And it's live! The Wareable Tech Awards 2023 are official – with our picks of the best wearables and innovations of the year.
It's never an easy task to pick through the year's wearable devices – and this year has been tougher than ever. There have been huge levels of innovation across the industry, at all price points and segments.
Here are our picks of the year.
Wearable of the Year – Garmin Venu 3
It's a debut Wearable of the Year award for Garmin – but the impressive Venu 3 edges it for us. Why? Garmin has transformed the Venu 3 from a jack-of-all-trades sporty smartwatch into a wellness powerhouse.
Garmin has matured its suite of wellness features into something that finally feels useful, especially the Body Battery feature. And it’s overhauled the Venu 3's interface to give those wellness stats a “live” feel, which makes them interesting throughout the day – not just when you wake up.
Read our Garmin Venu 3 review.
Smartwatch of the Year – Garmin Venu 3
Unsurprisingly, the Venu 3 is also our smartwatch of the year. With a great screen stainless steel build, great wellness features, and long battery life, the Venu 3 gets the recognition it deserves.
With Garmin’s latest Elevate 5 algorithms and sensors, it produces excellent sports tracking accuracy – and packs ECG as well. Garmin has also made its sleep and wellness tracking more useful and interesting – making for a strong contender that deserves recognition.
Read our Garmin Venu 3 review.
Fitness tracker of the Year - Fitbit Charge 6
The Fitbit Charge 6 didn’t have to do too much to grab the best fitness tracker gong, as it's predecessor was already streets ahead of the competition, thanks to ECG, a stress-tracking EDA sensor, and automatic Afib detection.
But the addition of Google Wallet and Google Maps features makes the Fitbit Charge 6 even more useful every day. This is a seriously smart fitness tracker.
Read our Fitbit Charge 6 review.
Affordable Fitness Tracker of the Year - Xiaomi Smart Band 8
The Xiaomi Smart Band 8 may not have brought a dramatic overhaul in terms of design, but some truly smart features make it an even better budget pick.
The new Pebble Mode means it can be worn off-wrist, and it even brings analytics for runners. The new look strap is better quality and more comfortable than ever before, making it the strongest Mi Band to date.
Read our Xiaomi Smart Band 8 review.
Smart ring of the year - Ultrahuman Ring Air
The second-generation Ultrahuman Ring Air impressed us this year, with a smart take on wellness, recovery, and activity tracking. We found good levels of accuracy and insights, and the platform also plays nicely with CGMs for a holistic look at nutritional health. New color options negate some criticisms over bland design – and the Ring Air brings affordability to the smart ring market that’s worthy of recognition.
Read our Ultrahuman Ring Air review.
Affordable Smartwatch of the Year – Honor Watch 4
Honor Watch 4 seriously impressed us in the budget smartwatch category, and brings an excellent mix of sleek looks, impressive fitness smarts, and a slick experience. A true all-rounder, it offers a surprising array of features at an affordable price.
Read our Honor Watch 4 review.
Running Watch of the Year – Coros Pace 3
There have been plenty of excellent additions to the running watch cabal this year – but the Coros Pace 3 impressed us with an excellent performance without breaking the bank.
We loved the battery life, lightweight build, and excellent levels of heart rate accuracy even during high-intensity workouts. And the fitness insights stand up to rivals that cost twice the price.
Read our Coros Pace 3 review.
Multisport watch of the year - Garmin Forerunner 965
The Forerunner 965 is an immensely powerful multisport watch, which has been supercharged with the addition of an AMOLED display. Undercutting the Epix (Gen 2) and Epix Pro, the Forerunner 965 still retains the best features Garmin has to offer, including new Training Readiness insights and TOPO mapping. It's a sleek and wearable multisport watch that has stayed glued to our wrists all year.
Read our Garmin Forerunner 965 review.
Women’s health device of the year – Oura Ring
The Oura platform has also had numerous big additions this year – but it’s great to see women’s health prioritized. The new Cycle Insights feature replaces Period Prediction and uses temperature tracking to track the follicular and luteal phases of the cycle.
It also provides insights into the effect stages can have on energy levels, focus, and mood. Oura has also continued its partnership with Natural Cycles, which launched last year, and recently announced a new partnership with Clue, making it one of the best wearables for women.
Read our Oura Ring 3 review.
Health smartwatch of the year – Huawei Watch 4 Pro
The Huawei Watch 4 Pro seriously impressed us as a health device – with a powerful set of features including respiratory checks, ECG, and the new Health Glance.
It makes for a powerful suite of health features, which is platform agnostic and can be used across iOS and Android. It’s also a lovely smartwatch, with a titanium build and diving-rated water resistance – and easily Huawei’s classiest smartwatch to date.
Read our Huawei Watch 4 Pro review
Innovation of the year – Apple double-tap gesture
The Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 were minimal updates on the surface – but the addition of the S9 chip with its Neural Engine might be transformational for smartwatches.
The coolest innovation from the new silicone is the double-tap gesture. It enables you to control the Apple Watch without needing to tap the screen, which is useful when your hands are full – and to be honest, it's just so fun and pleasing to use.
In our review we called it a “moment of delight” and we’re sure it will be commonplace on smartwatches in the coming years.
Read our Apple Watch Series 9 review
Smartglasses of the year – Ray-Ban Meta
The Ray-Ban Meta specs seriously impressed us this year – as a stylish and powerful set of smartglasses – but also an insight into the kinds of experience we should expect from the segment.
With brilliant audio and video quality, paired with a delightful charging case, the Ray-Bans are easy to recommend. Capturing life’s precious moments without a smartphone is a worthy goal – and the Ray-Ban Meta delivers.
Read our Ray-Ban Meta review.
Health platform of the year – Whoop
A year of innovation for Whoop has seen the company’s platform go from strength to strength. The addition of an AI chatbot that you can use to query your data and provide personalized advice is a great addition, and so are the new Insights, Stress tracking and Muscular Strain score, as well as guided strength workouts. What’s more, Whoop got more affordable in 2023 thanks to a price cut– and it’s become a strong health and fitness platform.
Read our Whoop 4.0 review.
Fitness platform of the year – Strava
Our go-to place to track our workouts, the breadth of wearables support for Strava is staggering. The addition of route planning features and suggestions has also impressed – and that has become an easy way to create GPX routes to be used with wearables.
Sleep tech device of the year – Samsung Galaxy Watch 6
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 with Wear OS 4 hugely impressed us with the quality of its upgraded sleep-tracking smarts – and is a worthy winner this year.
The upgraded algorithms offered accurate sleep analysis of restfulness, cycles, and also blood oxygen.
The addition of sleep animal chronotypes is also a neat insight – and owners of older Samsung smartwatches are also getting the upgrade. So this will benefit millions of people.
Read our Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic review.
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