Best smartwatch for Android: Wear OS 3.0 and alternatives

We explain what Wear 3.0 means for Android watches
Best smartwatches for Android users
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If you own an Android phone and you're looking for the perfect smartwatch to pair with it, you have a lot of options to pick from.

The new Wear OS 3 update has landed on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, and Google is backing it up with a huge push for its new-look Play Store, with apps following strict new quality guidelines. It means Wear OS is now the place to be – even though only a handful of devices will run the new OS.

Away from Wear OS, there's smartwatches from Fitbit, Garmin, Huawei and Amazfit, which all work brilliantly with Android phones as well. Plus, the rumors have really intensified that a Google Pixel Watch is happening and it's happening in 2022.

If you're looking for a top watch that plays nice with Android, here's our big breakdown of our favourite picks.

Which devices will run Wear 3.0?

  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 (out now)
  • TicWatch Pro 3 (out now, upgraded to Wear 3.0 in 2022)
  • TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS (out now, upgraded to Wear 3.0 in 2022)
  • TicWatch E3 (out now, upgraded to Wear 3.0 in 2022)
  • Fossil Gen 6 (out now, upgraded to Wear 3.0 in 2022)
  • Skagen Falster Gen 6 (out now, upgraded to Wear 3.0 in 2022)
  • Michael Kors Access 6 (out now, upgraded to Wear 3.0 in 2022)

What's the deal with current Wear 2.0 devices?

There are scores of existing Wear OS devices that won't get the new Wear OS 3.0. Those devices remain on-sale, but will only get crucial support for a couple of years.

This does make them hard to recommend, so that's why we've chosen not to include them in this list.

They still work fine, and won't lose any current features. So if you like the smartwatch and the price fits, it still could be a good choice.

But it's important to know what you won't get. Google seems to be creating a two-tier Play Store, where Wear 3.0 apps are better than Wear 2.0 ones. And many are not compatible with older devices. Even Google's own new Wear 3.0 apps such as Google Maps cannot be used with the majority of its Wear OS smartwatches.

So if you don't want to feel like a second-class smartwatch citizen, it might be best to stay clear of older Wear 2.0 watches, and choose one of the newer devices – OR a non-Wear OS watch entirely.

Update: We updated this article in February 2022 to include new Skagen Falster Gen 6 and the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra

Best Wear OS smartwatches

When many refer to Android watches, they mean Google's own Wear OS. Google and its hardware partners haven't been very forthcoming as far as revealing whether Wear OS 3.0 will run on current watches, so that's something to keep in mind here. We have some insight that some Wear watches will be updated and we'll note that where relevant below.

Top pick: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

Best smartwatch for Android: Wear OS 3.0 and alternatives

Credit: Wareable

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: specs and features

  • Available in 44mm/40mm (Watch 4) and 42mm/46mm (Watch 4 Classic)
  • Biggest Watch 4/Watch 4 Classic models include 396x396 Super AMOLED displays
  • Exynos W920 dual core processor with 1.5GB RAM and 16GB storage
  • Up to 40 hours of battery life
  • Run on Wear OS with Samsung One UI Watch 3
  • Samsung Pay or Google Pay support
  • Download apps from Google Play Store
  • ECG, PPG and BIA sensors
  • Built-in GPS/Glonass/Beidou
  • LTE models for all sizes
  • 5ATM water resistant rating
  • Price when reviewed: $249.99/£249.99

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is a huge reset for the Samsung brand, and hits reset on four generations of devices by moving to Wear OS and merging Galaxy Watch and Active brands.

And it's the undisputed best watch for Android users, with Samsung returning to run the new revamped Wear 3.0 with a superb integration.

There are two very distinct versions of the Galaxy Watch 4. The standard version (left) replaces the Galaxy Watch Active 2 in 40mm and 44mm sizes, while the Watch 4 Classic (right) retains the dress watch feel of the older Watch 3 in 42mm and 46mm options.

Those older devices on Tizen OS now have a limited life, with Samsung only providing critical updates for three years. That means they've been removed from this list.

