Best smartwatches: top picks from our expert reviews

The ultimate buyer's guide to the top smartwatches on sale now
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There's a new best smartwatch in town. It's been a busy year, and as 2021 approaches we feel the Apple Watch SE is the most easily recommendable smartwatch out there.

But it's not right for everyone. There's now a super group of smartwatches with key health features, such as the Apple Watch Series 6, Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 and Fitbit Sense that come with ECG, blood oxygen monitoring and even stress detection features.

Some people will want to pay more for these health features, while others will just want good value for money – but now there's more personal choice than ever.

But smartwatches aren't just getting better, they're getting cheaper too.

Keep track using our list of upcoming smartwatches, but read below for the best from our tests.

How to choose a smartwatch platform

Best smartwatches: top picks from our expert reviews

  • Apple Watch (watchOS 7) – Top features and the biggest platform of third party apps. Only works with iPhone.
  • Wear OS (formerly known as Android Wear) – Doesn't offer the health features of the Apple Watch. However, you do get some decent third party apps and Google Pay. Works on Android and iOS, although the latter misses some features.
  • Samsung (Tizen) - A solid experience with a smaller app store. iOS and Android compatible.
  • Fitbit OS – Fitbit's smartwatch lacks quality apps and the watch face store is terrible. But it does allow for great analysis of data and battery life of 5+ days across the board. iOS and Android.
  • A custom OS - Own brand operating systems may seem like a turn-off compared to the names above, but often they have huge benefits. Amazfit and Huawei smartwatches boast up to 14 days battery life – something the Apple Watch and Wear OS just can't offer. But you'll rarely get apps, NFC payments and other smart features.

Best smartwatch 2021 compared

Best smartwatch 2021 compared

Price Case size GPS/HR Battery OS
Apple Watch Series 6 (40mm) 40/44mm Yes/Yes 1 day watchOS 7
Apple Watch SE (40mm) 40/44mm Yes/Yes 1 day watchOS 7
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 41mm:
41/45mm Yes/Yes 2 days Tizen OS
Fitbit Sense 40mm Yes/Yes 6 days Fitbit OS
Samsung Galaxy
Watch Active 2
40/44mm Yes/Yes 2 days Tizen OS
Garmin Venu 43mm Yes/Yes 5 days Garmin OS
Amazfit GTS 2 Mini 40mm Yes/Yes 7 day Custom OS
Amazfit Bip U Pro
42mm Yes/Yes 15 days Custom OS
Amazfit Neo 40mm No/Yes 28 days Custom OS
Skagen Falster 3 42mm Yes/Yes 1 day Wear OS
Huawei Watch GT 2e 42/46mm Yes/Yes 2 weeks Lite OS
Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro 47mm Yes/Yes 14 days Lite OS
Oppo Watch 41/46mm Yes/Yes 2 days Wear OS
Garmin Venu Sq 40mm Yes/Yes 6 days Custom OS
Withings Steel
HR Sport
40mm No/Yes 5 days N/A
Ticwatch Pro 3 45mm Yes/Yes 2 days Wear OS
MK Access Bradshaw 2 44mm Yes/Yes 1 day Wear OS
Tag Heuer Connected 2020 47mm Yes/Yes 1 day Wear OS

Best smartwatch 2021 – our reviews compared

We've run down the pick of our smartwatch reviews, and distilled them into one read. However, read the full in-depth testing to make sure you're getting the right device for your needs.

="" a="">Apple Watch SE

WareableBest smartwatches: top picks from our expert reviews

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Apple Watch SE key features

  • Works with iPhone only
  • 18 hours battery (36 in testing)
  • LTE/4G options available
  • Fitness tracking
  • Suitable for swimming
  • Heart rate
  • Apple Pay
  • Notifications, make/take calls
  • (40mm) – Official Apple Watch SE page
Buy it if...You're an iOS user that doesn't care about ECG and SpO2. If you can live without these two fairly niche health features, there's so much to love about the Apple Watch SE.

