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If you’re shopping for the best smartwatches with a camera, you need to think about whether or not the watch is truly compatible with your smartphone’s OS. You may be wondering what smartwatches can you reply to texts on, and several of the options in this list can perform this function. While many third-party manufacturers promise that their camera smartwatches work with both Apple and Android devices, functionality can be severely limited for Apple devices. Likewise, think about the megapixel quality for the camera as this metric can range from 0.3 megapixels to eight or more. Other features like fitness metrics and smart function support for making and receiving calls and texts or controlling features on your smartphone can also impact how reliable and functional your smartwatch will be.
After conducting thorough research through countless customer reviews, we nominated the Refly 4G Smartwatch as our Top Pick. Continue reading to learn more about our top choices. If you want more options, check out our guide to the best smartwatch.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: A smartwatch with a front camera that boasts five megapixels that also supports select fitness tracking data and offers up to 32 gigabytes of storage and long battery life.
A common complaint from people who use smartwatches as smartphone replacements is that the case size is so small that anyone with bigger fingers or who needs more screen space struggles to use them. The Refly 4G smartwatch is our top pick because its oversized screen is ideal for people who dislike tiny watch screens. This smartwatch with a front camera also comes with WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity so that you can access functionality even if it’s not tethered to your phone. While it comes with three gigabytes of built-in storage, by adding a SIM SD card, you can expand that to 32 gigabytes.
In terms of the camera, you’ll get a five-megapixel camera for stunning pictures set on a 2.86-inch screen with a 640 by 480 resolution display that is compatible specifically with Android devices. You’ll like that this smartwatch also supports video calls. Although this isn’t the most robust physical activity tracker, you do have access to data that monitors your resting and active heart rates, walking, breathing, and activity levels. This pick supports cell networks from 2G to 4G LTE and promises compatibility with all network frequency bands in North America. And although the brand fails to give an actual time range for battery life, users confirmed that because it has a 2700mAH battery, depending on your usage rates, you should be able to get as much range out of it as a traditional mobile phone. And if you have an iPhone or other Apple devices, you’ll be glad to know that the best smartwatch for iPhone offers seamless integration with your phone and other Apple devices.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: A sleek smart watch with a camera and SIM card slot that is resistant to water splashes, that can make and receive calls and offers expandable storage up to 32 gigabytes.
For people that like a smartwatch with a more upscale vibe, the Padgene DZON is a great choice. This smart watch with a camera and SIM card slot is ideal for people who still want to leverage key smart features like answering and making calls or video chat, but don’t want to be tethered to their phone. As is common with many third-party smartwatches with cameras, this pick requires a SIM card to access the phone call features, making it technically compatible with all Bluetooth-enabled smartphones. However, keep in mind that Apple users might have limited support for features like music controls. Still, you’ll get a watch with expandable storage up to 32 gigabytes with an SD card. And you’ll get simplified fitness tracking for steps, calories, distance, sleep tracking, sedentary notices, and activity minutes.
Related: Also check out the best smartwatch for women.
We like that this pick can also support social media integration for primary platforms including Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, LinkedIn, and general messaging notification support. You’ll get a 0.3-megapixel camera as well. Even though this isn’t the most robust camera quality for smartwatches with cameras in our guide, this is pretty standard for this product category in general. This is promoted as a smartwatch for kids, but also offers some water resistance. This means it’s safe with an occasional splash or exposure to moisture but not rated for complete submersion. We did note that this pick had a lower active battery life and longer charging time at two to three hours of talk time and requiring three hours to fully charge it. You may be better off with the best smartwatch for business that promises offers up to 12 hours of usage, especially if you’re a power user.
Award: BEST QUALITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: A smartwatch with a camera and speaker that offers up to three days of battery life on a single charge, phone support, and a waterproof rating for enhanced functionality.
