Greatest smartwatch 2021: Apple Watch and extra high picks

The primary fashionable smartwatch, the Fossil Wrist PDA, launched in 2003 from Palm. Microsoft then adopted up with its distinctive SPOT watch assortment powered by MSN Direct providers operating over FM radio waves. Motorola, Pebble, Samsung, Suunto, and others then supplied numerous choices as wearables superior with smartphones.

In the present day’s smartwatches provide extra superior options, reminiscent of detailed 24/7 well being and wellness monitoring, voice assistants, name and textual content message help, and a wide range of apps and providers that reach the ability of your smartphone to your wrist. Some fashions have mobile help and may serve your wants independently out of your telephone for restricted performance.

In 2021, there are a number of highly effective choices accessible that will help you get work accomplished via a wearable system. Whereas the Apple Watch is the most effective for iPhone customers, these iPhone customers may select one of many different watches that will higher match their wants, worth vary, or battery life.

Best overall smartwatch

Show: 368×448 pixels OLED | Battery Life: 18 hours | Dimensions: 44x38x10.7 mm | Weight: 36.5 grams (Al) | Water Resistance: 50m | LTE Mobile Choice: Sure | Beginning Value: $429 

In 2015, Apple launched its first Apple Watch, and over the subsequent six years, it secured its place as the most effective smartwatch accessible. No different watch has such huge software help whereas additionally getting all of the smartwatch necessities almost excellent. It might be debatable if an iPhone is the most effective smartphone or not, however it’s clear the Apple Watch is the wearable to beat.

The one present limitation of the Apple Watch is that it requires an iPhone as its companion. Because of this greater than 80% of the world’s smartphone homeowners can’t use it as their wearable. Many within the tech media group have said that the Apple Watch is the most effective system Apple has ever made and ZDNet’s personal Jason Perlow wrote how the Apple Watch saved his life.

The Apple Watch Sequence 6, see our full assessment, is the latest mannequin accessible with a few new case colours, blood oxygen monitoring, sleep monitoring, and rather more. A number of updates have appeared over the previous a number of months and the Apple Watch continues to get higher with age.


  • Attractive, refined {hardware}
  • Vibrant and helpful always-on mode
  • Blood oxygen sensor
  • Glorious third-party software help


  • Costly 
  • Lower than two-day battery life 
  • Restricted sleep particulars 

$414 at Amazon

Best value Apple Watch


Picture: Apple

Show: 368×448 pixels OLED | Battery Life: 18 hours | Dimensions: 44x38x10.7 mm | Weight: 36.5 grams (Al) | Water Resistance: 50m | LTE Mobile Choice: Sure | Beginning Value: $279

Apple made an attention-grabbing transfer in 2020 and launched a lower-priced Apple Watch designed to broaden using an Apple Watch to different members of the family. The Apple Watch SE begins at simply $279 and if you’re an iPhone person it is a straightforward wearable to advocate.

Bodily, the Apple Watch SE has the identical design and enormous show seen on the Apple Watch Sequence 6, full with most of the identical well being monitoring options and all the software help. The watch has a barely much less succesful processor, does not help the always-on watch face, and doesn’t embody the blood oxygen monitoring functionality discovered within the Apple Watch 6. Nonetheless, you should purchase it with a mobile radio, and with Household Setup, you’ll be able to pair watches for kids or older adults who haven’t got their very own iPhone.

At this low worth and with a rising Apple ecosystem, it is powerful to not at the very least think about the Apple Watch SE in case you have any curiosity in a wearable.


  • Attractive, refined {hardware}
  • Glorious worth for a strong smartwatch
  • Broad help for well being and health options
  • In depth third-party software help


  • Lower than two-day battery life 
  • Restricted sleep particulars 

$279 at Best Buy

$279 at Apple

$309 at eBay

Best smartwatch for Android phone owners


Picture: Samsung

Show: 1.4-inch 360×360 pixels AMOLED | Battery Life: Three days | Dimensions: 45×46.2×11.1 mm | Weight: 53.8 grams (Al) | Water Resistance: 5 ATM+IP68 | LTE Mobile Choice: Sure | Beginning Value: $429.99 

Samsung is clearly not standing by as Apple continues to replace and enhance the Apple Watch. Samsung’s newest Galaxy Watch 3 provides most of the identical superior well being monitoring options, reminiscent of blood oxygen monitoring, ECG, and sleep monitoring, with the power to attach with each Android and iPhone gadgets.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 will even quickly be licensed to measure and observe blood strain (the function is permitted to be used in different international locations), a important well being metric that Apple doesn’t observe. The Galaxy Watch 3 is an reasonably priced smartwatch with each Wi-Fi and LTE fashions in two completely different sizes. A particular titanium mannequin can also be accessible.