The new Apple Watch SE has joined the Series 6, and is the first of a new line of Apple’s smartwatches – and it might just be our favorite.

It’s more affordable for sure, but don’t think of it as a cheap Apple Watch. It still costs for the 40mm version, which makes it on the pricey side given the competition out there from Huawei and Amazfit.

The Series 3 is still available at but now seems a poor compromise given the old shape and ageing internals – which mean it's likely to lose out on future watchOS updates.

But the Apple Watch SE only makes a few compromises over the Series 6, which means it's easy to recommend to the majority of people.

It’s easier to start with the features you don’t get: the always-on display, ECG and SpO2 tracking are all missing from the Apple Watch SE. And it only comes with aluminum case options.

But you still get the same screen tech, sizes, GPS, sports and fitness tracking, swim-proof design, LTE options, Apple Pay… all the stuff that makes the Apple Watch our favorite smartwatch to use day-to-day.

However, the single day battery life (we got up to around 36 hours) is still a major downside compared to rivals.

If you’re not bothered about the high-end health features, then the Apple Watch SE comes very highly recommended.

Read our full Apple Watch SE review.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

Best smartwatches: top picks from our expert reviews

Credit: Wareable

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 key features

  • 41mm/45mm
  • Tizen OS
  • LTE versions available
  • 1.2-inch/1.4-inch display
  • 360 x 360 Super AMOLED
  • 247mAh/340mAh
  • Exynos 9110 Dual core 1.15 GHz
  • ECG
  • Blood pressure
  • SpO2
  • Sleep tracking
  • Heart/rate VO2 max
  • Fall detection
  • Price when reviewed: – Samsung official page

Buy it if...The best smartwatch for Android smartphone users. But due to the lack of silicone strap as standard, this is better suited for non-sport activities.

Samsung's new flagship smartwatch returns to a more classic wristwatch style, with a big feature list and premium price tag.

It comes in 41mm and 45mm case sizes, so there should be something to suit everyone. The size has shrunk since the original Galaxy Watch, and it's better for it, with a slim and light build that's big on all-day wearability.

Both use AMOLED displays that show off the vibrant Tizen OS.

There are stainless steel and black options in both sizes. However, the 45mm will come in black titanium, and the 41mm has a Mystic Bronze option too.

It's a classic looking smartwatch, with the rotating bezel returning to control the menu system, with its pleasing mechanical click.

Key upgrades are ECG and blood pressure (the latter still isn't certified for use in the US) and SpO2 tracking of blood oxygen. There's also a new focus on VO2 max.

You'll get a couple of days battery life with "normal" use, but it's a shame that Tizen OS couldn't muster the week-long battery we've seen on the Huawei Watch GT2e and Amazfit GTS 2.

We found some inaccuracies with the heart rate monitor, but we were impressed with the swimming tracking and the plethora of running metrics.

Of course, you'll need to buy a replacement band as the standard leather strap isn't best suited to getting sweaty.

We found the Galaxy Watch 3 to be a superb smartwatch and one of the best Apple Watch alternatives out there.

However, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 has been updated with some of the Galaxy 3's best features, and retails for significantly less money.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 review

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

Best smartwatches: top picks from our expert reviews
Credit: Wareable

Key features

  • Works with Android and iOS
  • 40/44mm case size
  • Up to 2 days battery life
  • 24/7 activity tracking
  • ECG
  • Automatic sleep monitoring
  • Swim tracking
  • Spotify offline playlist support
  • Samsung Pay
  • Price when reviewed: – Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 product page

Buy it if...Still an incredible smartwatch, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 has received multiple upgrades and is the best Samsung smartwatch for those that want to get sweaty.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is a top sport-focused smartwatch, especially for Android smartphone users that can't access the Apple Watch.

The Active 2 is smaller and cheaper compared to the Galaxy Watch 3 – and with a silicon strap it's a more natural fit for sporty users.

With 40mm and 44mm size options, it will suit most wrists, and both have typical top-notch Samsung displays. It's touchscreen but there's a touch sensitive bezel to help navigate's Samsung's Tizen OS operating system.

