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The Best Smartwatches

woman sitting at a desk about to check her smartwatch that's on her wrist
LightField Studios/Shutterstock.com

The wristwatch has undergone a massive shift in capability and culture with the rise of the smartwatch. We’ve moved far beyond being able to just tell time with our jewelry. It is the new norm to own a watch that can track your heart rate, sleeping patterns, and incoming calls. Would you like to manage and listen to your digital music library right from your wrist? Or, would you rather make an online purchase? The reality is there isn’t just one, but many wristwatches out there that satisfy both of these transactions, among many more highlights. If you’re on the search for a new smartwatch, here are some we recommend.

What to Consider Before Buying a Smartwatch

Keep these factors in mind when picking out your next smartwatch:

  • Function: The smartwatch was born out of the health tracker era. Today, most brands will closely follow their counterparts with similarly functioning watches, but of course, one will inevitably outperform the other. If you’re on the hunt for a smartwatch that offers the best health monitoring system, consider a brand that has forged a career out of making durable sports watches.
  • Features: If you aren’t looking to fulfill any specific requirements with your next smartwatch, or perhaps you want to satisfy all of them, then consider a watch that offers the biggest bang for your buck. Versatility should be a driving factor when buying your next smartwatch.
  • Style: Whether your next smartwatch is bursting with neon color or could easily be found on a red carpet, make sure it sends the right message. Sporty, spiffy, or casual, don’t be afraid to set a tone with the smartwatch of your choosing.

Best Overall: Apple Watch Series 3

black square smartwatch with a white strap

Apple wasn’t the first mega-brand to release the smartwatch, but they were the first to capitalize on what it could be. Since it hit the market over five years ago, Apple revolutionized the item into the high-grade, holiday favorite we know today. A durable yet sleek approach to the smartwatch, users flock to the Apple Watch for its health-savvy benefits and unfailing brand name. It’s an iPhone for your wrist, capable of sending and receiving texts, calls, and heart health notifications. Apple may not have been the first to try their hand at the smartwatch, but they are definitely at the forefront of the discussion regardless.

Best Overall

Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS, 38mm) - Silver Aluminum Case with White Sport Band

This is an iPhone for your wrist capable of delivering texts, calls, and health notifications while on your morning run.

Best for Exercise: Fitbit Versa 2 Health and Fitness Smartwatch

square smartwatch with rounded corners and a black screen and strap

Arguably the brand that laid the groundwork for the modern smartwatch, Fitbit has come a long way since its initial line of health trackers. The ability to measure personal fitness metrics is still present in the Fitbit Versa 2, but the added benefit of a built-in Amazon Alexa allows users to start their day with just the push of a button. This is your alarm clock, calendar, digital wallet, and favorite music playlist all in one. Even when you’ve left the hiking trail for the office, the Versa 2 goes with you. A quick manual shift to the “Always on” display mode will turn your sporty health tracker into your favorite analog or digital watch.

Best for Exercise

Best for Formal Wear: Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle Stainless Steel Touchscreen Smartwatch

round black smartwatch on a classic gray watch strap

If other smartwatches make you feel like a secret agent, this is the one to make you feel like a royal spy. Fossil’s venture into smartwatch territory has already won half the battle, as their 36-year legacy of crafting designer watches is clearly on display with the Gen 5 Carlyle. Stainless gray steel tacked onto a 44-millimeter case makes for one of the fanciest smartwatches you could wear out. Picture this on your wrist while you’re at an evening dinner or talking it up with colleagues before your next board meeting. This is all the fitness and modern tech you could want in a fashion-forward look.

Best for Formal Wear

Fossil 44mm Gen 5 Carlyle Stainless Steel Touchscreen Smart Watch with Heart Rate, Color: Smoke (Model: FTW4024)

This statement piece that delivers health notifications is one of the most stylish smartwatches you can wear.

Also Consider: Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

round smartwatch with white arms and a black leather strap

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is another dapper option for those who like their smartwatches with a bit of class. This smartwatch’s sharp appeal is due in large part to swapping out the traditional rubber watchband associated with the product and opting for a premium leather wristband. It is a choice that does not go unnoticed, and pairs well with the additional 50,000 digital watch faces a user can select from. However, users expecting a smartwatch that is all flare and no fight would be sorely mistaken. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is where style and military-grade durability collide. This watch offers advanced health monitoring and trip detection, a system that notifies an emergency contact if you’ve taken a potentially harmful fall during a workout. 

Also Consider
Hollis Mills Hollis Mills
Hollis Mills is a freelance journalist and a content writer for LifeSavvy. He has a bachelor's degree in English literature, and as an undergraduate at Texas A&M University, Hollis wrote and edited for the nationally recognized student newspaper, The Battalion. When he's not writing, you can find him complaining about Boston Celtics basketball or giving plenty of peanut butter biscuits to his always-hungry Catahoula dog, Blue. Read Full Bio »

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