Choosing the best Android Wear smartwatch is no easy task. There's an ever-expanding range of Android Wear wearables on sale, from a whole host of different brands.
Android Wear 2.0 is now running at full speed, with smartwatches from the likes of Tag Heuer, Montblanc, ZTE, Asus, Huawei and Fossil rocking the updated OS, and most older watches now running the new platform too. Plus, there are also new watches from fashion-focused brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Louis Vuitton, Hugo Boss and Emporio Armani set to drop soon.
If you're looking to get a Google-powered smartwatch on your wrist sooner rather than later though, here are all the juicy details on the top Android Wear smartwatches available now.
Best Wear watch 2017: 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 sets 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. The Huawei Watch 2 and the latest Tag smartwatch (below) also boast this level of connectivity, but the LG Watch Sport remains our top pick.
Have a look at our comprehensive LG Watch Sport review.
Best Wear watch if money's no object: Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45
The leading luxury smartwatch, this 'Swiss Made' 45mm beauty is available with titanium, ceramic and 18K rose gold finishes and will provide you with a modular design, which essentially means you're free to switch out the electronic watch with a traditional mechanical Tag module such as the Calibre 5 or the chronograph Tourbillon Heuer 02-T. Mixing up the lugs, straps and buckle is also an option, with 56 different versions available at launch.
There's an Intel Atom Z34XX processor powering performance, 4GB of storage memory and a battery life of around 24 hours. There's also built-in Wi-Fi and GPS to give it standalone smarts, NFC to let you make payments from the wrist and water resistance up to 50 metres.
For more on the watch, check out our Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45 review. Also coming in October, Tag's CEO confirmed a smaller 39mm Connected Modular so women/anyone with smaller wrists should look out for this.
And if that's not for you, there's also the Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon, which doesn't include a lot of the bells and whistles. You won't find GPS or NFC payment support here, but you will find an expertly crafted luxury watch that perfectly matches your Louis Vuitton luggage. If you do want Android Pay, and something a bit less expensive than Louis Vuitton's, there's also the Movado Connect to
Best Wear watch 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 that is now easily the best option for runners, despite competition from the likes of the New Balance RunIQ.
Your M600 syncs directly to Polar Flow, and not only will your smartphone be able to display all your stats, but all that data is synced to 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.
Read our full Polar M600 review for more info.
Best value Wear watch: ZTE Quartz
The ZTE Quartz, the Chinese company's first bash at Wear, is all about affordability. And although that means some compromises, it still offers the Android Wear 2.0 experience along with a data connection (3G not 4G), all for less than $200.
With a 46mm diameter and 14.5mm thickness it's a bit of a chunky-monkey, but the 1.4-inch AMOLED display, with a 400 x 400 resolution, certainly doesn't lack vibrancy.
ZTE has compromised to get the Quartz to its price point. It doesn't come with a heart rate monitor but GPS does make it in. There's no NFC though, so no Android Pay fun, unfortunately.
Get fully up to speed by taking a look at our ZTE Quartz review.
Best Wear watch for women: 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, so it more than holds its own on the performance side.
There are two new Access models coming – the Sofie and the Grayson – later this year.
Have a read of our Michael Kors Access review.
Top Android Wear watch for basics: Asus ZenWatch 3
The Asus ZenWatch 3 is a well-rounded smartwatch that's all about style, and it will be a much better device once it gets the Android Wear 2.0 update. Until then, you're still looking at a classy watch with some nice custom twists from Asus.
Battery life on the ZenWatch 3 also isn't bad by smartwatch standards. We managed to squeeze a little over two days on average, but that's with moderate, mostly passive use; mainly just checking notifications from time to time.
Top Wear watch for outdoor adventures: Casio Pro Trek Smart WSD-F20
The iconic Japanese watchmaker has been quick to give us a successor to the WSD-F10 and this time around it has included GPS – the big omission from the original.
What hasn't changed though is that rugged outdoor look, nor its rugged, outdoor adventure credentials. It's water resistant to 50 metres, and it's been built to military standards (MIL-STD-810). The onboard GPS also unlocks more outdoor-focused features, including GPS-based watch faces (think altitude and compass widgets).
Casio has a bunch of its own apps designed for adventurers, as well as third-party apps such as ViewRanger, MyRadar and Yamap, and a monochrome mode is available for when you're running low on battery, giving you a month's life if you're just using it in normal watch mode.
Find out more by reading our in-depth Casio Pro Trek Smart review.
Most discreet Wear watch: Huawei Watch
When we first reviewed the original Huawei Watch, we called it the slickest looking Android Wear smartwatch but lamented that those good looks came at a premium.
Fast forward 18 months or so and, with its successor now on sale, there are bargains to be had when buying the original model, which we think still beats out its successor in the style-stakes – we really wish the Huawei Watch 2 had kept to this simple design. In terms of actually looking like a watch, nothing comes close to the Huawei Watch.
The AMOLED display is a 1.4-inch, 400 x 400 screen with a 286ppi count. That was (before the LG Watch 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 to see why you shouldn't write off this old timer just yet.
Android Wear: New watches coming soon
As well as our picks above, it's worth noting that there a lot of new smartwatches coming later this year. We're talking official, announced, devices here – not rumour mill fodder.
There's the new Fossil line-up, which includes the Fossil Q Venture and Q Explorist, the Diesel On, the Michael Kors Access Sofie & Grayson, the re-imagined Misfit Vapor and the Emporio Armani Connected. There are also two more from the Movado Group - the Hugo Boss Touch and Tommy Hilfiger TH24/7You – and new devices from Guess (pictured above) and Gc.
So, while the smartwatches detailed above are the ones we consider to be the best currently on sale, it may be worth doing some reading around to see what's still to come before making your choice and handing over your cash.
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