The new smartwatches move to Wear OS, although retain the traditional look and feel of Galaxy Watches via the One UI Watch 3 overlay. We'd wager most users wouldn't notice the difference, and the Watch 4 retains the bezel control, close integration with Samsung services, and features such as blood pressure monitoring, ECG and GPS.

And it's now much better for Android users. People can opt to use Google Pay over Samsung Pay and users can access the Play Store for apps, which is head-and-shoulders above the old Galaxy Store. On Google's side, it's committed to improving app quality and selection – and there's already evidence this is well underway.

But Samsung and Google have hit the bullseye with this excellent smartwatch.

Read our full Galaxy Watch 4 review.

TicWatch Pro 3

TicWatch Pro 3

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TicWatch Pro 3: specs and features

  • Works with Android and iOS
  • 47mm case
  • 1.4-inch, 454 x 454 resolution screen
  • Runs on Wear OS
  • Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 processor
  • NFC for payments
  • GPS, heart rate monitor, SpO2 sensor
  • Speaker and microphone
  • IP68 water resistant (safe for pool swimming)
  • Price when reviewed: $299.99/£289.99

The TicWatch Pro 3 was the first Wear OS device we’ve seen to run on Qualcomm's Snapdragon Wear 4100 platform, which has since been superseded by its 4100+ platform. Ultimately though, you're getting the promise of a zippy performance, improved battery life and something equipped to run Wear OS 3.0.

The TicWatch Pro 3 uses a dual display, with the generous 1.4-inch 454x454 AMOLED overlaid by a basic low-power FSTN monochrome screen that displays the time when you’re not using the watch, saving even more battery.

In terms of health sensors, there’s a few onboard. SpO2 means you can spot check blood oxygen and there’s a warning app for noisy environments.

Best smartwatch for Android: Wear OS 3.0 and alternatives

Mobvoi has also launched the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra

There are sports tracking modes, but we did find accuracy issues in running and swimming that Mobvoi has sought to address with software updates. If you’re not focusing on workouts you can ignore this, but at this price point there are plenty of comparable smartwatches that can get workouts right.

Mobvoi has also launched the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra, which essentially gives the Pro 3 a more rugged design and a new Afib detection feature. There's probably a good chance that health feature will make an appearance on the Pro 3 at some point too.

If you’re looking for a Wear OS watch with top performance, this is the current technical flagship.

Check out our TicWatch Pro 3 review and TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra review

Fossil Gen 6

Fossil Gen 6

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Fossil Gen 6: specs and features

  • Works with Android and iOS
  • 42mm and 44mm case size options
  • 1.28-inch, always-on AMOLED screen
  • Runs on Wear OS – Wear 3.0 in 2022
  • Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100+ processor
  • NFC for payments
  • GPS, heart rate monitor, SpO2 sensor
  • Speaker and microphone
  • 3ATM water resistant rating (safe for swimming)
  • Price when reviewed: $299.99/£289.99

The Fossil Gen 6 smartwatch was announced alongside a new generation of Michael Kors Access devices with both set to get some Wear OS 3.0 love. Just not until 2022.

That new version of Wear OS will be a boost for Fossil, bringing new features, (supposed) better usability, (allegedly) longer battery life and Fitbit-based activity tracking.

It's equipped with Qualcomm's newest Snapdragon Wear 4100+ platform that keeps performance zippy, but doesn't quite push battery life beyond a day or two max.

The Gen 6 comes in seven different looks for both men and women, covering those who prefer a sportier look or something better suited to formal occasions. There's the option of 44mm and 42mm case sizes with both featuring stainless steel cases that measure in at 11.5mm thick.

Both host a 1.28-inch, AMOLED touchscreen display, and like previous Fossil smartwatches, feature a rotating crown and two programmable pusher buttons.

It brings adds an SpO2 sensor to monitor blood oxygen levels.

In terms of battery life, you can still only expect 24 hours, but fast charging means it will only take an hour to full battery. And 30 mins will get you 80%.

It's still a great look like previous Fossil smartwatches and improvements have been made with heart rate and sports tracking. It's now all down to that new Wear upgrade to see how it can make this good smartwatch and even better one.

