Long gone are the days when smartwatches only tracked your steps and told you the time. Taking it a step further than the best fitness trackers, a smartwatch is an extension of your smartphone but with the ability to provide valuable insights into your personal health. You have access to all of your important calendars, text messages, and other notifications, but you can also track your five-mile morning run and how well you slept that night. Even with all that tech, smartwatches remain a fashionable accessory that looks great while you’re at work or at night.
Between Apple and Samsung alone, you’re inundated with a plethora of smartwatch choices. But don’t let the paradox of choice scare you away. This article has a great selection of the best smartwatches that will fit your needs. Even if you aren’t team Apple or Samsung, there are plenty of other options from top-tier tech brands like Garmin, Google, and Amazfit to fulfill your need for a new smartwatch.
Our favorite smartwatches in 2023
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic
A smartwatch packed with great heart sensor capabilities and great battery life.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic can take over 90 different activities and make sure your heart is in check with heartbeat and rhythm notifications.
- Automatic activity tracking
- Good battery life
- Bright display
- Wristband is uncomfortable
- Some health features require Samsung phone pairing
The watchmakers at Samsung listened to your feedback to bring what you liked from the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 while advancing the tech from the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5. Making a comeback is the rotating bezel that XDA Editor, Chris Wedel, raved over in his review of the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic. Not only does the rotating bezel make for a simpler user experience, as it conveniently navigates through menus and scrolls through messages, but it also provides that oh-so-sweet click as you turn it.
Aside from the bezel, the Watch 6 Classic sports a Super AMOLED display with Sapphire Crystal glass for added protection from scratches and scrapes. Throw in a brighter 2,000-nit display from previous versions, and not only is this one of the best-looking displays in the Samsung Smartwatch family, but it is also the brightest, helping you see the display even in direct sunlight. The battery found notable improvements as well from previous versions. You can expect about 40 hours of battery life, which smashes the likes of the Apple Series 8 Watch, which is only rated for 16 hours.
Another big advancement from previous versions is the ability to detect heart rhythm irregularities. The advanced sensors inside of the Watch 6 Classic will send you notifications if it detects an irregular heartbeat, helping you stay safe and healthy. Of course, all of the usual suspects are available as well, including heart rate, step counter, workout duration, and distance. But the Samsung Smartwatch can even recognize when you’ve begun certain activities, like swimming, even if you forgot to manually track it. This helps you leave no workout unaccounted for. If you’re looking for a new Android Watch, The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is a stellar choice.
The best Apple Watch for most users
The new Apple Watch Series 8 is an incremental upgrade over the outgoing model. It now comes with a new temperature sensor and supports Apple's new Crash Detection feature.
- Good use of temperature sensor
- Crash detection is helpful
- New low-power mode
- Very similar to its predecessor
The arrival of the new Apple Watch Ultra may have dwarfed the excitement around the Apple Watch Series 8, but that's not to say it's a bad smartwatch. If anything, the Apple Watch Series 8 is still one of the best smartwatches on the market and the one which most Apple users should consider buying over any other alternatives. It offers incremental upgrades over the Apple Watch Series 7, but that's not necessarily an issue considering Apple has kept the $399 starting price in place.
The Apple Watch Series 8 looks identical to its predecessor, sporting rounded edges, curved glass, and the same digital crown and a button on the side. New to the Apple Watch Series 8, however, is the temperature sensor. This new sensor will feed the data to help with two key features of the watch -- sleep tracking and menstrual cycle tracking.
Also new to the Apple Watch Series 8 is the crash detection feature. The company's smartwatch will use two new motion sensors along with an improved gyroscope and accelerometer to detect a crash. The Watch will then automatically call emergency services and even notify your emergency contacts. Being able to get quick help in such an unfortunate circumstance could be a matter of life and death, so this is indeed a very useful feature to have.
Comes with the latest Wear OS software and Fitbit integration
The Google Pixel Watch is one of the most stylish and sleekest Android watches around. And since it's made by Google, it's about as official an Android watch as you're going to get.
