Best smartwatch 2016: Apple, Pebble, Samsung, Sony, Tag and more

We help you pick the perfect smartwatch companion
The best smartwatches in the world

Choosing the best smartwatch right now is a tough task given the plethora of new models now on sale from the likes of Apple, Pebble, LG, Motorola, Tag Heuer, Fossil, Samsung and Sony.

There are so many great smartwatches to choose between, from the Android Wear army to the latest Pebble watches, and the Apple Watch is selling like hotcakes too.

And there's plenty in the pipeline too. The Apple Watch 2 will land sometime in 2016 and the likes of Nixon's The Mission and Garmin's Vivoactive HR have already been detailed.

We've completely overhauled our best smartwatch guide to try and help those looking to make the right decision. Whether you're after a functional, sporty or something downright stylish, read on for our choice of the top tech timepieces to own right now.

Best smartwatch

Samsung Gear S2

best smartwatch 2016

As easy to live with as a Pebble, as slick as an Apple Watch and with a tactile, rotating bezel as its secret weapon, the S2 is the kind of smartwatch you'd kick yourself for leaving at home. You'll have to pay extra for the cellular version to make the most of the GPS features but even the standard version feels like a leap forward.

The battery life is better than most rivals; we've used Android Wear watches day to day, and Samsung's smartwatch beats these hands down.

The full verdict: Our Samsung Gear S2 review

From $299.99, samsung.com | Amazon

Best for iOS

Apple Watch

Best smartwatch

Whether you find the Apple Watch the leading example of fashion blended with tech or a boxy abomination is really down to personal taste. But for our money, it's one of the best looking smartwatches made to date (especially when paired with a quality Apple Watch strap) and, coming in two sizes, is one of the most unisex as well.

The build quality is superb, and the footprint of both the 38mm and 42mm watch is much smaller than you'd expect. Despite its flaws (poor sports features and the lack of GPS), the Apple Watch was one of the first wearables that was actually a pleasure to wear. The Apple Watch 2 is set to arrive soon though...

Wareable rating: Apple Watch review

From $349, apple.com | Amazon

Best money no object

Tag Heuer Connected

best smartwatch

A confession first up – we've not yet tested the new Tag smartwatch enough to fully review it. However, we have spent some time with the Intel-powered device and it doesn't take long before you realise it's the best built, and highest quality, Android Wear device to date. From afar it genuinely looks like a regular Tag Heuer watch – it's only when you get up close that you notice it's quite a bulky beast.

Hands-on: Tag Heuer Connected review

$1,500, tagheuerconnected.com

Best Android Wear option

Sony SmartWatch 3

best smartwatch

The Sony SmartWatch 3 was the envy of its rivals, thanks to its built-in GPS connectivity, which means you can leave your smartphone at home when you go for a run (the Moto 360 Sport has matched it on that front now though).

The sports styling make it perfect for a weekend jog, and while the screen is a little dull compared to some of its rivals, the latest Android Wear update means it can pair with wireless headphones for beats on the go. The Steel edition adds a touch of class to the smartwatch that we at Wareable (well, almost all of us) agree offers the most bang for your smartwatch buck.

Must-read: Sony SmartWatch 3 review

From $249, sony.com | Amazon

Best for budget

Asus ZenWatch 2

The focus of the ZenWatch 2 is choice, and Asus is approaching the evolving smartwatch market in a mature way. The all-new ZenWatch comes in two sizes - essentially, male and female models. There are also a wealth of strap options including rubber, steel, leather and even a Swarovski covered one. This makes it a nice first step for potential Android Wear buyers.

While little has changed on the ZenWatch 2 on the hardware front, the Taiwanese company has installed a Wi-Fi chip to make use of the new features in Android Wear, and fast charging tech means you can juice up 50% of the battery in around 30 minutes.

Check out our full ZenWatch 2 review.

From $149, asus.com | Amazon

Best for techies

Pebble Time

what is the best smartwatch

Arguably the first modern smartwatch that went mainstream, the original Pebble is still going strong two years after launch. But for Pebblers wanting to upgrade, look no further than the now-shipping Pebble Time. Everything that made the original brilliant is still on board: that affordable price, an impressive seven-day battery life and both iPhone and Android compatibility.

