The smartwatch is the ultimate smartphone accessory. It can tell the time, of course, but it can also beam important notifications straight to your wrist and run native apps too.
What’s more impressive is that many of today’s best models can also perform a ton of tricks, such as enabling you to search the internet with your voice, tracking your exercise with GPS and letting you pay at the grocery store without reaching for your wallet.
Oh – and they look absolutely stunning to boot. If you’re thinking that a smartwatch is a pointlessly geeky accessory… think again. These choices are well-made, powerful and can genuinely make you fitter through some smart nudges.
Best Smartwatches 2018
Samsung Galaxy Watch
OS: Tizen OS | Compatibility: Android, iOS | Display: 1.2″ or 1.3″ 360 x 360 Super AMOLED | Processor: Dual-core 1.15GHz | Band sizes: 22mm or 20mm | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: 4 days on 46mm / less on 42mm | Charging method: Wireless | IP rating: 50m | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Best smartwatch you can buy right now is from Samsung, and instead of opting for the expected Gear S4 name it’s called the Galaxy Watch. Following on from the Gear S3 series and the Gear Sport in 2017, the Galaxy Watch is much improved.
We’ve tested out the larger 46mm version of the watch and it comes with a phenomenal four day battery life even when you’re using it extensively. That’s impressive considering a lot of other watches on this list last a day or so from a single charge.
The rotating bezel remains a highlight of navigating around the Tizen OS on the watch, and the interface is one of the easiest to pick up that we’ve seen on a smartwatch.
Apple Watch 4
OS: watchOS 5 | Compatibility: iOS | Display: 1.78″ OLED | Processor: Apple S4 | Band sizes: Varies based on watch size | Onboard storage: 16GB | Battery: 1 to 2 days | Charging method: Wireless | IP rating: Water-resistant to 50m | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, LTE
This is the first time Apple has updated the design of its smartwatch line, and it looks all the better for it.
You get a much bigger screen with the choice of 40mm or 44mm watch sizes, there’s a wider display (which is still bright and clear) as well as all the rest of the tech we’ve come to expect from the Apple Watch.
The speaker on this watch is louder than before, the design is still lightweight (yet it feels premium) and you can use all your existing Apple Watch straps with this latest generation too.
The most exciting tech is the fact there’s an ECG feature within the heart rate tracker. It can test your heart to see if you’re at a high risk of atrial fibrillation, which will allow you to seek help earlier if your health is in danger.
This tech isn’t present at launch, and right now we only know it’ll be available in the US. I’s not an upgrade relevant to everyone, but for some people this could be some life changing tech.
Don’t let the name fool you: The Fossil Sport is a great smartwatch even if you aren’t the athletic type. Its aluminum construction and nylon base keep things lightweight, while customizable hardware buttons give you quick access to your favorite apps. And because Google Assistant is built-in, basically anything you can control with Google’s AI helper transfers to the watch.
Montblanc Summit 2
For the folks who need a smartwatch that doubles as a luxurious fashion statement, look no further than the Montblanc Summit 2. Sure, it’s pricey compared to other options, but the extra ducats get you a calfskin band, top-notch crystal, and looks that’ll fool others into thinking it’s a traditional timepiece. There’s also a built-in fitness coach and world guide for the active jet-setter.
Best Wear OS watch: Mobvoi TicWatch Pro
One of the newest members of the TicWatch family from Mobvoi is the TicWatch Pro. The most interested part about this smartwatch is that it actually has two displays. The first is a transparent and low-power FTSN LCD display, and that is placed on top of its OLED display. While the top FTSN display shows you basic info like the time, the date, your heart rate and step count, you can switch over to the OLED display, which shows off all of the features of Google’s Wear OS.
In addition, the TicWatch Pro has an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance, along with its own heart rate monitor and GPS hardware. It has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 2100 processor inside, along with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of onboard storage. It’s available now in either black or silver colors on Amazon.
S928 Sports Watch – Affordable
The watch is designed rather simply, and instead of having a fancy display or high resolution, it uses a simple, monochromatic display. Honestly, I do not mind that at all, smartwatches are all about being simplistic in my opinion, and the S928 Sports Watch does a great job at that.
The smartwatch can be controlled through an app that is available on both iOS and Android. Honestly, the app is as basic as it can get, and can use a bit more polish. There are a few more things that I did not understand about the watch; you cannot change the time format to 12 hours if you want to.
In addition to that, the watch itself only supports English as a language, while the app itself has 12 languages in total. This inconsistency can be an issue for people who don’t have English as their primary language, and even though 12 languages are nice to have, they are just enough.
With the Ionic, Fitbit finally delivered us its first smartwatch, but perhaps more importantly to some, its best fitness tracker, too. Running, biking, swimming, weightlifting – the Ionic has algorithms for tracking a range of different workouts, and in our testing it’s proven to be impressively versatile.
Fitbit says the Ionic’s GPS is better than anything else on the market, and we have to say it performed admirably in testing, while the four-plus days of battery life mean you won’t be taking it off your wrist as much as the smartwatch above.
The Fitbit Versa is the company’s second smartwatch and, along with a change in design direction, it’s crucially available at a more affordable price than the Ionic.
The Fitbit Blaze replacement looks more Pebble than the first Fitbit smartwatch, coming in a host of different finishes and with a big collection of bands to mix up the look.
It promises all of the same fitness and sports tracking features as the Ionic, though the big omission here is the lack of GPS. If you want to track runs and rides, you’ll need to have your smartphone with you.
There is a model for everyone on this list of the best smartwatches — whether you’re a man, woman, or child. We’ve also included a variety of smartwatch operating systems on this list, so you can find the watch that works best with your phone.