- Modern design
- Clean Wear OS experience
- Smooth and reliable performance
- Fitbit integration
- Battery life could've been better
- Lacks automatic workout detection
- Only available in one size
Google's Pixel Watch is also a good option if you're looking to buy a new smartwatch to pair with your Android phone. It may not be the best smartwatch out there on the market right now, but it has a lot of charm. It looks great overall, and it also comes with many bells and whistles on the software side. Unlike Samsung's Galaxy Watch 5 series devices, the Pixel Watch works with all Android phones without gate-keeping any features.
The best thing about the Pixel Watch has got to be its design and build quality. It's lightweight and comfortable to wear, so you can wear it throughout without any issues. It's only available in one size though, so keep that in mind. The watch sports a 1.2-inch AMOLED panel that gets surprisingly bright outdoors. You will have to keep the brightness in check because it only features a 294 mAh battery. Some other noteworthy features of the watch include a crown on the right side of the face, support for ECG readings, Fitbit integration, and more.
One thing we don't necessarily like about the watch is it uses proprietary watch bands, meaning you can't use the standard type that many other smartwatches do. There are some great Pixel Watch bands out there, but the selection isn't quite as wide as many would like. The Pixel Watch also lacks automatic workout detection, meaning you'll have to manually enable them before each workout. You can learn more about this particular device in our Google Pixel Watch review.
Garmin Instinct 2 Solar
Military-grade protection and solar charging
The Garmin Instinct 2 Solar is perfect for those who have an active lifestyle and spend a lot of time outdoors.
- Incredible battery life solar charging
- Rugged form-factor
- Comes in two different sizes
- Expensive price tag
- No storage for music
The Garmin Instinct 2 Solar comes with the promise of "never-ending battery life" for active users who spend some time outdoors every day. While Garmin has recently announced an updated Instinct 2X Solar, until we finish our review of it, this model will be the recommendation for now. This particular watch charges using a transparent "power-glass" covering the screen and the panels on the surrounding edges. This glass is capable of keeping the watch topped up for essentially unlimited battery life, provided you spend at least three hours every day in direct sunlight. The goal is to expose the watch to 50,000 lux of light every day, so you don't have to plug it into a charger for more juice.
The Garmin Instinct 2 Solar lacks a touchscreen, but it more than makes up for it with its intuitive button-based interface. It supports all the smart features that you'd expect from a typical smartwatch in 2022, including notification pop-ups, GPS, workout tracking, heart rate tracking, and more. The Instinct 2 Solar tracks a vast number of activities, including running, walking, cycling, swimming, strength training, cardio, and more. It syncs with the Garmin Connect app on your smartphone to give you additional insights too.
The Garmin Instinct 2 Solar comes in a bunch of different models, but the standard version with solar charging starts at $450. This particular smartwatch is not for everyone, and certainly not for those who spend a lot of time indoors. But if you're an active outdoor person who spends long enough each day in the sun, then you may never have to plug it in for charging.
Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5
Multiday battery on a single charge
Mobvoi's new TicWatch Pro 5 is the first smartwatch to feature the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 Wearable Platform. Along with improved power, it also lends longer battery life to the king of battery for Wear OS 3 devices. New health features and functions on the secondary display make this a very impressive smartwatch.
- Best battery life of any Wear OS watch
- Useful improvements to the secondary display
- Good design and build quality
- Only available in one size
- No Google Assistant at launch
The TicWatch Pro 5 is Mobvoi's latest offering that comes with its signature battery-saving dual display, Wear OS 3, and Qualcomm's Snapdragon W5+ chip. It's priced at $350 to go head-to-head with other Wear OS watches on the market, and it's an easy recommendation for those who want a reliable Wear OS watch with good battery life.
One of the highlights of the TicWatch Pro 5 is that it comes with a secondary-low-power (ULP) display that takes charge when the 1.4-inch OLED display isn't active. You only use the OLED panel on this watch when you really need it because the ULP panel does a pretty good job of staying up to show you the time and other relevant information. Mobvoi has also improved the secondary display on this watch, allowing you to use the backlight as a visual cue of your heart rate range while exercising.