There are also some serious upgrades to both the software and hardware, the most notable of which are the new colour e-paper screen and the revamped Timeline OS.

Wareable verdict: Pebble Time review

$199, pebble.com | Amazon

Best for battery life

Pebble Time Steel

Best smartwatch 2015

The world had only just caught its breath from the record-breaking Pebble Time launch when the Steel version was announced. The Pebble Time Steel is thicker than its plastic brethren, making it feel much more regular watch than geek accessory.

That extra 1mm isn't a bad thing though – it means room for a larger battery, which should keep the Steel going for 10 days.

Get the big picture: Pebble Time Steel review

$249.99, pebble.com | Amazon

Most customisable

Moto 360 2

The Moto 360 2 comes in two sizes - 42mm and 46mm (two different sized displays: 1.37 or 1.56-inch) - in fact, it's three sizes if you count the different band sizes on offer. Using Moto Maker, you can choose between hundreds of different combinations of straps, bezels, finishes and colours.

Put the new Moto 360 next to the first-gen Motorola watch and you can see the subtle differences that really turn this design into a watch rather than last year's circle on a strap.

Take a look at our Moto 360 review here.

From $299.99, motorola.com | Amazon

Best for sports

Garmin Vivoactive

best smartwatch 2015

Before the Garmin Vivoactive was released, the perfect fitness device for the truly active person was a pipe dream. Arguably Garmin's first smartwatch, the Vivoactive promises full notifications on the wrist and a dizzying array of sports tracking for a relatively low price.

With running, cycling, swimming, golf and a whole lot more all on board, Garmin has combined an incredible set of fitness features with top notch notifications to create the first truly every day sports wearable.

Sadly, the dated design and questionable screen tech call into doubt whether anyone would actually want to wear the device every day, and that's a crying shame.

Full verdict: Garmin Vivoactive review

$249.99, buy.garmin.com | Amazon

Best for running

Moto 360 Sport

what is the best smartwatch on sale?

At last, an Android Wear device to match the Sony SmartWatch 3's GPS skills - the Moto 360 Sport is actually a better running aid thanks to the Moto Body app already built in.

The Moto 360 Sport boasts an AnyLight LCD display that is naturally adaptable, meaning it should be nicely backlit in dim lighting situations but be easily readable when out running in sunnier conditions.

Read our full Moto 360 Sport review.

$299, motorola.com | Amazon

Best for affordable style

LG Watch Urbane

the best smartwatch

There's no missing the Urbane, whether it's the silver or gold model you're sporting; that fully round bezel is seriously eye- and light-catching. It's a smartwatch that looks like a traditional timepiece, and unlike the more premium-looking Urbane LTE, with its classic watch shape and extra physical buttons, the regular Urbane looks much more fashionable and feminine.

It's pretty pricey though. If you really want to go all out, the LG Watch Urbane Luxe features a 23-karat gold watchcase and handcrafted alligator leather strap. It's $1,200 mind.

Check out: Full LG Watch Urbane review

$349, lg.com | Amazon

Best for display

Huawei Watch

top smartwatch best smartwatches

The stunning AMOLED display on Huawei's Android Wear debutant is a 1.4-inch, 400 x 400, one with a 286ppi count - the highest density on an Android Wear smartwatch so far.

The screen is made all the more impressive thanks to a 10,000:1 contrast ratio. Side by side with the smaller Moto 360 2 – its closest rival in terms of aesthetics – it's clearly a much clearer display. Not just because it offers genuine 360-degree visuals, but because everything just looks sharper.

Have a look at our Huawei Watch review.

From $349, consumer.huawei.com | Amazon

Your thoughts…

Have we missed your favourite device off of our list? Let us know what you think should have been included and why using the comments section below…

65 Comments

  • JoanR says:

    What about keldD?? It's the only one that has complete android and don't need a smartphone to run

    keldD smartwatch

    • OnkelPer says:

      Have you read the hole article?

      In the section about Sony Smartwatch 3 it sayes:
      "built-in GPS connectivity, which means you can leave your smartphone at home when you go for a run" ;-)

      • Erica says:

        I don't think Joan meant "run" as in go for a run.  i think (S)he meant the device is a stand-alone, and doesnt need a phone period. The whole article was great though. :)

    • OnkelPer says:

      Have you read the hole article?

