If you’re shopping for the best smartwatches for the iPhones, you need to first consider iOS compatibility. While Apple Watches are inherently compatible, not all generations are designed to work with older versions of the Apple iOS. Likewise, if you pick a smartwatch from a different brand, you’ll need to think about this as well. Think about the functionality that’s most important to you such as making calls, sending texts, or voice assistant support. Also, consider the battery life as a watch that needs to be frequently recharged can be annoying. And finally, think about the design of the watch and how easily you can work through the interface to access apps, fitness stats, or smart features like texts, calls, and calendars.

After conducting thorough research through countless customer reviews, we nominated the Apple Watch Series 6 as our Top Pick. Keep reading to learn more about our selection criteria and to shop from our recommendations on the best smartwatches on the market today.

Top 10 Best Smartwatches for iPhones

 #1  Apple Watch Series 6 Smartwatch for iPhone

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: For Apple fans who want to stay in the ecosystem, a WiFi and cellular compatible watch with a swim-proof design and robust sleep and fitness tracking — along with enhanced functionality makes this the best smartwatch for the iPhone.

Pros
  • Supports Wi-Fi and cellular use
  • Sleep tracking and fitness tracking
  • Water-resistant to 50m
Cons
  • Poor battery life depending on usage

In news that should surprise no one, if we’re strictly looking at functionality, the Apple Watch Series 6 is the best smartwatch for the iPhone. As of the release of this guide, the Series 6 is the latest release for the Apple Watch. And if you’re firmly in the Apple ecosystem, it’s a smart choice if you want a smartwatch. This watch is available in 40 and 44-millimeter case sizes with an always-on retina display that’s 30% larger than the Series 3. The robust sleep and fitness tracking follow heart monitoring, blood oxygen levels, and ECG readings through proprietary apps. You’ll also get Apple Pay support.

This watch is water-resistant to 50 meters and supports WiFi and cellular data usage. However, to use the cellular features, you’ll need to configure this watch on a separate line with your mobile service provider. Older users will appreciate that this pick comes with fall detection which automatically notifies your emergency contacts that you might be injured. While there is a lot to love about the Apple Watch Series 6 and its seamless integration with the iPhone or other Apple devices, keep in mind that a common complaint with this watch is that the battery life is very poor. The most frequent complaint we saw from user reviews was that this watch needs to be recharged daily. This is especially true if you’re a power user who takes advantage of features like making and receiving calls, answering texts, or relying on cellular data to manage functions through the watch. 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.

 #2  Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 Smartwatch for iPhone

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: A smartwatch for the Android OS that can integrate into Apple iOS with longer battery life, intuitive heart rate, and fitness tracking, and an interface that supports wireless Qi charging.

Pros
  • Intuitive heart rate tracking
  • Long battery life
  • Water-resistant to 50m
Cons
  • Clunky interface and app management

While some people love to engage in a battle against Apple and Samsung, we’re realistic and know that some people don’t mind switching back and forth between these two tech giants. The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is a smartwatch for the Android OS that will also pair with Apple iPhones thanks to Bluetooth technology. If you prefer round watch faces, you’ll like the more classic design of the Active 2. As is common with smartwatches, you’ll get robust fitness and health tracking that includes steps, heart rate sensors, stress levels, and sleep.

The brand promises that with average use, you should be able to get more than 24 hours on a single charge. Since it’s not Apple, you won’t have Siri as your assistant but Bixby, the Samsung proprietary voice assistant. However, a common issue with non-Apple devices is that while it will pair seamlessly through Bluetooth, you might have limited functionality for features such as Samsung Pay and access to common apps like Pandora and Spotify. Still, the wireless Qi charging support makes this a solid contender for people seeking a more affordable alternative to the Apple Watch Series 6. 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.

 #3  Apple Watch Series 5 Smartwatch for iPhone

Award: BEST QUALITY

WHY WE LIKE IT: A solid choice as a smartwatch for the iPhone 7 that supports GPS and WiFi functionality, with enhanced fitness and movement tracking with a 30% larger screen than previous models.

Pros
  • Location targeting with Wi-Fi support
  • Available in 40 and 44mm case sizes
  • Robust fitness trackers
Cons
  • Battery life varies dramatically depending on usage

Whether you’re not sure if you’re ready to upgrade to the Series 6 or you have an older iPhone, the Series 5 Apple Watch is a great smartwatch for the iPhone 7 and older phone models. It offers similar functionality to the Series 6, but for significantly less money. One major feature we like is that this pick also supports GPS, WiFi, and cellular support — although cellular support requires a separate plan with your mobile service provider. As is fairly standard with all Apple Watches, you’ll get step, sleep, heart rate, and ECG monitoring support. This pick also comes with fall detection, elevation, and Emergency SOS call support. The case is available in 40 and 44-millimeter sizes and while this pick comes with a silicone strap, you can always upgrade to metal, fabric, or other strap designs either through the Apple system or with third-party vendors.