For people who like the idea of showering without having to remove their smartwatches, the Amokeoo smartwatch is a great choice. This Android and Apple-compatible smartwatch can also be used as a stand-alone phone if you add a SIM card which you’ll need to source independently. We like that this watch charges in a speedy 45 minutes and offer up to three days of battery life, giving it one of the longest battery ranges we found through our research. You’ll get limited social media support for WhatsApp, Twitter, and Facebook. Another nice feature is the 16 gigabytes of built-in storage capacity.
The Amokeoo smartwatch with a camera and speaker supports making and receiving calls, answering and receiving messages, and music playback controls — although Apple users may have limited functionality for the smart features. The smartphone features a standard 0.3-megapixel built-in camera but also supports remote camera controls for your smartphone or tablet. You also get limited fitness tracking support for steps, sleep, and a sedentary reminder. A nice touch that we liked included the two-way find my device option which lets you find your watch through the phone or your phone through the watch. Compare that to the best smartwatch for seniors that comes in a 41 and 45-millimeter case size with up to 56 hours of battery life.
Award: BEST FOR YOUNGSTERS
WHY WE LIKE IT: A cute smartwatch parents can buy kids with a 0.3-megapixel camera that supports making calls and features a one-key SOS safety call option, doesn’t need to be tethered, and supports a silent mode.
These days it’s hard to completely prevent children from using digital devices. But we like the Bauisan smartwatch because it’s a kid-friendly solution that doesn’t require your child to already have a smartphone to use it. This great smartwatch for kids is a great choice because, with a SIM card, it can function as a phone. You can store up to 10 contacts so children can easily make calls right from their wrist. There’s also a smart one-key SOS button that automatically dials a parent in an emergency.
This standalone smartwatch features a 0.3-megapixel front camera and charges via micro USB. You’ll like that this pick comes with an SD card for internal storage. However, this pick is limited to 2G network access if you want to utilize the calling feature. And this can be limiting considering that 2G is being slowly phased out across the United States. Consumers noted that the battery life is long, which is a nice touch. We also like that this pick can record videos and comes with 14 games preloaded on it and also features a silent school mode to prevent the watch from being a distraction in class. The Bauisan smartwatch is ideal for preschoolers as young as four to tweens from 12 to 13. Also, consider the best smartwatch for kids that features a dial pad that can be disabled through the parental controls app on your cell phone.
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Award: BEST ON A BUDGET
WHY WE LIKE IT: A cost-friendly smartwatch featuring social media notifications with a 0.3-megapixel camera that supports remote camera controls, SMS, anti-loss access, and select fitness and health data metrics.
If you’re shopping on a budget, but love the idea of a smartwatch with a camera, you’ll like the Aeifond smartwatch. This low-cost choice offers many features that are ideal for heavy social media and texting use. While the brand promotes the watch as being compatible with both Apple and Android devices, the fact that most of the robust features are incompatible with the iOS platform means that this isn’t a good choice for Apple users. Still, along with Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp push notifications, you can also select notifications for SMS.
Android users will have access to music and remote camera controls for their smartphones or tablets. There’s a 0.3-megapixel camera, and the ability to expand the built-in storage with a micro SD card which must be purchased separately. Fitness tracking is limited as compared to a true fitness smartwatch. But you get access to steps, heart rate, sleep, and a sedentary alert monitor. Other key features include an anti-loss function and the ability to make and receive calls. And if you’re a clinical worker, consider the best smartwatch for nurses that offers hands-free support so that you don’t need to glance at your phone between patients.
Award: BEST PIXEL RESOLUTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: An eight-megapixel smartwatch for high-quality pictures with a camera and WiFi support that makes it a stand-alone device that includes more robust fitness and health metrics than other watches in this category.
If the idea of a 0.3-megapixel smartwatch camera doesn’t sound appealing, then you’ll like the Lemfo LEMX smartwatch. This smartwatch with a camera and WiFi support has a robust eight-megapixel camera — one of the highest megapixel ratings we found from our research. As if that’s not enough, you also get a 640 by 590-pixel resolution which is also one of the highest for a third-party manufacturer watch that’s Android and Apple compatible. Of course, keep in mind that Apple users will experience limitations specifically with the smart features.
