Buying the best Android Wear smartwatch is harder than ever. There is an ever-expanding range of Android Wear smartwatches on sale, from a whole host of different brands - and there are more exciting models in the pipeline for 2017.
Android Wear 2.0 has just arrived and with smartwatches from the likes of Michael Kors, Nixon, New Balance, LG and Polar hitting the shops in the last few months, and new watches from the likes of Tag Heuer, Casio and ZTE coming soon, there's plenty to be excited about.
If you want to buy one now – here's the main event: the juicy details on the top Android watches on the market…
(Getting to grips with the platform can be tricky, so when you do bag yourself a brand new smartwatch, make sure you check out our Android Wear hub of tutorials to help get the most from your device.)
Top pick: LG Watch Sport
The flag-carrier for Android Wear 2.0, the LG Watch Sport is the undisputed king of the Wear world right now. It taps into the rich feature set of Google's updated smartwatch platform and doesn't disappoint.
The 1.38-inch, 480 x 480 P-OLED display is, pixel for pixel (348ppi), the best Wear display, so far. It's also got the most oomph in the engine room with a 1.1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor and 768MB of RAM. What that means in the real world is a super snappy Wear experience with the new standalone apps loading without a stutter.
But it's the inclusion of the GPS / NFC / LTE connectivity trio that really set it apart. Thanks to that holy trinity, it's the first Android Wear smartwatch that really could consider itself a genuine smartphone replacement. It's the best all-rounder from the Google stable so far, and the most likely to worry the bods over in Cupertino.
Have a look at our comprehensive LG Watch Sport review.
Smart casual classic: Huawei Watch
When we first reviewed the Huawei Watch, we called it the slickest looking Android Wear smartwatch but lamented that those good looks came at a premium.
Fast forward a year or so and, while the official RRP is still much too high, there are bargains to be had for the basic model and, given it plays nicely with the new Mode interchangeable bands and is due a Wear 2.0 update anytime soon, it's now a strong pick
The AMOLED display is a 1.4-inch, 400 x 400 screen with a 286ppi count. That was (before the Sport came along) the highest on any Android Wear device and Huawei's effort 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 better display. Not just because it offers genuine 360-degree visuals, but because everything just looks sharper.
Have a look at our Huawei Watch review.
Maximum customisation: Moto 360 2
The 2nd-gen Moto 360 may still have that annoying flat tyre at the bottom of its circular display, but the rest of the setup is very promising indeed. It comes in two sizes – 42mm and 46mm – although it's actually three if you count the different band sizes. Using the Moto Maker platform there are hundreds of different combinations of straps, bezels, finishes and colours to choose from.
On offer are two different sized displays: 1.37 or 1.56-inch. On the larger size, the resolution is 360 x 360 – a 233ppi count.
Put the 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 2014's circle on a strap.
Take a look at our Moto 360 review here.
Most stylish: Tag Heuer Connected
The Tag Heuer Connected is selling well, apparently, and while it doesn't boast the 'Swiss Made' tag of its mechanical brethren, it's by far the best example of watch craftsmanship in the Android Wear world. The build is incredibly high quality; the case, lugs and back are all made from grade 2 titanium. The display is 46mm in diameter and it's covered in crystal sapphire.
Also, you don't need to worry that your expensive smartwatch will be useless in a couple of years – at the end of the 2-year warranty period, you can use it to trade in for a mechanical Tag Heuer watch.
Best for running: Polar M600
With the Moto 360 Sport we finally had an Android Wear smartwatch to rival the Sony SmartWatch 3's GPS skills, but it's Polar's M600 which is now easily the best option for runners.
Your M600 syncs directly to Polar Flow and, not only will your smartphone be able to display all your stats, all that data is synced in the cloud so you can dig deeper using the Flow desktop client or the browser based version. What's more, if you don't trust the optical heart rate monitor on the M600 (you really should though), you can pair it with a dedicated chest strap - and it doesn't even have to be a Polar one.
Best for outdoor pursuits: Casio WSD-F10
Casio's Smart Outdoor Watch landed at CES 2016 and is a million miles from another me-too everyday watch. Designed for outdoorsy types who are looking for a waterproof (50m), shockproof and vibration proof wearable that's certified to US military standards (MIL-STD0810).
The 1.32-inch LCD touchscreen has an interesting twist. There's a second monochrome display that can be used instead of the colour panel; instead of the single day usage from the main screen, using the monochrome screen boosts battery life to a month.
Forget trying to marry this with your work attire, you wouldn't even be able to get it under your jacket cuff, let alone your shirt. It's not uncomfortable though; it's much lighter than you'd think and the chunky rubber strap provides a secure fit.
The most unisex: Michael Kors Access
The Michael Kors Access series consists of two styles: the Bradshaw Access and Dylan Access, based on bestselling women's and men's Michael Kors watches. The Bradshaw is the more female-friendly version but is chunky enough to look good on a man's wrist too. At 14mm thick and weighing more than 110g, it is on the larger, weightier end of watches aimed at women.
For extra style points you get a collection of of 10 bespoke Michael Kors branded faux-analogue and faux-digital watch faces and you can set up day and night modes too.
A big tick for the Michael Kors Access is that it boasts the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 chip as well.
Have a read of our Michael Kors Access review.
For nostalgics: Fossil Q Marshal
Picking up from the Q Founder and looking a heck of a lot like the Moto 360, complete with a chunky chassis and that ever-so-annoying flat tyre at the bottom of the circular display, the latest Fossil Android Wear smartwatch (alongside the Q Wander) went on sale in August 2016.
There isn't a great deal to write home about for Fossil's AW collection, but if you're a tech collector and like the look of a chunky metal watch, a watch from the Q range could be a useful addition. Especially if you happen to own the 2002 Palm Pilot.
Read our Fossil Q Marshal review.
For gnarly dudes: Nixon The Mission
Nixon's surf and skiing smartwatch shows that Android Wear can be more than just another OS on the wrist. The Mission is an unashamed monster action smartwatch, with the surf and slopes firmly in its sights.
The 48mm case dwarves most Casio G-Shock timepieces and it's every bit as large as the Casio smartwatch. The rugged design is water-resistant to 10 ATM and is adorned in 316L surgical grade stainless steel. That means you can take it skiing and surfing and it will withstand even the most spectacular wipe-out. There's also dedicated apps for the piste and the waves.
Have a read of our Nixon The Mission review for much more info.
Best value: Sony SmartWatch 3
Sony's third stab at the smartwatch comes with either a rubber sports strap in a choice of colours, or a slick stainless steel one, along with a 1.6-inch 320 x 320 pixel LCD display. The screen isn't spectacular but battery life benefits as a result, with two days of use easily achievable.
The big win for the SW3 is that it was the first Android Wear watch with built-in GPS, so it's great for tracking runs, cycle rides, and even tapping into golf apps. It's looking a little dated now though and Sony could be playing catch up if the Sony SmartWatch 4 doesn't make an appearance soon.
Digest and enjoy our Sony SmartWatch 3 review.
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