If you're an iPhone owner and you want a new smartwatch, the new Apple Watch Series 3 isn't your only choice. Yes, it's a fantastic device and winner of Wareable's Smartwatch of the Year, but it's not for everyone's taste and hardly wallet-friendly.
Luckily, there's a whole host of iOS-compatible smartwatches on the market with features that Cupertino's device has yet to include.
Plus, of course, Android Wear is compatible with iOS and so are Samsung's latest Gear smartwatches. So iPhone users have plenty of options to choose from and it's only improved since the rollout of Wear 2.0.
So, if you find the new LTE-enabled Apple Watch a little too pricey or just not to your taste, we've rounded up a selection of the best alternatives to pick from, any of which will sync seamlessly with your iPhone with zero fuss.
Samsung Gear Sport
The Samsung Gear Sport is not a replacement for the Gear S3, instead it's an upgrade to the Gear S2 and brings it closer to Apple's sports tracking skills. The new waterproof design brings dedicated swim tracking to accompany the built-in GPS for running and cycling along with the on-board heart rate monitor. On the smartwatch front, it'll offer the same strong notification support as the S3, Samsung Pay and Spotify offline playlist support.
That rotating bezel is still there to navigate Samsung's Tizen OS and it still manages to eek out more battery life than the Watch Series 3 too. It doesn't however have LTE support, but if you want that, you can go for the Gear S3 instead. For a full verdict, take a read of our Samsung Gear Sport review.
If Samsung or Android Wear don't do it for you, then there's always Fitbit's first smartwatch to consider. Like the Watch Series 3, it's all about fitness. So it's got a waterproof design along with swim tracking, built-in GPS to track runs and rides and an onboard heart rate monitor to measure workout intensity.
You can also expect the usual Fitbit fitness tracking features including arguably the best sleep monitoring features of any wearable we've tried recently.
As far as core smartwatch features are concerned, it supports first and third party notifications, has an onboard music player and offline playback support for Pandora (in the US) and you can download apps. Although, there's not a lot of those available yet. There's also contactless payment support via Fitbit Pay.
Unlike Apple's smartwatch, it does work with Android, iOS and Windows smartphones and with up to 5 days battery life you don't need to charge it every night. It's a strong alternative, and one that's going to improve over the next year as Fitbit builds on the strong array of sensors.
Read our Fitbit Ionic review.
Nokia Steel HR
Offering the Apple Watch a run for its money in terms of wellness tech, the Nokia Steel HR is a serious fitness tracker disguised as a classic Swiss watch. The optical heart rate sensor offers decent analysis of your daily heart rate and tracks resting heart rate over time – arguably doing better than the Apple Watch in this department.
And despite being an analogue watch, it's not without a screen. A discreet OLED panel displays relevant health stats, and some notifications, so you won't miss a call.
Of course, without GPS the Steel HR is no watch for Apple's smartwatch for outdoor runs, cycling and workouts, but it does offer automatic detection of exercise and will monitor your heart rate during a session and count that into your daily goal. It's also an excellent sleep tracker, which fills a hole left wide open by the Apple Watch, and it offers 25 days of tracking on a single charge.
It's a different proposition, but those mainly interested in the Apple Watch as a fitness tracker would do well to consider the Steel HR.
Check out our Nokia Steel HR review.
With the demise of Pebble, the Ticwatch E is now our plucky smartwatch start-up of choice. We previously recommended the feature-packed Ticwatch 2 with its independent Ticwear OS, plus GPs, heart rate and more. That's still work a look for those seeking something leftfield, but we're now switching our official backing to the new Ticwatch E.
It runs Android Wear, and strips back features to a minimum, but at the tantalising price of $159.99, it's a solid Apple Watch alternative. It has a 1.4-inch OLED display with a solid 400 x 400 resolution, which matches up well it the Apple Watch's screen.
The design is fun and quirky, and it's a nice relief from the monotony of the same old brands – but with the certainty and stability of Android Wear under the hood.
Check out our review of the Ticwatch E.
LG Watch Sport
The next stop on your tour of Apple Watch alternatives should be our recommended Android Wear all-rounder, the LG Watch Sport. It's the flagship device for the revamped Wear 2.0 with solid fitness chops and built-in GPS, a full and untethered experience away from your phone via LTE, not to mention NFC for payments. If you want a do-it-all smartwatch then you could do much worse than the good-looking and clever flagship LG smartwatch.
Read our full LG Watch Sport review.
Garmin Vivoactive 3
The Apple Watch offers a solid sports tracking experience, but with the Vivoactive 3, it's designed for those who dabble in a lot of sports. It'll cover running, cycling, golf and more via its Connect IQ store. It will even cover gym workouts with the addition of rep counting. Garmin Pay has been added into the mix letting you make payments from the wrist, and improved notification support that now lets you respond to your messages.
The battery life is top notch and the new circular design is a massive step up from its predecessor the Vivoactive HR. Get our definitive take with our Garmin Vivoactive 3 review.
Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45
Yes, this is the most expensive Android Wear watch out there by some distance, but if you want a luxurious smartwatch around your wrist, it doesn't get much better than this.
Essential reading: Upcoming smartwatches to look out for
Tag's second Connected looks like a classic Tag for starters, with first-class build quality and a host of impressively detailed custom watch faces. Android Wear 2.0 is there keeping things running but it definitely takes more of a backseat than on Wear alternatives from LG, Motorola and company. With NFC and GPS onboard, you're well looked after no matter what you need. Tag is definitely onto a winner here – check out our full Modular 45 review for more details.
The stylish Misfit Vapor offers a nice alternative to the Apple Watch in a couple of ways while still appealing to Apple fans. First up, it has a round OLED screen, albeit at a one size fits all 44mm (bigger than Cupertino's watch). Next, there's a handy touch bezel and one button at the crown position which means you shouldn't have to smudge your finger over that screen too much.
With Android Wear 2.0 (not its own custom OS as promised), an optical heart rate monitor and water resistance up to 50m, the Vapor is a very capable all-rounder. As it's compatible with both iOS and Android, it could steal sales from both the Apple Watch Series 3 and older models.
Read our Misfit Vapor review.
Fossil Q Accomplice
Fossil's hybrid collection is well worth checking out. The series puts activity tracking and smartwatch notifications via vibration behind a classic analogue wrist watch and all the smarts are provided by wearable giant Misfit, which Fossil acquired in early 2016.
2017's cohort, which includes the new Q Accomplice, are smaller, slimmer and have new smart 'pusher' buttons. They're selling buckets for Fossil, and for many, make more sense and provide greater wearability than a full-on smartwatch, while offering many of the benefits. Also worth a look if you have the money is the Kronaby smartwatch.
Read this: Fossil Q Accomplice review
While the bigger Huawei Watch 2 is now available, the first Huawei Watch is every bit the luxury opposite number on the Android Wear side of things. Unsurprisingly then, the price tags are roughly shoulder to shoulder.
There are plenty of metal link straps to choose from and options of rose gold too, but it's the pin-sharp 10,000:1 contrast display that will probably catch your eye. The missing GPS is the only blot on its copybook but otherwise it's a very cool customer – and now compatible with iPhone, of course. Take a look at our full Huawei Watch review to see what we love and hate about the sleek Android Wear watch.
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