Because this is a Bluetooth and WiFi-enabled watch, it doesn’t need to be tethered to any devices to work. However, to make phone calls, you’ll need a SIM card. A few things we didn’t like was the fact that this watch has the camera located on the side of the watch case as opposed to on the face and that this has one of the lowest battery ratings at just four hours of playing time if you’re actively using the smart features. Still, you’ll get up to 16 gigabytes of memory, social media support, a built-in language translator, and an IP67 water protection rating which is honestly just water resistance from occasional splashing. For fitness tracking, you have access to GPS support for steps, heart rate, and various motion modes. Compare that to the best smartwatch for running that features more accurate tracking, along with an altimeter barometer compass (ABC) sensor.
Award: BEST STYLISH STRAP
WHY WE LIKE IT: A smartwatch with a sophisticated finish that supports dual-mode smartphone and smartwatch functionality that’s most compatible with Android-based devices and offers select fitness and health metrics.
In case you haven’t noticed a theme here, third-party manufacturer camera smartwatches aren’t the best choice for Apple users. While you have access to a camera, the limitations on app support and iOS integration can greatly reduce functionality. But for Android users, the Collasaro smartwatch is a great choice for people who want to elevate their style beyond a basic silicone watch strap. These electroplated Android smartwatches are functional and stylish, however, they’re only available in one size as the brand notes that the strap may be too big for some and too small for others.
This is another great smartwatch that can work as a stand-alone solution with smart functions or as a companion to your existing Android device. Keep in mind that if you want to use this watch independently of a smartphone, you’ll need to purchase a SIM card separately. Otherwise, you can rely on Bluetooth pairing to access smart features and track fitness data. As is common, you’ll get a 0.3-megapixel camera with remote camera controls for Android devices, phone call support, music playing access, and SMS texting. However, you don’t get social media support. Still, the fitness and health data tracks steps, sleep monitoring and also provides a sedentary reminder to keep you moving. Yet, we also like that this pick comes with a 16-gigabyte SD card. If you prefer a simpler option, you may be better off with any of the best hybrid smartwatches.
Award: BEST FOR EARLY CELL NETWORKS
WHY WE LIKE IT: A smartwatch that supports cell networks from 2G through 4G-LTE, with an eight-megapixel camera, smart functionality, and expandable storage for up to 32 gigabytes of space.
Even though 5G is increasingly common in the U.S., not everyone has access to it just yet. And specifically for people who live in truly rural, sparsely populated parts of the country, even 4G might be a stretch. If you live in a region of the country that’s still operating on an older cell network, you’ll appreciate the Kospet Optimus Pro smartwatch. This pick has a wide compatibility range for cell networks from 2G through 4G-LTE. But we like that this pick comes with a large eight-megapixel camera that supports sending and receiving calls via SIM card.
This is truly an Android smartwatch as we saw nothing to indicate that it even has support for pairing via Bluetooth to Apple smartwatches. The dual-mode smartwatch can work as a standalone device or be paired to Android phones. You’ll get 32 gigabytes of memory and an OS that supports music syncing, social media, gaming, sound recording, and voice search. For fitness support, you’ll get a more robust selection of metrics that include multiple built-in sport modes, steps, heart rate monitor, calories, distance, and speed. Compare that to the best fitness smartwatch that features sleep and fitness tracking, heart monitoring, blood oxygen levels, and ECG sensors.
Award: BEST FOR MEN
WHY WE LIKE IT: A large watch, a size perfect for men, with a five-megapixel front-facing camera with built-in music controls that along with video calling, voice calls, and features multiple watch face designs.
For men that love an oversized watch face, the Zeblaze Thor 4 is a great choice. This is another dual smartwatch that can serve as a standalone choice when a SIM card is inserted or as a smartphone companion. Again, this pick says it’s compatible with Apple devices but expect to experience limited smart functionality if you’re an iPhone or iPad owner. This is a Bluetooth and WiFi-enabled device that works on the 4G network. So, we think it’s best for people with Samsung smartphones, Samsung gear, or other Android-based devices.