It's more of the same on the sports tracking and fitness tracking front, with a solid performing optical heart rate on board, built-in GPS and a new run coach to help you get moving faster and clocking up quicker times.

And it's inherited new features from the Galaxy Watch 3 in a recent update. The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 now boasts fall detection, VO2 max, running coach and running dynamics. That's on top of ECG and blood pressure monitoring as well.

Smartwatch features are solid too with notification support and impressive music features (offline Spotify playlists FTW). The selection of apps isn't fantastic, but if you're happy with the core experience, you might not need too many of those anyway.

Battery life is also on-par with the Apple Watch, maxing out at about two days depending on what features you make use of.

In short, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 remains a top buy, even in the wake of Samsung's flagship. And canny buyers will find plenty of deals, with it often appearing around .

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 review.

="" a="">Apple Watch Series 6

Best smartwatches: top picks from our expert reviews

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Apple Watch Series 6 key features

  • Works with iPhones only
  • Always-on display
  • ECG and SpO2
  • Available with GPS and GPS/LTE
  • 40/44mm case options
  • Optical heart rate sensor
  • Built-in GPS
  • Speaker and microphone
  • Waterproof up to 50 meters
  • Apple Pay
  • Official Apple Watch Series 6 page

Buy it if...The Apple Watch Series 6 is the best Apple Watch. But to choose it over the Apple Watch SE you need to be picking the superior stainless steel design, new colorways or want the ECG/blood oxygen tracking.

The Series 6 is absolutely the best Apple Watch, with the most features and high-end health tech.

It debuts the SpO2 sensor to keep an eye on blood oxygen saturation, and retains ECG for spot checking your heart rhythm for possible Afib. If that data doesn't mean much to you, perhaps the Apple Watch SE is the smarter purchase.

At for the 40mm model it’s pricier, but the always-on display also makes it worth choosing over the Apple Watch SE. If you’re into aesthetics, choosing a stainless steel Series 6 is a big visual step up over the aluminum.

Elsewhere, it’s the same story and it’s a minor upgrade from the Series 5. There’s GPS, sports tracking, 5ATM water resistance and all the key Apple Watch features. There’s also an always-on altimeter for you climbers and hikers.

The App Store is bustling with third party offerings, and if there's something the Apple Watch doesn't do, there's usually an app for that.

Sadly, it’s also the same Apple Watch battery life story. Apple promises 18 hours, but we found around 36 hours. Of course that heavily depends on use. But using the Apple Watch for sleep tracking means you need to think about when to charge, and that’s now a problematic side to the Apple Watch.

In short, the Apple Watch Series 6 is the best version of the best smartwatch. But ask yourself how much you care about SpO2 and ECG. If you don't, it's only the stainless steel finishes and always-on display that makes the Series 6 worth the extra money.

Read our in-depth Apple Watch Series 6 review.

Fitbit Sense

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Fitbit Sense key features

  • EDA
  • ECG
  • Temperature monitoring
  • 1.58-inch display
  • 336 x 336 pixels
  • Google Assistant and Alexa
  • GPS
  • 50m water resistance
  • 20+ sport tracking modes
  • 6 day battery life
  • Fast charging
  • Price: – Official Fitbit Sense specs page

Buy it if...The Fitbit Sense is the best "health watch" you can buy. Temperature sensing, stress tracking and Health Metrics join Fitbit classics of activity, sleep and GPS tracking to make the Sense the bets day-to-day tracker of health money can buy right now.

A powerful health watch but an average smartwatch, the Fitbit Sense comes recommended for those that want as much health data as they can muster.

It excels as a sleep tracker and heart rate monitor, and it boasts ECG for detection of Afib, SpO2 which is linked to sleep tracking for detection of sleep disorders, an electrodermal activity sensor for stress detection and even a temperature sensor to put you in tune with your body and health.

Fitbit has put an added focus on its Fitbit Premium, so subscribers to the $79.99 a year service will get even more data.

Premium reveals a whole dashboard of new raw data called Health Metrics across all devices – but Sense leverages the most.