Read our Fossil Gen 6 review.

TicWatch E3

Best smartwatch for Android: Wear OS 3.0 and alternatives

Credit: Wareable

TicWatch E3: specs and features

  • Wear OS
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100
  • RAM: 1GB / ROM: 8GB
  • SpO2, Accelerometer, Gyro Sensor, HD PPG Heart Rate Sensor,Low Latency Off-Body Sensor
  • GPS
  • NFC
  • 44mm x 47mm x12.6mm
  • 1.3-inch 360x360
  • IP68 Water and Dust Resistance
  • 380mAh
  • Price when reviewed: $199/£179

Following on from 2019’s Ticwatch E2, the 2021 follow up is a smartwatch with big ideas and an attractive price tag.

And that price is even more attractive when you factor in the latest Snapdragon Wear 4100 processor that runs the show, and news that it will get upgraded to Wear 3.0. However, that's not set to happen until some time in 2022, so it's an investment for the future when you could just opt for for the Galaxy Watch 4 right now

But while it's one of the few confirmed recipients of Wear 3.0, it is a mid-range smartwatch through-and-through.

The screen is a middle-of-the-road 360x360 1.3-inch display with a 2.5D lens.

On board is GPS (with GLONASS and Beidou support) which powers the TicExercise app and its 20 workout modes.

But there’s a bigger focus on health, with an ever-expanding list of Tic-branded apps that live on top of the Wear OS operating system, adding loads of features that make it ones of the richest Google-powered smartwatch ecosystems.

Read our full TicWatch E3 review.

Skagen Falster Gen 6

Falster gen 6

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Skagen Falster Gen 6: specs and features

  • Works Android and iOS
  • Google Wear OS
  • 41mm case
  • 20mm interchangeable watch straps
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 4100+ processor
  • Speaker and microphone
  • Google Pay
  • Built-in GPS
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Waterproof design
  • Up to 24 hours battery
  • Price when reviewed: $299/£279

Ever since the first Falster smartwatch, the range has been a leader in terms of design. And the Falster Gen 6 is no different. At just 11.5mm thick and powered by the latest Snapdragon Wear 4100+ processor, it's a great looking and has the right level of power to be fit for an upgrade to Wear OS 3.

The Falster Gen 6 also boasts microphones and speakers to make calls over Bluetooth and interact with Google Assistant with Amazon Alexa integration on the way. There's a heart rate monitor and pulse oximeter sensor to measure blood oxygen and battery life remains at the 24 hour mark, with the capacity to push it further in a more restrictive battery saver mode.

It has dropped in size to a 41mm but retains its premium case with great looking strap options to choose from. There's also a smaller 1.2-inch AMOLED screen compared to its predecessor but as a combination it feels like a great fit for men and women.

The beauty of the Falster is still its slim form factor. There are few smartwatches that look and feel so sleek on the wrist.

Not so beautiful is the heart rate sensor, which isn't anywhere near good enough for those keen on workout data or health monitoring. However, the design and strap doesn't feel like something you want to get really sweaty with, so this is well suited for users looking for form over function.

Read our full Skagen Falster Gen 6 review.

Best smartwatches for Android (non Wear OS)

If you're not sure that Wear OS quite what you are looking for in a smartwatch, there are a host of different options you can consider instead that work well with Android smartphones and do it by offering a different software experience to Google's own.

Huawei Watch GT 3

Huawei Watch GT 3

Huawei Watch GT 3: specs and features

  • 42mm and 46mm sizes
  • Runs on Harmony OS
  • Works with Android and iOS
  • Huawei TrueSeen 5.0 heart rate sensor
  • Dual-Band GNSS positioning for outdoor tracking
  • 100+ workout modes
  • AI running coach
  • Up to 2 weeks battery life
  • 5ATM waterproof rating
  • Price from: £209.99 (No official US release)

The Huawei Watch GT 3 is the successor to the GT 2, which launched in 2019, and sees Huawei's mid-range watch option brought closer to its flagship Huawei Watch 3 (below).