It has a smooth rotating bezel and an working system optimized for the spherical watch design. Fall detection, messaging, telephone calls, and extra can be found on the watch, with superior health knowledge reminiscent of VO2 Max and superior operating dynamics knowledge additionally supported.


  • Slick rotating bezel design
  • Excessive-quality stainless-steel materials
  • Broad help for well being and health options
  • Strong battery life for supplied options


  • Restricted third-party purposes 
  • Massive dimension not match for small wrists
  • Blood strain certification taking for much longer than marketed 

$172 at Amazon

$272 at eBay

$260 at Adorama

Best Samsung smartwatch without a rotating bezel


Picture: Samsung

Show: 1.4-inch 360×360 pixels AMOLED | Battery Life: Three days | Dimensions: 44x44x10.9 mm | Weight: 42 grams (stainless-steel) | Water Resistance: 5 ATM+IP68 | LTE Mobile Choice: Sure | Beginning Value: $269.99 

Samsung supplied smartwatches lengthy earlier than Apple joined the market and the early mannequin had improvements reminiscent of built-in cameras. Previous to the Galaxy Watch 3, we had the Galaxy Watch Lively 2 and this mannequin remains to be a viable choice at the moment with a smaller kind issue that may attraction to extra folks than the bigger Watch 3.

The Galaxy Watch Lively 2 is arguably higher than the Apple Watch in lots of regards, however it does not have almost the help for third-party apps that we see within the Apple ecosystem, and to be a real smartwatch, then intensive third-party app help is important.

Nonetheless, the Galaxy Watch Lively 2 has a conventional spherical watch face design, an unlimited variety of accessible watch faces, the power to cost on the go on the again of a smartphone, and superior well being and wellness monitoring functionality. The Watch Lively 2 was my most well-liked smartwatch for about six months as a result of I swap telephones so typically and it even works with the Apple iPhone.


  • Modern, minimalist design
  • Vibrant Tremendous AMOLED show
  • Inexpensive
  • Digital rotating bezel


  • Restricted third-party software help
  • Battery life not so long as anticipated 

$195 at Amazon

$250 at Crutchfield

$250 at Best Buy

Best Google Wear OS smartwatch


Show: 1.4-inch 454×454 pixels AMOLED and FSTN secondary show | Battery Life: 72 hours  | Dimensions: 47x48x12.2 mm | Weight: 41.9 grams | Water Resistance: IP68 | LTE Mobile Choice: No | Beginning Value: $299.99 

Whereas Google has not put a lot effort into growing its Put on OS platform, firms like Mobvoi proceed to supply stable smartwatch rivals operating Put on OS. The most recent watch from Mobvoi is the TicWatch Professional 3, the primary smartwatch sporting Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Put on 4100 platform.

The TicWatch Professional 3, see our full assessment, is the most effective Put on OS system accessible with a novel layered show design that has an LCD show on high of an AMOLED show so customers can have prolonged battery life, as much as 30 days, with a extra restricted watch expertise.

Whereas not as effectively supported because the Apple Watch, Put on OS remains to be a really succesful wearable platform with an intensive variety of accessible watch faces, loads of fashionable third-party apps, Google Assistant voice help, superior well being monitoring, and rather more. The TicWatch Professional 3 has all the newest superior well being metrics, reminiscent of blood oxygen monitoring, and can also be a really succesful GPS sports activities watch.

At simply $299.99, it is also powerful to beat the TicWatch Professional 3. It really works with each Android and iOS smartphones too so if you’re contemplating a smartwatch for a number of platforms, then it is a very succesful choice.


  • Revolutionary dual-display design
  • Google Assistant and Google Pay on the wrist
  • Strong third-party app help
  • Light-weight and cozy
  • Inexpensive worth


  • Duplicated well being apps
  • No offline music help

$300 at Amazon

Second best Google Wear OS smartwatch


Picture: Fossil

Show: 1.19-inch 390×390 pixels AMOLED | Battery Life: 18 hours  | Dimensions: 44x44x12 mm | Weight: 99 grams | Water Resistance: 3 ATM | LTE Mobile Choice: Sure | Beginning Value: $295 

Along with Mobvoi, Fossil continues to launch new Google Put on OS smartwatches and in addition typically makes use of the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon cell processors. The Fossil Gen 5 Smartwatch is offered in numerous colours with completely different band choices for lower than $300.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon Put on 3100 powers this Fossil smartwatch, and with Put on OS, customers benefit from the energy of Google Assistant on the wrist. Google Pay is supported, so you’ll be able to pay wirelessly together with your telephone in your pocket. Built-in GPS additionally means you’ll be able to observe your out of doors train with the Fossil Gen 5 Smartwatch.