Other standard features for the Apple ecosystem include pairing and mirroring between the iPhone and Apple Watch so you can begin to use some apps on your phone and then shift them to your watch to stay hands-free. The case measures a slim 10.7 millimeters thick and you’ll also get a digital crown with haptic feedback on the display. Keep in mind that while Apple boasts an 18-hour battery life, most consumers note that if you’re frequently using your watch to make and receive calls as well as send or respond to texts, the battery will not last for 18 hours — especially if you don’t turn off the always-on retina display. Consider the best smartwatch for seniors that comes in a 41 and 45-millimeter case size with up to 56 hours of battery life.

 #4  Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 Smartwatch for iPhone

Award: BEST DURABILITY

WHY WE LIKE IT: A smartwatch that’s compatible with the iPhone with a durable exterior that can be dropped from 4.9 feet without cracking, with LTE support and a choice of two case sizes.

Pros
  • Available in 2 sizes
  • Trip detection
  • LTE support available with cell plan
Cons
  • Samsung Pay not supported on iPhones

No one likes a device that cracks if you just look at it the long way. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is a smartwatch that’s compatible with the iPhone and boasts enhanced durability thanks to its passing the MIL-STD-810G military testing that requires a device to perform positively in 10 harsh conditions. This includes being dropped from 4.9 feet, surviving in extreme temperatures, dust resistance, enduring shock, vibration, low pressure, and high altitude. And while this watch isn’t designed for scuba diving, it’s water-resistant to 50 meters.

In terms of functionality, as with other Samsung smartwatches, the Watch 3 is compatible with iOS but be prepared for limited functionality as Samsung Pay and some music streaming apps aren’t supported on the Watch 3 through the Apple iOS. Still, you’ll get the popular fitness tracking apps that not only follow steps but your heart rate, sleep statistics, and stress levels. There’s also trip detection and the Bixby voice assistant. We do like that this pick gives you access to over 50,000 digital watch faces so you can customize your watch to your style. The Watch 3 is available in a 41 and 45-millimeter version. You’ll get up to 56 hours of battery life with the 45-millimeter size and 43 hours with the 41-millimeter size. And for your young ones, consider the best smartwatch for kids which offers robust parental control features for peace of mind.

 #5  Apple Watch Series 4 Smartwatch for iPhone

Award: BEST FOR OLDER SMARTPHONES

WHY WE LIKE IT: An Apple Watch designed for iPhones as old as the iPhone 5s that supports GPS tracking, is water-resistant to 50 meters, and provides robust fitness tracking along with a digital crown display with haptic feedback.

Pros
  • Digital crown with haptic feedback
  • GPS support for iOS 12 or later
  • Water-resistant to 50m
Cons
  • Short battery life
  • No cellular data support

If the newer Apple Watches are a bit too rich for your blood, opting for an older model is a great way to dip your toes into their watch ecosystem without the sticker shock. The Series 4 watch is especially ideal if you have an older iPhone since it can work with phones as old as the iPhone 5s. But make sure that you have iOS 12 or else you won’t be able to pair your watch with your phone. While the Series 4 is no longer actively listed on Apple’s official website, it’s possible to find it through reputable third-party refurbished sellers, as shown here.

Note that the Series 4 watch supports GPS tracking but isn’t eligible for cellular data support. Still, you’ll get robust fitness tracking and water resistance to a depth of 50 meters. Users liked that this pick features a digital crown with haptic responses in the display. As is common with Apple Watches, the battery life isn’t ideal, especially if you’re frequently using it to answer calls and texts. A better option may be one of the best hybrid smartwatch which offers 25 days of battery life in standard mode and an additional 20 days (45 days total) in power reserve mode on a single charge.

 #6  Apple Watch Series 3 Smartwatch for iPhone

Award: BEST FOR CASUAL USERS

WHY WE LIKE IT: A streamlined mid-generation Apple Watch that’s great for casual users that simply want to track fitness or accept texts and calls with confidence that it’s supported by the Apple ecosystem.