It shares the same Harmony OS, which offers a small selection of apps – and also brings running specific modes and metrics, personalized AI running coach with specific running index score, VO2 Max and a new Healthy Living feature that reminds you to drink water and other essentials.

It comes in two size options with bigger screens and improved resolution the headline enhancements here. The GT 3 inherits the haptic crown from the Watch 3 and uses an upgraded version of Huawei's TruSeen optical heart rate sensor to improve accuracy.

Along with over 100 sports modes, Huawei has added the dual-band five-system GNSS technology it introduced on the Huawei Watch 3 Pro to improve outdoor tracking accuracy. There's basic navigation features here too and new personalised training plans and an AI coach will give it big appeal to runners.

Battery life remains weeks as opposed to days with that dropping closer to a week in heavy usage. The price has jumped up with the smallest option starting at £209.99 (around $288).

Like other Huawei watches, there's no details on US pricing or whether this is going to be an easy one to get hold of Stateside. But the Watch GT3 is a powerful smartwatch that takes many of the features of the flagship and a more appealing price – there's a lot to like here.

Read our full Huawei Watch GT 3 review.

Huawei Watch 3

Huawei Watch 3

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Huawei Watch 3: specs and features

  • Android compatible and iOS
  • 46mm
  • Stainless steel case
  • Ceramic back
  • 5ATM
  • 16GB 2GB RAM
  • 1.43-inch AMOLED screen 1000 nit
  • 466 x 466, 326ppi
  • Rotating crown
  • Interchangeable strap
  • GPS
  • SpO2
  • Price when reviewed: £349/€369 (no US release)

The Huawei Watch 3 looks and feels great, offers a strong set of features, and it’s one of the best smartwatches for Android users. However, its shine has been somewhat tarnished by the cheaper Huawei Watch GT3 – which offers most of its best features for significantly less.

And the price tag is a little problematic. It comes in at a punchy £349/369. There’s no US price as it won’t get a formal launch there, but it’s been on Amazon US for $432.

With a ceramic and stainless steel case, it's reassuringly weighty and one of the best-built Android smartwatches going. The screen is incredible – a sumptuous 1.43-inch AMOLED punching out at a vibrant 1000 nit. The panel has a 466 x 466 resolution a 326ppi, and is one of the best on the market.

But this means it costs more than an Apple Watch SE, and just under the Apple Watch Series 6. Of course, those devices aren't Android compatible. But now the Huawei Watch 3 also has the Galaxy Watch 4 for competition – as well as its sibling the GT3.

In runs Harmony OS, a new Huawei proprietary OS which features an app store, although the selection at launch is particularly sparse.

There’s a temperature sensor onboard, the Huawei TruSeen 4.5 heart rate monitor with SpO2 and there's GPS. That powers 17 “professional” sport tracking modes that offer extra insights including running, cycling and HIIT. And there are 85 standard workout profiles.

As standard Huawei says the Watch 3 offers three days of battery life, which includes a 4G connection and an always-on screen. That’s obviously quite a step back from the Watch GT2 series that offers closer to two weeks. However, there’s a battery saver mode that will offer 14 days away from the charger, while still offering 24/7 heart rate tracking, sleep monitoring and access to 14 sport modes.

So how did it fare in our review? It's a fantastic smartwatch, but the experience is very close to the Huawei Watch GT2e (below), which is around 1/3 of the price.

If you're plumping for the Huawei Watch 3 it's because you need to really value the excellent design and build, or have faith that Harmony OS will deliver a serious app experience. If you want to save money, the cheaper GT3 will net you all the best features.

Read our full Huawei Watch 3 review.

Huawei Watch GT 2e

Huawei Watch GT2e

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Huawei Watch GT2e: specs and features

  • Works with Android and iOS
  • Runs on Huawei's Lite OS, not Wear OS
  • 42mm and 46mm models
  • Waterproof up to 50 metres
  • Built-in GPS
  • Built-in music player (Android only)
  • SpO2
  • Stress tracking (Android only)
  • Speaker and microphone
  • 15 sports tracking modes
  • Heart rate monitor
  • 24/7 activity tracking
  • Two weeks battery (normal use)
  • Price when reviewed: $123/$99

With two shiny new Huawei's above, forgive us for still recommending the older and the very affordable Watch GT 2e, which we still think offers a strong smartwatch and sports watch experience.