We like that this Bluetooth smartwatch comes with a five-megapixel camera which puts it in the mid-range for camera clarity. But with a 400 by 400-pixel resolution screen display, that’s on the lower end for that metric. Still, we like that it comes with a decent array of watch face designs including some themed holiday picks. With expandable memory up to 16 gigabytes, you’ll have space to make and answer calls and video chats, and control music as well as your smartphone camera. Fitness metrics include a heart rate monitor, steps, calories, and speed. Cyclists will also love the best smartwatch for cycling that offers you enhanced safety features with a live track, group live track, live event sharing, incident detection, and assistance.
Award: BEST FITNESS TRACKER
WHY WE LIKE IT: A sleek and durable smartwatch with a unique design that offers some of the most robust fitness tracking features such as six activity modes and 24/7 monitoring along with a five-megapixel camera and a commendable two-day average battery life.
For people that always chase the latest and greatest in tech gear, the Nubia Alpha smartwatch is a great option. It features a unique design that’s incredibly modern with an intuitive interface that puts it ahead of the curve of any other third-party manufactured smartwatch we researched. First, let’s start with the fact that this is a watch with a flexible, bendable, and foldable, OLED screen. And unlike traditional smartwatches that have a full strap that needs to be fastened completely around the wrist, this is an open bracelet design. However, Apple users beware that for as awesome as this watch looks, select smart features are going to be limited to Android devices. Smart features include SMS texting and Bluetooth support for sending and receiving calls.
We liked that this watch relies on gestures to activate features and navigate through the interface — although you can still rely on the touch screen if you prefer. The watch screen runs the entire length of the band, giving you even more workable space. You’ll also get a customizable display message that also runs the length of the screen. The five-megapixel camera is built into the case which also features two tactile buttons. Fitness tracking includes 24-7 support for multiple heart rate monitor metrics, six built-in activity modes, and health data about calories burned, speed, and distance. With 16 gigabytes of RAM and eight gigabytes of ROM, you have plenty of storage. The 500mAH battery means that you’ll get two days of standard use between charges. And this durable pick can be dropped from 1.2 meters without cracking. Another impressive model is the best rugged smartwatch that features the Max Battery GPS Mode that can run up to 145 hours on solar charging or 70 hours without solar.
Picking a smartwatch with a camera means you need to prioritize select features over others. To create our guide we looked at the following key aspects — camera quality, OS compatibility, durability, functionality, battery life, ease of use, and design. While all of the picks in our guide pretty much promised to work with both Android and Apple devices, we have to admit that Apple users are going to be frustrated with the smart functionality on all of these third-party smartwatches. So, we recommend Apple users opt for an Apple Watch instead.
Camera quality should be your biggest consideration, and it’s a specification that we prioritized as well. Note though, that there are a lot of smartwatches that support remote camera access to your smartphone. But we specifically focused on watches with a built-in camera. While cheaper camera smartwatches came with a 0.3-megapixel camera, we were able to find models that offered as many as five or eight megapixels. And in some cases, Android users had access to remote camera controls for their smartphones through the watch.
Functionality varied widely between brands but tended to provide similar smart features. These included sending and receiving calls, sending and receiving texts, access to calendars, and managing social media and music controls. Options such as video calls, or remote camera control support tended to be premium functions.
Battery life was another issue where, in general, smartwatches with cameras tended to underperform markedly against a standard smartwatch without a camera. While many brands boasted long standby times, we focused on active use battery life metrics. Under that narrow view, the largest battery life we found was three days — but that would assume that you’re not a power smart feature user.
Most of the brands featured relatively easy-to-use devices although we did include one pick with an intuitive gesture-driven interface. But you’ll want to think about how easily you can navigate through screens or access functions and features. And finally, you should consider the design as some smartwatches are designed to be more stylish whereas others prioritize function.