Pros
  • Can store media content
  • Swim proof design
  • Available in 38mm and 44mm
Cons
  • Short battery life

If we’re being honest, not every Apple user falls under the category of “fanboy” or “fangirl” or is waiting in line for days in advance to buy their latest device when it’s released. You’re more likely to be the type of customer who upgrades your iPhone only when you’ve run out of space or it’s damaged beyond repair. So, if you’re thinking about adding an Apple Watch to your tech collection, you might not want the Series 6. In that case, we’re including the Series 3 because while it lacks some of the more exciting features found in the Series 6, 5, and 4 models, it still gives you enough of what you need for it to be a functional and useful addition to your gear.

The battery life on the Series 3 is on par with other Apple Watches — meaning that it’s not great. Functionality on the Series 3 is pared down, especially since it’s viewed as the template for which later models were developed. So you’ll get heart rate monitoring, step tracking, and a retina display. However, this watch doesn’t support the always-on retina display. Note that this watch is available in 38 and 42-millimeter case sizes. It’s water-resistant to 50 meters and you get emergency SOS call support. The Series 3 is only available with an aluminum case. If you’re an athlete, we also recommend the best smartwatch for running which features numerous tracking features in addition to an altimeter barometer compass (ABC) sensor.

 #7  Apple Watch Series 2 Smartwatch for iPhone

Award: BEST FOR BEGINNERS

WHY WE LIKE IT: A second-generation Apple Watch that’s ideal for wearable tech beginners who aren’t sure if they need more robust features seen on later generations but want seamless integration with their iPhones.

Pros
  • Siri integration and Bluetooth support
  • Water-resistant to 164 feet
  • Supports Wi-Fi and GPS integration
Cons
  • Low battery life

If you fall into the tech-averse category, then the idea of picking a smartphone that isn’t designed to natively pair with your iPhone would be a bad idea. And on the other hand, your limited tech background might make you hesitant to pick a newer Apple Watch model that could create a steeper learning curve for you. This is why we’re including the Series 2 in our guide. While it’s only one generation away from the original Apple Watch, we think it’s a smart pick for people who struggle with technology or like the idea of a fitness tracker, but want to stay within the Apple ecosystem.

You’ll find that battery life depends on how much you use it. While Apple claims that you can get 18 hours per charge, power users may find that they’re lucky to get 12 hours between charges. Still, you’ll get WiFi and GPS support and access to the Apple voice assistant Siri. as with other Apple Watches, the Series 2 is water-resistant to 164 feet and pairs seamlessly with your iPhone via Bluetooth. The Series 2 comes in 38 and 42-millimeter case sizes with a removable silicone strap that you can replace with metal, fabric, or other silicone styles. You’ll still get activity and heart rate monitoring as well as the ability to change the faces and widgets on your watch. Compare that to the best fitness smartwatch which allows to you track not only common fitness metrics but sleep quality as well.

 #8  Fitbit Versa 2 Smartwatch for iPhone

Award: BEST ON A BUDGET

WHY WE LIKE IT: The best cheap smartwatch for the iPhone that’s specifically ideal for fitness buffs who want to accurately track fitness metrics and don’t want to have to recharge their watch every day.

Pros
  • Spotify and Pandora apps supported
  • Robust fitness tracking metrics
  • Long multi-day battery life
Cons
  • Won’t work as a smartphone replacement

The Fitbit Versa 2 is our best budget smartwatch but is also a smart choice for users who are somewhat OS-agnostic and are more focused on fitness accountability than on some of the more enhanced features found in the Apple Watch. The Fitbit brand is synonymous with getting and staying active, and as such is compatible with both Apple and Android devices. But you’ll like that this is one of the best cheap smartwatches for the iPhone that comes with a proprietary app that makes the Bluetooth pairing process a quick and painless process.

While you won’t be able to send and receive calls or answer texts, you do have the option to sync your watch with your phone so that you can get notifications for texts, calls, and get calendar updates from the iOS system. Although the Versa 2 supports voice replies for texts, that’s limited to Androids. Keep in mind that functionality with the Versa 2 is centered around fitness and sleep tracking, so other app capabilities are somewhat limited. However, you do have access to Spotify, Pandora, Starbucks, weather, and a few other key apps like Fitbit Pay. Plus you can download songs directly to your watch. You’ll also get six or more days of battery life per charge which is pretty impressive. Another impressive model is the best rugged smartwatch which can run up to 145 hours on solar charging or 70 hours without solar.

 #9  Fitbit Ionic Smartwatch for iPhone

Award: BEST IOS COMPATIBILITY

WHY WE LIKE IT: A fitness smartwatch that’s compatible with a wider range of iOS versions for both the iPhone and iPad that provides GPS-based fitness metrics and supports media storage.

