1. Quick picks
  2. Key considerations
  3. Apple Watch Series 9
  4. Apple Watch SE (2nd generation)
  5. Apple Watch Ultra 2
  6. Garmin Venu 3
  7. Huawei Watch GT 4
  8. Huawei Watch 4 Pro
  9. Fitbit Sense 2
  10. Garmin Epix Gen 2 / Fenix 7
  11. Withings ScanWatch 2
  12. Amazfit Active

10 best smartwatches for iPhone – and Apple Watch alternatives

Because the Apple Watch isn't right for everyone
Wareable best watches for iphone
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If you're an iPhone owner hunting for a smartwatch, the Apple Watch is the most natural choice. And with the launch of the new Series 9 and Ultra 2, there's more choice than ever.

Regardless of which model you choose, Apple's smartwatches are generally more expensive than alternative options from the likes of Garmin, Huawei, and Fitbit.

Then, there's the battery issue. For many, the 1-2 days of  battery life simply isn't enough - and many rivals perform much better.

Add all this to the reservation you may have about the square design of the Apple Watch, and there are plenty of reasons for iPhone users to look for an Apple Watch alternative.

We've tested all the top options, so read on for our guide to the best smartwatches for iPhone users to consider in 2023.

Quick picks

Key considerations

1. Battery life

The Apple Watch’s Achilles heel is battery life, and Apple only promises 18 hours between charges (although we usually get 36). But you might be surprised to know that it’s a relative outlier. Most smartwatches now offer a week or more away from the charger, which is a huge draw away from Apple's smartwatch. However, if you're willing to spend, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 will last around 2-3 days.

2. Price

Apple Watch starts at $269/£299 for the SE (2nd gen) and $399/£419 for the Series 9. And the new Apple Watch Ultra 2 comes in at a whopping $799/£849. Alternatives are available for less than $99/£99 albeit with serious sacrifices in terms of features and screen tech. However, quality Apple Watch alternatives are available for under $200/£200, should you want to keep costs down.

3. Apps and iOS

The Apple Watch is one of the few smartwatches with a burgeoning App Store, and there’s not a single alternative that can rival this aspect. So by opting for an Apple Watch alternative, you might miss out on your favorite 3rd party services, such as Spotify, Google Maps, or your favorite workout-tracking app. That also extends to features like Apple Pay or LTE, which Apple does better than its rivals.

Apple Watch Series 9

WareableApple Watch Series 9 review photo 2


The Apple Watch Series 9 seems like a minor update, but its new features enable it to stay a leading choice for iPhone users.

First up, select models are carbon-neutral thanks to 100% recycled aluminum cases and new Sport Loop straps – so it's a better choice for the environment.

The screen is now remarkably brighter, doubling its brightness to 2000 nits. The inclusion of the S9 chip introduces a 30% faster GPU and a four-core Neural Engine enables gesture control and a better, faster Siri.

The new double-tap finger gesture, while not an essential feature is cool – and anyone who loves getting the latest tech won't want to miss it. It feels futuristic and we feel this will drive innovation across smartwatches.

Elsewhere, the Series 9 is the same great mix of sports tracking, potentially life-saving ECG, high/low HR alerts and fall detection, and the incredible App Store and Apple Pay. Sleep tracking and fitness tracking are starting to feel a little dated, and the Series 9 is not as good at wellness features as Garmin/Whoop.

Battery life is still the biggest downside at just 18 hours officially, although we always found around 25-30 with an hour's workout tracking. It's just enough, but if you intend to use the sleep tracking, it makes keeping the Series 9 charged quite annoying.

Read our full Apple Watch Series 9 review.

  • Love the new gesture
  • Superb, unisex design
  • Incredible health-tracking capabilities
  • Unmatched app store
  • One-day battery life
  • Not great at wellness analysis

Apple Watch SE (2nd generation)

Wareable10 best smartwatches for iPhone – and Apple Watch alternatives Non Imported photo 12


The Apple Watch SE (second generation) is now the affordable Apple Watch option and replaced the aging Series 3.

The package is still fairly comprehensive here for the asking price, although the compromises are clear and easy to understand.

