payments. The battery will last for up to 24 hours on a single charge during regular use, or up to 2 days in power saver mode. It does have a built-in microphone but no speaker. If you’re looking for the best fitness tracker, this may be the pick for you.
Note: Other Android smartwatches we should talk about that are not on this list include the Motorola Moto 360 Smartwatch with Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chipset and 1.2GHz quad-core processor, and the Skagen Falster 3 Smartwatch. Note that the Moto 360 has the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset, and a 1.5 day battery life. The Skagen Falster is powered with Wear OS, has smart battery modes for extending battery life, and features a heart rate monitor and activity tracking using Google Fit. The Skagen Falster also has a speaker for audible alerts and taking phone calls,
When choosing smartwatches for our list, the first thing we considered was their general compatibility. Every watch on the list will sync with both Android and iOS devices and are not exclusive or restrictive. It is important to note the software version that each device works best with, however. Many of the watches will only work with a certain version of Android or iOS, meaning devices running that software version or any version thereafter are supported.
Another major consideration was the battery life. Unlike smartphones, it’s inconvenient to have to remove your wearable or watch every day just to charge it. We opted for devices that offer at least 3 days of battery life. Most will last for about 7 to 10 days per charge cycle.
Finally, we considered build quality or durability, which also includes water resistance or waterproofing. All watches on the list are highly durable, made out of either stainless steel or a metal alloy for the chassis with relatively durable silicone bands. Also, most of the smartwatches on the list offer some degree of water resistance, whether that means they can withstand sweat and rain or can be submerged completely underwater.
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As most “best of” questions, what constitutes as best depends on the person and what features they are looking for. We recommend the top pick, Samsung’s Galaxy Watch, because it looks great, has an excellent feature set, and offers decent battery life. Another good choice would be the honorable mention, the TicWatch Pro Premium. If you’re looking for the best Fossil smartwatch, stick with either the Gen 4 Carlyle or Gen 4 Explorist HR, both featured on our list. Technically, not all of the devices on the list are powered by the Android OS — some smartwatches are — but they are compatible with Android phones and smartphones.
There are only a select few smartwatches that aren’t compatible with Android devices. For instance, while there’s no official Apple Watch support for Android, it is possible to get the systems working together. You will need to do a little tinkering to make it happen, however, so it’s not a plug-and-play solution. Regardless, the answer is that many smartwatches are compatible with Android. As for what smartwatches are powered by the Android OS, or Google’s smartwatch OS called Wear OS — previously Android Wear — that’s a different story. Watches with full-blown Android are running a minimal version of the mobile operating system found on Android phones. Watches powered by the Wear OS are running a unique version, specifically designed from the ground up for smartwatches and smaller wrist-worn displays. Both types are compatible with Android smartphones, but they offer different experiences overall.
Choosing what amounts to be the “best” smartwatch overall is a tough — and arguably impossible — question to answer. Someone looking for the best GPS smartwatch, for example, is going to want a different model than someone that just wants a general Google smartwatch. First, consider the most important feature you want the smartwatch to have, and go from there. We would recommend either the top pick or the honorable mention, because they are excellent smartwatches overall, with a great feature set. You can’t go wrong with Samsung’s Galaxy Watch, the TicWatch Pro Premium, or either of the Fossil smartwatches. If you want something that’s more health or fitness-oriented, spring for the Garmin Vivoactive 3, or the Fitbit Versa 2. The Skagen Falster 3 is also another option for fitness and health tracking.
In most cases, smartwatches and fitness trackers are interchangeable, that is they include a lot of the same features. To differentiate the two, however, a better definition is that fitness trackers are designed for health and wellness monitoring above all, while smartwatches are meant to be worn like traditional wrist-watches, and they include smart functionality built-in. Smartwatches typically offer a more robust and friendlier experience when it comes to mobile apps and connectivity. For instance, they generally handle mobile notifications, alerts, calls, and most primary applications — the experience is often remarkably similar to Android smartphones. Fitness trackers, on the other hand, might offer mobile notifications and similar cross-platform features, but they were intrinsically designed to monitor health and activity stats. In most cases, that means they generally handle health and wellness data much better. They tend to have better heart-rate monitors, and are more accurate at tracking steps, distance, calories burned, and related details. Despite the differences, there is usually considerable overlap. Smartwatches, for example, often included health and activity tracking functions, just like fitness trackers. When choosing between the two types of devices, one should consider the main purpose of wearing or using the tech. If tracking health data is more important, go with a fitness tracker. If you’d rather have access to optimize mobile connectivity and cross-platform functions, go with a smartwatch. Bear in mind, there are a lot of hybrid wearables out there that include the best of both worlds.
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