      Both Sony Smartwatch 3 and Garmin Vivoactive has built-in GPS connectivity, which means you can leave your smartphone at home when you go for a run.

      Actually, Apple Watch can do the running by it self, even without GPS, once it has learned the track from a connected iPhone. 

       ;-)

      • speller says:

        he must have missed reading that part in the hole.... 

        or maybe he just ditched it?

        • RWC says:

          Yes, there was a big hole in his "whole!"

        • capnsmoozshaff says:

          When he visits Las Vegas, he stays at The Whole Year Inn

      • ClueGlue says:

        WOW, I am getting an Apple Watch, then I don't need to run, the watch can do it "by it self" but will I still lose the weight ? HEHEHE 

      • ayylmao says:

        whole*

    • fb_123197 says:

      ok i have a question, i would like a phone watch don't want a cell phone what can replace my cell phone. i have a resound hearing aid blue tooth system so all my phone needs to do is call or text. i have my own as for talking and listening in my hearing aids. i don't use the web on a phone so just talk and text and has to be able to use with verizon. 

      anyone have anything like that.

  • timmyR says:

    Olio - compatible with both iOS and Android. It may lack features, focusing on what works and what's most important. They have an interesting perspective, anyone who is considering a smartwatch should check them out.

    www.oliodevices.com

  • Rosie says:

    How about QOne? It wasn't mentioned. This smartwatch is said to be standalone. You can make calls without connecting to a smartphone. 

  • Ramzi says:

    Guys keldD is not the only phone that stands alone also gear s stands alone.

    • adjshf says:

      Yassss

  • murk616 says:

    I am not so sure if I trust this KeldD company... Their website claims that the product they have created is the "world's only ODSD, or 'Outdoor Digital Standalone Device'..."  Well, the thing is, of COURSE you're going to the be the world's only *anything* if you were the one who created aforementioned category or Title. That's like me making a claim that I am the world's first "Wicked Badass Magical More Human Than Human Upright Walking Biped."

    • DET17 says:

      So you're saying that someone else has to create the title before you create the object and be the first of it? LOL. Pretty sure the first person to label a hybrid engine claimed to be the first to create a hybrid engine, as for every other revolutionary invention. The difference with them and you is that they created a device that differentiates from reliant technology while you followed a lame overused thought process of "let's create a new name for humans by throwing a bunch of relevant scientific words for labeling humans to try to seem intelligent and get people to go 'oh yeah go that guy!' and compare that to how stupid this company is for doing their job of promoting their product."

  • TheWerewolf says:

    Personally, I think the ZenWatch is more stylish than the Urbane - but I like minimalism and slimness in a watch, so the LG choices all seem big and clunky with too many lumpy bits.

    That being said - I do like the round watch design. I think I'll wait for the Moto 360/2 though.

    • xToddrick says:

      Why do you want a round display on a device that displays data, images, and video?  is your smartphone, table, computer monitor, or television round?  Do you write on round paper?  Round is great for displaying analog time; smartwatches do much more than that.

  • Tampatec says:

    I had , Sony watch connection sucks and moto 360 nice but battery sucks, samsung gear horizontal display sucks,  then got pebble great battery and functional but looks like a toy finally got lg r and urbane watches are great I even went to water park and pool no prob android update makes watch have more options and bubble cloud or mini launcher make navigation a breeze and I store my music on watch and connect bt headset to watch to listen to my mp3 or watch YouTube vids from watch yes with sound . I even did video review on my tampatec youtube channel. 

    • naw says:

      OMG.  Punctuation, dude!!  

  • Saveen says:

    I just read a comment saying that Samsung was way off the mark because of its main USP - having the ability to use the watch as an independant phone with its own sim card....i beg to differ on this ....that is wat a smart watch should be.....the day apple releases its next smart watch iteration with the features that samsung and other smart watches were bashed up for, then all these features will suddenly look cool and be very relevant and then apple will be the 'best watch' all over again...come on people ...when you write a review be unbiased....right now the apple wathc looks good and thats it...there is nothing that it can do to be a mainstream device that a smart watch should be....its a toy for the must haves....bite me !

