Picking the best smartwatch is tougher than ever in 2017, given the breadth of choice on offer. With Samsung and Apple innovating and a strong field of Android Wear watches from big designers like Fossil, Nixon and Casio, there's never been a better time to buy.
We've completely overhauled our top smartwatch guide to try and help those looking to make the right decision...
Best overall smartwatch
Apple Watch Series 2
With the Series 2 Apple has shifted the focus to health and fitness, adding GPS to the mix for accurate run tracking without needing to carry your iPhone around. The Series 2 is also waterproof and offers an array of swim tracking and metrics. Apple has also introduced a new Breathe app to help you relax. The objective is clear: Apple is making a big play for sports watch owners.
With watchOS 3, Apple is also looking to right the wrongs of its predecessor, improving the way you interact with the Series 2 on a daily basis, offering better third-party app support and more.
Is the Apple Watch Series 2 the perfect smartwatch? No. But it makes a much more compelling argument than any that have come before it.
Take a look at our comprehensive Apple Watch Series 2 review.
Best Android Wear smartwatch
The stunning AMOLED display on Huawei's Android Wear debutant is a 1.4-inch, 400 x 400, one with a 286ppi count – the highest density on an Android Wear smartwatch so far – and there's no annoying flat tyre either. The screen is made all the more impressive thanks to a 10,000:1 contrast ratio.
When we first reviewed the Huawei Watch, we called it the slickest looking Android Wear smartwatch but lamented that those looks came at a premium. Fast forward a few months and the price has tumbled and, given it plays nicely with the new Mode interchangeable bands and can run the preview of Wear 2.0, it's now our top pick from Google's stable.
Have a look at our Huawei Watch review.
Best for Samsung smartphone users
Samsung Gear S3
It's been just over a year since the Samsung Gear S2 went live, intriguing everyone with its rotating bezel and sporty looking design. And now, Samsung has come up with a duo of sequels in the form of the Samsung Gear S3 Classic and Samsung Gear S3 Frontier. Aside from the obvious differences in design, there's not a great deal of difference between the Gear S3 options, aside from the LTE offering and a small weight difference.
The bezel, the big winner on the S2, has evolved, allowing more functionality than before. Using Nest, for example, you can control the fan, temperature zones and more in different rooms, simply by twisting the bezel. There's also a much larger battery sitting behind the bigger screen, meaning you get about 3-4 days of usage, compared to the usual two days the majority of smartwatches can muster.
Take a look at our Samsung Gear S3 review.
Best budget smartwatch
Sony SmartWatch 3
An old choice but a good choice, the Sony SmartWatch 3 has built-in GPS connectivity, which means you can leave your smartphone at home when you go for a run.
The sports styling makes it perfect for a weekend jog, and while the screen is a little dull compared to some of its rivas, the Steel edition adds a touch of class to the smartwatch that we at Wareable agree offers the most bang for your smartwatch buck.
Enjoy our Sony SmartWatch 3 review.
Best if money's no object
Tag Heuer Connected
It doesn't take long before you realise this Intel powered Tag smartwatch is the best built, and highest quality, Android Wear device to date. From afar it genuinely looks like a regular Tag Heuer watch – it's only when you get up close that you notice it's quite a bulky beast.
Now available in rose gold, its watch faces are another delightful addition and after two years, you can trade it in for a mechanical Tag watch.
Have a read of our Tag Heuer Connected review.
Best for sports
Garmin Vivoactive HR
This second-gen Garmin smartwatch has the same 24/7 activity tracking and support for smartphone alerts as its predecessor, the Vivoactive. What it adds is Garmin's own Elevate heart rate tracking technology which monitors your HR continuously and gives accurate indications of calorie burn through the day and night. And it's better looking.
There's GPS and dedicated apps for cycling, swimming, running and golf plus support for skiing and paddle boarding too. Connect IQ adds apps while battery life is eight days, 13 hours with GPS.
You can check out our full, in-depth Garmin Vivoactive HR review to see what we made of it.
Best for running
The Polar M600 is very much a Polar running watch first and an Android Wear smartwatch second. Not just because it has the familiar Polar watch faces already loaded but because it strong-arms you into getting Polar Flow up and running on your smartphone almost instantly. There's a physical button that's dedicated to Polar Flow. Your first ever push of it will fire up the app on your phone and, from thereon in, it's your speedy gateway to tracking your runs and workouts.
The GPS run tracking is on the money and the stats and metrics the excellent Flow app provides post-run make it the top smartwatch for runners.
Read our Polar M600 review now.
Best for battery life
When it comes to smartwatch battery life, it doesn't come much longer than the Vector watch. With around 30 days from a single charge, the Vector will out-last most business trips and holidays, meaning you don't have to pack a separate charger for your travels. It's a competent smartwatch with notifications, fitness tracking and a clever way of visualising your day through rings placed around the watch face.
Of course, 30 days of battery doesn't come without sacrifice, and the low-power screen does ruin the aesthetic. We'd also advise looking beyond the basic models for a far more pleasing finish.
Have a look at our Vector Luna review.
Best for geeks
Everything that made the original Pebble brilliant is still on board: that affordable price, an impressive seven-day battery life and both iPhone and Android compatibility.
There are also some serious upgrades to both the software and hardware; the Pebble operating system has come a long way since the days of the cherry red smartwatch, now sitting at Pebble OS 4.0 with thousands more apps under its belt.
Check out the Wareable verdict in our Pebble 2 review.
Best for outdoor action sports
Nixon The Mission
Its inclusion on Nixon's surf and skiing smartwatch shows that Android Wear can be more than just another operating system 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 WSD-F10. The rugged design is water-resistant to 10 ATM and is adorned in 316L surgical grade stainless steel. That means you can take it surfing and it will withstand even the most spectacular wipe-out.
Have a read of our Nixon The Mission review for much more info.
Best for Fossil fans
Fossil Q Marshal
Okay, so having a 'best Fossil smartwatch' may seem a bit niche but, with the hugely popular watch brand promising to launch more than 100 wearables this year alone - and three Android Wear smartwatches already live - we felt we had to pick our favourite.
And it's the Marshal. It's not spectacular - that annoying dead area at the bottom of the screen remains, but it's a great looking smartwatch. Fossil's USP is simple: design, design, design. It is starting with a watch first and working in the technology, rather than vice versa. The Q Marshal is one of – if not the – best looking Android Wear watch out there right now.
Read our full Fossil Q Marshal review for more info.
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