You sacrifice the new edge-to-edge screen, and an always-on display, and you don't get ECG or SpO2.

However, you still get all the incredible sports tracking and activity monitoring features of the more expensive Apple Watch models and all the benefits of the incredible App Store. This helps elevate the device above its competitors.

Apple has included the S8 chip in this second-gen version of the SE, too, and it ensures the experience is just as zippy (and will likely continue to be) as with the Series 8. This will also future-proof the SE so that it will comfortably run plenty of watchOS upgrades to come.  However, you won't get any of the gesture features found on the new Series 9/Ultra 2.

  • Same S8 chip as Apple Watch Series 8
  • Superb value - and now an even lower price
  • Comprehensive features and tracking
  • Only works with iPhone
  • No Always-On display
  • Not a huge leap forward from the original Apple Watch SE

Apple Watch Ultra 2

Wareable10 best smartwatches for iPhone – and Apple Watch alternatives Non Imported photo 12


The Apple Watch Ultra 2 introduces several enhancements without deviating from last year's design – other than it's now carbon neutral, with 95% recycled titanium when paired with one of the new straps.

It boasts a 33% increase in screen brightness, and the new S9 SiP chip introduces a four-core Neural Engine, which enables the brilliant new 'double-tap' gesture control feature, and faster Siri response times.

It's still an incredible smartwatch, which most importantly solves the battery life anxiety of the standard Series 9. Battery life surpasses Apple’s 36-hour promise, and we found it generally lasted into a third day with average use. 

Sports tracking remains potent, with top GPS accuracy and incredibly feature-rich running and cycling modes – and we found VO2 Max accuracy to be spot on too. The compass app has been given some new features, and TOPO mapping is slowly rolling out in the US.

However, while it gets all of the lifesaving health features of the Series 9, wellness features and health data metrics may seem basic for users desiring the kind of comprehensive insights found on Garmin, Oura or Whoop. 

It's still the best version of the Apple Watch, but owners of the first-gen Ultra won't have too many reasons to upgrade.

  • Amazing sports watch
  • The display is a thing of beauty
  • An end to battery anxiety
  • Needs some native software tweaks
  • Battery life still isn't amazing
  • Not the prettiest case design

Garmin Venu 3

Best Apple Watch alternative

Wareable10 best smartwatches for iPhone – and Apple Watch alternatives Non Imported photo 17


The Garmin Venu 3 goes head-to-head with the Apple Watch Series 9, aimed especially at sports and health enthusiasts.

It comes in two available sizes (45mm and 41mm) with options for varied colors and features like the Sleep Coach and an automatic nap detection mechanism, which personalizes sleep requirements based on numerous metrics.

The Venu 3 is two things. A sporty smartwatch with a host of fairly basic sports profiles, and for a Garmin, produces quite low-level data for running, cycling – and also HIIT. There are decent golf features with distances for 40,000 courses built in.

The other half is a wellness watch, with in-depth metrics such as the new sleep coach (as mentioned above) but also Morning Report and HRV Status, Body Battery, stress tracking, and metrics such as respiration rate and heart rate.

Despite its enhanced GPS functionality and inclusion of the advanced Elevate V5 heart rate sensor, it omits multi-band GNSS. It also includes ECG to spot check heart rhythms for Afib.

Battery life is 10 to 14 days depending on the model size, so far better than Apple Watch.

And here's the kicker: at $449.99/£449.99 it's really expensive. But the company just launched the Vivoactive 5 at a fraction of the price.

  • Lots of sports tracking
  • Plenty of health metrics
  • Too expensive
  • No-where near as slick as Apple Watch
  • Basic sports data 

Huawei Watch GT 4

Best for design

Wareable10 best smartwatches for iPhone – and Apple Watch alternatives Non Imported photo 17


The Huawei Watch GT 4 is a quality all-rounder smartwatch, striking a balance between price, design, and fitness features.

Boasting two size options, the GT 4 not only embraces classic watch aesthetics with its 46mm variant and a redesigned 41mm option.

The display, a 1.43-inch 466 x 466 AMOLED touchscreen, offers vibrant colors and excellent viewing angles, ensuring visual clarity.