You get temperature and resting heart rate, breathing rate, oxygen saturation, and heart rate variability all shown in one screen.

A criticism is that there’s no analysis of this data, but if you love graphs in the Fitbit app, this is the motherlode.

There are few devices that put you in control of this much data about your body, and it’s perhaps the perfect device for these pandemic times, but there are caveats.

The Fitbit Sense has some annoying bugs and performance issues as a smartwatch, which we’re banking on being rectified via software updates. The touchscreen response can be laggy, and the wrist-raise is too slow.

But you do get around six days of battery life, a seriously rapid fast charge. And Fitbit Pay is on board if your bank supports it.

Read our in-depth Fitbit Sense review.

Fitbit Versa 3

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Credit: Fitbit

Fitbit Versa 3 key features

  • Works with Android and iOS
  • 6 days battery
  • 24/7 activity tracking
  • Automatic sleep monitoring
  • Swim tracking
  • Amazon Alexa smart assistant
  • Apps and customizable watch faces
  • Fitbit Pay
  • Official Versa 3 specs page

Buy it if: You want the Fitbit sleep and sport tracking staples without the bells and whistles of the Fitbit Sense. The app experience and analysis makes it worth the price tag.

A moderate update to the Fitbit Versa 2, the Versa 3 now plays second fiddle to the Fitbit Sense health watch.

But like the Apple Watch SE, there’s a lot to like if you don’t want those insights into ECG and Afib, stress and body temperature.

The Versa 3 has GPS added for the accurate tracking of outdoor workouts, which is the biggest addition. It also gets the excellent fast charging, which can add a day’s worth of battery life in just 10 minutes.

And you still get a week of battery life, which is truly excellent, and you also get the best of Fitbit’s core fitness tracking features.

That means top-notch sleep monitoring with a single sleep score, workout detection and heaps of sport profiles. That’s on top of the standard step, elevation and Active Zone Minutes.

And there’s still an SpO2 sensor on board that will keep tabs on blood oxygen as you sleep.

As a smartwatch it delivers notifications with aplomb, but you’re not getting the breadth of apps you’ll find on Apple Watch nor Wear OS.

But there is Fitbit Pay and you can choose between Alexa and Google Assistant voice controls from the wrist. We didn’t find that experience that useful, but if you’re a regular with smart home control then it might appeal.

It’s a good fitness-focused smartwatch, and the Fitbit app is one of the best places to keep tabs on your health.

Check out our full Fitbit Versa 3 review.

Huawei Watch GT2e


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Huawei Watch GT2e key features

  • Works with Android and iOS
  • Runs on Huawei's Lite OS, not Wear OS
  • 42mm and 46mm models
  • Waterproof up to 50 meters
  • 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: – Huawei Watch GT2e product page

Buy it if: The GT2e offers great running and sports tracking at an excellent price. A cheaper alternative to Fitbit and Apple, although Amazfit offers more.

The Huawei Watch GT2e doesn’t offer that much over its predecessor the GT2, bar a visual redesign that’s a little more sporty.

It runs Lite OS rather than Google’s Wear OS, but it’s a really capable smartwatch with some very smart fitness and wellness features, that comes recommended for users of Android smartphones in particular.

The 1.39-inch AMOLED display is bright and clear, and you get a bunch of sport profiles including swimming (thanks to 5ATM water resistance), cycling and an excellent running experience.

And that’s because the GT2e is actually really good for runners, thanks to loads of metrics, a clear screen, and Firstbeat’s VO2 Max and recovery stats.

The only downside is that due to a lack of third-party plug-ins, you can’t boot data out to Strava, and there are no other apps to use.

Battery life is excellent at 14 days, heart rate accuracy was good at moderate levels, and workouts are well tracked within the app.

Sleep tracking was also excellent, and Android smartphone users can benefit from native music storage and stress tracking too. For iOS users the app feels a little under-cooked and bare, and we'd proceed with caution.