As highlighted in our TicWatch Pro 5 review, this watch can comfortably last you for 4 to 5 days on a single charge, even when you enable all the tracking features. The TicWatch Pro 5 packs a 628mAh battery inside to keep the lights on for multiple days. A lot of the credit for a solid battery life also goes to the new Snapdragon W5+ chip is built on a 4nm process. This is also Mobvoi's first TicWatch to run Google's Wear 3 out of the box.
The TicWatch Pro 5 looks and feels great in hand, but it's only available in a single 50mm size, which might be too big for a lot of users. It also uses 24mm bands is slightly bigger than the standard 22mm bands we see on a lot of smartwatches.
Offers best of both worlds
The Withings Scanwatch is an excellent hybrid watch that comes with a classic watch and offers a lot of great features including ECG, SpO2 tracking, and more.
- Beautiful design
- Long-lasting battery
- ECG monitor
- A relatively small display
- Limited fitness features
Smartwatches are great and offer a lot of useful features, but nothing beats the simplicity and the classic look of an analog watch. Well, if you prefer rocking a simple-looking watch over fancy ones with flashy features, then you might want to consider buying a hybrid smartwatch like the Withings Scanwatch. This particular watch, as you can see, looks gorgeous and has a stellar build quality. Its stainless steel case and minimal design scream quality in a way a lot of modern smartwatches fail to do. It also has a sapphire glass display, meaning you won't scratch or crack it easily. It comes in 38mm and 42mm sizes, both of which look identical except for the size.
The Withings Scanwatch comes with a PMOLED monochrome display to show things like notifications and real-time ECG readings. There's a digital crown on the side to make up for the lack of touchscreen controls. One of the headline features of the Scanwatch is its built-in electrocardiogram (ECG) monitor. In addition to taking occasional scans for irregular heartbeats, the watch also notifies you if your heart rate regularly seems to be high or low. Notably, the Scanwatch also comes with a medical-grade pulse oximeter to measure oxygen saturation levels (SpO2).
Withings' companion app is also packed with a ton of useful features. The Scanwatch can track over 30 sports activities and even supports auto-tracking for activities such as walking, running, swimming, biking, and more. All the relevant data can be found within the companion app. The company advertises 30 days battery life for the Scanwatch, which is quite impressive. There are hardly any smartwatches out there that can last for up to 30 days on a single charge.
Amazfit T-Rex 2
The one that works with both Android and iOS
The Amazfit T-Rex 2 is a good rugged smartwatch for those who have an active lifestyle. It offers reliable activity tracking and impressive battery life.
- Durable build quality
- Long battery life
- Support for various fitness activities
- Zepp app needs more work
- Bulky form-factor
The Amazfit T-Rex 2 is one of those smartwatches that's very easy for us to recommend. It costs less than $200, has a rugged look with impressive build quality to match, and it lasts for over two weeks on a single charge. It may not be the most premium or the most feature-packed smartwatch out there on the market, but it works as advertised, and it excels at plenty of things that'll make it a worthwhile purchase.
One of the best things about the Amazfit T-Rex 2 is its build quality. It's got a rugged build with 10ATM water resistance and STD-MIL-810G certification. It's not designed to everyone's liking, but it speaks well with those who are into buying rugged smartwatches to go with their active lifestyle. As we mentioned in our T-Rex 2 review, it looks like a G-Shock watch, so it's definitely not for those who like minimal-looking sports watches.
The Amazfit T-Rex 2 is only available in one size, though. It's both bigger and bulkier than many other smartwatches on the market, but thankfully it's not as heavy as it looks. The T-Rex 2 is also validated to withstand extreme temperatures and environmental conditions from 70 degrees Celsius to all the way down to -40 degrees Celsius. It also sports an AMOLED panel on the front which we found to be just as bright and beautiful as the displays on some other premium smartwatches on the market.
The Amazfit T-Rex 2 runs on the company's custom software, but it offers a good set of features to complement the hardware. From heart-rate monitoring to automatic sleep tracking, the Amazfit T-Rex 2 can do it all, making it a lot better than a lot of other smartwatches out there. Some other noteworthy features of this watch include the ability to measure blood oxygen (SpO2) and stress levels, support for GPS, and a lot more. If you're looking for the most rugged, feature-packed option from Amazfit, then check out the T-Rex Ultra. It ups the ante on everything the T-Rex 2 offers, not just in hardware and features but also in price.