The Huawei Watch GT 4 offers generally good health and sports tracking, offering a broad spectrum of metrics and accurate data, from heart rate to GPS distance. Running is well handled, and the company has added Strava integration.

Sleep tracking is also fairly solid, and while we did find its sleep duration estimates a little generous, it's consistent and helpful enough to get value from. And the new snoring and breathing monitoring features add another layer to its health metrics. 

However, the lack of a robust ecosystem, especially in areas like apps and payments, is noticeable and stands out as a significant drawback to the Apple Watch SE.

But the tradeoff is much-improved battery life. If you want to get 14 days you will need to forego features like the always-on display – but you should get 6 days with all the bells and whistles turned on. And that makes it a worthy Apple Watch alternative.

Priced starting at £229/€249, it offers good value, though with noticeable trade-offs in features compared to high-end competitors.

  • Solid 6 days of heavy use 
  • Good running and fitness features
  • Almost no access to third-party apps
  • Payments non-existent

Huawei Watch 4 Pro

Best for diving

Wareable10 best smartwatches for iPhone – and Apple Watch alternatives Non Imported photo 17


A really powerful, alternative to the Apple Watch, the Huawei Watch 4 Pro brings premium materials, a lovely screen, and plenty of health features – and superior battery life as well.

The Huawei Watch 4 is everything great about what Huawei is doing with its wearables at the moment – but still suffers from some core issues.

We'll start with the good stuff. You can expect around three days of battery life with everything turned on, and you could push this to around five without the always-on display enabled. It's not as high as other Huawei watches (like the Watch GT 3) but still outstrips the standard Apple Watch.

It's a fitness powerhouse with good running accuracy and loads of fitness metrics – which got a clean bill of health in our testing.

Health features also excelled, with ECG on board, and the Health Snapshot feature, which also checks arterial and respiratory health.

The downsides are the things the Watch 4 Pro doesn't have. No NFC for payments, no music streaming services, or a proper app store means that the Watch 4 can't match the Apple Watch in many respects. But it's still an enjoyable smartwatch to use and a worthy alternative.

Read our in-depth Huawei Watch 4 review.

  • Good health and fitness features
  • Lovely design and materials
  • Three-day battery life
  • As pricey as an Apple Watch Series 8
  • No NFC payments or apps

Fitbit Sense 2

Best for health insights

WareableSense 2


A powerful health watch (but an average smartwatch), the Fitbit Sense 2 is one of the only devices that can match up with the Apple Watch Series 9 as a medical device.

It excels as a sleep tracker and heart rate monitor, and it boasts ECG for the detection of Afib, and SpO2, which is linked to sleep tracking for the detection of sleep disorders.

Add in an electrodermal activity sensor (EDA) for stress detection, and even a temperature sensor to put you in tune with your body and health, and there's a lot to like.

And it's no slouch when it comes to fitness either, with GPS and support for Strava.

Few devices put you in control of this much data about your body, but there are caveats.

The Fitbit Sense 2 isn't an amazing smartwatch. Though Google Wallet has now arrived on the device, third-party apps are virtually non-existent and the watch face gallery is clunky and full of paid-for options with a bizarre payment process.

There are not that many on-watch features, either, making it a very basic smartwatch to use outside of activity tracking features. But you do get around six days of battery life, and a seriously rapid fast charge.

If you're looking to get the maximum amount of health data from your smartwatch, the Fitbit Sense 2 is a good choice.

  • ECG and great health features
  • The side button design is much improved
  • Week of battery life
  • Clunky operating system
  • Expensive asking price
  • Stress tracking is only okay

Garmin Epix Gen 2 / Fenix 7

Best outdoors alternative 

WareableGarmin Epix Gen 2


The Garmin Epix burst into the sports watch range in 2022 – as a Fenix 7 without compromises. The headline feature is that touchscreen 1.3-inch, 416 x 416-pixel resolution AMOLED display, offering the best of Garmin’s sports watch range, with a more pleasing, high-end experience.

We’re also bigging up the Fenix 7 here, although its transflective display pales (literally) in comparison to full AMOLED rivals such as the Apple Watch.