And now finally the Huawei Watch GT2e is actually listed on Amazon US at a price of $160 – which makes it a good buy at this price. A no-brainer for Android users, but iOS people should pay a little more for the Apple Watch Series 3.

Read our Huawei Watch GT2e review

Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro

Best smartwatches: top picks from our expert reviews
Credit: Wareable

Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro key features

  • Works with Android and iOS
  • 454 x 454 AMOLED 1.39-inch display
  • Ceramic back/titanium case
  • Waterproof up to 50 meters
  • View notifications and music controls
  • 24/7 activity tracking/sleep tracking
  • Built-in GPS and optical heart rate monitor
  • SpO2
  • - Huawei official specs page

Buy it if: The titanium build makes the GT 2 Pro one of the best looking watches for Android users, and the sports tracking won't disappoint.

The Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro brings the best of Huawei’s excellent value GT range of smartwatches, into a package that’s anything but cheap.

Boasting a titanium case and two strap options in the box (leather and silicon) combine for a weighty and premium feel that really oozes some class – and puts it right up there with the Galaxy Watch 3 in terms of style.

In terms of features there’s GPS, stress tracking, SpO2, guided workouts and a host of tracked sports. However, it’s not as smartly implemented as the Amazfit GTS 2, so many of these features require you to take a reading, not be tracked during sleep or when they’re most useful.

The app is also a little under-baked with no third party apps or integrations.

There’s no denying the Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro is a gorgeous and well-made smartwatch, but it’s double the price of the GT 2e and with same features and shortcomings.

Availability in the US is still patchy, but it's available via resellers.

Read our full Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro review.

Amazfit GTS 2 Mini

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Amazfit GTS 2 Mini key specs

  • Works with Android and iOS
  • 40mm case
  • 1.55-inch 354 x 306 AMOLED
  • Waterproof up to 50 meters
  • View notifications and music controls
  • 24/7 activity tracking/sleep tracking
  • Built-in GPS
  • Optical heart rate monitor
  • SpO2
  • - Amazfit official page

Buy it if: Possibly the sweet spot for features vs price. Top sports and health tracking in a superb package. The only reason to consider spending more is the lack of decent health analysis and lack of payments, LTE and smart features.

There’s a whole family of Amazfit GTS 2 watches now – but it’s the GTS 2 Mini that gets our vote.

The Amazfit GTS 2 was listed here, but at we’ve always felt its price increase wasn’t fully justified. You do get MP3 storage, wrist calling and Alexa – but these weak features don’t justify a premium in our book.

Then there’s the Amazfit GTS 2e, which keeps the larger screen and doubles battery life and adds a temperature sensor. That didn’t stand up in our review.

That leaves the GTS 2 Mini, which like the three bears of smartwatches, is just right.

First, it doesn’t miss out on any key features, so you still get heart rate, 60 sports modes, GPS, stress and sleep tracking, SpO2 and an AMOLED screen. It’s lightweight, well made and really performs as a sports watch.

And then there’s the price. At it’s almost half the price of the GTS 2. We described in in our review as the “sweet spot” with all the features, a good screen and a killer price. What’s not to like?

Accuracy of the biometrics is one criticism, as is the app which is no-where near as polished as Apple or Fitbit. That’s where devices like the Versa 3, Sense and Apple Watch SE justify their price tags.

Also a word on the GTR 2. It’s a great looking smartwatch that does everything the GTS 2 can do. At 47mm it’s a big watch, and still suffers question marks over value for money. The GTR 2e is a smarter buy.

Amazfit Bip U Pro

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Credit: Wareable

Amazfit Bip U Pro key features

  • Works with Android and iOS
  • 42mm plastic case
  • TFT 1.43-inch display
  • Waterproof up to 50 meters
  • View notifications and music controls
  • 24/7 activity tracking/sleep tracking
  • Built-in GPS and optical heart rate monitor
  • Up to 15 days battery life/22 hours GPS battery
  • Official Amazfit Bip U Pro specs

Buy it if: Smartwatches don't come better at this price. You get so much for your money, but buyer beware the cheap plasticky build.