Pros
  • Stores more than 300 songs
  • GPS to track fitness metrics
  • Comes with two band sizes
Cons
  • Not a smartphone replacement

While Fitbit has a wide range of fitness tracker wearable devices, only two are designed to mimic the feel of a true smartwatch. The Ionic is the other true smartwatch from the brand that’s designed to focus on improving your fitness routine while providing limited functionality to keep you hands-free. As with the Versa 2, the Ionic also provides enhanced data tracking for steps, heart rate, calories, and sleep metrics. But we like that it can pair with older iPhones as far back as the 4s and the iPad 3.

Just like with the Versa, the Ionic can also pair with Androids. It relies on GPS and Bluetooth and does support notifications for texts, phone calls, and calendar updates. You’ll get app support for popular media streaming such as Spotify and Pandora. And you can also download and store more than 300 songs onto the device. The Ionic has a slightly shorter battery than the Versa at just roughly four days depending on your usage. For connectivity options, compare this model with the best smartwatch with a camera that can function without phone tethering.

 #10  TicWatch Pro Bluetooth Smartwatch for iPhone

Award: BEST BATTERY LIFE

WHY WE LIKE IT: A fitness tracker that’s designed to last up to 30 days on a single charge that supports contact-free payments and relies on the Google Wear OS but supports iPhone pairing.

Pros
  • 30-day fitness tracker
  • Built-in GPS
  • Layered display technology
Cons
  • Very limited functionality for iPhone users

Serious fitness buffs might like Apple Watches but may still want a watch that’s specifically designed for tracking workout data. However, that doesn’t mean that they don’t like some of the functionality you get such as being able to play music, pay for items on the go, or quickly check emails. For that user, the TicWatch Pro is a smart choice. This Bluetooth-enabled watch runs on Google’s Wear OS and is compatible with iPhones and Androids. But, as is common with non-native platforms, some functionality may be limited on iPhones.

One of the biggest things we like about the TicWatch Pro is that depending on your settings, you can get as much as 30 days of battery life on a single charge. The watch offers Smart Mode and Essential Mode. In Essential Mode, you can get 30 days of battery life whereas Smart Mode gives you two days. And if you allow for auto-switching, Essential Mode will be triggered and you’ll get five days of battery life. The TicWatch Pro relies on GPS to track routes and you can also track steps, calories, and heart rate. Music streaming is also supported but remember that many of the available apps are Google-based such as Google Pay and Google Play. Note though that features like Spotify and Facebook Messenger are only available for Android users. Bicycle users will also love the best smartwatch for cycling which offers cool features like live track, group live track, live event sharing, incident detection, and assistance.

How We Decided

Depending on your needs, smartwatches can do everything from act like an extension of your smartphone to focus on your fitness routine and sleep habits. To create our guide for the best smartwatch for the iPhone, we focused on the following key features — iOS compatibility, intended use, functionality, app support, battery life, and design. Even though we included Apple, Samsung, and iOS agnostic options, all of our picks are designed to support Apple iOS pairing. However, you’ll always need to confirm which operating systems are supported as older iPhone models and iOS versions often aren’t supported by more recent smartwatch generations.

We included a range of smartwatches that ranged from seamless Apple integration options like various Apple Watch generations to more simplified options from other brands with more limited functionality. The option you pick is going to depend on whether you want a smartwatch that can serve as a hands-free smartphone replacement, or if you want a more simplified option.

App support is another consideration and is especially important when you opt for a smartwatch that isn’t from Apple. A common issue we found with smartwatches from other brands was that some apps weren’t supported through the Apple iOS on the smartwatch. This was most commonly found with payment and music streaming apps.

Battery life is another important feature and can impact overall satisfaction. While the Apple Watch integrates best with the iPhone, it consistently delivered the worst battery range, especially considering how the product is designed to serve as a pseudo-replacement for the iPhone with access to making and receiving calls, and sending texts.

And finally, we looked at the design. While most smartwatches have a similar design, key features like case finishes, available strap upgrades, or how many watch face options are available can be influential factors for picking a smartwatch.