    • WebsiteGuru says:

      YOu are 100% right ... The reason why Apple users are known as Dummy USers and Zombies is simple .....
      .... j ust like most BIAS critics, to these Zombies, a certain technology is redundant or non-existent until Apple hops on it. Gear 2 has functions far above Apple Watch. I was using Gear 2 .... 3 years ago .... 

      Gear S is far superior than Gear 2. Apple Watch cannot do half the things Gear S does ... None of the watches listed above are close to the functions on Gear S. Gear S is the only TRUE standalone smartwatch made THE leading smartphone maker. With removable straps ranging from leather to colored straps @ $29.99 - $150 ...

      .........


      Sad thing is the A GOOD NUMBER OF THE PEOPLE who write these articles are not owners of these gadgets in reality. They just fish for one sided reviews and create more misconception.

      I own Gear 2, Gear S, and LG Urbane. I am getting my Apple Watch soon (in order) for my iPhone 6 Plus. Yet I know that Apple Watch is just fancy. I have read everything on it and RUN real-time simulations on it. THE APPLE WATCH IS LIKE ANY OTHER SMARTWATCH ON THE MARKET .... except the name Apple.

      FYI ---- All smartwatches perform way BELOW the functionality of the Gear S. 
      The real Smartwatch is Gear S.

      But then I bet you this writer is an "Apple Fan Boy" who will find any reason to use only iOS and stick to it religiously.

      Buy the same watches as I have ... you will be surprised at how much of a dummy the Apple watch is .. even though I bought one.

  • southsam7 says:

    Apple will always, at least for the near future, have gushing iSheep who will buy anything they make regardless of features or price. 

    I love how the biased author says lg is pricey but not apple! They are the same price!

    • xToddrick says:

      The Apple Watch is the best smartwatch currently available; build quailty, two sizes, and they were smart enough to use a rectangular display as opposed to a round one. Round displays are great for display analog time but not for data, images, and video.

      • HanySaid says:

        umm, actually because Apple is often behind the trend, it is still a rectangular display. Practically everyone started with rectangular, now the trend is round display, and next month Apple's new watch is, yea sorry to disappoint you, ROUND!

        • xToddrick says:

          So are you also hoping for a round smartphone?  And you're right, I would be disappointed if Apple made a round smartwatch.

      • McTrollyTroll says:

        Don't be a square Toddy poo.

        • xToddrick says:

          Actually I was being a rectangle, not a square.

  • helingfeng says:

    coll

  • Dave16 says:

    I dont see any mention of the Vector smart watch with its claimed 30 day battery life and watch forst approach?

  • fanning23 says:

    I saw a new smart band CT Band and I m looking forward to it!! It seems that we won't need to change our watch any more, but only the watch strap to get connected! http://www.ct-band.com/en/

  • TimCD says:

    No mention here about the BLOCKS modular smartwatch? Looks really exciting and just about to finish on Kickstarter at about 600% of their original target. Potentially very interesting as you can swap and change the modules you need as and when you like. #chooseblocks

  • boagzee says:

    horrible site. banner takes up quarter of browser screen. FAIL.

    • Ianrak0 says:

      idk who you all are needing to look at video and pictures on your fuckin watch. If you don't like a round display then you don't wear watches. Why, after over a hundred years of the watch/clock being invented should it be displayed in a square fashion on your wrist? Ugly

  • naomimendes12 says:

    Hey Guys!! Find top sites offering best deals and attractive discounts on latest smartwatches only at bestsmartwatchoffers .com

    • anaidabasit18 says:

      Great Share! Got the best price for the SmartWatch i was looking for 

  • Ekaye86 says:

    No mention of the Huawei watch, which has the best resolution (400x400), AMOLED screen on the market right now, making it not only elegant and stylish, it is crisp and smooth interface.  Way better than the LG Urbane

  • Barry says:

    Really why not just say they are all good. The LG Urbane is awesome why its so far down the list is unreal. Samsung sucks full stop. Apple looks like a takeoff off the ipod nano watch and a complete design flop and only worth buying if you are a fan of that eco system. And you missed one of the most amazing and next on my shopping list the Karios Hybrid watch.