The Huawei Watch GT 2e favours Android users, who get exclusive access to features like the built-in music player and the stress tracking app.

It's a powerful sports smartwatch with dedicated tracking profiles for pretty much every activity – and it's especially good for runners with guided running sessions straight from the watch, and advanced running metrics focused on the effectiveness of sessions, recovery and VO2 Max.

It also boasts a two-week battery life, despite an always-on display, GPS location tracking, heart rate monitoring, sleep reports, storage for music support and more.

Its only real downfall that sports tracking data is not able to be shared with major third-party apps. All of your data can only live inside of Huawei's companion Health app.

With a super-low price tag, and availability in the US and Europe – the Huawei Watch GT2e is a top option.

Read our Huawei Watch GT2e review.

Garmin Venu 2

Garmin Venu 2

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Garmin Venu 2: specs and features

  • Works with Android and iOS
  • Runs on Garmin's own software
  • 40mm and 45mm models
  • Waterproof up to 50 metres
  • Built-in GPS
  • Built-in music player
  • Garmin Pay
  • SpO2
  • Stress tracking
  • Heart rate monitor
  • 24/7 activity tracking
  • Up to 12 days battery life
  • Price when reviewed: $399.99/$349.99

The Venu 2 sees Garmin push on with a sporty smartwatch option that remains the only watch in its collection to host an AMOLED colour display.

With the new Venu, it's making that screen bigger and better, boosting battery life and offering new features that make it better fit for people that don't spend their lives on a bike or out running.

Crucially, it's made welcome changes to the interface, which we were critical of on the first Venu and makes it a much nicer watch to use.

In typical Garmin fashion it's comfortable tracking runs, rides, pool swims and also has modes for golf and climbing. Garmin has now added dedicated modes for HIIT-style training too and new muscle maps for strength training to make sure you're working on all those key muscle groups.

Best smartwatch for Android: Wear OS 3.0 and alternatives

The Garmin Venu 2 Plus adds a microphone and speaker to offer smart assistant and call support

You're getting everything Garmin has to offer in smartwatch features including payments, a built-in music player with offline support and now room for 2,000 songs. There's notifications for Android and iOS users, but still no sign of a LTE here.

Battery life comes up a little short against Garmin's claims and is good for a week, with the always-on mode getting you an extra day compared to the Venu. It's more than what you'll get on Wear OS watches and Samsung watches.

If you want the Venu model that offers the most smartwatch features, there's the Garmin Venu 2 Plus, which adds a microphone and speaker to allow you to make calls via Bluetooth and access your phone's smart assistant from your wrist.

Those extras on the Venu 2 Plus come at a big premium ($449/£399), so that's why we'd still opt for the Venu 2, unless you really want those voice features. We think it's a great option without them with solid smartwatch and sports tracking skills on offer for less money.

Read our Garmin Venu 2 review and our Garmin Venu 2 Plus review

Amazfit GTR 3 Pro

Amazfit GTR 3 Pro

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Amazfit GTR 3 Pro: specs and features

  • Works with Android and iOS
  • 46mm aluminium case
  • 1.45-inch AMOLED screen (with always-on support)
  • Waterproof up to 50 metres
  • Alexa and offline smart voice assistant
  • Download apps and built-in music player
  • View notifications and music controls
  • 24/7 activity tracking/sleep tracking
  • Built-in GPS, optical heart rate monitor, skin temperature sensor
  • Up to 12 days battery life
  • Price when reviewed: $229.99/£179.99

The GTR 3 Pro represents Zepp's move to make more full fat smartwatches and that includes packing software that's built to support apps, watch faces and potentially more in the future.

Like the Amazfit GTR 2 watches you're getting high grade materials and a crisp AMOLED always-on screen you'd usually have to pay more for. That stylish design packs in sensors to track heart rate, skin temperature, blood oxygen and offers the ability to take readings of four metrics in a 45-second measurement.