As a budget smartwatch the Bip S, offers a decent experience that makes its price tag particularly tempting.

The design and build is certainly not high grade with a basic transflective screen and plasticky body, but there's something quite likeable about it. The smartwatch features are basic, but they work well.

But it also brings GPS, 5ATM water resistance with swim tracking and 10 sport profiles, as well as basic notifications, 24/7 heart rate and sleep data.

When you factor in the price you’re not getting anywhere near the same data and insights as Fitbit or Apple, but there’s plenty of data to check on, and most importantly, the basic stuff stacks up in terms of accuracy.

The only part that falls down is the heart rate tech, which faltered at moderate intensity.

However, sports and fitness tracking features in general do 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 than can offer what the Bip S does. It's not perfect, but it's a truly budget smartwatch we can recommend.

Read our full Amazfit Bip S review.

Oppo Watch


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Oppo Watch 41mm key features

  • Works with Android and iOS
  • Available in 41mm and 46mm sizes (41mm tested)
  • Runs on Wear OS and Color OS
  • Built-in GPS
  • Optical heart rate monitor
  • Google Pay support
  • Built-in speaker and mic
  • 24 hours battery life
  • Official Oppo Watch specs

Buy it if: You're looking for the best Wear OS smartwatch. The Oppo Watch is sleek, well made and gets a lot right.

The Oppo Watch has taken us by surprise, not only by being a delightful and competent debut from Oppo, but also a breath of fresh air for Wear OS.

Yes it’s an unashamed Apple Watch clone, but if you look beyond design there’s a lot to like.

Oppo has added its own skin and UI to the Wear OS experience, and replaced some of Google’s bland fitness apps with its own. That makes for a much nicer wearable experience, with a better balance of key features, including fitness tracking.

The Oppo Watch comes in 41mm and 46mm sizes, and we’ve only tested the 41mm so far. That’s missing a few features, including LTE.

Front and center is a 1.6-inch, 320 x 360 resolution AMOLED screen that offers bright, sharp surroundings and good visibility in bright light and when we took it for a dip in the pool.

It's powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor, with 1GB of RAM and 8GB storage. While this is clearly a Wear OS watch, it feels unlike any we've used before and that's actually a good thing.

It features GPS, swim tracking and plenty of workout modes, although again, heart rate data wasn’t too accurate so it’s not one for serious athletes.

Battery life of the smaller 41mm Oppo Watch also came in at 24 hours.

At it’s pricey for what it delivers, and best suited for Android smartphone users that have been coveting the Apple Watch, but want to keep it in the Google family.

Read our full Oppo Watch review.

Skagen Falster 3


Credit: Wareable

Key features

  • Works with Android and iOS
  • Runs on Google Wear OS
  • 42mm case
  • 22mm interchangeable watch straps
  • Google Pay
  • Built-in GPS
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Waterproof design
  • Up to 24 hours battery life
  • Price when reviewed: – Skagen Falster 3 product page

Buy it if: The Falster 3 brings bags of Danish style. It's slim, light and smart. Easily the best looking Wear OS watch out there by our reckoning.

The Falster 3 is the latest generation of smartwatch in one of our favorite smartwatch designs – and it's now better than ever. It runs on Fossil Group's Gen 5 platform – with Google's Wear OS in the background – with an upgraded Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor, upgraded memory, water resistance and heart rate monitor. Battery life is still only 24 hours.

Despite the case size growing to 42mm (the Falster 2 was 40mm), it's still one of the best looking smartwatches out there. A premium case with great looking (if fiddly) straps, the 1.3-inch AMOLED has grown too, so it's easier to read and use. At 42mm we'd still consider it to be pretty unisex.

The beauty of the Falster 3 is still its thinness, and at 11mm there are few devices that look and feel so sleek on the wrist.

Performance of the watch itself is great, although the accuracy of the heart rate sensor isn't anywhere near good enough when working out. However, the design and strap are hardly suited to sweaty workouts – so this is one for general day-to-day wear.