There are a variety of rumors that Fossil will quickly launch its first Snapdragon Put on 4100-powered smartwatch because the Fossil Gen 6 mannequin, so we’ll proceed to observe these rumors till an announcement is made.


  • Vibrant show
  • Google Assistant and Google Pay on the wrist
  • Strong third-party app help
  • Inexpensive worth


  • Common battery life
  • Heavy, massive watch

$295 at Best Buy

$295 at Walmart

Best basic smartwatch


Picture: Fitbit

Show: 1.58-inch 336×336 pixels AMOLED | Battery Life: Six days  | Dimensions: 40.5×40.5×12.35 mm | Weight: 48 grams | Water Resistance: 5 ATM | LTE Mobile Choice: No | Beginning Value: $299.95 

The Fitbit Sense has a chrome steel ring across the watch face and extra sensors on the again in order that it provides help for ECG, pores and skin temperature, and some extra superior well being metrics. If you wish to save $70 then you should purchase the Fitbit Versa 3 and lose out on just a few superior wellness metrics.

A major enchancment on this watch in comparison with earlier Fitbit watches is the built-in GPS receiver that may show you how to extra precisely observe your exterior actions.

The Fitbit ecosystem is effectively supported, with many individuals on the platform to assist inspire you towards reaching your each day exercise and health objectives. The smartphone app is implausible and provides a ton of perception, suggestions, and understanding of the information collected by the watches. Android smartphone customers get pleasure from a greater expertise with help for fast textual content message replies, however these new Fitbit watches work effectively with Android and iOS for many capabilities.


  • Vibrant and clear AMOLED show
  • Light-weight and cozy for twenty-four/7 put on
  • Google Assistant and telephone name help
  • Sensible alarm help
  • In depth well being and wellness help


  • Strong-state button just isn’t as dependable as bodily button
  • Restricted third-party app help

$300 at Amazon

Can you employ a Samsung Watch with an iPhone?

Whereas the Samsung Watch, Google Put on OS watches, and the Fitbit all work with each Android and iPhone gadgets, one function that’s not supported by Apple with any of those different watches is the power to textual content from the watch via the linked smartphone.

Samsung Pay can also be restricted to Android telephones with the most effective expertise with a Galaxy Watch happening via a reference to a Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

Can you employ a mobile Apple Watch as a standalone system?

Whilst you can depart your iPhone at dwelling when you run, go to the shop, or stroll on the seashore, you need to have an iPhone turned on and linked to the web at this different location. That is one purpose why connecting to an iPhone after which switching to an Android then makes the Apple Watch mainly ineffective to make use of with an Android telephone.

A cellular-enabled Samsung Galaxy Watch can certainly act as a stand-alone cell system after preliminary setup. Nonetheless, there are restricted third-party apps for the Galaxy Watch so the concept of getting your telephone as your watch remains to be not a chance.

What are the recent new options within the newest smartwatches?

Well being and health monitoring have been the areas with most improvements and enhancements within the final couple of years. Whereas these watches aren’t medical gadgets, they’ve sensors, algorithms, and purposes that show you how to observe developments in your coronary heart price, stress ranges, blood oxygen ranges, and extra. You should use it as a fundamental ECG to test if additional investigation is required.

All of those smartwatches may function succesful GPS sports activities watches to trace the main points of your out of doors actions. Train steering is supplied on the watch with linked well being purposes in your smartphone so you’ll be able to maintain observe of your progress too.

Which is the appropriate smartwatch for you?

In case you personal an iPhone, we extremely advocate the Apple Watch SE or Apple Watch 6. Actually, most individuals can be completely proud of the cheaper Watch SE and never even see a lot of a distinction for a good price financial savings. Nothing beats the Apple Look ahead to the third-party apps, seamless connectivity, Apple Pay, and rather more.

Whereas the Samsung Galaxy Watches are superb smartwatches, Android telephone customers ought to significantly think about the TicWatch Professional 3 with Google Assistant, Google Pay, and higher third-party software help. It is a very reasonably priced smartwatch and there are rumors that Samsung could ultimately transfer from Tizen OS to Google’s Put on OS too.

How did we select these smartwatches?

We now have spent weeks, typically months, with most of those wearables whereas connecting them to the Apple iPhone and numerous Android smartwatches. We now have run, walked, hiked, biked, slept, labored, traveled, performed, and extra with these watches on our wrists. We additionally learn different evaluations and reviewer guides supplied by the smartwatch makers to verify we’ve got explored all the accessible options.