Apple Watch Ultra
Also the Apple Watch with best battery life
The new Apple Watch Ultra is targeted at sports enthusiasts and athletes who are involved in extreme sports activities. It has a new rugged design, a bigger battery, and a lot of other noteworthy improvements over the standard Apple Watch.
- Durable build quality
- Best battery life of any Apple Watch
- Added Action button
- Bulky form-factor
The Apple Watch Ultra, as the name suggests, is essentially a higher-end version of the standard Apple Watch. This particular watch, however, is designed specifically for fitness enthusiasts and athletes that demand better battery life and durable build quality from their smartwatches. It's made out of a lightweight aerospace-grade titanium body with a flat sapphire crystal face on the top. It also sports a larger digital crown that's grooved deeper into a housing that includes a side button. Notably, the Apple Watch Ultra also comes with an additional physical button on the left side. It's called the Action button, and it can be programmed to activate workouts, set compass waypoints, and more.
The Apple Watch Ultra comes with a larger 49mm casing, making it the biggest Apple Watch to date. The company is using the additional space to pack a bigger battery with which the watch is said to last for up to 36 hours on a single charge. In fact, it can last for up to 60 hours on a single charge with Apple's new low-power setting, although we'll have to wait for the watch to arrive on the market to confirm this.
The Apple Watch Ultra is more durable than any other Apple Watch model on the market. It's built to withstand extreme environments and weather conditions. It's also suitable for water sports, including kite surfing, wakeboarding, scuba diving, and more. It's also certified to WR100 and EN 13319, and it also has a depth gauge and a dedicated depth app for divers. Besides all the additional features, the Apple Watch Ultra offers the same functionality as the Apple Watch Series 8. It even comes with the new temperature sensor and support for the crash detection feature that's found on the Apple Watch Series 8.
To help combat the hefty price tag, try to score the Ultra when the best Apple Watch deals take place.
Amazfit GTR Mini
Compact, affordable, and comfortable to wear
Amazfit's GTR Mini brings a classically styled watch that looks great and is comfortable to wear and a fully packed fitness companion.
- Very lightweight and comfortable to wear
- Excellent battery life
- Very limited app support
- Can only use preset responses for notifications
The Amazfit GTR Mini has now replaced the Fitbit Versa 3 as our pick for the best budget smartwatch you can buy in 2023. You can buy this smartwatch from Amazon and Amazfit's website for as little as $120. That's a pretty good price for a watch that's packed with some awesome features. As mentioned in our Amazfit GTR Mini review, it goes head-to-head with a bunch of other premium watches with its fitness tracking features. It can track over 120 different workouts and exercises, including walking, running, biking, and more. You also get all the basic options to track things like water intake, calories, and more.
The Amazfit GTR Mini comes with a BiotTracker 3.0 sensor that offers real-time, 24-hour monitoring of your heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and stress, among other things. You also get support for GPS, and it can withstand the equivalent of up to 50 meters of water pressure. Amazfit is using its in-house ZeppOS 2.0 to power this watch, and it comes with a lot of good features. You don't get support for a large selection of third-party apps on this watch, though, so keep that in mind.
The Amazfit GTR Mini is a pretty-looking watch that is wrapped in stainless steel and plastic, and it only weighs 36.2g. It sports a 1.28-inch AMOLED panel, and it packs a 280mAh battery that can go as long as 30 days before needing a charge. There's plenty to like about the Amazfit GTR Mini, and it's easily one of the best budget watches on the market right now.
Experience the best Apple Watch features for less
Apple's budget smartwatch might be lacking some features like an always-on display, the fastest charging, and ECG, but it's still a well-designed Apple product and a capable smartwatch for those looking for a cool piece of wearable tech that won't cost anywhere near as much as a Watch Ultra 2.
- Upgraded internals
- Relatively affordable price tag
- Slightly thicker bezels
- No always on display
In addition to the new Apple Watch Series 8 and the Apple Watch Ultra, the Cupertino tech giant also introduced the new Apple Watch SE at its Far Out event last year. The Apple Watch SE (2022) replaces the original Apple Watch SE with an updated chip, a slightly redesigned casing, and more. It also starts at a lower price now compared to the original Apple Watch SE (2020), making it a solid option for those who are looking to buy a cheaper Apple Watch to pair with their new iPhones.