The only real bugbear here is Wear OS. The platform is stagnating, with poor health and wellness features in particular, and it's not an ecosystem we'd heartily recommend. But we love the Falster 3 design, so it gets the nod for those who care about style more than features.

Read our full Skagen Falster 3 review.

Garmin Venu

Best smartwatches: top picks from our expert reviews
Credit: Wareable

Garmin Venu key features

  • iPhone and Android
  • 43mm case size
  • Dedicated sports tracking modes
  • 5ATM water resistance
  • Heart rate and Pulse OX
  • GPS
  • Garmin Pay
  • Price when reviewed: – Garmin Venu product page

Buy it if: You want the power of a Garmin sports watch in the sleek style of a fully fledged AMOLED smartwatch.

Garmin's first AMOLED smartwatch is still extremely sports-focused, with dedicated modes for running (indoor, outdoor, treadmill), cycling (indoor/outdoor), swimming (pool only thanks to 5ATM water resistance), golf, strength, cardio, elliptical, indoor rowing, yoga and more.

It's really the same watch as the Vivoactive 4, but with a glossy 390 x 390, AMOLED touchscreen display for those tempted by the Apple Watch.

It's a nice bit of kit and that screen is really punchy, making stats during runs in the dark easier to read, and notifications look crisp and sharp, too.

The fitness tracking experience is also excellent, and the Pulse Ox sensor adds more details to sleep tracking, helping feed into metrics like Body Battery and Stress Score.

You sacrifice some battery for the AMOLED screen, but you should still get five days of wear as a smartwatch, with one or two runs or workouts thrown in.

GPS lasts 8 hours – so significantly less than the Vivoactive – but this is no doubt the better looking watch for daily wear.

Read our full Garmin Venu review.

Garmin Venu Sq


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Garmin Venu Sq features

  • Fitness tracking and HR
  • 20 pre-loaded sport profiles
  • Golf tracking
  • Stress monitoring
  • Body Battery
  • SpO2
  • Respiration
  • Notifications
  • 6 days battery life
  • Official Venu SQ page

Buy it if: The Garmin Venu Sq gives you the Garmin sports tracking experience for less. It's a simple watch with few bells and whistles, but Garmin Connect comes to life with health and fitness insights.

A budget version of the Garmin Venu full AMOLED smartwatch, but pared back with a significant price drop.

The standard version is just but you can pay extra for the Garmin Venu Sq Music, which enables you to store tunes and offline sync various services including Spotify for

The Venu Sq is pretty stripped back, and simply offers access to a number of Garmin sport profiles.

You get loads, with running and cycling on board with GPS as you’d expect, with yoga and even golf yardages in the mix.

Fitness tracking is also pretty on point, and the overview of your day is also packed with data including stress monitoring and Body Battery, which measures your energy levels and assesses when you need to take a break.

It is a very simple experience, however. There are few widgets to explore on the watch itself. A swipe down gives you the My Day overview, and the main button sends you to sport profiles. That’s it.

But it feeds plenty of data into the Garmin Connect app – and if you’re a keen athlete that’s looking for accurate sport tracking and compatibility with Spotify on the wrist, then don’t let the Venu Sq go under the radar.

Read our full Garmin Venu Sq review.

Amazfit Neo

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Amazfit Neo key features

  • Works with Android phones only
  • 1.2-inch STN display
  • Activity and sleep tracking
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Sports tracking modes
  • Phone notifications alerts
  • 28 day battery life
  • Price when reviewed: – Amazfit Neo official page

Buy it if: There's so much to love about this retro Amazfit that still manages to be a useful fitness tracker. And at this price it makes a great gift or fun toy to play with.

The most basic smartwatch on this list, the Amazfit Neo isn’t even a rival to the likes of the Apple Watch – but that doesn’t stop it being a delightful option.

Styled like a 90s Casio digital watch, the Amazfit Neo still offers a heart rate monitor, activity and sleep tracking smarts – all for just $35.

Paired up to your smartphone it will deliver message and app notifications – but just lets you know you have something to read.