  • Chimues says:

    waist of time and money ... Sorry guys.! 

    • pere says:

      when you get bored...

  • wildspirit1981 says:

    Seems an interesting list but could you include reviews and feedback on GoClever products? They have 4 different smartwatches with different sensors. Two of them offer a week or more of battery life. If I understood well some of them also have different sensors so that they can independently monitor walking distance ecc. 

    I would be very interested to see how they stand up against the Pebble, the Gear S and others, especially in relation to their fitness monitoring prowess. thanks

  • abs123 says:

    Where's the Huawei Watch, awesome watch..........

  • papasmurph says:

    What is rather opaque is where the actual processing is being made. Making a watch where all app processing is done on the smartphone, and the watch is only used as a user interface, would be very cheap to produce, and it seems several of the listed phones use that method. I'm not saying that's bad, only that e.g. $300 would be a lot for a watch that doesn't do any heavy lifting.

  • jamaludeen says:

    my favourite is 

    Tag Heuer Connected

  • DalalRV says:

    I have two phones with me one Samsung android and one Apole iOS which is the best smart watch as am always on the go... Plus in a fast moving city like Mumbai, India has a lot of smartwatch options but am very confused. Pls help

  • anthoang says:

    I'm actually looking for a new smartwatch with a camera.  I have the Samsung Gear 2 (with the camera).  This is by far the most useful feature on my smartwatch.  Yet, there are no new smartphones with a camera.  What's up with that?

    • JohnnyNumbers says:

      I have been looking for one too!  The only ones I found were cheap chinese ones on Gear Best website.

  • pere says:

    for battery you did not mention cogito classic, 1 year without charging

  • quepasajohn says:

    I have the pebble time steel with a leather band.  It has been as much of a game changer as buying a smart phone.  It alerts for meeting notices, shows my schedule and meeting locations, get texts, reply to texts with templates or voice translation, timer for cooking or brewing tea, sleep monitor, music controls, buzzes if I forget my phone and leave bluetooth range; I never forget my phone at home, work or anywhere else anymore.  I can make the phone play music from the watch so I can find it in the couch cushions.  The long battery life allows me to use it as an alarm clock, It can't be on your wrist if you charge it at night. It wakes me up without disrupting my spouse who wakes up later. Those are the main features I use, oh and determining the current time and date.  I imagine the other smart watches are also good, but I have no regrets buying the pebble time steel. Mine is paired with a Galaxy S5.  It cannot reply to text when paired with an Apple phone and I had connection problems with a Droid Maxx. 

    • tpeelstand says:

      I love my Pebble Time Steel. I have it paired with my iPhone 6s and it works great. From what I have been reading they are working on getting the reply features to work so users can replay to texts (using either voice or short pre-set messages) from their watch. Currently, only AT&T customers can do this (at least with iPhones I don't know about Andriod phones).

  • YourReviewBest says:

    I am so much in love with the Apple Watch. Even though it is a little more expensive than its competitors, it is trustworthy and performs very well with my iphone. 

  • racheldsilva91 says:

    Pebble watches are now on sale only at SmartwatchOffers:com

  • 01503938 says:

    So to give something to Apple, you created a dubious category. Best ios. blah blah idiots.

  • goran says:

    respected , all praise for notification but I want to know where you can buy and how much arrow smartwach ? If you have any information regarding the possible purchase of the hours I would be very grateful

  • Joris says:

    i am missing the watches from Tomtom for example the Tomtom spark (https://www.tomtom.com/nl_nl/sports/fitness-watches/ ) it includes quick gps, built in heart monitor and even a 3Gb storage for music and a 24/7 activity trainer. Plus you can also swim with it and it measures your distance, stroke etc.

  • tpeelstand says:

    I love my Pebble Time Steel. pair very well with my iPhone 6s. No complaints here!