Best Smartwatches for iPhones Buyer’s Guide

The Most Important Factors to Consider

  1. iOS Compatibility
    Hands down, the most important factor to consider when you’re buying a smartwatch that you want to pair with your iPhone is iOS compatibility. Most smartwatches regardless of their built-in OS (Apple iOS, Google Wear OS, etc,) are designed But you’ll want to look for a smartwatch that can successfully pair via Bluetooth with the Apple iOS. Specifically, you’ll need to pay attention to the supported versions of the iOS as older iPhones running on older versions of iOS may have a harder time pairing with non-native (not Apple Watch) devices.
  2. Intended Use
    While smartwatches come with a wide range of functionality, not everyone needs all the bells and whistles. If you’re only interested in a smartwatch to track fitness metrics, you might prefer a simpler option. In contrast, someone who wants a smartwatch that practically doubles as their smartphone may prefer a more robust choice.
  3. Functionality
    Not all smartwatches are designed to be mini smartphones. Without a doubt, the Apple Watch is most designed to mimic much of the functionality you have with an iPhone. So, features such as being able to accept and launch calls, sending texts, and controlling other core actions like calendar management are built into the Apple Watch. Other smartwatches may or may not support that functionality with the Apple iOS. So, you’ll always want to consider how robust you want your smartwatch to be and if the brand and model you choose allow that when paired with the Apple iOS.
  4. App Support
    Depending on the smartwatch you pick, you’ll have varying levels of functionality options. It’s important to keep in mind that not all apps are supported across smartwatches. For example, some apps such as Pandora or Starbucks have modified versions for various smartwatches. Always check in advance which smartwatch offers the most app options.
  5. Battery Life
    For the most part, the most popular smartwatches are normally intended to be worn continuously for long periods before they need to be recharged. And this is especially true if you’re using a smartphone to track fitness or sleep data. Because of this, you want a watch that can last for several days before it needs to be recharged. In this instance, more robust watches that provide enhanced functionality such as sending and receiving calls, text messaging, and other features tend to offer much lower battery life than advertised — especially if you’re a power user.
  6. Ease of Use
    No one likes tech that requires a Ph.D. to operate. Most smartwatches are designed to be easily set up and usually rely on a touchscreen to navigate and manage functions. In this scenario it’s important to keep in mind that depending on the parent iOS of the watch brand, navigation may require a slight learning curve. For example, if you own an iPhone but use a smartwatch that runs on Google’s Wear OS, the interface is going to be slightly different than Apple’s and will take some getting used to before it feels comfortable.
  7. Design
    Most smartwatch manufacturers offer more than one kind of watch style. Depending on your preference, you can find watches with silicone, metal, leather, or fabric straps. Also, consider the actual watch face. Some smartwatches are square, others are rectangular, and others still are round. This is going to come down to personal preference.
  8. Price
    It’s impossible to ignore that some smartwatches are more expensive than others. Obviously, for iPhone users, the Apple Watch can be a pricy investment. But if you prefer style over function, you can find smartwatches that are equally expensive from brands like Movado. However, we can’t stress enough that you can also find great budget-friendly options that still provide plenty of functionality to meet your needs.

Smartwatches for iPhones FAQs

Which smartwatch is best for the iPhone?

It’s impossible to ignore that the Apple Watch is going to be the obvious choice for “best iPhone compatibility” since it’s in the Apple ecosystem. However, the best smartwatch for individual iPhone owners is going to depend on how they plan on using a smartwatch, and the features that are most important to them. From that perspective, the Apple Watch may be too robust for some, or lacking in functionality for others.

Can you connect a smartwatch to an iPhone?

As long as the smartwatch supports Bluetooth connectivity, you should be able to connect any smartwatch — even Android or Google Wear OS-based models — to an iPhone.

What’s better, a Fitbit or an Apple Watch?

This is going to depend on how you’re using your smartwatch. If you’re solely focused on OS compatibility, then without a doubt, an Apple Watch is your best bet. But if you don’t want a more complex watch, or you only need simple features, a Fitbit can be a great alternative.

Can you use a smartwatch without a phone?

Yes, you can treat a smart watch like a smartphone depending on the type of watch you have and your willingness to add a line to your mobile plan. Some of the more robust watches from Samsung and Apple can connect directly to the cellular network and won’t need to be paired with your smartphone via Bluetooth. However, most experts agree that using a smartwatch as a cell phone will greatly reduce battery life.

Dorian Smith-Garcia

Dorian Smith-Garcia is a bridal and beauty expert/influencer and the creative director behind The Anti Bridezilla. She is a diverse writer across beauty, fashion, travel, consumer goods, and tech. She also writes for Inverse, Glowsly, and The Drive along with a variety of other publications. When Dorian's not writing she's collecting stamps in her passport, learning new languages, or spending time with her husband and daughter.

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