The new Apple Watch SE (2022) costs as much as $150 less than the new Apple Watch Series 8, but it packs the same S8 chip. In fact, the ultra-expensive, Apple Watch Ultra also draws its power from the same chip. As far as the features are concerned, the Apple Watch SE (2022) supports heart rate monitoring and the ability to track all the standard sets of workouts. However, you'll be missing out on ECG, SpO2, and even the new temperature sensor, all of which are supported by the Apple Watch Series 8.
In terms of design, the new Apple Watch SE (2022) looks very similar to a lot of other modern Apple Watches on the market. It has thicker bezels compared to the new Series 8, but you can mask it rather easily by using a darker watch face. The bottom case of the Apple Watch SE (2022) is made of nylon composite materials that are color-matched to the bezels. The overall performance of the new Apple Watch SE should be significantly better than the older model. The new Apple Watch SE runs the company's new watchOS 9 out of the box and will also include support for the new crash detection feature.
A reliable watch with text and voice messaging
The Garmin Bounce is one of the most feature-packed smartwatches for kids out there. It comes with all the essentials like LTE and Wi-Fi support, the ability to track your kids' whereabouts, and more. It's also relatively affordable, making it an excellent option for parents and kids alike.
- Supports two-way text and voice messaging
- Safety controls including location tracking and emergency contact support
- Parental controls with contact list management support
- Requires LTE subscription exclusive to Garmin
- Does not support phone calls
If you're not ready to buy a full-fledged smartwatch for your kids yet, then consider checking out the Garmin Bounce. It's a kid-friendly device offering good connectivity, parental controls, and a host of other essentials. It also comes with a bunch of preloaded apps and games that your kids will find useful for everyday use. Additionally, this particular watch will also reward your kids with more features and fun activities in the Garmin Jr. app as they move and clock more activity in the real world while wearing the watch.
The only thing to note about this particular smartwatch is that you'll need to subscribe to a proprietary Garmin subscription plan to unlock its LTE connectivity. It's essential to access features like text and voice messages, so keep that in mind. Parents can also take advantage of the parental control features to access their ward's real-time location with notifications and enable the class mode to ensure they're not distracted by the watch during schoolwork.
The Garmin Bounce is a simple-looking watch that's lightweight and feels comfortable to wear every day. It sports a 1.3-inch LCD touchscreen and a handful of buttons on the sides to help you navigate through the watch. It also offers excellent battery life, so you don't have to worry about charging it every day or every time your kid is about to step out of the house.
Best smartwatches in 2023: The final say
Out of all the options mentioned in this particular collection, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic and the Apple Watch Series 8 are two of the best smartwatches you can buy right now. Team Samsung will enjoy the great 40 hours of battery life and ECG (heart rhythm detection) capabilities that were once only a feature found on the Apple Watch, while Apple users get many of the same features found in the Ultra, but at nearly half the price.
The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic beautifully blends the Watch 4 and the Watch 5, bringing back the physical turning bezel that makes navigating the UI a breeze. The aforementioned battery life is an improvement from previous generations as well as the Exynos W930 processor, which makes navigating through your watch a consistently smooth endeavor.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 ClassicBest smartwatch for Android users
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic can take over 90 different activities and make sure your heart is in check with heartbeat and rhythm notifications.
- Best overall for iPhone users$310 $400 Save $90
The Apple Watch Series 8 is the 2022 smartwatch from Apple. It's not a huge change from the Series 7, but it offers fresh features like crash detection, a temperature sensor, and more.
The Apple Watch Series 8, on the other hand, is a solid option for iPhone users. It's not as kitted as the Ultra model, but the Series 8 covers all the basics for all casual users. It costs the same as the outgoing models and comes with some thoughtful extras, including a new temperature sensor, Apple's new crash detection feature, and more. You can get it with or without cellular connectivity, and it's also available in a bunch of different finishes.
This is an ever-evolving list, so we'll continue to keep an eye on the market to see if we can add new options to this post.