  • Andrewgprice says:

    I've had two iwatches (horrible POS products that sealed my disdain for Apple after using their products since 1981--I'm OUT), two Fitbit watches (solid products) and the Basis Peak (OK product but ugly w terrible software) and have been messing around w smart watches for awhile.  I'm a gadget NERD and fitness and adrenaline junkie.  I've now how two Garmin fenix watches and LOVE 'em.  A little spendy but super rugged, nice looking, tons of features, the fenix3 HR has a built in heart rate monitor and the notifications function is awesome.  Also gives me a barometer, altimeter, built in GPS so I can leave my phone at home, etc.. What blows about it: the Garmin Connect app doesn't talk to Strava and I'm quite sure my HR data and altimeter data are always off.  Sometimes by a fair bit.  But because the watch has OTA updates, I'm hopeful they can upgrade the sensors w software. These watches definitely blow everything else I've seen away.  Battery life is something like 3 days, maybe longer.  Love it.  Hopeful they can dial in Connect a bit more.  

  • comment says:

    Is there any which is not the best.

  • AkshAgarwal says:

    I completely agree that Samsung gear s2 is best because of a main feature of it known as Bluetooth standalone mode which make's it very easy to reduce battery consumption caused by Bluetooth connectivity so it can be used as a watch and can be connected to phone when required

  • Arjunrathi says:

    Hello, sir I am using blackberry z30 mobilebphone. I want to buy smart watch. Than tell me which smart watch I choose whoz easily connect and proper working on my BlackBerry mobile. Plz tell me?? 

  • kron says:

    The one thing I want to know is why don't these perverted and deluded Applewellian.... Steve Jobs is Alive Cult Member Writers never include Galaxy S2 Cellular Carrier Models in any comparisons? Samsung Gear S2 offers the best all around experience on top of being the only Big Name Brand that makes most of the parts that go into a lot of their competitors devices too!

    It's just insane to consider Apple's Watch as even close to the best, when; 1. Battery Life SUCKS!  2. No power and Apps are forced to use the phone for computing w/ huge lag, slowness and freeze ups. 3. The design has not one a single design award... except for ones Apple bought! 4. The Immersion Lawsuit on Taptic will be HUGE and could have them all banned if not recalled and pulled off the market, if Immersion wants to get really nasty (which they've been known to do w/ even the biggest companies). 

    Immersion already has precedent setting cases establishing it as the creator of Haptic Technologies. Apple ain't going to get away without Paying Up on License Fees. They will be forced to pay just like Sony, Microsoft, Google, HTC, Motorola, Huawei, Lenovo, HP, etc et all that are paying now! ......their patents are so very well vetted now Apple yet has no viable argument to fight them. Only thing this lawsuit will set is if Apple violates their patents and it couldn't be more obvious that they are!

    I checked with friends who own smartwatches of all kinds. I personally have had around a dozen wearables since Samsung invented WatchPhone in 1999. I still have many different brands, but when smartwatches in general dropped Cellular Connectivity..... I was even disappointed with original Gear smartwatch without the Cellular calling I've always had in older models of wearable phones. 

    That changed when original Gear S came out. Carriers run contracts and you end up paying almost nothing for the Smartwatch Tel Number and 3G Data Service. In the meantime I never have to carry my smartphone even if I don't need it. Recently I bought Gear S2 and it's changed my life. I hardly know I'm wearing it.... it has stand alone calling... fitness tracking.... IoT hookups... Maps.... ebay.... Amazon... which enable me to use them on the fly on the other side of the earth if I want. My cars even connect to it via OBD-II Sensor BT reader and is so handy while I'm driving with CarO with Gear App. Again I don't have to have cellular data in my car and I don't even need to have my phone with me for this to all work!!! AND THAT'S WHY IN ALL REALITY GEAR S2 IS BY FAR THE BEST SMARTWATCH AND ONLY TOP BRAND SMARTWATCH PHONE AVAILABLE!!! 

  • AnnetteS says:

    I miss a category for best feminine looking smartwatch :)

  • Naveen says:

    Great round-up of smartwatches. I love the design of Sony smartwatch. It's sleek and elegant. Smartwatches being 'hot' tech trend , it's not surprising to see so many players are releasing their versions of smartwatches.

  • rickbhat86 says:

    I like Samsung Gear S2 better than any other

  • sashikanth says:

    you seem to have the latest that is high on the brute factor and much improved for those who run, swim, hike and wouldnt mind an activity tracker too... Fenix 3 HR

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