Zepp OS is a new in-house built operating system that works with Android and iOS and brings more dynamic UI and an app store with future support for developers to build apps and watch faces.

Elsewhere, it's a lot of what we've seen on Amazfit smartwatches before. You can view notifications, weather forecasts, control music playback and stream music. There's Amazon Alexa integration too along with an offline voice assistant and you can take calls when paired to your phone via Bluetooth.

You're getting 24/7 fitness tracking and sleep monitoring and good enough sports tracking with new PeakBeats training insights offering a similar training insights you can get from a Garmin.

Battery life is good for a week depending on what features you put to regular use. We experienced some software bugginess in places, but if you like the idea of an attractive smartwatch that offers a good mix of health, fitness and those core smarts, the Pro does a good job overall.

Read our full Amazfit GTR3 Pro review.

Amazfit GTS 2 Mini

Amazfit GTS 2 Mini

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Amazfit GTS 2 mini: specs and features

  • Works with Android and iOS
  • 40mm plastic case
  • Always-on AMOLED display
  • Waterproof up to 50 metres
  • View notifications and music controls
  • 24/7 activity tracking/sleep tracking
  • Built-in GPS and optical heart rate monitor
  • Up to 14 days battery life
  • Price when reviewed: $99.99/£79.99

If you're looking at smartwatches like the Galaxy Watch 4 and thinking how expensive they are then the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini will be of serious interest. There's no Amazfit GTS 3 Mini (yet), but until then, we still think it's well worth considering.

The design and build is certainly not as sleek as the bigger GTS 2 models, but for the price, you get something that looks smart and even finds the space for a punchy 1.55-inch 354 x 306 AMOLED screen.

You get GPS, 5ATM water resistance with swim tracking and sport profiles aplenty, as well as basic notifications, 24/7 heart rate and sleep data. It misses out on the built-in music player and voice assistant you will get on pricier Amazfit watches.

Of course you're not getting the same experience as a Fitbit or Samsung smartwatch - but there’s plenty of data to check on, and most importantly, the basic stuff stacks up in terms of accuracy. It does falter for sleep tracking and heart rate tracking accuracy compared to its pricier competitors.

Sports and fitness tracking impress and the presence of GPS means it’s a decent performer when out for a run.

You'd be hard pressed to find a watch at this price that can offer what the GTS 2 Mini does. It's not perfect, but it's a truly budget smartwatch we can recommend.

Read our full Amazfit GTS 2 mini review.

Fitbit Versa 3

Fitbit Versa 3

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Fitbit Versa 3: specs and features

  • PurePulse 2.0 HR sensor
  • GPS
  • SpO2 sensor
  • Swim tracking
  • Sleep tracking
  • Fitbit Pay
  • Notifications
  • App Gallery
  • Alexa
  • Music storage
  • Women's health tracking
  • Price when reviewed: $199.95/£199.99

Announced alongside the Fitbit Sense health watch (a worthy a smartwatch for Android in its own right) is the more basic, and cheaper, Versa 3.

It's a solid update to the previous version, and finally adds GPS for accurate tracking of outdoor workouts.

As a smartwatch and fitness tracker, the basics are the still same – with heart rate, steps, sleep tracking all done within the Fitbit app.

The SpO2 sensor is now live, too, adding insights into Estimated Oxygen Variability, as well as Sleep Score, Sleep Stages and Sleep Insights.

Subscribers to Fitbit Premium will get breathing rate, heart rate variability, oxygen saturation and resting heart rate in the new Health Metrics dashboard.

As a smartwatch you get Fitbit Pay (please check if your bank is supported before hand) and Alexa for on-the-wrist commands with support to use Google Assistant instead. There's third party apps and watch faces you can download, even if the quality is a little hit and miss.

And of course you get notifications of messages and calls, and a future update will enable you to take calls on the wrist and reply to messages without reaching for your smartphone.

While it might not be the complete package as far as sports tracking is concerned, it offers plenty elsewhere at a good price to make it one to consider.

Read our full Fitbit Versa 3 review