The 47mm case will be too big for some, but now the Epix Pro comes in 42mm. If you have thin wrists, it’s a bit of bulk to carry, with a 22mm strap and tipping the scales at 78g. But it's 2mm smaller than the Apple Watch Ultra and delivers serious sports tracking power.

There’s an insane array of sports tracking modes, top-notch analytics, mapping on the wrist, Firstbeat VO2 Max and training insights, and the new Stamina tracking. However, in testing, we found that improvements could be made to sleep tracking and the usefulness of elements such as stress tracking and Body Battery.

The Epix still musters a surprisingly long period away from the charger. Garmin says you should get up to 16 days of battery life in smartwatch mode, with 6 days if you use the screen in always-on mode.

You get to 42 hours in GPS mode (30 hours in always-on mode) and 21 days in battery-saver mode, so it’s in a different league compared to the Apple Watch.

In short, the Garmin Epix is the closest we’ve seen to a no-compromise Garmin sports watch – but with a price tag that eclipses most rivals. And don't rule out the Garmin Forerunner 965, either, if you want that AMOLED display in a cheaper package that can still track activity with the best of them.

  • Huge battery life
  • Sports tracking powerhouse
  • So Expensive
  • Massive on the wrist

Withings ScanWatch 2

Best hybrid alternative

WareableGarmin Epix Gen 2


If your eye has been caught by the advanced health tracking capabilities of the Apple Watch Series 9, then the ScanWatch 2 is a fine alternative.

The key difference is that the ScanWatch 2 is an analogue watch  that hides its smarts away. There is a small screen: a monochrome OLED panel that shows basic stats and notifications, positioned on the dial.

In terms of features, strong heart rate tracking, sleep monitoring and ECG for the detection of Afib round out a health focused smartwatch, with good accuracy and plenty of insights. 

What's more, the ScanWatch 2 will look for breathing issues during sleep, and detect high/low heart rate.

And it will still track workouts, and even GPS if you take your phone along with you.

We did find a few issues. Automatic workout detection is poor, and sleep accuracy lagged the likes of Oura and Whoop. And of course, you don't get things like payments or apps.

But the 30 day battery life is also the antithisis of a single day on Apple Watch.

If you don't want a computer on the wrist, the ScanWatch 2 is a powerful and discreet health smartwatch.

Read our full Withings ScanWatch 2 review


  • Stylish design
  • Tracks health metrics like heart rate and sleep
  • Connected GPS (via smartphone)
  • Can track activities like running and cycling


  • Does not have a touchscreen
  • Does not have built-in payments
  • Not as many apps as the Apple Watch

Amazfit Active

Best budget alternative

WareableGarmin Epix Gen 2


If cost is your main issue with the Apple Watch – and the cheaper Watch SE – then the Amazfit Active is the place to go.

We booted out the bargain Bip from this list in favour of the Active, which comes in at around $149/£129. For that it offers excellent GPS tracked outdoor workouts, with solid heart rate tracking (as long as you wear it nice and tight).

Sleep duration is a little over-estimated, but consistantly tracked with tons of data. And the Zepp Health app is a great place to review your health and sleep data.

Amazfit has added a new Readiness feature, which apes the likes of Oura and Whoop to produce an insightful, single score on how well your body is recovered for the day.

Finally, the battery will last nearly two weeks – a stat to be smug about to your Apple-toting friends.

While not a looker and made of plastic, the Active still manages to be slim, light and comfortable. And the full AMOLED display offers good usability, in a package that certainly belies its price tag.

Read our Amazfit Active review

  • Great battery life
  • Solid GPS and sports features
  • Slim and light
  • Budget OS
  • A little fiddly to use

How we test

James Stables


James is the co-founder of Wareable, and he has been a technology journalist for 15 years.

He started his career at Future Publishing, James became the features editor of T3 Magazine and T3.com and was a regular contributor to TechRadar – before leaving Future Publishing to found Wareable in 2014.

James has been at the helm of Wareable since 2014 and has become one of the leading experts in wearable technologies globally. He has reviewed, tested, and covered pretty much every wearable on the market, and is passionate about the evolving industry, and wearables helping people achieve healthier and happier lives.

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