However, the retro design, decent features and fantastic price all combine for something really pleasing. It makes a great present or gift – and there’s loads to like.

Read our review of the Amazfit Neo.

Withings Steel HR Sport

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Withings Steel HR Sport key features

  • Works with Android and iOS
  • 40mm size
  • Features OLED sub-display
  • Connected GPS
  • Heart rate monitor
  • VO2 Max estimates
  • Phone notification support
  • Up to 25 days battery life
  • Price when reviewed: – Withings Steel HR Sport product page

Buy it if: You want top health insights and battery life inside a less "techy" package.

The majority of smartwatches in our list have been full-screen devices, but the Withings Steel HR Sport approaches things a little differently – yet is still a powerful connected watch in a package that weighs just 49g.

The analogue display shows the time on the main dial (with a month of battery) and progress towards your step goal on the second dial – but there’s so much more going on than this.

The Withings Steel HR Sport has a 24/7 heart rate monitor that will keep tabs on VO2 Max, and it will pair up with a smartphone to track outdoor workouts via GPS, although the tech isn’t built into the watch itself. It’s also swimproof to 50m and can track basic swim stats.

What’s more, Withings Health Mate app is one of the best out there for keeping tabs on all your assorted health data.

It’s no slouch as a connected watch, either, and will alert you to notifications on your smartphone using vibrations and the tiny OLED screen build into the bezel. This is capable of offering quick and fairly crude alerts, but can show you when a message/call/calendar alerts are coming through using quick icons.

It’s a stripped back smartwatch experience but one that’s packed into a stylish, small and comfortable hybrid that doesn’t make as many compromises as you’d think.

Take a look at our Withings Steel HR review

TicWatch Pro 3


Credit: Wareable

TicWatch Pro 3 key features

  • Runs on Google Wear OS
  • Snapdragon 4100
  • Works with Android and iOS
  • 1.4-inch 454x454 AMOLED
  • 22mm interchangeable straps
  • Dual-layer display
  • Google Pay
  • Built-in GPS and heart rate monitor
  • 2 days battery life (smartwatch mode), 30 days battery life (basic watch mode)
  • Official Ticwatch Pro 3 specs

We’ve seen two TicWatch Pro smartwatches this year, but the new Pro 3 is the one to watch.

It’s the first Wear OS device we’ve seen to run the new Snapdragon Wear 4100, which nukes complaints about performance and also means you’ll get two days of battery life.

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

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.

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

If you’re looking for a Wear OS watch with top performance, this is a key highlight for the 2020 holiday season.

Tag Heuer Connected 2020

Best smartwatches: top picks from our expert reviews
Credit: Wareable

Tag Heuer Connected 2020 key features

  • 1.39-inch, 454 x 454 pixel (326ppi) OLED display
  • 47mm case
  • Wear OS
  • Quick-change strap
  • 24 hour battery life
  • GPS
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Price when reviewed: – Tag Heuer Connected official page

Tag Heuer has, once again, absolutely nailed the physical aspect of its smartwatch, with a superb build and design; and has kept Google's smartwatch OS in the background just enough.

It’s big and chunky, and built for those who love over-sized watches, with a 47mm case housing a 1.39-inch, 454 x 454 pixel (326ppi) OLED display that is, as you'd expect, super clear and seems to almost sit on top of the scratch-resistant sapphire crystal screen.

For the first time Tag Heuer adds a heart rate monitor, along with a decent sports app that, like its Golf app, shows the company is really taking the experience of its smartwatch just as seriously as the design.

It’s really easy switch between straps and digital faces, making the transformation from fashion statement to fitness tracker a cinch.

The trouble with Wear OS is it hasn't evolved quickly enough and, as such, has been left miles behind Apple's watchOS.

Of course the Tag Heuer Connected 2020 is expensive, but it's a well-built high-end watch from Tag Heuer – what did you expect? It’s a beautifully designed and built smartwatch that’s in a league of its own. Wear OS does hold it back, but we’d figure that for those who can afford this watch, the choice is more than about the tech.

TAGGED Smartwatches

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 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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